Hardware Thread, Dell Vostro 1520 in Technical; AAAAArrrrghhhhhh...
We got a batch of Dell Vostro 1520's (30) about 6 months ago. From the offset they had an ...
8th February 2010, 10:20 AM #1
Dell Vostro 1520
We got a batch of Dell Vostro 1520's (30) about 6 months ago. From the offset they had an issue where they would occasionally freeze, but it wasn't being reported to me every time, so I got 1-2 reports a week rather than the 20 or so that were actually occurring....
When I realised how big an issue this was, I got on to dell support for assistance, they said there were no known issues with the model and asked me to monitor the situation. I thought this was tosh, so googled the issue and found that it was a known issue that many people were having. When running on battery, the laptops are fine. When running on power (with no battery), the laptops are fine. When running whilst the battery is charging, they freeze after between 2 and 30 minutes (seems worse when the battery is almost depleted).
So I got back on to Dell and told them I'd had a look around and that it was a known issue, 5 minutes later they came back to say "yes, it is a known issue... Here's the fix...". They sent me 3 files, one was the chipset drivers, one was the bios firmware and the other was a dell hotfix. I ran this on a few of the machines, but was still getting the issue. I got back to Dell and they said they'd investigate further. I also tested with a live boot CD at this point, and the machine froze whilst booting!
1 month later and Dell hadn't been back in touch, so I chased again (this was just after christmas). They agreed again that it was a known issue, but didn't offer a fix and said they were still investigating. At this point I gave them the ultimatum of either replacing the motherboards (googling suggested that everyone else with this problem had had their MB's replaced to resolve the issue) or taking back the dodgy kit for a full refund. 2 minutes later they agreed to replace all 30 motherboards, but couldn't give me a timescale as they have to outsource the motherboards.
Another month later and after contacting them every week for updates they still can't/won't give me a date!!!
Avoid the Vostro 1520's.
IDG Tech News
8th February 2010, 10:31 AM #2
If it was a known issue maybe new builds are not effected? I have a number of these as staff laptops and have not had any of the issues you describe. Most were purchased about for months ago and some in the past month.
8th February 2010, 10:39 AM #3
Hmm. I'm a big fan of the Vostro laptops, and have ordered quite a few for staff over the past year or so with never having experienced any issues. It may be a batch problem, particularly if they have a new chipset etc. I hope Dell get this sorted for you.
Last edited by Dos_Box; 8th February 2010 at 11:13 AM.
8th February 2010, 10:52 AM #4
I'd suspect it is a batch error, as we bought another 1 a few months later and didn't have the same issue, was mainly ranting about the crappy support i've received, but also warning in case anyone spots a cheap deal for vostro's, they could be the crappy batch!
8th February 2010, 11:11 AM #5
Yes Dell can be a RPITA when you have a large scale problem with a batch of machines. I have found the best route is via the A/C Manager that provided you with the quote. They see to have more sway when getting parts replaced on a batch of machines in one hit due to problems. Not saying it is easy but you might see better results.
8th February 2010, 11:20 AM #6
Have actually just gone down this route, but she's on holiday till tomorrow
Originally Posted by SYSMAN_MK
3rd March 2010, 05:15 PM #7
Was promised on Monday last week (after chasing again) that the motherboards would be available for changing on Friday(last week).
Got a call on Thursday to confirm that an engineer would be there on Friday to change the motherboard.
Waited till 5.30 on Friday - nobody turned up so I went home...
On Monday I got a call from Dell to say that the part was unavailable on Friday, so an engineer will be out Wednesday. I queried the 'part' and was told that only one of the motherboards would be replaced at this time, and if it repairs the issue the rest would be done (which is fair enough i suppose...).
Engineer came out today - replaced the motherboard and left, I tested the laptop for over an hour and it didn't freeze once.
Dell followed up with a call to check on the status of the laptop, so I told them it was fine, but the original call was for 30 laptops, so 29 more motherboards needed replacing. I went through this three times with the person on the phone who ended up saying she didn't understand what I was talking about and told me to connect to dell chat again,
Connected to dell chat, got passed through to the original agent, explained the issue again, told them the motherboard replacement fixed the original issue and asked when the other 29 motherboards would be replaced.
Awesome. £&#$ing awesome.
16:56:43 Agent Maricel_Ros
Since its confirmed that motherboard replacement do fix the issue, we can proceed with replacing the others. However it will then be under the systems warranty.
16:57:08 Agent Maricel_Ros
The warranty of the systems is collect and return.
After further discussion it appears that it doesn't matter if I correctly diagnosed the known issue within a week of the 6 month call opening and I also need to contact the company who supplied the machines, to get them to contact their account manager, to arrange the motherboard replacements, as large orders cannot be booked through dell web chat.
Also, while we cannot collect them at one time, we can do 5 systems at a time.
Think I'll go Toshiba next time...
3rd March 2010, 05:44 PM #8
To be honest I've found Dell support by far the best going, but then again we always get our kit with the Pro Support option.
3rd March 2010, 06:15 PM #9
Ditto, been very pleased with Dell's Support.
Originally Posted by teejay
Although we do purchase Optiplex and / or kit with Pro Support.
The Vostro's are aimed at the home market, hence non-uk helpdesk support and they can't seem to cope with more than 1 computer having an issue..saying that though you should have the same rights / warranty etc.
Have you tried to contact your Dell Area Manager?
3rd March 2010, 06:25 PM #10
Vostros are aimed at Small Business. Also non-uk helpdesks are becoming the norm for Optiplex / Latitude aswell.
Originally Posted by MYK-IT
3rd March 2010, 07:05 PM #11
I've already got three of these, another twenty on the way.
I've tried twice now to reinstall Windows XP (tried SP2 and SP3) with all of the drivers downloaded from the Dell website. The wireless drivers don't work at all and i'm getting blue screen crashes on SP2 after installing the audio drivers.
Not too impressed with the 1520 so far.
3rd March 2010, 07:12 PM #12
I recently brought a 1520 which I'm using right now with no issues at all
3rd March 2010, 07:41 PM #13
The ones I didn't reformat (1 x Windows XP, 3 x Windows 7) are fine.
I seem unable to do anything useful after reformating though.
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