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If you haven't noticed anything out of the ordinary, there might be a problem with your monitor. May we suggest you are a victim of the heavily caterwauled vertical line problem affecting several Dell laptops?

Impossible you say? After all, back in January you anxiously stroked your computer as we reported a dodgy batch of Dell laptops slowly developing a pixel-wide line down the middle of the screen. But you sighed in relief as Dell reluctantly admitted to the problem and claimed it was contained to 9200 and 9300 Inspiron notebooks and XPS Gen 2 systems shipped from Nov. 2004 through Oct 2006.

Well, we've got some good news and some bad news.

On the plus side, the line you're seeing is probably not a brain tumor. But you might want to sit down for this part...

Dell has found other systems shipped within the Nov. 2004-Oct. 2006 timeframe as being potentially affected. Today, the PC vendor has extended the vertical line issue to the following models:

  • Inspiron 6000 and 8600
  • Latitude D800 and D810
  • Dell Precision Mobile Workstations M60 and M70

On the company's Direct2Dell blog, the problem is attributed to a "specific component" used on a small number of LCDs. The company claims the component in question was not used on any other Dell notebook LCD.

Because Dell uses LCDs from several manufacturers in its notebooks, it does not mean your LCD will necessarily develop the Vertical Line of Death., even if you have an affected model. But if it's going to happen, it might be best to hope it appears soon.

Dell is extending the same offer it did the first time; it will replace any LCD that develops a vertical line associated with the specific issue within three years of purchase, at no charge. Dell will also offer refunds to customers who paid for Dell to replace their LCD affected by the issue.

There's no guarantee you won't have to fight for it, though. Our own investigation into the matter in April revealed the firm's support helpline wasn't exactly down on the uptake.

You can take a look at the Direct2Dell blog for more info on how to contact Dell regarding the issue.

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