View Full Version : [other] Dell Warranty question

April 23rd, 2008, 05:26 PM
The other day I ordered an XPS M1330... with Vista... the price was amazingly low compared to the N-series counterpart because of a huge promotion... I couldn't resist.

Will installing Ubuntu or any Linux distro have any effect on my warranty? It is listed as 3Yr In-Home Service, Parts + Labor, 24x7 Phone Support
2 reps in sales said my warranty would remain in tact (I don't think they know the meaning of "Linux Distribution") and 1 in tech support said I would void it. I searched the web for answers, but I have seen anywhere from absolutely to definitely not! I posted on the Dell community forum and one person said that the hardware warranty would still be valid... but that is still just 2 sales reps and 1 community member versus a tech support rep.

How far can I go without voiding my warranty? I want to be covered if my LED screen stops working, or the CD bay fails... etc.

Case 1:
Resize Windows partition, format backup partition into Swap and large FAT32 share partition, install 64-bit Ubuntu and boot using Windows Boot Loader.

Case 2:
Delete Dell Restore partition followed by Level 1

Case 3:
Completely reformat drive to run Vista in a VM in Ubuntu 64 bit... keeping the Vista CD in case I have to send my computer in to Dell to get it serviced.

Case 4:
Get a $50 refund from Microsoft and go completely Open... which I would be happy to do.

I attached the purchase details. Thank you!

April 23rd, 2008, 05:35 PM
You could possibly avoid all of this and see if they will match the promotion on your Vista installed XPS M1330 on a N-Series XPS M1330. They generally will, and often forget to include such promotion prices w/ their N-Series models. I would call and double check to see if this is possible, you could avoid your listed issues if it is do-able. =]

As far as this goes, I've heard both stories. I would call support and ask to talk to a supervisor just to confirm and possibly even get a confirmation email from them for reference should you ever need your warranty down the road and having Ubuntu installed does cause issues. I'm pretty pleased w/ my experience working w/ Dell overall since I purchased my Inspiron 1420n. The few times I needed support they were very helpful and got me to the appropriate ppl if they were not knowledgeable in what I was asking. If I were you though, I would seriously consider asking for a price match on a N-Series version of the XPS m1330 and just ordering it over the Vista version. Each order of the N-Series models furthers the demand for OEM Linux machines. =] Let us know what you end up doing and how it goes.

April 23rd, 2008, 05:50 PM
Thank you for the quick response. Unfortunately the promotion ended so I am not sure what I am going to be able to do. I'll be sure to let you know!

April 23rd, 2008, 05:56 PM
Thank you for the quick response. Unfortunately the promotion ended so I am not sure what I am going to be able to do. I'll be sure to let you know!

Well your order was placed during the promotion, but if you mention the promotion was not offered w/ the N-Series equivalent model they might be able to apply it to that. I would call for confirmation, if you're seriously considering this option I would call asap as the further along the ordering process your order gets, the less-likely they will be able to do this for you. =]

April 23rd, 2008, 06:01 PM
I left a message with my sales rep, who is probably at lunch. I'll wait a half hour for a response... otherwise I'll talk to anyone I can get.

April 23rd, 2008, 06:28 PM
Dell sent me a response in an email:

2. About changing the operating system on your Dell computer

You can upgrade or change the operating system on your Dell computer. Our technicians will still support the Dell hardware according to the terms of your service contract, but only the operating system that was installed on your computer when you received it will be supported by us. If you change your operating system, all support for the operating system would be provided by the software manufacturer, for example Microsoft for any Windows products.

For more information about your warranty, go to:

Thank you for choosing Dell.

************************************************** ****
************************************************** ****

I think this means that I am in the clear, if I am understanding the service contract correctly.

I'll look into switching to N-series, although I would end up overwriting 32-bit Gutsy with 64-bit Hardy anyway.

April 24th, 2008, 12:37 AM
Dell sent me a response in an email:

I think this means that I am in the clear, if I am understanding the service contract correctly.

I'll look into switching to N-series, although I would end up overwriting 32-bit Gutsy with 64-bit Hardy anyway.

Correct, if you purchase software/OS support through Dell you'd be purchasing Canonical support. Dell, however does have a Linux hardware support line fi you have issues involving hardware. Please see my sticky thread her ein the Dell-Ubuntu sub-forum for it and additional helpful info. =]

April 24th, 2008, 03:06 PM
Dear Mr. *****:

Thank you for contacting Dell.

I understand that you wish to know if installing Ubuntu would void warranty. I would be glad to provide necessary information.

Please be advised that the warranty is for the pre-installed software and configuration of the system. Any deviation from the pre-installed software and pre-installed configuration, would void the warranty.
[Alot of information about how to find order status]

Why can't Dell make up their minds??? Contradiction after contradiction. Time to talk to a supervisor!

April 24th, 2008, 03:33 PM
You, unfortunately are getting the same responses lots of ppl are having w/ Dell. It's either hit or miss when it comes to support and knowledge of the Dell-Ubuntu systems. Please keep us updated on the final outcome. =]

April 24th, 2008, 03:41 PM
From my experence Dell are very flexable when it comes to Warrenty issues.

Basic rule of thumb is use a Live CD with a partition Image software on it and when you get the comp take an image of the Hard Drive and store it on a Removable USB disk.

If you have to return it to Dell Back up your system and restore the origional image.

But you could just duel boot with Windows (keep it a very small basic install) if you think you'll need Hardware support.

Think warrenty issuse only really apply with Dell, when you start adding / removing hardware :D

April 24th, 2008, 08:40 PM
Dear *********:

Thank you for your reply.

I apologize for the inconvenience this matter has caused to you and appreciate your patience. I regret we do not replace the hardware, if the hardware is corrupt with the installation of Ubuntu Operating system.

For more information, you may contact our Technical Support Department at 1-800-822-8965.

Once again, I apologize and truly regret any inconvenience or frustration this matter may have caused. If you need any additional information, or have any other questions, please to reply to my email. I will ensure that all of your questions are answered.

Thank you for choosing Dell.


Email Case Number ******
Customer Care Specialist
ABU Customer eCare
Dell Inc.

.... on top of this I have not received any confirmation of my order.

April 24th, 2008, 09:12 PM
I would definitely proceed w/ seeing if they can change your order to a N-Series model and apply the same promotion. Take advantage of no order confirmation yet and see if you still have time to change it if they'll even let you. =\

April 24th, 2008, 09:32 PM
No go on the N-series change... the promotion was sponsored by Adobe and Microsoft :< Too bad...

I am on the phone right now with customer care. Turns out they were using a typoed email address. So I have a confirmation email now...

I talked to tech support again, and he assured me that if the issue is diagnosed as strictly hardware related issue, that dell would still service my machine. One rep said I should keep Vista on the machine, as to help them diagnose the issue better.

Now I am on the line with customer care (on hold) who is providing me with a case number and a reference number and email confirmation of this fact.

They upgraded my shipping to one night for free... I guess as consolation

April 25th, 2008, 05:02 AM
I'd keep the restore partition around, if nothing else - then if you have a hardware issue, and they DEMAND to test it with Windows etc, you can always image your Linux install and 'restore' Vista.

Or, do what I did on an older laptop - bought a bigger HD, and left the original factory image on the stock hard drive.

Swapped it in whenever I had to take it in for service under my extended warranty.

April 25th, 2008, 10:55 PM
Case 4:
Get a $50 refund from Microsoft and go completely Open... which I would be happy to do.

Can you give details on how to go about this option?

April 26th, 2008, 01:18 AM
I am pretty sure that it is in the EULA (http://download.microsoft.com/documents/useterms/Windows%20Vista_Ultimate_English_36d0fe99-75e4-4875-8153-889cf5105718.pdf)...

First page in bold.

My deal was sponsored by Adobe and Microsoft, so I am sure that if I tried to do this I would fail :( Plus, tech support says I need to have Vista available if I have to send my laptop in to Dell to get it serviced...

April 27th, 2008, 07:38 AM
Best of luck getting that sorted out. As far as hardware goes, they're pretty good about that... software wise they'll *probably* help you with some fixes through the Vista side -- but since you didn't "buy" Ubuntu from them, they may not help you trouble shoot it from that end. My experience with the Linux Support team has been GREAT; dealing with the windoze techies is far less than desirable. Usually it depends on who you reach when you call. Since you ordered the Vista (and may decide to keep it) just use a partition editor to compact what it has and push it to the left. Then create some more logical drives for Linux to reside on. If you're hesitant about messing up Vista you could buy Partition Magic, but a gParted livecd works just as well :) Occaisionally there are some boot issues after repartitioning, but as long as you keep the Win MBR at the front of the drive you should be in the clear.

Hope you love your new computer -- keep us posted

May 4th, 2008, 01:33 AM
I am really impressed with everything about the XPS M1330, except for Vista. It seriously took me longer to boot the OEM Vista and get rid of garbage than it took to install Ubuntu x64 and get all the pins and whistles running. I wanted inspect the partitions before jumping in, so I tried to start compmgmt.msc and it took 1 minute and 30 seconds to load. To slow for me.

I ended up resizing Vista to 35 GB near the front of the drive, and resizing the extended partition, inserting a 35 GB chunk of Ubuntu, and 6 GB swap (do I need it?), and the rest is fat32 (formatted it). I don't understand the new Microsoft Bootloader but I found a decent write up on it, and now I am using it as my default. That was all of my 20 minutes actually using Windows Vista, not counting the time it took to boot the darn thing. I just don't want to mess with the MBR if I ever have to send this into Dell!

I did somehow manager to break Media Direct. Must have been formatting the fat32 partition. Don't worry, I'll live. :guitar:

PS I had to fix the frequent hard drive park issue with

hdparm -B 254 /dev/sda
... it seems smart can't read Load_Cycle_Count on my drive and setting advanced power management to disabled (255) does not stop the clicks. Very strange.