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XPS 700 to XPS 720 upgrade

The Computer Formerly Known As XPS 700Today the service technician arrived to do the scheduled upgrade of my XPS 700 to XPS 720 mother board. It was all professional and mostly well done with four not so big problems I noticed after he left.

  1. The color LED’s on the top half of the front panel are setup wrong. When I select the default diamond color, it comes up gold. Lucky for me the off setting works. This is probably due to the LED cable being put on incorrectly.
  2. The back panel where the ports for USB, ethernet, etc. is off by a millimeter so when I plug USB stuff in it goes in tightly. No big deal, I can live with that.
  3. The power button was not secured properly so it is recessed in more than it should be. Really annoying but I already see what he missed and how to fix it.
  4. He did not wipe off the old thermal paste from the CPU and heat sink before putting it all back together. That one worries me and Alek (Alek said “Uh, don’t play long CPU intensive video games. You do have a temperature sensor right?”)

That last one worries me. Saturday Alek will come over with thermal paste and we’ll clean the heat sink and CPU and apply new. I am sure it will be fine until then.

Using 20/20 hindsight I can see that it would have been better if Alek and I did the installation. I figured that the Dell technician would be trained, and I am sure that he was. I am also sure that he’s over worked and had lots more stops to go today so I’m not upset or anything.

I did have to call up Microsoft and re-activate Vista but that was expected and I did that as soon as my PC booted up.

Note: calling up Microsoft to re-validate something I paid for feels like a protection racket. I had to call because I activated too many times and the online activation no longer works for me. I had to speak with someone because the voice system either does not like my accent (huh?) or my activation is flagged as “what is this guy doing activating over and over again?” I hope Microsoft never get greedy and asks for more protection money. I am sure that would never happen.

The upgrade and the service were free and it’s a good deal. If you qualify for this offer, go to the web site and apply for this.

UPDATE: Nice! He forgot to connect one of my DVD drives.

Categories: Geek

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Jan Dembowski

4 replies

  1. Jan-

    This is John again, the guy from Dell headquarters that dropped you a comment last year about the XPS 700 problem you were having.

    I noticed that you had problems with the board swap, and wanted to make sure no permanent damage was done. If anything further goes wrong, let me know, and I’d be happy to take your case myself.

    Dell Customer Advocate

  2. John,

    Good to hear from you again.

    Well this past Sunday my brother and I cleaned up the old heat paste, put new heat paste that we got from Best Buy, reseated the back cover plate, affixed the power button on the front, and connected the second DVD drive.

    The only thing that is not working right is the front panel LEDs. The lower panel will not display diamond color which is the default for my system. The other colors display, just not diamond. The top LEDs works fine.

    When I reverse the connectors (switch upper and lower on the front USB daughter board) the problem moved from the bottom front LEDs to the top.

    The USB daughter board connector to the LED is damaged. In order to remove it I would have to take off the CPU fan after I just got the new heat paste put on.

    . . .

    I turned off all the LEDs. I’ll call the support line next weekend and talk about getting a replacement. I still need to DHL the old kit back to Dell.

    Jan Dembowski

  3. Jan-

    Send me the service tag and I’ll take care of it for you myself. No reason for you to go through the phones when you have the attention of an analyst!

    Dell Customer Advocate

  4. John,

    Wow. That must be why I despite my problems I still like Dell! That kind of attention rocks.

    I’ll send you the service tag via e-mail when I get home tonight.

    Much thanks in advance!

    Jan Dembowski