Intel Cougar Point Chipset Issue: How Dell is Supporting Affected Customers Worldwide


I first
blogged about the Cougar
Point chipset issue
in early February, and a second time on March
. Some customers received their system orders before the Cougar Point
issue was known. The point of this post is to explain how we plan to support
those customers.

XPS 8300, Vostro 460, Alienware
desktops or Alienware M17x
laptops that were received prior
to March 1
are potentially affected by the chipset issue. Dell
plans to offer all worldwide customers who received one of these systems prior
to March 1 an option for a new replacement motherboard.

Our teams
will begin contacting customers with affected motherboards this week to offer
them a new replacement motherboard that corrects the Cougar Point chipset
issue. The replacement motherboard and the associated service (service options
may vary by region) will be provided to affected customers at no charge.

Update: My previous paragraph has caused some confusion. To clarify: we
have worked to inform affected customers throughout the process through
various channels including my
post on Feb. 2nd
and information
which outlined our approach with customers based on different
scenarios. We've contacted customers to work through
pending orders and as I mentioned, this week we've begun reaching out to customers
who kept their affected systems to replace motherboards with new

Update 2: Over the last couple of months, the team continues to make progress. One area that’s slowing things down is that machines being purchased from retail outlets are not registered to an owner. If you purchased one of the following four systems from a retail outlet on or before February 15, you may be affected by the Intel chipset issue.

Our technical support team can determine if you are affected, but before they can, we need you to register the system in your name. To do so, please visit: From there, choose the country that you purchased in (click on the image below to go to the US registration page). From there, choose the retailer you purchased from:

This will take you to the form where you can enter your personal information:

Dell customer registration form

The registration process will take about 24 hours. After you are registered, please contact Technical Support. Customers in the United States can use phone numbers on this page to do that.

For customers outside the United States, here’s the best way to find pertinent Technical Support details:

  • Go to
  • At the very bottom of the page, select your country in the Choose a Country/Region field
  • Choose Support for Home Users, Support for Small Business Users, or Enterprise IT (if you’ve visited in the past, you may not even see this page)
  • Choose Contact Technical Support under the Contact Us section
  • Click on the green Telephone button under the Call Tech Support section

If you have any questions about the registration process, please let me know in the comments below.

In case
you haven't dug into the details until now, here's a quick recap. According to
Intel, SATA ports within the chipsets may degrade over time. This means they
may never degrade, or if they do, it may take a few months for them to do so. If
the issue does occur, it affects the functionality of SATA-linked devices such
as hard disk drives and DVD drives. The issue can prevent access to SATA
devices inside the system or attached externally. These devices include hard
drives and DVD/Blu-ray optical drives. The Cougar Point chipset is embedded on
the system motherboards that provide support for second-generation Intel Core Sandy
Bridge processors.

I know
several of you have been asking for details on how this process will work.
Bottom line, we will start contacting affected customers this week and will
work through these motherboard replacements over the next several weeks.

then, thanks for your continued patience. 

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70 thoughts on “Intel Cougar Point Chipset Issue: How Dell is Supporting Affected Customers Worldwide

  1. Thanks for the update Lionel, I was the person(from the previous blog yesterday) who stated that I called Dell this past weekend to set up a Mobo replacement. The CS rep on the phone who set up the dispatch was well aware of the Chipset issue, but the actual service tech who will be coming to my home to do the replacement was completely in the dark. I have a home appointment set up for this coming Tuesday. The tech has told me he was shipped the new Mobo from Dell via FedEx(which he received this tuesday-7/22/11). Can you please assure me that the Mobo he was shipped is, in fact, a NEWLY manufactured Mobo with the NEW , Fixed chipset. My assumption is that it must be as Intel recalled all the old chipsets, and the phone CS agent who set up the dispatch(and, presumably, set up the new mobo shipment to the technician) was aware of the chipset issue and knew exactly why I was calling. Any feedback you could give would be appreciated.

  2. @markarich159: Bottom line, I'm working with our teams to understand the easiest way to confirm that you have the latest motherboard stepping (the new motherboard with the updated chipset that corrects the problem).

    Several others have asked me the same question. Will let you know when I have more details.

  3. Thanks for the response Lionel. As a correction to my previous post. I , of course, meant the tech received the new Mobo from Dell through FedEx on 3/22/11(not 7/22/11). I appreciate you looking into this. Just as a suggestion; the easiest way to possibly confirm the latest stepping(at least from the end consumer standpoint)  would be to check with your teams to see if there would be some obvious marking(i.e. date stamp, serial #, code #) located on the new, fixed mobo's that would allow the end consumer or technicians to verify the mobo is indeed corrected. If there was a marking such as this on the new, corrected mobo's; it would certainly go a long way to assuage the end consumer that they are, indeed, receiving a mobo with the updated stepping. Thanks again & I will await your next update.

  4. @Lionel Menchaca:

    I have some further questions to the stepping in XPS 17 with Sandy Bridge chipset.

    In the other blog you wrote as response for my post with the B2 stepping after checking with cpu-z: "Bottom line, our teams are still looking into it, but software tools that people are using are not updated to show the latest stepping. I'll see if there is an easy way to identify."

    An other way (and more reliable) to find out, which hardware-revision is used is the comand  "wmic idecontroller get deviceid".

    this way doesn´t use any third-party tool like cpu-z or something.

    it shows the pci-identification of the HDD-Controller used by the chipset. Intel has the PCI-Vendor-ID ("VEN_") 8086. if there is shown "REV_04", B2 stepping is found.

    At this point, people in several forum report something mysterious: if the BIOS-Version A04 is in use, this comand shows "REV_04". But after an update to version A05 it shows "REV_05", ore something else and also tools like cpu-z are reporting B3 stepping.

    Can you tell me, how a bios-update is able to change the hardware?

    And at last: i talked with several dell-staff on phone an in chat about this issue. they told me, the new chipsets will be shiped at the end of march/early april. if this is the truth, how can they already be build in notebooks now?

  5. I received a telephone call about the issue. I was told that I would need to back up my data before the tech arrived and that more info would be in the follow-up email. The email said little, however.

    1. What exactly is involved in replacing this part? (pop out a chip and replace it? Major disassembly?)

    2. If it is a motherboard part, why does data need to be backed up?

    3. What needs to be backed up and what does not?

  6. @jbaaremartin: I don't believe any of the new motherboards will add more functionality compared to the original motherboard.

    What system do you have?

  7. Hi Lionel,

    Can you confirm if the XPS L702x is affected by this issue?

    Many of these units were also received before March 1st and have the cougar point chipset.



  8. Lionel – I'm back in Canada until May when I'll be down for a week.  No call from Dell as yet for MOBO replacement on my XPS 8300.  Also, I'm in a rural area just 45 minutes from a major metrpolitan center so hope this doesn't affect my replacement either.

    I will remain patient but hope the tech folk can work around my being there for a week in May otherwise we need to wait until November.

  9. @PontiusP: No… the Sandy Bridge version of the XPS 17 is not affected by this issue. Those systems all shipped with updated versions the Cougar Point chipset.

  10. Yes, I understand that "fixing the problem requires a motherboard exchange" What I do not know is how involved that operation is. Is it as simple as pulling out a chip and replacing it? Pulling a card? Soldering? Removing other components to get to it? Disconnecting the entire computer from peripherals?

  11. @ Richard Yates. I have since spoken again to the tech coming to my home this coming tuesday for my XPS 8300 Mobo replacement. He assured me that he's done hundreds of  mobo replacements , and as long as it is simply a replacement (with the same model mobo – rather than an upgrade) there should be no problem with existing OEM OS or  installed software. He said I should be up and running in less then an hour. I'll keep everyone informed as to how it goes.

    @ Lionel  As to my recent post regarding identification of fixed chipsets. I found this link showing the new Series 6 chipset B3 Stepping Spec code #(as compared to the older B2 Stepping):

    for me the H67 mobo code would be the applicable one.

    Unfortunately, as the article states, the chipsets are usually covered by heatsinks making spec code # reading difficult at best, impossible at worst.

  12. @Richard Yates: The fix requires replacing the motherboard. It should not involve the hard drive at all. Will check with the team for more.

    Update:  Fixing the problem
    requires a motherboard exchange only. Hard drives are not part of the fix. 
    Backing  up personal files (the My Documents folder, files on the desktop
    etc.) is a precautionary measure, but hard drives themselves are not a part of
    the fix.
    Hope this helps.

    @raydeo: I'll ping you separately to see what we can work out.

  13. Hello, I haven't received any communication yet but I am wondering when I do will I be able to just have Dell send me a replacement motherboard so I can swap it out myself?  I have built computers before and have actually opened up my current XPS 8300 to swap out the video card and optical drive so don't feel it necessary for someone to come and do it for me.

  14. Hi Lionel,

    Could you please address the point made by Thomae. i.e. There is anecdotal evidence that early XPS L702x units contain the affected cougar point chip.



  15. @ zer0future  . I agree, I have done work on previous computers(swapping out hard drives, memory, video cards , etc…).But  I've never actually done a complete mobo replacement. I am sure(as the technician told me) it is a fairly simple process. However, in this case, where Dell is willing to send a tech to you home for free; I would rather have an authorized Dell tech, at least, be there. Just in case some unforeseen problem occurs with the process(i.e. OS activations issues, installed software/hardware problems, driver issues,etc..) you will not absorb any liability that may void your warranty. If you go it alone and something off the wall does happens, you may be left holding the hot potato.

  16. @markarich159: Thanks for the details on the identification piece. I've definitely flagged the topic with our engineering teams and hope to have more information that will help customers confirm more easily.

    FYI @Thomae and PontiusP… more to come on the B2/ B3 topic.

  17. I agree it is great that dell is sending techs to do the swap, I just have an odd work schedule so it would be easier for me to do it myself but not a big deal.  I will ask when I receive my call/email.

  18. @zer0future: What markarich159 said is accurate, but yes, if you'd rather do the motherboard replacement on your own, we can ship the parts directly to you.

    I'll send you my contact info via e-mail so you can proceed down that path if you want to.

  19. Thank you Lionel, I received your email and have replied.  Just in case anyone else is thinking about asking for a replacement motherboard, I do think it is a good idea to have the dell technician service your machine.  However, I work irregular hours at a hospital, and have experience taking apart / building computers (it helps my best friend is a desktop engineer also) so am okay with doing the swap myself.  Thanks again for the help and replies Lionel / Mark.

  20. I contacted Dell Customer Support after learning about the XPS8300 chip-set problem back on 2/4/11. As requested, I submitted a Hardware Support Warranty request that was acknowledged by Dell. Today, 3/25/11, a Dell-affiliated technician came to my house and replaced the motherboard. It took about an hour and only the motherboard is replaced as he used the same Intel I7 2600 chip from my old motherboard. After installation my computer booted up OK with no OS (Windows 7) problems are data loss. I used Priiform Speccy to identify my motherboard before and after the installation and the only two things that changed was the motherboard model number and Southbridge Revision number changed from 04 to 05. The BIOS Revision remained the same at A03 (2/15/11). There was not cost associated with this replacement.

    Note:  I had to reset my computer time and some drivers were automatically re-installed by Windows 7.

  21. Thanks Lionel.

    I got your email last week & am looking forward to getting my replacement mobo.

  22. @cresentchase   Thanks for the info (& reassurance). The tech is coming to my place 2morrow to swap out to Mobo. Hopefully it goes as smoothly as your's did. I'm downloading Piriform Speccy right now, Thanks again.

  23. I haven't heard anything yet about my XPS8300 but it got a lot more complicated over the weekend.  I bought the machine at Best Buy and the extended warrantee from them when the chip set issue came up.  

    Saturday, the power supply died.  

    Sunday, I took it to one of the local Best Buys that had the new 8300's hoping to be able to just transplant the hard drive to a new machine and Done.  Of course, no such joy.  The tech at Geek Squad figured under the extended warrantee, he could just swap out the power supply with one off the retail shelf.  He did that.  Then his boss tells him that wasn't the right thing to do – they should have shipped the machine back to Dell – gone for who knows how long.  There was no way for him to ring up the transaction unless .  .  . I ended up paying $90(US) for the new power supply. Obviously it's not a Dell part.  So, bottom line, the extended warrantee, if it could have been used, would have given me a better solution than the Dell option since the machine is still under the Dell warrantee.  I'm out $90 but have a better power supply than the old one and probably better than what Dell would have used.  Out of service time was about 24 hours.

    But, where does that leave me for the mobo replacement?  And when?


  24. A service tech replaced the motherboard of my XPS 8300 yesterday. The first time I tried to shut down the computer after he left, it restarted instead of just shutting down. I called tech support this morning and they transferred me to hardware support. He tried some things. The hardware passed all the tests but the problem remained. By then my phone battery was running out so he said he would call back in a couple hours. He did call back. He had talked to software support and explained to me that, although software support was a paid service, this time they would check the computer without charge. He transferred me to software support. Software support cut me off after about a minute. I called back. This tech insisted that he could do no checks without a service contract (one time for $120). I said that was not acceptable. The problem did not occur until immediately after Dell tech replaced the mother board. He transferred me back to hardware support. Hardware support wanted to run the same tests (that had already been passed) again. My phone battery drained for the second time. I have been on the phone about four hours total half of that on hold. I have told the story to each tech and now to all of you. I will call hardware support again when the battery is charged. Stay tuned for updates and you just have a great day!

  25. @ Richard Yates       Yikes… That's not good?!?!  I was supposed to have my Mobo swapped out this morning as well, but the tech called me and said he was running late and he would not be able to make it to my home in time for me to get to work on time.  We rescheduled for tomorrow morning.  Please keep us informed as to what occurs. I guess it's probably a good idea(in retrospect) to not let the tech leave your home until you're as certain as you can possibly be that you've put the computer(with the new replaced mobo) through all it's paces. I'm willing to allow a certain amount of wiggle room with respect to minor problems arising from this mobo swap-out; but  hours and hours on the phone with Dell tech support will be unacceptable.  

  26. Hi Lionel.

    I am  from australia.I am planning to buy the new Dell Insipron 15R(U510315AU-Dell™ Inspiron™ 15R) from

    I just want to know whether this laptops have any cougar point chipset issue?

    Or they are coming with the new chipset.Please help me.Waiting for ur Response.

  27. Is there a way to contact someone to get this work expedited. I don't need any hardware failure as I use this XPS8300 for my home business. I have You Support contract. Can I call My Tech Team for this?

  28. @ Lionel and ALL      The Qualex tech(nice guy named Dennis) was literally just here to replace my XPS 8300 mobo and, as you can probably tell(since I'm blogging right now), all went well(well almost). As was stated before, if you download Piriform Speccy and due a pre and post motherboard scan you'll find there is a fairly obvious way to tell that you have the new, fixed chipset on board. The Mobo scan prior(old mobo) will show a mobo model # as 002RX9 and a SouthBridge revision # of 04. The post mobo replacement scan(with new fixed mobo) will show a mobo model # of 0Y2MRG and a Southbridge revision # of 05. The actual replacement process took about 1/2 hour and was relatively painless. TIP!!! – upon restarting the first time after replacement hit F12 to enter BIOS setup to re-set date and time and your original Service Tag #, then allow Windows to start. Give Windows a good 5-10 minutes to re-install all the required drivers – then restart again. You may have to re- aquire your wireless signal and retype your network password. The ONLY thing that went slightly wrong was, for some unknown reason, Windows did not reinstall the Realtek HD Audio Drivers(so there was no sound initially). All I has to do was insert the original driver CD that came with the computer and reinstall that particular driver off that CD and restart(took about a minute). Otherwise it went smooth as silk. Hope everyone else has as pleasant an experience(as possible)

  29. @Richard Yates… sorry for the trouble. I'll ask someone to contact you to troubleshoot.

  30. Hi Lionel,

    I have an XPS 8300 with one of the affected chipsets.  I bought it at Best Buy.  Can I still get a replacement mobo from Dell, or do I have to go through Best Buy.  Thanks for your help

  31. Hello Lionel, wanted to check in and see if you got my email last week with my information.  It has been about a week and haven't heard anything.  Thank you in advance.

  32. @ Shellibean  as long as you registered your XPS 8300 and activated your warranty through Dell, you can get the Mobo replacement through Dell(which I would suggest). I bought my XPS 8300 through Best Buy as well and just had a Qualex tech(sent by Dell) do my mobo replacement 2 days ago. I also received a letter from Best Buy(which I was not to happy about considering the options they offered) which I just threw away. If you did register and activate your warranty through Dell , you should be getting a call from Dell support to do the Mobo replacement very soon.

  33. I was contacted over a week ago, wonder how long it akes before a tech sets up time to replace?

  34. @markarich159 Thanks for the info.  Great news to me as I really did not want to deal with Best Buy on something like this.  Much appreciated.

  35. How long should we wait to be contacted.  Do we need to apply thru support or something.

  36. Hi Lionel,

    In the Feb 2 "Intel Chipset Issue" blog you are talking about an option to return the affected products : "…Affected customers may also contact Dell to return their product." in addition to MB replacement.

    Is return option no longer available? Thanks

  37. Just as an updated for everyone,  haven't not received any further communication through email or here I decided to try technical support.  I started up a chat session a few minutes ago,  the rep got my information confirmed that my system was affected and set up a replacement.  He initially wanted to send a tech out but I asked to have the part shipped to me and he set that up.  At this point I am waiting for an email to confirm the replacement motherboard shipping.  I did not mention it before but I wanted to take care of this ASAP as I will be going on vacation in a couple of weeks.  I figured I would have a replacement by now but if anyone else is waiting for a call, try using technical support chat.

  38. This sounds great, just the same bad service from Dell support, I to was contacted some time ago and have heard nothing since, now reading these last posts its the same old nonsense from Dell. if you notice there have been no posts from Dell, if the field techs are so over book why is something not done about it? Come on Dell and give us out here some kind of answers!

  39. @ francealot    I've received exactly the same runaround as you.  Very, very frustrating

  40. I received an email more than two weeks ago that said that someone from Dell would contact me 'this week' … i.e. the week of March 23.

    I have not heard from anyone. I was asked to send my service tag number, which I did,

    Do I need to call again or will someone contact me????

  41. I just logged onto Dell website to check the status of my service request and it says there is no record.

    The Dell tech support guy assured me weeks ago that someone would be contacting me and that I would not have to call again.  He even called me back a couploe of days later and told me that I would have the replacement by April 4.

    Today, I called Dell support and was told to call another number. That number was answered by a stressed-out guy who said that he is just a middleman and can't look up anything by service tag number!

    When I check online, it says that there is no record, although I have talked to tech support TWICE and have been assured that I would get a call from Dell.

    I opted to keep the system and wait for replacement because I was assured that dell would take care of the problem by April 1.  I have since had to call and wait on the line and still nada.

    I'm not at all happy today.

  42. @ francealot    … Your mobo probably was shipped to the local Qualex service tech, but he/she was so overwhelmed that he/she was not able to set up(or even call you) within 5 days(apparently the qualex tech that did my mobo replacement told me that if they are not able to set up an appointment within 5 business days of receiving the part, they have to cancel the call and send the part back and re-start the whole process – which is the tech's responsibility to restart – which in your case, sounds like this re-start did not happen). I would re-call Dell support – make sure you get the name and ID# of the person who sets up the service call for you at Dell; also make sure the Dell support agent gives you a Dispatch # as well. If a local tech does not call you to set up an appointment within 72 hours, keep calling Dell back to make sure the mobo shipped. When the local qualex tech DOES call; get his name and phone # so you can stay on top of him/her and ensure that the replacement is done within 5 business days of his/her receipt of the mobo from Dell.

  43. Hi,

    I am from france and i have a XPS 8300. Today a service tech replaced my motherboard and all is ok now. Thank you for this.


  44. So even though the dell rep I spoke to said they would just ship out motherboard, I ended up getting a call from a service tech to arrange an appointment.  Not a big deal though.  Tech came yesterday morning to replace motherboard.  Computer booted up fine BUT the bios was stuck in manufacturing mode (which didn't let me access the bios settings) and it seemed to be trying to boot off a network drive upon booting up.  Thankfully it booted into windows when no network drives were detected but this was annoying.  Ended up chatting with tech support to figure out how to reset the BIOS and disable the network drive boot option.  Had to reset the CMOS jumpers to reset the bios and after a couple of tries got it.  So up and running again.  I was pretty ticked yesterday but compared to the run around you guys are getting I had a minor annoyance.  You guys deserve a gift card or something for those shenanigans.

  45. After several calls to dell, I spoke to a supervisor. He told me that he'd arranged for the part to be shipped and that a Dell tech would contact me. Low and behold, it actually happened!

    The tech was named Chuck and he said he's local but works for a company from MA. He knew nothing about teh recall!

    He struggled and struggled to get the wireless card hooked up. He dropped screws and seemed to be having quite a few problems. Finally he got every completed and plugged in.

    He booted up and went into the BIOS to enter the new serial number. Guess what. He'd forgotten to connect the hard disk!

    He had to shut down and open it all back up to connect the hard disk.  

    The computer seems to be working okay, but I don't have any confidence that the drives are plugged into the correct SATA ports – i.e. the 3GB/sec to the sata 2 and the 6 GB/sec to the sata 3. I'm trying to locate a software test to check the status. If anyone knows of one, let me know.

    Otherwise, Dell has doen the service and the replacement as promised, so I'm calm again.

  46. I was under the impression that the 0 SATA port was the one for SATA III / 6gbps speed?  I don't have a software recommendation though sorry.

  47. I opened the case and looked at the inside. The disks are connected correctly, BUT the technician made other errors.  He should not be working for Dell (IMO.)

    – There are two screws missing from the card cover plates at the back. He never re-inserted the screws and both plates are loose. I've looked on the floor for the screws, but haven't seen them. I'm thinking he must have dropped them in the case and that they are under the motherboard.

    – When I turned on the computer, it showed a black screen for a minute or more before booting into windows. I looked at the BIOS and found another mistake. The technician had listed the boot order starting with my external LaCie drive, followed by my My Book backup drive, then the CD and other drives. The last listed on the boot order was the Seagate primary hard drive!  I changed the order and now it boots quickly to Windows.

    I'm not at all sure how someone who is so careless works for Dell.  Now I'm wondering if he correctly reinstalled the processor and heat sink took care with all those other small details for correct installation????  

    My previous Dell, purchased in 2004, had a motherboard replacement within warranty and the technician was knowledgable and very careful, not sloppy like this guy was.

  48. Once again as another week closes no word from Dell on my XPS8300, nad reading these nightmares about these Techs and fixes, maybe its a good thing, just let it run till it dies? Maybe that's what Dell wants. As any of you out there with this problem no new postings from Dell, Thanks Dell for your great respounce!

  49. I received my XPS 8300 shortly after the recall. I waited for a call from Dell but ended up emailing support about a week ago. Within days, I got a message from a Dell tech on my home phone and when I called him back, he came right over that night and replaced the motherboard. It was a totally painless experience and I'm up and running fine. I'm very pleased with Dell and the response to the recall.

  50. Tech came today and replaced the motherboard on my Vostro 460.  Everything went smoothly.  Took about 30 minutes, including resetting time and service tag in the BIOS.

  51. Hi Lionel,

    I received my m17x r3 on april 15th. I updated the bios to the latest available on dell site. when i run the cpuid or hwinfo32, it still shows the intel cougar point HM67 chipset version B2. Do I need to be concerned. I dont want to be stuck with it after 3 years. Please respond.Alienware support could not login to my system using remote assistance.



  52. I'm in Canada… Just had a very interesting discussion with tech support who wasn't even aware of the problem. After pointing him to the article on Dell Support and to this blog, he agreed to send a tech to replace the motherboard… but not before fixing a glitch that occured when I purchased my system…

    Even though he had my informations on file when I gave him my service tag, he said the system was still registered to Dell and he had to do a transfer of ownership?!?!? So, in two or three days, I SHOULD have a replacement motherboard…

  53. More nothing from Dell, no contact from them, no new inf,no new posts, no nothing. This blog is now 4 pages buried, I'm sure there are many like me who have not heard anything from Dell, great customer service Dell, keep telling us about all your great new products when you can't service what you have sold. Then hearing of these Techs you are sending out, that seem to be unable to even do these repairs, if you ever get around to the rest of us, do I want them working on my computer? Once again thanks for your terrible customer support!

  54. UPDATE: Contacted support online and was given over 2 hours of time …. all issues resolved and a service request for a motherboard replacement was submitted.  Several emails were received informing me of the shipment and then a phone call from the Dell tech this morning.  He was at my house by lunch and finished in an hour … the entire experience was A+++ … sorry to hear others are not experiencing the same …  

  55. Yeah, at this point you'll have to call them. They won't be calling you. Even that might not get you anywhere. Didn't get me anywhere. Was told to wait for a call, three weeks ago. No call. Beyond lame. I honestly think they don't care about/have moved on from this. They just hope the whole problem will go away. If they actually cared, I would have a new motherboard.

  56. The tech finally came to my place this morning to install the new motherboard. He was very surprised that I had to call Dell to have the replacement. He had to replace a lot of these since the replacement boards are available. Anyway, now, everything is fixed for me. The tech was here for about 1 hour.

  57. Hi Lionel,

    Living in Belgium and without any news from Dell. I contacted the Belgium branch. Nobody can't tell me when the mobo exchange will start in my country. Can you comment or  give me a correct contact who can help me with this simple question ?

    Best regards – Jacques (XPS 8300)

  58. Hi Lionel,

    I live in Canada but I desperately turn to you because I can't find any Dell tech in Canada that can adequately answer my questions. My first language is french so I'm probably dealing with some Dell tech support in Europe wich doesn't seem to help. I ordered a desktop XPS8300 on january 21 and it was shipped by dell on january 26. From all I read about the intel chipset problem, I understood my XPS8300 is affected by the problem. I went to intel website and confirmed with the devmgmt.msc that I have the affected chipset. As a matter of fact, about 3 days after I received my desktop, Dell removed it from it's website and it didn't reappeared for a few weeks until the new chipset resumed shipping. I now had the choice to send it back or keep it. I then found on your website  a note saying that the affected motherboards would be replaced as Intel would resume it's shipments by mid april so I decided to keep it especially after a tech at Dell told me I could use the computer without problem waiting for the repalcement and that all installed software would work after the replacement.

    Now I found this community about a week ago and read that the motherboard replacements had begun. I then called Dell support where the first tech told me that they would only replace motherboards from computers ordered before december 15 and that my computer was probably not affected. Seeing that the didn't seem to be aware that the problem was present on computers shipped in january, I asked to talk to a supervisor (on a second phone call) who told me that they were not replacing the motherboards until they failed. I explained that the problem could occur after 2-3 years when my computer would be out of warranty and he then said that he could send me a tech with a refurbished motherboard (insisting that it wouldn't be new) and that I would have more problems with the new motherboard than with the old one. That was the first time I heard the story of refurbished motherboard with the new intel chipset. I lost confidence in this tech and in Dell support services and that is why I would like to confirm or infirm the information he gave me. Even if I pointed him to this blog, he insisted that he was aware of the story and that the information he gave me was right. I would really appreciate if you could direct me to some tech support in canada (French or English) that could give me some support with this issue.

    N.B. Sorry for my English, first language is French

    Thank you


  59. I can see that there have been no new posts for some time, as I thought Dell would keep pushing this issue back until we all forgot about it. I to was contacted by Dell tech support and told they were getting right on it and would be contacted to repair or replace? the system, that was 2 weeks ago, then Lionel sent me a email telling me his team was getting right on it again 2 weeks ago. I think they want to have these systems break after warrenty exp. but as we are told "until then thanks for your patience" Thanks for nothing Dell!

  60. Received a call from Dell on May 08 explaining the subject problem. Indicated a service man would contact me within 3 to 5 days. Service man installed the new motherboard on May 12. Took about 40 minutes. Took some time reconnecting the WLAN board. All is fine. Good job. Was not experiencing any problems with the original motherboard.

  61. WOW!!!!  You would think DELL would be proactive and contact those customers who they know have an issue in a recall.  Guess customer service isn't really their main concern based on these 2-4 week delays I see noted recently.  I purchased my Studio XPS 17 back in September of 2009 and it died last week.  What is DELL going to do about it?  I can't believe you go out and buy a really, really nice laptop thinking DELL is such an amazing product, spend more money than you wanted only to use the product for less than 2 years and have it die.  We can't even get it to boot up.  What do I need to do to get the motherboard replaced, in a significantly short period of time (a few days would be nice)?  I hope it doesn't come down to driving around with a sign on my car saying that DELL customer service provides no service at all.  I would appreciate someone getting back with me as soon as possible so I can determine what I need to do.

  62. Lionel Menchaca,

    I bought an Aurora R3 and the system us useless. I get at least ten blue screens and freezings a day. I have been on Dell tech support for a month now without Dell coming even close to solving my problem. Really, really bad, and I am a first time Dell customer.

    I have very bitter taste in my mouth.

  63. Lionel,

    I have followed your posts about various topics and always find the intelligent and knowledgeable. Now I have a question about this topic and am writing this comment to you out of frustration.

    In April I purchased a Dell Optiplex 990 and ran HWinfo32 and CPU-Z to verify it had the new chipset. Both showed it had the defective, B2 chipset. I then investigated and found a program ASUS developed specifically for detecting which chipset a system has (the ASUS SATA Verifier,  see…/Identify_B3_Motherboards) and a procedure using Device Manager posted by HP (at…/Document.jsp). All four indicate the system has B2. I subsequently updated the system BIOS and chipset drivers and repeated all four tests with the same results.

    I contacted Dell about this in early May, and since then I have easily spent entire days on the phone, chatting, and exchanging emails with Dell support personnel who know remarkably little about the issue. Eventually one of them directed me to an Intel web page that says SOME software SOMETIMES reports B2 when in fact a system has B3. After a very frustrating month, I've come to the conclusion that Dell will not accept ANY software report of the system having the B2 chipset as legitimate proof and that the only proof Dell will find convincing is to compare the S-Spec number printed on the chipset against Intel's published list of defective and non-defective versions of the chipset.

    But there are two Catch-22's to this. First, to read the S-Spec one must first locate the chipset and remove its heat sink, which will void the warranty. Second, Dell will not send a qualified technician to check the system.

    It seems to me that. especially given the recent history of Intel mistakenly releasing a defective chipset, it's perfectly reasonable to ask Dell for a way to confirm the system actually has the B3 chipset when four different methods of software detection indicate it does not. Mistakes do happen, and perhaps Dell or one of its suppliers accidentally installed the wrong chipsets in these machines. Other computer manufacturers provide convenient software-based ways to verify the right chipset is installed. But Dell provides absolutely no practical way to do so.

    Can you help me, otherwise advise, or at least comment about this? Thanks.

  64. Am I to assume that Dell/Alienware are going to contact me to schedule a replacement set?

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