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This classic post has been republished is part of our Evil Week series at Lifehacker, where we look at the dark side of getting things done. Sometimes, your gadget breaks and you haven't done anything wrong.
Knowing evil means knowing how to beat it, so you can use your sinister powers for good. Maybe a button breaks, or it just doesn't start up one day.
Other times, maybe you've been tinkering it in ways you aren't supposed to, and you break it after you've voided the warranty.
You may be kicking yourself for not buying the extended, feature-filled warranty, but remember: those are rarely worth it.
Instead, try these things before you cave and pay hundreds of dollars for a repair—you might be able to weasel your way into a replacement anyway.
If your warranty is about to expire but hasn't yet, now's a good time to make sure everything's up to snuff on your device.Remember, with a lot of devices—like phones, i Pods, and sometimes even laptops—companies will send you an entire replacement instead of just fixing the part in question.This means you'll have a new or refurbished device that's less likely to break soon, and might even have a small extended warranty attached.Even if the problem's small, take it in now so you can avoid future problems. Call customer support and pretend you know absolutely nothing about technology, and the darn thing just stopped working on you and you have no idea why.The more clueless you seem, the more likely they are to believe that the device is actually defective.This forum post explains the idea well: if you call Xbox support saying you have a Red Ring of Death, they know you're knowledgeable and have probably researched the problem, possibly even causing it yourself.