How to report Dell hardware problems

This page explains how to ask Dell to fix a hardware problem with a Dell server, and what to expect. The usual hardware problem is a failed or failing disk, but we've had a variety of issues, all of which Dell has fixed capably.

If your problem is a failed or failing disk in a Dell server, see also MPUFailedDisk.

Check the machine's support status

Look at the inventory to check a machine's support status with Dell. For example:
$ ii query --host fooble --detail
You're looking for the warranty and delivered_date fields:
delivered_date: 2016-05-03
warranty: 5year prosupport + 5year data protection
In this case the server fooble has Dell "Pro Support" until 3 May 2021.

While you're there, note the machine's serial number. Dell refers to this as a Service Tag.

Contacting Dell

Having assured yourself that the machine is currently supported by Dell, you can contact them by phone or online. By phone, Dell's express support line is 0844 444 3844‬. You may be asked to spell things out using the NATO phonetic alphabet. [When I did this Jan 2021, the initial automated prompts asked me for the Express service number, fortunately I was able to get that off the iDRAC web interface that I had open - neilb ]

Online, go to and click through Support -> Contact Support -> Technical Support. Enter the serial number ("Service Tag") for the server and then choose the category of problem (for example "Hard drive and RAID controllers") and the most relevant sub-category (for example "Failed disk error message"). Finally select the "Email" option. You should describe the problem. Attach whatever log files seem appropriate. October 2020 note: log files should be zipped into a .zip file in order to be accepted for upload.

Either way, once a specialist has been assigned to your case, you'll be asked for a lot of information.

If the specialist agrees to send a new part for fitting by you (for example a new disk), it's probably best to ask for it to be sent to the Informatics Forum, 10 Crichton Street, EH8 9AB. That way it'll be delivered to reception. This becomes convenient later on when Dell sends UPS to the same delivery address in order to collect the broken disk.

If Dell agrees to send out an engineer, the engineer may work for a subcontractor such as Getronics.

Topic revision: r5 - 13 Jan 2021 - 16:22:12 - NeilBrown
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