A story of a Dell

Discussion in 'General Mac Discussion' started by Nermal, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. Nermal Moderator

    Nermal

    Staff Member

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    #1
    So my mum got her new Dell Inspiron laptop yesterday. I start it up, go through the install wizards, etc. Then I notice that it's got WinDVD on it, I wonder what version? So I start it up to look, and the computer crashes. There we have it, barely an hour old, and it's already crashed :rolleyes:

    Anyway, upon rebooting, it decides it's going to do nothing but display a blank screen. It took me 40 minutes to get it working again (I had to run chkdsk from the recovery console). Imagine what sort of first impression that would be if it was my first computer!
     
  2. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

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    #2
    Man! Good story!

    Lets just hope this happens more ofthen so people finally realize windows, or in the least Dell :shutter:, sucks.
     
  3. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    #3
    What scares me is that things like this just may be happening, but people think "time to take it to the shop again" and put up with it.

    Most people I talk to these days have low standards for computers; they expect things to crash every so often.
     
  4. G5orbust macrumors 65816

    G5orbust

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    #4
    People, especially new users, tend to think every problem is fixable by taking it to a computer store.

    Out of box problems are usually fixed by a fresh wipe of the hard drive. But, then again, the consumer usually doesnt know this and thus, cha-ching goes the computer repairman's cash register.
     
  5. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #5
    If you choose to buy a x86 machine Donot by from DELL, Compaq/HP, Gateway, etc... Build your own you will notice the cost savings. This is a bit had for a laptop however though I would still stay away from DELL if possible.
     
  6. Nermal thread starter Moderator

    Nermal

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    #6
    While I personally wouldn't get a Dell, you'd think that for something simple it'd work! Mum doesn't need to do much, and even the cheapest computer should be able to last more than an hour without crashing.
     
  7. Error Type -43 macrumors member

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    Sep 16, 2003
    #7
    I have quite a Dell story...

    First, I've been a Mac-head my entire life, since the days of grade school playing Oregon Trail on the IIc. I was previously using an old 6500 Power PC which was on its last legs. I use the internet a lot and noticed that the Mac version of IE5 would never display things correctly while the IE running on my PC at work never had any problems. I chocked it up to being a Mac/PC thing. So I went out to buy a Dell Inspiron just for internet usage just because I felt the internet was generally more PC friendly. I had it for two weeks and from week one to the end of week two, it got progressively worse. Right off, the thing ran hot as hell. Then, when I would use the scroll wheel on my mouse, AOL would crash. It got so bad that I couldn't even get a browser window up anymore, even after rebooting. I uninstalled/reinstalled with no luck. On top of that, the computer was incredibly sluggish. I would double-click icons to open applications with no response. Sometimes it was neccessary to quadruple-click. Fed up, I called Dell for return authorization and decided to wait on Apple Expo Paris where new Powerbooks were rumored to be unveiled. It was the best decision I've ever made. I ended up getting a 15" 1.25 the day after at my campus bookstore.

    But here's the kicker: as I was standing in line at the local Airborne Express preparing to ship back the Dell, another guy came in with a similar package as mine, plastered with Dell logos. He looked at me and asked if I was returning a Dell computer. I told him, "yes" and asked if he was doing the same. He went on to describe the issues he was having with his Inspiron and to my surprise, his problems were the exact same ones I had (said he would open an app, pay a visit to the jon, come back and the app still wouldn't be open...ha). I exhaled a sigh of relief, happy that I had a new Powerbook on the way.

    I've now had the PB for two months and Safari is the absolute STUFF!
     
  8. caveman_uk Guest

    caveman_uk

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    #8
    Whilst this is perfectly true you should bear in mind a lot of people either don't know or don't want to know how to build their own PC. I built all the PCs I owned before I got macs and built several for other people but only know one other person amongst mt friends/family etc who knows enough to do it. I reckon at least 95% of people just buy one prebuilt based on which one had the biggest numbers - MHz, drive size, DVD speed or whatever they're led to believe is important:rolleyes:

    There's a lot of people who think adding RAM is beyond their abilities....
     
  9. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

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    #9
    A Dell/Apple story...from a different perspective

    I'm a recent switcher from a Dell Inspiron 4100 notebook and a homebrew Athlon PC, to a 12" PowerBook and a 1.6GHz G5. My experience has generally been the opposite of what everyone has described in this thread.

    When I ordered my Dell Inspiron 4100 in January 2002, I heavily customised the system. The system was still delivered in the promised 10 working days. It was absolutely flawless in its operation day-in, day-out (it was my primary work machine), and was carted around all the time, and on several overseas trips. About 13 months after purchase, the IBM Travelstar hard drive started making some weird noises. A Dell technician was on my doorstep the next morning, replaced the drive, and even left me the old drive for 7 days so I could attempt data recovery. Apart from that, I never had another problem.

    Now...my PowerMac G5. The system was horribly late (it took over 2.5 months from order to delivery), and my ETA was changed numerous times (don't attempt to make a CTO order if you want your system in any reasonable amount of time). Apple even stopped updating the delivery time on their web site, and I had to start calling Apple directly when the quoted ETA was 3 weeks past due...and was fed a variety of interesting excuses and story changes. Anyway...the system eventually turned up...and then started crashing immediately, with kernel dumps and lockups. After 6 days of troubleshooting it couldn't be resolved, so I had to pack the thing up and take it back to an AppleStore (no on-site service from Apple). It took 3 weeks for a replacement system to be sent to me, and now that replacement G5 suffers from the 'black screen of death' where the Radeon 9600 video card doesn't send the wake-up signal to the CRT on cold-starts or when waking from sleep, meaning I need to restart my G5 3-4 times to get the monitor to come on, and I can't use sleep. I still need to muster up the mental strength to make a full backup of my system, and then send it off to Apple yet again for an indeterminate period of time, when they may (or may not) send me a properly functioning G5.

    So as a complete counter-example, my friends and family have all been turned off buying Apples for life, and think Dell is the epitome of reliability and customer service. To be fair, the 12" PowerBook (not bought directly from Apple, but from a reseller where I can go and yell at them in person when the thing eventually breaks) has been really good. But the damage had already been done...I don't think I could get one of my PC using friends to touch an Apple with a 10-foot pole after my experiences with the G5, yet a number of friends have ordered Dells after having seen it ''in battle" day after day for almost 2 years.

    Just thought I'd throw that in for a counter-example.
     
  10. SiliconAddict macrumors 603

    SiliconAddict

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    Chicago, IL
    #10
    Re: A story of a Dell


    when you say crashes did it BSOD? What happened? I've seen people claim that windows crashed even though it was only the app itself that blew up. External apps don't normally crash Windows. I know about 18 users who are still on Dell have a DVD-ROM drive/CD-WR drive. WinDVD ships with these drives. No problems at all.
    I would suggest that it is a poorly configured Dell Hard drive "image" that is the problem. Dell makes decent enough hardware (Esp if its a Latitude series laptop.) but their software config leaves a whole heck of a lot to be desired.
     
  11. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #11
    Hey me to, my K7 is constantly morphing and changing, how's yours holding up, mine's 2 years old, and with a 512mb RAM update sitll runs like a dream.
    It seems like alot of people are having problems with apple's shipping (are people thta slack to go into a store these days,) Panther crashing harder than the Argentinan economy, DOA G5's, dogey screens on the new Powerbooks and countless faulty mobo's on the last gen of G3 ibooks.

    Back on topic, You shouldn't have any problems getting that laptop replaced. Also I don't like WinDVD, I use AsusDVD 2000 and have never had any problems.
     
  12. ~Shard~ macrumors P6

    ~Shard~

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    #12
    I don't think people should put too much weight in an individual story - this is not an accurate, proper or fair representation of either the PC or the Mac world. Sure, I've heard lots of similar PC stories, but I also know many people who have never had one problem with their PC, myself included. I use WinXP at work every day and it is solid as a rock. I have also encountered PCs that appear to be possessed, they have so much wrong with them. ;) As for Macs, I know people who have never had any problem with them, (like my friend whose PB G4 has crashed twice for him in the past 2 and a half years), but I have also seen people have lots of trouble with them - a co-worker of mine walked over to a PowerMac G4 one day, touched the mouse to start working, and the system crashed hard.

    All I'm saying is that there are horror stories as well as stories of praise for both types of computers, so we just need to take these stories with a grain of salt. Personally, I smile inside when I hear about PC crash stories, as I am a big fan of Macs, but I don't let it unduly influence me.
     
  13. ewinemiller macrumors 6502

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    west of Philly
    #13
    Re: A Dell/Apple story...from a different perspective

    I wonder how much of Apple's problem selling to businesses is exactly this. The Powerbook is a very attractive laptop to me. With it I could do Mac and PC(using Virtual PC) development and support on the road. The problem is, my laptop is not just my way to keep going on the road, it's also my workhorse. I do 95%+ of my development there. I keep a dual 800P3 and a dual 800G4 at home to debug those nasty threading issues, but most of my work is done on a Dell Inspiron 8100. I know that if something happens to my Dell, somebody will be there to fix it the next day. With Apple it gets shipped off and if the machine happens to be a hot item (like the G5s or Alu Powerbooks right now), it could be weeks to get it back. I just can't afford that kind of downtime. On top of that because I live in Florida, I can't get AppleCare anyways so the longest warrenty I can get on my powerbook is 1 year. I suspect that a lot of businesses will look at it that way.
     
  14. oingoboingo macrumors 6502a

    oingoboingo

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    #14
    I had to pull my Athlon XP 2000+ system apart and sell the parts on eBay to help fund the purchase of my 1.6GHz G5 system. While I had it though, it was pretty bulletproof (it was built on an Asus A7V133-C mobo, with a GeForce2MX card and then later a Radeon 9100). The original CPU was actually a 1.0GHz Athlon T-bird (overclocked to 1.33GHz).

    The G5 is a really nice system when it's working properly (although certainly overpriced for the performance you get out of it in the real world), but if I don't get a good machine the third time around, I'll dump it on eBay and go back to a homebrew Athlon XP or Athlon64 system. Mac OS X is really nice and all, but one's patience can only be tested for so long with crap quality hardware, but at premium prices. Apple take careful note.
     
  15. Thirteenva macrumors 6502a

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    #15
    Re: Re: A story of a Dell

    WOW! your kidding right? Cause I know that at work I watch apps like office xp and cd creator take down windows xp on various machines. Even though its supposed to shrug off unruly apps.

    I keep chugging away on my G5 which actually will keep unruly apps from taking it down....
     
  16. cubist macrumors 68020

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    #16
    Re: Re: Re: A story of a Dell

    Windows 2000 is more stable than XP. I still have to reboot at times, though, when Outlook gets "confused" and locks up. The problem is that there's no clear boundary between Microsoft's applications and the OS... they all use the same DLLs. Third-party apps are more likely to comply with documented APIs.

    I dislike anecdotal evidence about computer brands. You can find a horror story about any brand of computer if you look around. In PC laptops, though, I've always felt that IBM made more reliable hardware.

    I have to admit that I usually buy used machines, and thereby avoid the 'infant mortality' of new hardware. And notice that used PCs are much cheaper than used Apples...
     
  17. 5300cs macrumors 68000

    5300cs

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    japan
    #17
    Re: Re: Re: Re: A story of a Dell

    Yes, but used Apple machines tend to have a longer productive life: my PB 150 works like a charm still, and I have a functioning Mac Portable. In my experience, pc notebooks are a dime a dozen and quickly loose value after 2 years or so, unless you buy a Sony.

    I too though, am not a big fan of Apple's pricing, but I tend to just put up with it. They haven't done anything to really piss me off yet (thought the iPod battery thing might do it.)

    And I agree that win2k is more stable. XP seems quite bloated, with all kinds of extra junk I don't need. I believe the popular concensus now is that win2k is the most stable in the windows family.
     
  18. manitoubalck macrumors 6502a

    manitoubalck

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    #18
    I've still got my T-Bird, and GeForce2, but I hear what your saying, and in hind sight an Atlon 64FX possibly would have been a better upgrade. Apple Aus seem ok, try and take the system back if it's a dud, and demarnd a refund. Just some thoughts. Good luck getting it working correctly.
     
  19. ShadowHunter macrumors regular

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    Fresno
    #19
    This story doesn't surprise me. The amount of Dells that come off the line with problems is alarming. Many people end up with a completely dead machine. Luckily enough I haven't had that problem yet. However, it is S.O.P. for me to wipe every Dell of it's OEM Windows install and start over; I've just had too many problems over the years with too many Dells and crashing right out of the box.
     

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