This page explains the warranty on your new computer: what it covers, what it
doesn't cover, and what this means to you.
There are two main components to your computer: hardware (the parts,
such as the monitor and the hard disk) and software (the programs and
files stored on the hard disk).
Most new computers come with a hardware warranty that covers
replacement of any parts that fail.
When you have a problem, you may have a tough time figuring out whether it is
caused by software or hardware. You may need to call the company's support line,
and the help you get may vary widely in quality. The bottom line is, if you can
convince the company that your problem is caused by a hardware failure, the
company should replace the part.
There is also an implied software warranty, but it is much less than
most users expect.
No computer company guarantees that the computer will do everything you want it
to do, or work with every software CD you bring home. No computer company
guarantees the integrity of your data, or even of your settings.
Once you take the computer out of the box, everything you do to it --
from setting up your Email to copying your vacation photos onto it -- is
outside the warranty. If you are suddenly inundated with pornographic pop-up
windows, or you can't get your Email, or if your digital camera software causes
your computer to crash, the computer company probably won't care. Their support
technician may try to help you resolve the problem, but they don't have to.
This is similar to the "guarantee" that you get when you drop off your vacation
film for processing: their liability is limited to providing a blank roll of
There is only one thing that the software warranty requires them to
Every computer vendor provides a way to restore your computer to the way
it was before you opened the box. This will solve any software
problem, but it will cost you all of your files, data and settings.
If you don't have a backup of your documents, photos, and downloaded E-mails --
and few home users do -- this information will be lost forever when you
"restore" your computer.
(If the hard disk fails, and the company replaces it under
warranty, your data will be gone for good).
How can we help you with warranty issues?
Digital House Call can help you determine what kind of problem
your computer is having, before you spend hours on hold with the
manufacturer's support technicians. We can also make the call for you, if
you prefer, and demand warranty service much more quickly and convincingly
than you ever could.
Digital House Call can usually recover and back up your data
before you restore your software, even if the computer doesn't run.
(If the hard drive fails, we may not be able to recover anything...
please visit our Avoiding Common Problems page before this happens
Digital House Call can remove spyware and virus infestations, and
solve complex software problems, that the manufacturer's support technicians
can't help you with.
The bottom line: You paid for the warranty, and for the tech support, when
you bought the computer.
Use them, but don't hesitate to get a second opinion.