A lawsuit has been filed and is seeking class action status against the computer company alleging notebook computers overheat, resulting in complete failure. The lawsuit was filed in Miami Dade Circuit Court and claims Alienware has refused to acknowledge the problem. Alienware was acquired by computer maker Dell for an undisclosed price in July of 2006. The lawsuit alleges a design defect is responsible for Alienware overheating and that the computer's heat-removal system, called a heatsink, doesn't adequately remove heat produced by the processor, battery and other components.
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If I multitask, say, run music at the same time as a game, the system often shuts down within 10 minutes. I assume this is an automatic response by the hardware to unbearable heat, however it could just be an unnatural shut down.
The games which I play (WoW, Halflife 2) are not among the most intensive on the market. My machine is nearly 3 years old now, but because these games were not demanding back then it stands to reason that a system marketed as a gaming machine should be able to handle them.
By the way, I've had this problem for over a year and a half now.
Much later now, the laptop still isn't fixed because you can't get the parts anywhere and I'm never doing business with alienware ever again.
Here are some of the major issues :
1) Overheating which lead to the motherboard dying.
2) Battery died within 3 months
3) Power adapter doesn't seat anymore and sparks
4) Hard drive failed
5) Software was incorrectly supplied (restore disk for the wrong system)
6) The on-board audio did not work as advertised despite multiple attempts to fix it
7) The upgrade path for the video card that was used to sell this machine to me was false advertising.
I now reside in Canada (I'm an American citizen), But I purchased this in Vermont and paid using an American credit card.
This happens two to six times a day at random. We have to backup our work every 10 minutes which is tedious and seriously disrupts productivity.
June 2006: Computer randomly shut off, would not start up. Video card overheated, notebook inoperable.
Contacted Alienware technical support, they could not resolve problem, so I sent in my notebook to their facility. I was charged $311.58 for a new video card replacement (refurbished), and I spent 2 months without a computer.
August, 2006: Computer received back from AW facility. Computer operational for about 1 month. Then, same problem persisted; computer inoperable. Called AW Tech Support and used support forums; problem claimed 'unknown'. Every response was indirect and roundabout, things that wasted time and did not solve the problem. Spent weeks trying their solutions, computer worked once, then inoperable for weeks at a time. They claimed they could take it back to their facility, but were not sure when it would be returned or how it would be fixed.
October, 2006: My warranty approached its deadline on October 5, 2006 after months of wasted time and an inoperable computer. When I chose not to renew the wasted warranty, I contacted AW again asking where I could purchase a replacement video card or what they could offer. They pointed me in an endless search from one company to another, who claimed they didn't know who could sell video cards. Alienware also refused to even acknowledge the problem that I had for the last 4 months+. I spent another month calling, searching for video card replacements, only to be left in the dark once again. Alienware could not guarantee that if I sent my computer to them for a fee that they would be able to fix it or when.
November, 2006: I had to have a replacement notebook ($2500) shipped to me for $80 shipping.
TODAY: My alienware notebook remains inoperable, as it has for almost a year now. I have not found any help on the support forums, where numerous AW customers are experiencing the same problem and not receiving direct feedback to fix it. AW continues to deny this issue exists. I have wasted a year of my time and I did not have computer access to perform any of my work for a long span. I have been severely frustrated in AW's efforts to resolve these known issues. In all, I have spent approximately $5361.58 in 2 years to have a computer operational for roughly 1 year.
I should mention I am Canadian. I am not certain the firm to which this will be forwarded, or if filed in the US whether I will be eligible for inclusion in the class if action should be taken, but I would like to be.