Dell Inspiron DVD drive failure

  Madalicesdad 21:01 18 Aug 2006

In February 2005 my wife purchased a Dell Inspiron 5160 for use by our local playgroup. All seemed fine until a couple of weeks ago when the DVD/CDRW packed up - less than 18 months old and barely used (a couple of times a week, term time only!).
I've substituted a drive from a laptop at work which worked fine, so I'm pretty sure that it is the DVD/CD at fault, nothing more serious.

I've contacted Dell who state the 'out of warranty, not our problem' card, but are (obviously) willing to sell me a replacement drive.
It seems that Dell tailor the CD drives to their machines (eg the facias), so am I restricted to buying a relacement from Dell or can I get a suitable unit from elsewhere? The part number is GCC-4243N (made by Hitachi-LG).

Also, in the past I've successfully challenged Currys under the Sale of Goods Act for a fridge failure and got 50% of the purchase price back.
What are my chances of achieving a similar result with Dell? Anybody tried it?


  Jackcoms 21:07 18 Aug 2006

It never fails to amaze me just how many people are unwilling to purchase Dell's extended 3-year warranty, yet are pretty quick to moan when their hardware fails AFTER the basic 12 month guarantee has expired.

Your kit is out of warranty.


  spuds 22:33 18 Aug 2006

Ask Consumer Direct click here about your rights regarding 'out of warranty' items on computers.

  Madalicesdad 09:06 19 Aug 2006

And it never fails to amaze me how many people pay extra for what they are already entitled to - extended warranties rarely cover more than what you are already entitled to under the Sale of Goods Act (basically a piece of equipment should last 6 years). If you're happy to pay extra for what you're already entitled to, it's your call, but I prefer to save my cash where possible.

However, please read my post again - exactly where was I 'pretty quick to moan'? I have no problem with Dell's attitude - it's exactly what I would expect from them under the circumstances. Also I accept we took a risk by not paying through the nose for an extended warranty.

My point was not that Dell won't fix it for free, but I asked two questions:
1 Are DVD drives from other sources compatible with a Dell Inspiron (with respect to the facia etc)
2 Has anybody challenged Dell under the SoG Act?

Thanks for the suggestion, I will do so.


  spuds 11:15 19 Aug 2006

Madalicesdad-- I think that you will find that Dell products have some components that have been modified to Dell's design and specifications, which can make basic upgrading slightly difficult in some circumstances. A particular point is the motherboards, and Dell's suggestion to upgrade any 'additions' at time of purchase (expensive but possibly necessary!).

A case in point are Dell printers, Dell do not manufacturer printers. One of their bigger suppliers are Lexmark. Trying to fit a Lexmark cartridge into a Dell printer (of similar design and specifications) and vice versa required a modification process (easily done, when you know how).

I wouldn't imagine that anyone as challenged Dell in a court of law, because this event would have been published, and I cannot recall reading anything on this score. I would perhaps suggest though, that people have contacted Dell regarding certain problems, and Dell have had an amicable agreement in resolving an issue, perhaps through negotiation. I do know that the Main Executive of Dell as intervened on occasions, when complaints of bad customer service as been brought to his attention. In fact he is on record, stating that he would like to hear from anyone who have complaints about the company, if they regard that their complaints are not being taken serious enough.

  oresome 20:13 19 Aug 2006

Does the facia just clip on?

It may be transferable to another drive.

  Madalicesdad 20:26 19 Aug 2006

It does clip on/off, but it would not swap with the drive we substituted. Our IT guy at work (who has had years experience of fixing PCs) warned me about Dell compatibility - not always a problem with the technical side, but the 'aesthetics' ie facias, could be. Unfortunately (for me, not him!) he has just gone away for 4 wks to get married, that's why I'm after advice froma a wider audience!
I know I could just buy a USB DVD drive, but I'd rather have an internal drive.

To pick up on spuds post, I hope it won't get as far as 'challenged in court of law', but most companies acknowledge their obligations under the SoG act if challenged. Speak to your local Trading Standards office.


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