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Overheating/battery issues? Dell service not helping... What are my o

Dell latitude customer service completecare battery motherboard overheating

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Alright, so this is a bit of a long and complicated issue, and I'm honestly still not sure what the problem is, but I'll do my best.


It started with overheating.  My computer has always been a very capable one.  I could plug it into my docking station and run a Source-quality Twitch stream on one screen and play Skyrim on the other, for example, with no lag.  It wasn't the best machine, but it was a good one.  Toward the end of November, however, it began overheating.  It was only once or twice in a few weeks at first, and only when I was doing really intensive stuff, so I figured it wasn't a big deal.  But as December passed, it became more and more common, until I couldn't use the laptop for more than two hours without it becoming really hot to the touch and shutting down due to "critical temperature failure."  Now, I bought this laptop through my university along with 4 years of Dell "CompleteCare" coverage, so I took it to the IT desk and they said they'd handle it.  They replaced the thermal paste, and I got it back the next day.


When I got the computer back, it had malware on it!  Seeing as the IT desk was supposed to FIX my computer, I was incredibly bothered by this, and wanted them to know what they did so it didn't happen to anyone else.  I brought the computer back, they removed it, and I went on my way.  Irritatingly, they also removed several other small programs I liked, but I let that one slide.  Everything seems fine, so I go back to normal computer usage.


Fast forward to two days later.  Winter break has just started.  I am at my parents' house, watching a livestream, when my computer suddenly shuts down.  I feel the surface, but it seems perfectly cool.  A few hours later it happens again, so I check the BIOS and both events are recorded as Critical Temperature Failures.  I start tracking the temperature of the CPU, and the next shut down occurs at only 55 celsius--not a temperature it should be failing at!  So, I take it back to the IT desk that covers my CompleteCare.  On the way, I notice something else--my laptop has no screws holding the case on!  Whoever last worked on it didn't screw the case back on at all, just snapped it into place!  That's now two signs of either incompetency or complete lack of caring that this desk has shown me.


Luckily, this time, the IT Desk is confused enough by my computer's issues that they decide to send it in to Dell.  I'm hopeful now, thinking they'll finally actually fix it or send me a replacement.  After five weeks, I inquired with the desk asking about its progress.  I am told by the IT Desk that Dell replaced the motherboard, and I should have the laptop back within the week.  So, after a total of another six weeks in repairs (not including those first two times with the thermal paste and malware), the laptop is returned to me, with a note from Dell detailing what they did.  Except... the note really doesn't say they did anything.  It encourages me to buy a new battery from them, claiming that all my problems were caused by that, and it seems they didn't even replace my motherboard like I was told!  In addition, the computer seemed much slower than before, and a few keyboard keys weren't functioning.


I sent an email to my IT Desk asking if any repairs were actually done, but have not gotten a response, and they disconnected me when I attempted to live chat with them.  After seeking help on reddit, one kind and knowledgeable user helped me run a program to remove Dell's bloatware, which does seemed to have helped the computer act more normally, though still not at the level it used to be.  However, I'm still worried--if nothing was done to fix my computer, will it start acting up again?


So, can having an old battery really cause my computer to think it's overheating when it's not, or is Dell just trying to be cheap and squeeze money out of me instead of repairing my machine?  I should note that it has the same problems even when it is running on the docking station without using the battery.  Should I march it back in there and demand a replacement?  I'm just not sure what do do at this point.  Obviously there was SOMETHING wrong with SOME piece of the computer's hardware, but so many different things have happened, and I've dealt with so much crap from my service desk, that I'm honestly scared to bring it back there for fear of what they'll do to it next, and i'm beginning to worry the Dell wouldn't honor the CompleteCare contract even if there is still a big problem.

Edited by PrincessBunBun, 04 February 2015 - 09:30 PM.

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    Je suis Napoléon!

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this tale sounds pretty horrific and I'd be wary of taking the machine back to your IT group directly as well....sounds like a bunch of bungling morons.
to the battery question. a poorly performing or damaged batter can cause heat issues of it's own that could trigger a thermal event. the battery itself would probably feel warm though. not seeing where you say how old the computer is but I'd guess less than 4 years old if they're still honoring a 4 year service agreement.


personally I'd maybe try contacting dell support directly to see if they can give you some more answers since it's still under warranty/service contract.


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