Intel Chipset Issue

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Intel Chipset Issue

 I know many of you have been reading the recent Intel news regarding the Cougar Point (Intel 6 Series) chipset issue. Intel recently provided details regarding a design issue in the chipset that supports new second-generation Sandy Bridge Intel Core processors. The processors themselves are not affected by this chipset issue.

Dell and Intel are in communication regarding the design issue in the recently released Intel 6 Series support chip set, code-name Cougar Point. This affects four currently-available Dell products, the XPS 8300, the Vostro 460, the Alienware M17x R3 and the Alienware Aurora R3 as well as several other planned products including XPS 17 with 3D. 

Update: We have currently removed the four affected products from Dell.com.

For customers impacted by this issue, Dell offers a couple of solutions.  Customers experiencing issues will be supported under the warranty and service terms.  Once we have new chipsets from Intel in early April, we will provide a motherboard replacement that corrects the design issue at no cost to our customers.  Replacements will be provided at the customers’ location and convenience via authorized Dell service providers.  Affected customers may also take advantage of the applicable return policy, which may vary by region. Affected customers may also contact Dell to return their product.

Update 2 (February 10): I simplified the previous sentence above. Please contact Dell if you want to return your system or get a refund on an order that has not yet shipped. For more details, customers in the US can read support.dell.com article #389728. There is a Contact Us section on the left side of the page. If you are outside the United States, you can find it by:

  • Going to support.dell.com
  • Choosing your country from the drop-down menu near the top left of the page
  • Typing 389728 in the Search field

If you have one placed an order on one of the affected systems (XPS 8300, Vostro 460, Alienware M17x R3 or the Alienware Aurora R3) and it is pending (order status = Processing or In Production, thanks to @samharrow for the clarification) as of February 1 or later, we will not be able to ship your order with the current chipset. You can either contact Dell like I mention in Update 2 above to get a refund of your purchase price or wait to be contacted by Dell.

We will begin notifying customers via e-mail and or phone number beginning this week and next. At that time, you will have two options:

  1. Cancel your original order and place a new order for a different system not affected by this chipset issue, or
  2. Leave your original order open. We will begin fulfilling these orders once we have received the updated chipsets from Intel.

After you receive the e-mail or telephone call from Dell, be sure to respond promptly with the option you prefer.  If we do not hear from you within seven days of the communication, we will assume you've decided to cancel the order.

I’ll provide further details as they become available.

Update 3 (March 1):  We are starting to receive new inventory from Intel for additional systems beyond the XPS 15 and 17 laptops. Please see my latest update post on the Intel chipset issue here. To centralize the conversation, I've closed comments on this post. If you have questions or need assistance with an affected system or order, please comment on that post. 

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  • Can you also post which sata ports are the sata 3 ports so those of us who would rather wait on a motherboard replacement can make sure our hdds and dvd/blu-ray drives are using the sata 3 ports

  • hi will dell be sending out the orders that are already taken then after the new chips come out they will be replaced. Cause i believe the orders that were taken before it was removed should be followed through with then fixed or dealt with later after new chips come out. i want my laptop.

  • Jake any orders that were shipped out before yesterday will be shipped. MY 8300 is shipped and on its way with a tracking number. So as long as its been shipped yesterday or befgore you will get it. IF you status does not say shipped then it has been held.

  • darn. i just ordered it monday.you think  there is any way that i can get dell to send me in anyway. since i am kinda in need of it.

  • majortom1981: you are looking for the SATA port information for the XPS 8300, right? I'll see what I can find. Here's the a pic from the XPS 8300 motherboard. I got it from this page on the XPS 8300 Service Manual.

    There are 4 SATA ports, near the bottom right on the image above, labeled 11,13, 15 and 17. Depends on the config you ordered. From what I know, this issue applies to hard drives and optical drives, so it depends on the config you ordered.

  • Thanks for communicating out.

    I just heard of this today, but my 8300 shipped on 1/31.

    I read that only SATA ports 2-5 were affected.

    If that holds true, a RAID 0 SATA with 2 - 500GB drive system - I am assuming the HardDrives are setup on ports 0 and 1 with the Blue Ray on 2, by default. So perhaps the DVD player is impacted, but probably not when used for installing software. I will let you know how that goes and if anyone knows the default setup on the above, please respond and confirm.

    I am glad this isn't too major and I can just have my Motherboard replaced in April. Quite costly to Dell and Intel I am sure, but that's business. Roll with the punches and hats off to Dell for making this right for the little guy - the customer..

    - Hylebos

  • Hylebos: Thanks for rolling with the punches.

    Not 100% sure on the configuration, but I do believe it is correct that we set up the hard drives on the first (or first and second ports) followed by the optical drives.

  • Lionel...quick question.  I have an Alienware Aurora R3 that shows a current status of "in production" and a delivery date next week.  Will my order still be completed and delivered?

  • Hylebos,

    My XPS 8300 has RAID1 using ports 0 & 1; the optical drive uses port 2.  Installs using the optical drive were fine.  It's an amazing machine and am glad I got it.

  • I'm in a similar boat as shawminator, only a victim of even worse timing.  Ordered a 460 a few hours before the Intel announcement.  Thought it was a bit odd that the initial ship date got pushed back about a week in the first hour that I ordered it, and now sits at February 25.

    Is this overly optimistic?  I can not wait beyond that date, as we have business pressures that require the equipment.  Plus I'm already getting peripherals delivered, that were shipped from existing stock (extra monitor, external USB device, etc.).

    Really need an answer how this is going to play out.  Up until your blog, posting communications from Dell have been nil.  

  • Will Dell seek out customers proactively, or do we need to "register" with customer support for replacement? When will the registration start?

  • Hi,

    regarding  the sata port problem there is a discussion in the dell forum:

    en.community.dell.com/.../19812684.aspx

    But there is no official statement which says that sata 0 and 1 are the unaffected sata 3 ports.

    Maybe Dell can bring some light into the darkness.

  • The service manual picture does not provide enough information. The plugs should be split into 2 categories to be useful ... two should have a SATAII designation 3Gbs and two SATAIII 6Gbs. NOTE: the SATAIII are not part of the problem IDed by Intel.

    Can the motherboard designer shed some light?

  • I am repeating the unanswered question from J Chu - Will Dell contact the customer or do we need to contact Dell?

    I am VERY unhappy with this situation. My last Dell needed both mother board replacement AND power supply replacement - within months of purchase.

    I would prefer to have another system altogether  ... if Dell would take the system back and refund my money!

    I no longer have the box.

  • I received a Vostro 460 system yesterday. I have not opened the box yet. My system has a hard drive and 2 optical drives. My understanding is that this system is affected by the Intel chipset defect.

    Dell Preliminary Statement:

    For customers impacted by this issue, Dell offers a couple of solutions.  Customers experiencing issues will be supported under the warranty and service terms.  Once we have new chipsets from Intel in early April, we will provide a motherboard replacement that corrects the design issue at no cost to our customers.  Replacements will be provided at the customers’ location and convenience via authorized Dell service providers.  Affected customers may also take advantage of the applicable return policy, which may vary by region.

    If I parse the dell preliminary statement, (“Customer experiencing issues”) then I am concerned that I must wait to have a problem with the system and that it must be under warranty at the time when the problem arises.

    The statement appears to be intentionally ambiguous. Without the “customers experiencing issues” part of the statement, then the following line, “Once we have new chipsets from Intel in early April, we will provide a motherboard replacement that corrects the design issue at no cost to our customers.  Replacements will be provided at the customers’ location and convenience via authorized Dell service providers.” This line appears to satisfy my needs by committing to replace all defective motherboards.

    I need a better interpretation of the Dell Preliminary Statement.

    I will be happy to keep my system if the motherboard will be replaced when new components are available. Else I would like to return my system and have dell honor my order at the same price with a non-defective motherboard when new components are available.

Comments
  • Can you also post which sata ports are the sata 3 ports so those of us who would rather wait on a motherboard replacement can make sure our hdds and dvd/blu-ray drives are using the sata 3 ports

  • hi will dell be sending out the orders that are already taken then after the new chips come out they will be replaced. Cause i believe the orders that were taken before it was removed should be followed through with then fixed or dealt with later after new chips come out. i want my laptop.

  • Jake any orders that were shipped out before yesterday will be shipped. MY 8300 is shipped and on its way with a tracking number. So as long as its been shipped yesterday or befgore you will get it. IF you status does not say shipped then it has been held.

  • darn. i just ordered it monday.you think  there is any way that i can get dell to send me in anyway. since i am kinda in need of it.

  • majortom1981: you are looking for the SATA port information for the XPS 8300, right? I'll see what I can find. Here's the a pic from the XPS 8300 motherboard. I got it from this page on the XPS 8300 Service Manual.

    There are 4 SATA ports, near the bottom right on the image above, labeled 11,13, 15 and 17. Depends on the config you ordered. From what I know, this issue applies to hard drives and optical drives, so it depends on the config you ordered.

  • Thanks for communicating out.

    I just heard of this today, but my 8300 shipped on 1/31.

    I read that only SATA ports 2-5 were affected.

    If that holds true, a RAID 0 SATA with 2 - 500GB drive system - I am assuming the HardDrives are setup on ports 0 and 1 with the Blue Ray on 2, by default. So perhaps the DVD player is impacted, but probably not when used for installing software. I will let you know how that goes and if anyone knows the default setup on the above, please respond and confirm.

    I am glad this isn't too major and I can just have my Motherboard replaced in April. Quite costly to Dell and Intel I am sure, but that's business. Roll with the punches and hats off to Dell for making this right for the little guy - the customer..

    - Hylebos

  • Hylebos: Thanks for rolling with the punches.

    Not 100% sure on the configuration, but I do believe it is correct that we set up the hard drives on the first (or first and second ports) followed by the optical drives.

  • Lionel...quick question.  I have an Alienware Aurora R3 that shows a current status of "in production" and a delivery date next week.  Will my order still be completed and delivered?

  • Hylebos,

    My XPS 8300 has RAID1 using ports 0 & 1; the optical drive uses port 2.  Installs using the optical drive were fine.  It's an amazing machine and am glad I got it.

  • I'm in a similar boat as shawminator, only a victim of even worse timing.  Ordered a 460 a few hours before the Intel announcement.  Thought it was a bit odd that the initial ship date got pushed back about a week in the first hour that I ordered it, and now sits at February 25.

    Is this overly optimistic?  I can not wait beyond that date, as we have business pressures that require the equipment.  Plus I'm already getting peripherals delivered, that were shipped from existing stock (extra monitor, external USB device, etc.).

    Really need an answer how this is going to play out.  Up until your blog, posting communications from Dell have been nil.  

  • Will Dell seek out customers proactively, or do we need to "register" with customer support for replacement? When will the registration start?

  • Hi,

    regarding  the sata port problem there is a discussion in the dell forum:

    en.community.dell.com/.../19812684.aspx

    But there is no official statement which says that sata 0 and 1 are the unaffected sata 3 ports.

    Maybe Dell can bring some light into the darkness.

  • The service manual picture does not provide enough information. The plugs should be split into 2 categories to be useful ... two should have a SATAII designation 3Gbs and two SATAIII 6Gbs. NOTE: the SATAIII are not part of the problem IDed by Intel.

    Can the motherboard designer shed some light?

  • I am repeating the unanswered question from J Chu - Will Dell contact the customer or do we need to contact Dell?

    I am VERY unhappy with this situation. My last Dell needed both mother board replacement AND power supply replacement - within months of purchase.

    I would prefer to have another system altogether  ... if Dell would take the system back and refund my money!

    I no longer have the box.

  • I received a Vostro 460 system yesterday. I have not opened the box yet. My system has a hard drive and 2 optical drives. My understanding is that this system is affected by the Intel chipset defect.

    Dell Preliminary Statement:

    For customers impacted by this issue, Dell offers a couple of solutions.  Customers experiencing issues will be supported under the warranty and service terms.  Once we have new chipsets from Intel in early April, we will provide a motherboard replacement that corrects the design issue at no cost to our customers.  Replacements will be provided at the customers’ location and convenience via authorized Dell service providers.  Affected customers may also take advantage of the applicable return policy, which may vary by region.

    If I parse the dell preliminary statement, (“Customer experiencing issues”) then I am concerned that I must wait to have a problem with the system and that it must be under warranty at the time when the problem arises.

    The statement appears to be intentionally ambiguous. Without the “customers experiencing issues” part of the statement, then the following line, “Once we have new chipsets from Intel in early April, we will provide a motherboard replacement that corrects the design issue at no cost to our customers.  Replacements will be provided at the customers’ location and convenience via authorized Dell service providers.” This line appears to satisfy my needs by committing to replace all defective motherboards.

    I need a better interpretation of the Dell Preliminary Statement.

    I will be happy to keep my system if the motherboard will be replaced when new components are available. Else I would like to return my system and have dell honor my order at the same price with a non-defective motherboard when new components are available.