Renew expired warranty on malfunctioning laptop?
February 11, 2014 5:01 AM   Subscribe

I have an out-of-warranty Dell Inspiron 17R N7110 that appears to have a failing integrated graphics card (Intel HD Graphics 3000). The machine's only 2 years old. Replacing the motherboard would cost more than renewing the warranty ($208). Is this the way to go? A few more details follow.

What the screen is doing periodically --

The screen also blacks out, cycling through several solid colors.

Renewing the warranty seems like a no-brainer. Am I missing something?
posted by woodman to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Read the wording of the warranty carefully and any waiting times that might apply. In the insurance world, you can't purchase insurance after the event has happened and expect them to cover it, maybe the warranty world is different.
posted by TheAdamist at 5:30 AM on February 11, 2014

Does it have moisture detectors inside, like Apple products do? If so, and if they have been activated, even by humidity, the warranty will likely be invalid. I have no idea if this worry applies to Dell laptops, but i have heard of people having trouble with iPhones due to this kind of thing.
posted by thelonius at 5:47 AM on February 11, 2014

Best answer: I have a Dell laptop which had the graphics card go bad. I searched the Dell customer service forums and found that there was a know issues with that model of laptop. The forums provided a Dell contact to get the laptop fixed. Even thought the laptop was a little over two years old Dell replaced the MB and covered the shipping round trip. The laptop has been going strong ever since.
posted by tman99 at 5:55 AM on February 11, 2014 [3 favorites]

You might want to look into a new laptop. $200 would cover quite a bit of the cost of one. I say this because if you renew the warranty, there's a chance they'll find a reason that the repair isn't covered, and if you replace the motherboard then you've just dumped almost enough to buy a new computer into the machine.
posted by azpenguin at 6:10 AM on February 11, 2014 [2 favorites]

Do you know for sure that you *can* renew the warranty? Most coverage/warranty things consider it really not ok (whether fraud or whatever will depend on the wording) if you knowingly purchase protection for something already broken, it doesn't work the same as health insurance or car insurance.
posted by HermitDog at 10:11 AM on February 11, 2014

Response by poster: Thanks for the answers. I'll check the fine print of the warranty. Can't help feeling that Dell owes me something more than a brick at this point. Even refurbished, this 2 yr old model is still selling for over $500. If I can find enough examples of other failing graphics cards with this model, I'll do my best to get Dell to fix it for free. Thanks again!
posted by woodman at 4:09 AM on February 12, 2014

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