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Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

I'm not crying wolf because I got a bad laptop. Actually, I'm into my 2nd Dell Studio 15 1558 and it has failed too.
Here's the common config:
I7-720QM Quad Core
4 to 8gb RAM (1066mhz)
500gb HDD at 7200rpm
ATI Mobility HD 5470 with 1gb
720 to 1080p display
Windows 6 Home Premium 64-bit

Both of mine had CPU failures within the first 24 hours of operation. This was confirmed by Dell Technical Support and by running Dell Diagnostics at the hardware level. Actually, my first Studio 15, just 3 weeks ago, failed at the CPU and motherboard level...

AND, it appears that this isn't an uncommon occurrence. Just read the threads in Dell's support forums. Such as this one:

As of today, I would highly recommend staying away from the Dell laptop lines running the I7-720QM processor. Having felt the brunt of these problems, I would probably recommend avoiding any I7 CPU in a Dell. Looks like they either have a batch of bad CPUs or a compatibility issue with their motherboards.

If anyone from Cnet reads this, I encourage them to investigate these problems. Cnet is a reputable 3rd party reviewer of technical products and I believe has a responsibility to report on known technical issues such as the those discussed above. I welcome them to contact me directly for more empirical evidence. I have 20 years in IT, don't go on hearsay and have done my research. The public has a right to know that these machines are consistently failing.

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Additional info

In reply to: Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

Just to show that I have no bones to pick with Dell or any hidden agendas, I have 3 Dell PCs and 3 printers in my house.
My Inspiron 9300 is 6 years old and the monitor is just about dead.
My 5 year old Dimension 5100 is my main media streaming server, slow but plugging along.
My V515W printer is a great wireless all-in-one that I highly recommend
My 1230C is a great buy for quality color laser printing.
My Girlfriend's Dimension is older than all of the above and still hodls its own.
I bought a Studio 17 with a T6600 for my mother and its a great buy for the price... IF you want a T6600.

BUT the Studio 15 with the I7-720QM has a proven history of hardware failures, mine being the CPU TWICE!!!!

So, I'm a loyal Dell customer, recommend them to others but highly recommend avoiding the Studio 15 1558 (I7-720QM) until Dell publicly admits to the problem and delivers a solution.

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I am going through the replacement for my Studio 15

In reply to: Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

Here is my situation. Bought my Dell Studio 15 (1557) from Laptop was awesome for 2 months. Then I got the BOD with an error code of c000021il. Talked to Dell tech support for 2 hours, they thought it was the HD. I've been an IT field engineer for 11 years and I told them it was the motherboard or heat displacement setup. I received the replacement HD and same thing, BOD c000021... I called back, demanded a replacement and they said no problem, it will be delivered in 4-6 weeks. !!!! I told them send out a new unit and also 5 different parts to replace. Motherboard, heatsink +fans, memory, HD, AC adapter & battery. THey did! It will be 3 days for replacment and the dell tech to exchange. I am replacing everything but the shell and keyboard. That outta weed out the problem.

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In reply to: I am going through the replacement for my Studio 15

I've found that Dell support is becoming a bit more accommodating when they see a problem they can't diagnose over the phone. Especially when it occurs in the first few days. Most of the online discussion I have read ended up in a cash refund but i'm holding them to their product and will hang on until they figure it out.
I've already informed Costco of the recurring problem and even included the thread of discussions that I discovered.. It appears my warning about these machines is making it to the Costco corporate buyers.

So do you think it's a heat problem? I wouldn't doubt it as my 1st replacement dies after about 10 - 20 minutes. But it couldn't even survive the Dell Diagnostics... I was beginning to think it was a power supply problem but as I read more, I'm leaning towards a hastened release of the I7 on an unstable motherboard platform.

I refused to spend hours on the phone with Dell as I did the first time. Sensing thus, they immediately offered the replacement... But I refused to accept a machine with a 720QM in it as they have failed twice and multiple times to the others I read about. So they're sending the 820. I'm thinking now that this isn't a solution and may make the problem worse if it is truly a MB compatibility or a heat issue. I'm thinking that I broke my own motto of not being the first to buy a newly released product and with few I7 laptops on the market may have set myself up for problems. i.e. I never take on a new form of Windows until well past SP1...

As for myself, I refused to accept any form of repair on my machine as I paid for a brand new working unit and will hold Dell to this... Refund? No way. A comparable or better machine that works is all that I will accept. I hate to think that the consumer (techie minded) is the one who has to trouble shoot and put together a hardware fix (or working hardware config) for Dell. I threatened to go to CNet, etc with my experience and the numerous threads online and it appears hearing this caused them to they take a step back to see if they really had a problem. They may not have collected the data regarding returns of this config but the online discussions say a lot... They know I'm holding that card....

I hear you on the Dell line about turn around times. They quoted me 6 weeks, then came back with 8 - 10 days. They built and shipped my first replacement in 4 days. Ordered on 5/25. Count the holiday weekend... I had it on the 6/3.

Keep me informed as to what happens.... I wish we could send private messages on here...

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Problems with Dell

In reply to: Dell...

I see brand new dell users have face worse problems. My Dell Latitude C640 going well still now. I have changed the battery and now working good. It true that I have to face a heat problem with it but a rare when it is running for more than 10 hours. Not so bad I think being such old model.

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Newer I7 chips

In reply to: Problems with Dell

I did some asking around some retailers and found some minor fallout with the I7 but across all manufacturers. It's been mainly in the 15" laptops and associated with heat dissipation. Consensus was that the 17" models had more space for proper circulation and venting...

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In reply to: I am going through the replacement for my Studio 15

I really hope others are reading this thread as I'd hate to see this problem propagated....

If anyone is following this, please chime in... Even a "refusal to buy this machine until Dell fixes it" can prove beneficial as it presents market pressure on them to put out a working machine.

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studio 1557 overheating problems

In reply to: Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

I own a 1557 with the following setup:
I7-720QM Quad Core
4gb RAM (1333mhz)
500gb HDD at 7200rpm
ATI Mobility HD 4570 with 512mb
1080p display
Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit

I also have heatingproblems. I opened the laptop to check out what the problem is since overheating is a huge problem with the 1557 (many threads in forums about this). What i found was that the gpu has no active cooling, this explains why my gpu reach +100c under heavy load with no external help (cooling pad). With help it goes down to 95c.

clearly this is a very serious construction problem, to much cream and to little cooling. I called tech support today and explained the heating problem, after a few minutes on hold the tech support said they will switch the motherboard and heatsinks to test if this will solve the heatingproblem. I know it wont solve it since, as you can see on the pictures, the gpu doesnt have any active cooling at all (the fan is completely closed to the GPU). Exchanging some metal wont affect the temperature much.

Anyhow they will change it and when i get it back the same heating problems will arise. Do you think it is possible to get a refund on this computer? (I have owned the computer for 7 months now.)

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If you follow this forum.

In reply to: studio 1557 overheating problems

You see folks warned about GAMING on laptops repeatedly.

All gaming laptops run warm to hot. And hot does not mean overheating. There's a difference here. If the machine is too hot for a lap is typical for game machines. If the machine locks up during a game and you did the usual laptop cooling pad then you have a design flaw.

Again, core i7m with 3d chipsets are by their nature hot machines ill suited for laptop use. These are desktop replacements that may require an added cooling pad for most owners.

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re: R. Proffitt

In reply to: If you follow this forum.

The machine locks up during game even thou i have a cooling pad. I also have a big external fan pumping air into the computer. This does lower the cpu core temp with about 15-20c under load but since the gpu is so badly placed (the fan is actually blocking the external fan and there are no air holes close to the gpu). To get sufficient cooling on the gpu i will need to drill holes into the plastic. If i cant get a refund i probably will have to drill holes to get a fully functioning laptop/desktop replacement. But I really would prefer get a refund instead of start drilling in the plastic.. Do you think it is possible to get a refund on a design flaw?

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In reply to: re: R. Proffitt

But you have to give the maker a few tries to correct the issue.

Sadly I only had your post to work with in regard to overheating. LOCKUPS during games used to be common due to bad games. This has improved but the lesson about gaming laptops is simple. Don't do it unless you are a glutton for tech support calls.

-->> Research the lemon law in your state. Some states tell you that they get three tries to correct it and then you can ask for a refund.

Frankly I'd go for the refund and look at more research about gaming laptops in general. The news is not good.

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Dell Laptop - NO GOOD

In reply to: studio 1557 overheating problems

I have Dell Studio 1557. It has some serious over heating issues. Please beaware before you buy this or any dell laptop.

I am not a gamer, but still my laptop temp goes as high as 90C and just after restart it is at 78C

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Dell 1557 and 1558 overheating

In reply to: Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

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1558 overheating problem.

In reply to: Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

i orginally had a 1555 it overheated allot and fried 3 hard drives within 8 months, after 3rd hd video card had issues and crashed computer. dell tec came out and didnt use any antistatic devices and fried the cpu and mother board, got a refurbished 1558 and it to after 2-3 months smokes the hard drive AGAIN. dell keeps just sending out new hard drives.

Problem i see after opening this puppy up is its an engineering failure, one fan for both cpu and video card cpu on 1 heat sinc with the HD right next to it also utilizing same fan. this is poor design.

i tried using a cooling plate to keep this puppy cool, but the issues with this model line is the cooling. maybe if the put in a SD HD maybe the heat inside wouldn't be so bad. i dunno my hands are up in the air.

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also, keyboard doesn't work...

In reply to: Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

I've got a Studio 1537, which i bought almost 2 years ago. Recently, it seems to have been overheating, i've recorded temperatures up to 99C. Ocassionally when it crashes, the keyboard stops working when turned back on again. This has become really annoying and it seems to take about 1 day before i works again.

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Let me reply to this one.

In reply to: also, keyboard doesn't work...

I'm finding folk that are never told about the need for yearly cleaning of the vents and maybe heatsinks.

Who knew this was important?

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In reply to: Let me reply to this one.

Dell replaced my Studio 15 1558 with a Studio XPS 16 1645. I think it was a "let's shut this guy up" move as I was taking temp recordings that were high enough to burn your fingers on the mouse pad...

I use a Belkin F5L055 cooling pad. Be careful, it isn't the F5L001. There is a slight design difference that greatly effects air flow.

The Belkin F5l055 keeps the bottom of my machine at about 22 degrees C and the CPU at about 53 degrees C. MUCH lower than the 1558 and about 10-15 degrees cooler than it runs without the cooling fan. Amazing, a single fan is working. And this is consistent over extended periods of time...

I'm taking constant surface temps with a CPU temp sensor an intermittent temps with an Infrared based thermometer. Both are accurate as I have double checked them with other thermometers...

I highly recommend the Belkin F5L055 and keeping your vents clean with compressed air.

BUT, this doesn't excuse Dell for their poor design. Single exhaust port, single fan, for both the CPU and GPU.

Nice going Dell. Sell a bunch of laptops that over heat, require constant colling pads... THEN come out with your hyperbaric cooling technology... Couldn't roll it out with the first generation of I-Series Intel CPUs from the 45nm die... You wait to roll it out to pair it with the cooler running, lower voltage 32nm Sandy Bridge processors!!!!

As a long time Dell customer, with no fewer than 6 Dells to my name over the years, this is the last Dell I'll own.

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In reply to: Cooling

All the quad core i7 machines look to be trouble in a few years. Dell is not the only one and it will be (not) fun to watch the fallout.

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Another roasted 1557

In reply to: Actually

Studio 1557
i7 Q720
Bios version A08
4GB Ram, Seagate 320GB HDD
ATI Mobility Radeon HD 545v

I bought this laptop refurbished on ebay (seller got it "as new" condition from Dell refurbs outlet) and got all the official ownership transfer and 1 year warranty. For About six months it was working fine, though it was running a bit hotter than I was normally used to on laptops. Then it started heating up like hell and shutting down. No BSOD, no nothing, complete power cut. I was unable to boot the system back on unless I let it cool for 15-20 mins. I started to investigate this matter, turns out the CPU is reaching the aforementioned temps of 90-100 C under load. So I called Dell customer service and got my laptop taken away for service. The whole process took about 5 days, I was told that the motherboard and heatsink & fan have been replaced. It worked well for a about two days, when it started to become really slow and hot again.
I have already found many mentions of this problem with Dell laptops with i7 processors, so this time I was reluctant to send it off to another repair. I was told they would replace my laptop with the same model. Of course, since they are no longer in production, they had to replace it with something else. So they offered me a 1737 with the same specs to what I agreed. This whole process took another week. So today I finally got a call from Dell, only to hear that they are no longer producing 1737 with i7 and they are unable to replace my laptop, because current systems with i7 are more expensive. Instead they offered me a refund. But here's the trick - they offer to give me back the amount of original purchase - 489,79 pounds. Of course I objected to that solution, as I was unable to find another system with i7 quadcore processor and 4GB of RAM for this amount of money neither on Dell website, nor with any other manufacturer.
The way I see it - I have bought a working system with full warranty, which turns out to be faulty. What I don't get is why I should settle for a lower spec'd system because Dell has messed up the design? To this the only reply I got was that I have got a refurbished system and they cannot replace it. Although on Dell refurbs site they clearly state that refurbs fall under the SAME warranty as new units. The manager refused to listen to any of my objections and kept on repeating the same thing until I just had to hang up. Right now I have requested a written statement from Dell, explaining what their policy is and what solutions are they offering me. I am planning to see an attorney tomorrow to see what action could be taken if Dell still refuses to replace my laptop with a similarly spec'd system.

Anyone else has similar experience? If so -could you please tell how it was resolved? I will be updating the thread as soon as anything changes. I just hope Dell isn't going to try and stretch this out for the remaining 4 months of my warranty...

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I think so.

In reply to: Another roasted 1557

All I can do is warn folk away from the quad core i7's today. It is not fun to read posts like this.

Good luck with the warranty but extend that warranty to as long as possible and ask around next time.

We have warned about this and those gamer laptops many times in this forum.

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No Choice But To Agree

In reply to: Dell Studio 15 1557 & 1558 plagued with failures

I wish I could disagree with you, but I have no choice but to agree. My Inspiron 1721 (which is at least 5 years old) has displayed a few Blue Screens in its time, and I've punched the screen a few times (which I now regret), but it has somehow survived all that abuse, which explains why I love this laptop. (The Inspiron runs Windows Vista and has an AMD Turion processor. It also has a side vent for the fan.)

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Update: in addition to the above...

In reply to: No Choice But To Agree

Update: in addition to the above, I've already had to system restore my laptop at least 5 times.

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Do you see why?

In reply to: Update: in addition to the above...

Do you see why I warn folk away from quad core i7 machines? Many have to learn this first hand that they are short lived, hot, troublesome machines. Most work ok the first 20 to 24 months.

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running win 7

In reply to: Do you see why?

I have a dual boot system on my 1558 with win 7 and ubuntu and when running win 7 i find the load on the system much higher(ie: fan going hell for leather more often)but when i'm running ubuntu it's as quiet as a mouse so i think windows 7 is so resource hungry it raises the temp and coupled with a bad design contributes to the overheating problems. And yes my laptop is starting to freeze up as of yesterday.(15 months old)
I might try removing the gauze from the vents to open up the airflow a bit and see if that helps but i'm not holding my breath. My local repairer says that 80% of the laptops he repairs are Dell!. He also said that they were a good machine when the were made in Malaysia but since they started manufacturing them in China they have gone down hill from there. The touch pad also contributes to the over heating in both of my Dells(studio 1558 and inspiron 1520)but at least the inspron was made in Malaysia and is still hanging in there after about 3 years but overheats as well and shuts down when its had enough.
temp at the moment is about 60deg in all 4 cores(fingers crossed)
I wish everybody in this thread good luck
PS: Merry xmas

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My post from JUNE 2011 is now OUT OF DATE.

In reply to: running win 7

The newer Sandy Bridge i7's changed that. I've locked this old discussion.

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