Monday, 25 May 2009

Dell Dell Dell - what have you done

For many years I have used Dells, but they have really gone downhill of late and after the recent dreadful service, I am never going to buy another.

I have owned two Dell XPS gaming laptop now.

The first was an XPS M170 high end (when bought). Dell had to replace the graphics card 4 times. After the last time, I only used it a couple of months and then bought a new laptop.

The new one was a Dell XPS M1530. In theory a lovely laptop.

But it is lumpy, running games. Not sure why - it seems to have a sound problem that makes the system hesitate, or a disk issue. It is not helped by Vista, but even with that tamed, it still has regular hiccups in game.

Worst though is that it does not turn on properly. If I just turn it on and leave it, it goes through the bios, which takes about 5 minutes, and then sits there forever (well, overnight) with a black screen and flashing cursor. If I keep turning off and trying again, eventually it will boot normally, but I could spend hours doing that, which is why I now do it this way...

The only way I can boot the system is to turn it on, hit F2 while the bios is loading, to go into the bios. Once I have been in the bios setup screen, I just escape out and reboot and it all works properly.

I have had endless hours on the phone to Dell tech support. Along the way, we have eliminated the motherboard (they changed it), the memory (tried each chip separately), taken the wireless card out, battery out, and most importantly, the hard disk.

Even with the hard disk NOT in the computer, it still fails to go through the bios startup procedure correctly. Of course it cannot complete booting with no disk, but it SHOULD go through the bios, into bios setup, in the normal time, and just complain there is no operating system.

The problem is that Dell tech support are insisting that I re-install the operating system. Even though they know the problem occurs with the disk removed from the computer, they still want a reinstall. The problem is that is a good 2 days of re-installing all my software, setting up preferences, moving data back, and just getting it all back to working.

End result is that I will never buy another Dell, and never recommend them to anyone else.
Spend the money on an Alienware (though a Dell own them, they may wreck them also, given time).

Or even get a Toshiba or HP - unlikely though they may seem, they do have some high end laptops as well.

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