Warrenty issue with a 1 year old GFX card - ideas?

Guys I posted this over on Whirlpool (link at the bottom) - but then thought as its a warranty issue you guys might have some insight as well (plus I sourced the card though here).
……

After some ideas from you guys here.

I built myself custom PC a little over a year ago buying fairly decent components, the last part of this build was waiting for a GTX960 to become available locally for a semi-reasonable price. OK not 'reasonable' by most standards – but I was hoping to have this system last awhile and was driving a 27" display. One of the reasons I held out on a local purchase vs. an import was the warranty options.

Now a year and 1 day after I bought the GTX690 it died. Essentially my PC would boot and between 15 – 30sec later the display would freeze or the machine would hard reboot. It took me a few evenings after work before I figured out it was the card as it lasted just long enough to get into the OS so I though it might be software.

Upon inspection it seems obvious to that something had literal 'pop'd' on the board.

Check it out here: http://oi44.tinypic.com/o9hlqt.jpg
Pic taken after discovery, I didn't try and clean off the card and handed it over as-is.

The store I took it back to said it looked like a resistor or something had burst, but as they do not stock the card, and it was over a year they would need to RMA it to the manufacturer (PALIT 2 year warranty) – please wait up to 5 weeks.

Fast forward 3 weeks and I received this as the reply for the local store.

""""
I sent a photo of the GC in RAxxxxxxxx to Palit. They have deemed the unit out of warranty based on the foreign liquid on the GC.

This liquid has not come from a burst chip. Palit sent me the below reasons why this liquid can not come from a burst chip on the GC.

  1. If it's IC burnt, the board should be become black, and there's no liquid in IC, as it is semiconductor.

  2. Since we are using solid capacitors, there's not possible to have liquid even the capacitors burnt.

I also asked for paid repair and this was rejected.

This item is ready for collection.
"""

So they didn't send the item back just emailed a pic.. and now there seems to be an issue with water?. The residue that was on the board was an orangeish "chalky / powdery" substance from my memory – certainly not water. To my eyes this residue certainly seem to appear as if it radiates from a point of the board that is missing a chip (circled in the photo)
I can see no way water could have entered the case, and I kind of feel that maybe the damage was misrepresented when the store did the RMA.

What are my options here?I'm not in the position to replace the card right now, and I really don't feel like I should. Given my stance it is a hardware failure it should be under warranty right?

Thanks for reading my essay and any suggestions you have.

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Not sure the etiquette for this but here the whirlpool link in case you are interested in what goes on there http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2132820

Comments

  • Its obviously a completely diffetent thing to look at a picture vs real life inspection, but to me that seriously looks like residue left from an insect nesting or dying on the area in question. It looks all furry and strange like if you were to squash a moth. The chip itself looks nothing out of the ordinary and it does indeed appear to be a foreign matter affecting. If you can get it back it try cleaning it off with some rubbing alcohol and you may just find its just shorting out and causing the crashes. Perhaps removing the interference would resolve the issue.

    Of course other angles of the chip might reveal something I'm not seeing in the picture you posted… But obviously you.aren't able to do that at the moment

    Edit: just finished looking at your whirlpool thread and dark ryu seems to suspect a bug caused it also.

    The fact you say it boots then dies suggests its possibly save-able. But since you have forced it through so many shorting out cycles all ready, you very well may have caused some permanent damage. I'm hopeful for you though!

    I'd go ahead and collect it if I were you. Something out of palits control has contaminated that area so your barking up the wrong tree trying to get them to replace or repair it unfortunately :(

    Edit 2: regarding paid repair being rejected. No manufacturer will ever perform repair (paid or not) to suspected water damaged products. The main reason being even if they fix it, any part of the unit could corrode and malfunction within a day, a week, month etc. There is no true garuntee they can give that it will work after any form of water/liquid damage. Most will infact charge you a service fee just for inspecting the product (even when its sent under presumed warranty claim) so if they are simply giving it back without repair its somewhat fortunate

  • I never asked for paid repair, that was the computer shops input. They also never sent the item .. just a picture and a description (which I know not what they said).

    I can see peoples point on that it looks like surface material, but I still think a bug going into the case and exploding - not leaving any other 'parts' to be found is an odd and highly remote possibility.

    I am very sad about this right now. To my mind their is nothing I could have done to cause this, their is nothing I could have done to prevent this.

    • It's not uncommon at all. every computer is full of little holes and gaps, it's a warm dry sheltered place, often with several forms of lights attracting various bugs to it. I'd go as far as saying it's unlikely that a bug hasn't entered anyones computer at least once. They get into everything and it's the perfect environment for them.

      It did not necessarily have to die or explode or anything. A bug could have easily landed there, left some form of excrement, then carried on.

      I know it's gotta be devastating since it's such an expensive card, and it's not what you want to hear, but I see absolute no reason why palit should honor a warranty in your circumstance as it's pretty evident a foreign matter of some sort has contaminated your gpu.

      If you really wanted to pursue it you could always contact Palit yourself and arrange for the unit to be sent and assessed for warranty claim, but I would imagine the result would be the same.

      But to reiterate, I would not be surprised if it worked after carefully removing and cleaning whatever the substance is. That's what I'd be doing.

  • playswithfire made a good suggestion on whirlpool of claiming it on home insurance. If this is an option for you it's be worth getting a quote from your insurance provider to see what type of fees that may involve.

    Just as it's a popular insurer, suncorp covers damage by animal as standard on all their policies http://www.suncorp.com.au/insurance/home-contents , which should cover this you in this instance. All you need is the original receipt as proof of value and to call them up. It;s either going to be yes or no so whats there to loose.

  • Well.. picked it up today. Most of the powdery residue had fallen off, the lightly soiled area I removed with some isopropyl tricky to get it out from between a few chips…but cleaned up OK. I noticed a few pins were 'raw' showing copper vs the silver solider. The machine booted OK as I could 'hear' it chime into windows - but at no point did I get output to the screen..left it running for a bit rebooted a few times - nothing .. at least the machine was not hard resetting (better for the other hardware anyway). The monitor knew it was connected, but report not getting a signal from the PC. So I guess I have a pretty piece of steal now.

    So I asked at the store if they would offer me a good price on some sort of replacement and was told I'd need to email them about it (floor sales guys are too busy on a Saturday apparently). I asked for something in writing to say that it was unrepairable an unwarrentable (to use with an insurance claim if that pans out - RAC home and contents) - just their email printed on letterhead paper or something and was told they don't do that. sigh.