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It's nice that the guys at Dell respond. But their understanding of my problems is really limited. I suspect that they are given crash courses in how to spot certain words ("CPU", "operating system", "hangs") and they are able to find "solutions" associated with those words. The solutions are on the Dell web site. So they send that link.

I have dealt with support people in many fields, from modem makers to software designers, and this is honestly the first time I have run into such a blatantly rote type of response. Every support person who has answered m y emails - and I've sent several, and they've been answered by different persons - does exactly the same thing. I so unimpressed.

The latest solution offered to me is that I reinstall Windows XP, complete reinstall. Back up settings and files, change the boot sequence, reinstall everything.

This computer is less than two months old. It hasn't had a chance to get THAT buggy. My sense is that this is the fix-all solution. Reinstall reinstall. Don't take time to work out the particular problem and fix that, no.

What is particularly weird about this is that if one of my software programs did screw up the registry, XP Pro is supposed to keep that screwup localized so it doesn't affect other programs (which was a huge problem with other versions of Windows). If that's the case...why am I having troubles with other programs? And why should I need to reinstall? What good is Restore if it doesn't work in this kind of case?

Rather than take this rather drastic and tedious route, at least right now, while I still have other hope, I am going to get Norton and install that - assuming it will install...and see what it finds. For the moment all is not lost. I have not lost any data and my email works.

Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
_sophera_
Mar. 9th, 2004 11:54 pm (UTC)
When we buy a new computer here it's usually guaranteed for a year; someone will come out during the first month and thereafter the purchaser can take it in to the shop.It sounds as if your help desks are manned by robots.
judith
Mar. 10th, 2004 06:46 am (UTC)
They might as well be.

when I bought a computer for my daughter Mary, I chose Gateway in large part because they have actual stores. I felt she could go in there to talk to them and she could bring her computer in for repairs. And she has had to do that.

But Gateway computers aren't as good as Dell in terms of quality, so I took the plunge.

I have a warranty but this is so far what it gives me.

I am going to call the telephone support and explain the situation. Maybe I'll have better luck that way, if I don't get cut off or have to wait a long time.
attelage
Mar. 10th, 2004 03:46 am (UTC)
Isn't it still under warranty? I would take it back to where it was purchased and insist it is either fixed or replaced. Michael the IT director at the museum has recently noticed Dell computers are getting problematic.
He keeps up with all the technology reviews and reports.
We have been replacing the Dells at work with Sony Vaio.
judith
Mar. 10th, 2004 06:42 am (UTC)
Yes, it's under warranty. And yes, Dells, laptops mainly, have a horrific return rate.

I actually bought it through a Dell retail distributor nearby. The reason I went through them was that I could get it a teensy bit cheaper, but there is also the benefit that they may be obligated to send it in if I complain enough. I haven't reached that point but I am considering it. The retail place is not specifically a Dell place, like Gateway's. It is a business that happens to have a contract with Dell to sell their computers. So I am not sure how much room they have to fix things in that shop. I am going to find out, though. At least I can go in there and talk to someone face to face. The way it is now I might as well not have a warranty, if it means this kind of help. Now I understand the high return rates I read about before buying it. I thought - naively - that if I bought one of the top of the line laptops there would be fewer problems, and all of the reviewers gave Dell good marks even factoring in the support.
ljreader_liz
Mar. 10th, 2004 04:17 am (UTC)
Ah Computers and XP
"I have not lost any data and my email works."

Well that's a BIG blessing. I wonder if XP is all that it's cracked up to be. It seemes to require more fixes than a long term junkie!
But when it's good it is really good.

I wish you luck and patience.
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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