My laptop is finally back, and appears to be fixed. But it was quite an ordeal to get it fixed.
I first called Dell tech support on the 5th of July, and had it "analyzed" on the phone. After much troubleshooting, the support personnel first confidently said my power chord was defective. That made absolutely no sense (since firstly I could see that it was working, and second, the error messages I was receiving were all BIOS errors). Still, to humor him, I tested a new power chord, and that didn't fix anything.
So, I had to call again the next day, and this time it was diagnosed as a motherboard problem, as I had originally suspected.
Anyway, I agreed to pay a small king's ransom to get it fixed (the price was just low enough to prevent me from buying a whole new laptop). Then Dell was supposed to send me a shipping box within 2 business days.
Unfortunately, even 4 days later, I had no box. So, I ended up calling Dell again, THREE more times. I suspected that the person taking the call may have messed something up, and I thought it was the address that was the most likely culprit. So, I asked them to verify if my address was correct, and the person said it was. But then I finally got tired of calling Dell, so called DHL directly, and lo and behold, found that they had the incorrect address (a street number on my street that doesn't exist), so they couldn't deliver the package. Anyway, after more trouble, I finally had my shipping box delivered, and sent off my laptop. I also taped a paper slip with my correct address, so that this wouldn't repeat.
Then I called Dell again, and after a prolonged explanation, asked the support personnel to confirm my address (so that they wouldn't screw up again, and just to be doubly sure). The person on the phone practically swore that the address was now corrected.
Luckily, Dell sends an automated message once they ship a repaired laptop. Once I got that message, I immediately called DHL, just to be sure that they'd deliver the computer to the correct place.
Guess what, Dell had screwed up AGAIN, and had shipped it to the wrong address.
Fortunately, I caught this relatively early, so finally have my computer back. Overall, I must say I'm rather disappointed with the Dell tech support. If I need to call them a total of seven times AFTER diagnosing my computer, just to ship it off and get it back, with days of frustration in between, there's something wrong in their system.
Not very impressive, I must say.
At least now I have my computer back, and blogging will resume soon. I really hope the computer doesn't die again, two days after this new warranty expires.