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Transfer of ownership when you do not know the orginal owner - can it be done?

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Transfer of ownership when you do not know the orginal owner - can it be done?

  • I purchased a used Dell laptop about 6 months ago from Craigslist and currently have no way of finding the orginal owner.  

    I now have a hardware problem and my warranty does not expire until Sep 2010 but because I do not know the orginal owner's name, Dell will not provide support.

    Does anyone know how to do a "transfer of ownership" on a computer when you do not know the orginal owner?   Article ID: 167117 from Dell's web site states "If you did not provide the previous owner information above, you must provide both the Service Tag and the Express Service Code to transfer the ownership of requested systems." 

    I have the both the Service Tag and the Express Service Code, I have filled out the "transfer of ownership" form on Dell's web site 3 times over the last couple of months but I never get a reply.  I used "x" in the orginal owner name block per Dell's customer support instructions.  Dell's web site automatically pulls "the service tag" information from the laptop.

    I have contacted Dell's customer service (staff and managers) several times and provided them with both the Service Tag and the Express Service Code and told them that I have filled out the form 3 times. 

    Customer service repeated response was they can not tell me why the "transfer of ownership" form I submitted did not work unless I provide them the orginal owners name; even after they researched Article ID 167117 which states that I do not need the orginal owners name to do a "transfer of ownership".  Without the orginal owner's name Customer service would only tell me one thing " submit a transfer of ownership form".

    If anyone has any ideals on how to do a "transfer on ownership", please let me know.  As it stands now my warranty, which expires in Sep 2010, is no good because I don't know the orginal owner's name.





  • I had always been under the impression that the previous owner information was needed to transfer ownership... I see in the link you provided that Dell implies it is possible WITHOUT that information...

    A few minutes of searching found several people in the same situation you are in, but it also found this possible solution:

    Key paragraph, with key information highlighted:

    "If you know who the original owner is or their address fill it out appropriately. If you do not, you can still register it with the service tag, and express service code. For the previous unknown owner put "No information" for the first name and last name blanks of the previous owner."

    The link is old, but was the only possible solution I could find.

    Good luck.

    Community Member Since 2003

  • Roger,


    Just wondering if you have your issue solved? I am in a situation like yours, bought a Dell 1525 laptop listed on Kijiji, but don't have the previous owner info. If you are able to transfer the ownership, could you tell me what you finally did? Thanks.



  • Sam,

    I tried everything (filled out forms, emails, and phone calls to tech support, customer service,  managers etc)  nothing worked.   If you don’t know the previous owner you can’t do a transfer of ownership even though Dells web site states you can.   Without a ownership transfer Dell will not honor their warranty.   I lost over 2 years of warranty on the used computer I purchased.  I now have a computer with problems and a warranty that I can’t use.


    If you are able to find a solution please let me know.


    Good Luck,


  • Hey, guys I just want you to know that it can be done because I have done it a few times (I repair broken laptops and sometimes get ones that are still under warranty).  A couple of months ago I think I spent 8-11 hour on the phone calling over and over again (dropped calls), but someone finaly did it for me.

    Also, I have had a lot of luck doing a transfer of ownership if I go to that page:

    and put in both the service tag and express service code and then put in "No Information" as the first name & no last name for the previous owner.



  • thank you after 4 months of searching your post was the only one that got the job done. :-)

    And hey you might know? Does Dell make it to where you have to buy there processors? because the in it works but i also have an Intel DualCore 3.00ghz processor but when i put it in all it did was beep 4 times shut down and restart, over and over!!! any thoughts? oh and it is brand new!!

     Dell Xps 410

    Intel DualCore 1.86ghz

    3gigs ram

    Nvidea Geforce 8800 gt oc

    Vista Home Premium

  • Regarding the Transfer of Ownership....

    Nice to hear those steps work. When I posted those exact steps earlier in this thread, I had not heard of it working other than the web site I got the information from.

    Nice to get verification that it does still work.


    Community Member Since 2003

  • Mike_1984 - your 410 CPU question is best asked in a new thread (Desktop General Hardware forum or the XPS group would be the best places).   But it's likely the 410 doesn't support the new CPU you have - even if it fits the socket the BIOS or the motherboard itself may not support it..  It has nothing to do with where you buy the CPU from.

    See this thread for the official list of supported CPU's:


    'Tis a poor carpenter that blames his tools.

  • I bought my Dell from ebay.  The seller shipped it and was locatede in the US.  But the system was originally purchased in another country.  Also, my system is out of warranty.  It was when I bought it.  This is about the NVIDIA chip issue.  Because they were defective, Dell is replacing them and providing an additional 1 year warranty.  If it was just the chip I would get it replaced myself.  However, the chip is soldered to the motherboard so the entire motherboard needs to be replaced.  Anyone do an international transfer of ownershp on here?


  • I bought a laptop ( Dell Inspirion 1721) I need to reinstall windows, etc etc I need the bios password but I cant get it due to the fact it was bought as a used item off of craigs list.  I have considered buying a new Dell laptop but  I want to try this one first, but with the service I have had so far I am starting to rethink this.


    If anyone can help let me know, I dont know who the original owner is, but I need this working ASAP




    If the Bios is password protected, Dell will give only the registered owner the unlock code.  Since you purchased this from Craigslist, perhaps getting the information from the person you purchased it from might be helpful, that way you can transfer the ownership to your name, and the Dell technicians will release the code to you. 

    If it's just the Operating System that's password protected, you might check with one of the users on the Operating System Forum for assistance with changing the password.

     Hope this helps.


  • I too am having an Ownership Transfer issue.  Tried the form and the response said my request could not be processed and would be forwarded to the proper department.  Spent hours hammering Customer Care to no avail.  Any help would be much appreciated.

  • How did you fill out the form?

  • I used the "No Information" for the first and  last name of the original owner as recommended. 

  • you need to take it apart and remove the cmos battery turn it on then shut it off put the battery back and that will reset your bios and fix the password thing