Tablet PC (Toshiba M200) Woe - Goodbye Hard Drive

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Toshiba M200 I’m pretty bummed today as my Tablet PC went on a holiday and refuses to come back. I’m pretty sure it’s a problem with the hard drive as the last event viewer message I saw was a warning that the system detected an imminent hard drive failure. That’s when I started backing everything up.

Hey there buddy, thanks for the heads up, but if you see it coming, can’t you do something about it?

The worse part is that I am getting the warranty runaround and I am not yet sure who is at fault. Toshiba is telling me that my warranty was only good for 90 days because it’s a factory reconditioned system. Well that’s odd because the warranty pamphlet that came with it says that I have a year warranty. Specifically it says…

One (1) Year Limited Warranty ENCORE Notebook Computers

For ENCORE (Remanafactured) Notebook Computers Purchased within the Fifty (50) United States and District of Columbia.

If that weren’t enough, the sticker on the back of the computer says the following:

This Toshiba Computer Product has been reconditioned, and although not new, is warranted by Toshiba America Information Systems, Inc. under its standard Limited Warranty, excluding any coverage for external blemishes.

Now let’s see, I bought the computer in Californ-eye-aye, which qualifies as being a member of the Fifty United States. A Tablet PC is a notebook. And it is remanafactured. Now I wonder what leads me to believe I am still covered?

The nice lady in a far off country on the phone for Toshiba told me that some remanafactured PCs come with one year and others come with three months. She says I?m in the three months camp. She says resellers such as Tiger Direct (her example, not mine) sometimes tell customers what they want to hear, and not the truth about the warranty. I wonder if she’s blowing smoke up my rear (an impressive trick) or if indeed, the retailer pulled a fast one on me.

So tomorrow I need to call PC Video Online to find out their version of the warranty story. Worst case scenario, I’ll purchase a new and even better hard drive. Either way, this sucks.

UPDATE: I called PC Video Online and they told me that they are indeed an authorized Toshiba reseller and that they don’ open the boxes they receive from Toshiba. Therefore, they have no responsibility for the warranty materials packaged within.

As Walter (a brilliant lawyer I might add) pointed out in my comments, it does appear that I am entitled to a one year warranty. From various reports around the web and my comments, it seems that hard drive failures in the M200 is quite common. At this point, I don’t necessarily want the same old hard-drive anymore. I just want Toshiba to honor its commitments.

[Listening to: Remind Me - Röyksopp - Melody A.M. (3:39)]

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5 responses

  1. Avatar for Walt
    Walt July 20th, 2005


    Based on the quoted material that you received with the PC, it appears clear that you have a limited warranty. Toshiba should be responsible for Tiger Direct sending Toshiba's 1-year warranty materials (after all, it allows Tiger Direct to sell its computers). But seriously, it is hard to believe Tiger Direct removed the 90 day warranty pamphlet and replaced it with 1-year warranty pamphlet.

    If you don't get anywhere with customer service, write the president of Toshiba, include a photocopy of the warranty language, and ask for redress. (I have seen this strategy work for different people, including letters my Dad has written to Nissan and Chrysler regarding their warranties).

    If all else fails, you can sue - but you won't likely get anywhere (i.e. the cost of litigation is higher than the damages) unless you can find an attorney who will do this as a class action. By the way, the battery on my old Gateway kept failing in law school. Last month, I got a letter saying I was entitled to cash or a voucher for a discount off a new Gateway because someone had won a class action over defective Gateway batteries.

  2. Avatar for James Avery
    James Avery July 20th, 2005

    I think you are the third or fourth person I know whose M200's drive has failed on them, seems like most people I know with M200's have their drive die.... I bought a new hdd (7200RPM that rocks) instead of messing with the warranty. (Royksopp is good stuff)

  3. Avatar for Haacked
    Haacked July 20th, 2005

    James, which drive did you buy and where?

  4. Avatar for Seunghun
    Seunghun August 17th, 2005

    Wow, so this is not just my problem.

    Last week the HDD in my M205 died all of sudden,

    which is giving me a lot of headaches right now.

  5. Avatar for Rick Jervis
    Rick Jervis November 4th, 2008

    My M200 has been back to Toshiba 3 times. all with Hard Drive failures. I have to say that Toshiba has been more than fair. They have replaced the drive twice while the computer was out of warranty at no cost to me. Apparently this is a Lemon System and they have realized its problem and feel its better to take care of their long term customers.