Does Your Computer Need to Be Refreshed? How to Tell

The Need-to-Know Summary:

Desktop computers are eligible for refresh every five years; laptops every three. There is an easy way to determine the age of your computer by entering your Dell Service Tag Number (e.g., 15Y4KD2, on the case of your computer) at Dell’s Web site at:

The Details:

On the Dell support page, enter your Dell computer’s Service Tag number (NOT your green asset tag number) in the “Enter your Service Tag” box and click the Submit button. It may take a little while to get results, so be prepared for that. The “Ship date” will let you know when your computer was shipped.

That link may not initially work if you are using Windows 7 and Internet Explorer 11 (but if you are, your computer most probably doesn’t need replacing). That link didn’t work for me until I added to the compatibility list in Internet Explorer by using the Tools -> Compatibility View Settings menu.

Generally speaking,

  • If your computer has only an old silver Department of Natural Resources asset tag, that computer is older than five years and should be replaced as soon as possible.
  • If your computer also has a green asset tag, in addition to the silver DNR tag, it is probably due for replacement.
  • A green asset tag only means the computer is five years old or less.