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Dell laptop with incorrect Dell service tag / express service code

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
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One of my customers bought a Dell laptop from... not Dell (somewhere online, unsure). The weird thing is that the laptop has this service tag and express service code on the underside, but those details correspond to a Dell desktop on the support site. It seems very shady, but I'm wondering why someone would want to sell a computer with these incorrect details. I'd say it's extremely unlikely that my customer would knowingly go for something that was stolen.
 

Steltek

Platinum Member
Mar 29, 2001
2,888
636
136
One of my customers bought a Dell laptop from... not Dell (somewhere online, unsure). The weird thing is that the laptop has this service tag and express service code on the underside, but those details correspond to a Dell desktop on the support site. It seems very shady, but I'm wondering why someone would want to sell a computer with these incorrect details. I'd say it's extremely unlikely that my customer would knowingly go for something that was stolen.
Unless they are reading the code wrong or entering it incorrectly, it was probably stolen as that is the only reason I can think of that someone might have purposely switched the labels.

I've heard of instances where Dell service techs have changed the labels (sometimes to incorrect ones), though I never have had it happen to me even with motherboard replacements.

Was the service tag also changed in the BIOS?
 

mikeymikec

Lifer
May 19, 2011
14,959
5,144
136
Damn, I meant to look at the BIOS for that. I read that one could find the service tag in msinfo32 but I couldn't see it there.

I think it threw me off that I managed to solve an apparent faulty battery (that would charge fine but the computer wouldn't stay on without mains), by plugging the battery cable in properly :)

The customer originally sent a photo of the sticker so I tried putting it in multiple times. The other thing that was mildly suspicious is that there was a 'W' in the tag that looked suspiciously like two V's together (I tried inputting the code in both ways and the 'W' way came out as the wrong PC and the VV way as invalid, and the service code corresponded on the site with the 'correct' service tag). Also, the manufacturing year was jammed in between the service tag and express service code without appropriate spacing in a way that screamed fake.
 

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