Moving Back to Jamaica

A blog about my Move Back to Jamaica after 20+ years of living in the US. Most of the articles focus on the period from 2005-2009 when the transition was new, and at it's most challenging.

Monday, November 28, 2005

Dell 5150 A Failure

Well, I'm writing this blog from my Tungsten Palm, scratching away and using the character recognition software.


My Dell 5150 has joined the list of thousands of others that have died as the result of a faulty motherboard. A few minutes ago I was in the middle of typing and the power just died.

A few weeks ago, my problems started when my 5150 stopped pulling power from my battery. I figured, OK, I can do without my laptop on flights.

I called Dell, who said that my motherboard needed to be changed. It took another hour on the phone to India to determine that their customer service was impossible to deal with. Bulletin boards revealed a list price of some $600 or so.

I decided to check ebay., where I found the board for around $450 inc. shipping. While I was price shopping I decided to do a google search for ''Dell 5150 motherboard.''

This is when I discovered I was in deep shit.

I found hundreds of references to failed 5150's, all with variations of the exact same power problem. Everyone had tried the Dell 800 number and had been told the same thing after enduring run-around -- ''you need a new mother board.''

Also my computer is out of the one year warranty by 4 months. This apparently is the trend. This problem develops shortly after the 12 month mark for most owners. Right at the moment the warranty expires.

Dell's response has been to advice those people with failures to replae the motherboard, without admitting that the design was faulty to begin with.

While I was in Trinidad I noticed that a new problem had developed. Some outlets would not power the laptop on. I figured that it was a quirk related to the home I was staying in. Then, my friend, an owner of a Dell 1150, told me that her mother board had died within the first 3 months, and she had the motherboard replaced. I found myself wishing that mine had died earlier.

Then, a few minutes ago, my loptop died in mid-sentence.

I'll bring back a laptop from Miami next week to replace this Dell. Someone online mentioned that there would probably be a class-action lawsuit, and recommended that the owners stay tuned. It would be my pleasure to join in such an action.

This is the last Dell I'll ever own. I'll go back to owning Toshibas, perhaps, as the two I owned before this one never gave a single major problem in 8 years.

Postscript: I bought a Toshiba Satellite that I'm loving, and I never was able to restart the Dell. Perhaps Dell might offer a recall, but I'm not holding my breath.


At 11/28/2005 11:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Please include me when you start your class action lawsuit...For, I too am the owner of a Dell Laptop, an Inspiron 600M..My laptop is 4 months old, and earlier this month Dell had to replace the motherboard as I was having a problem with the Power Switch...Mind you, this is the second 600M I have had in 2 years..I had to replace the motherboard in the older one twice in 1 year. Finally, the keyboard died and so did the internal power supply...Of course, these latter things occurred just when the warranty expired. So, I gave the laptop to my kids and bought the identical model. Little did I know that just 4 months later, I would have the same problem with a brand new laptop...So, when the technician came to replace the part, I questioned him, only to learn that this model and most other Dell Laptops have issues with the motherboard...go figure...

At 2/18/2006 7:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Same thing happened to my inspiron 1150, it seems they have the same mainboard. I got the same routine from Dell support, "buy a new mainboard". My notebook was rarely used in it's 1 1/2 year life. I bought it thinking that it would be nice to have when we were on vacation. It sat on my desk waiting for me to get tired of my desktop pc. I used it only once in a while (always with the power adapter) to be sure that all was well and to check to see if the battery needed to be charged} Battery power was always 100%. It became extremely slow (10 min. to boot, eternity to shut down.)
I formatted the HD and re installed Win XP in hopes that it would be a little better to work on. All went well, I felt like our relationship was renewed!
The next day I pushed the power button and, nothing absolutely nothing, with or without the battery. Green light on the ac adaptor is on, no LED lights, fan, or sound of any kind on the Inspiron. Now I am reading on forums that this MB has poor soldering, not only with the power switch, but also the USB ports. I have found several posts from victims that have discovered how to repair these defects with a soldering iron and a steady hand.
I don’t qualify, so I keep searching about these Dell mainboards. The more I find about them, the scarier it gets. If people that are skilled with a soldering iron are fixing this problem themselves, why is Dell only offering their customers the replacement of the mainboard, ($500 +}
Does Dell make so much money on replacement parts and extended warrantees that they no longer want to make quality computers or support their customers?

At 5/09/2006 10:01 PM, Blogger Jason said...

I'm an attorney in New York and I will be filing suit against Dell. Most people are unaware that every product has an implied warranty regardless of the express warranty (which for Dell is usually ONE YEAR). My 1150 is dying a slow death due to motherboard issues. It only starts when I smash it on the bottom with my knee. If you have a Dell laptop with a dead motherboard and your computer is between 0-2 years old, please email me at

Best of luck!

At 7/12/2010 11:36 PM, Blogger Trinidad said...

Thanks for the effort you took to expand upon this post so thoroughly. I look forward to future posts.
There are various sea vessels involved in shipping to jamaica. It may include box boats or container ships, bulk carriers, tankers, ferries, cable layers, dredgers and barges.

At 10/20/2010 8:59 PM, Anonymous Michelle said...

I guess that is truly disaster and people who are using dell 5150 are in deep shit


Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home