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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've been using a Dell Latitude D610 notebook running XP for some time, and it has worked quite well. I'm mostly happy with it.

However, I recently decided to buy a new one. Since this one worked, I went back to Dell, got a Inspiron 1525, not a bad machine, sleek, good price, but has a serious case of indigestion running the factory installed Vista. Blink to white screen, flicker to black screen, momentary freezes....Reloading the Vista disc makes the problem go away...for about 3-4 hours. Called Dell's Tech support a week ago...Guy said it must be a virus that we got online...except this one had never been hooked up to the net or anything else, or had anything else loaded on it. Got disconnected, but it was working OK...for a few hours. So I called their 24/7 premium "Dell on Call" customer support line bright and early today to try to get it fixed. got Perma hold instead, 15 minutes of the same recording, nobody answered the phone. Got a bit annoyed so tried another number, it answered but the guy was in Pakistan or someplace. I couldn't understand him very well, and he couldn't understand me either. He went to "check the file"....and hung up on me! /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crazy.gif

Third time is the charm, right? Called back, got another guy in Pakistan. This guy told me there must be something wrong with the video driver ookay... Then he said that every time it did it we should reset the computer instead of loading the Vista backup disc...which of course would wipe any programs or data we might choose to add once we start using this thing. I said that was unacceptable./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/sick.gif


He transferred me to somebody else who gave me a choice of paying $200 for XP (which would cure the problem but which loading would void the warantee) OR sending it back and ordering another new machine. It goes back, but I'm not too sure I'll be ordering another one. Why can't they just fix the stupid thing? /DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/crying.gif
 

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Alow Alun.  

Ma naam ist Bub.  I tulkd 2 u yessrdey.  I cun help u i tink.  It zonds like u r haaving dificultees wid yord neu cumputr.  I m so sori.  

It dus not zound to me liik u'd have a prablum wid yur Veesta.   It sunds like u gotta a bum macheen.  White, black, white, black ist not a Veesta ting frum watt I know.  It is a hardwhere ting I tink.  Have u tride 2 to c if da Kbls 2 de screen r conectd tite?  Sumtimes dey cum looz...end u git black, white, black, white....like dat.  

End, Veesta suks 2...but I dunt tink it iz ur prablum.  It mustli suk bkaus it verdi slow.  It taik mi cumputr at least 1 or 2 minnut 2 boot up all de waa.

End...oh, oh...u git to feex ur cumputr all ovr ageen next mundth wen Veesta SP1 cums out.  

But reemembr....dis keeps me wid a yob.

Cinseerli,

Bub
 

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I was an IT guy for 11 years:

If you can get it to flicker on command, then its an easier fix, I have a dell XPS and i get the special xps tech support which is in the usa.

From a clean install of windows , and the newest video drives from dell.com installed.  You should not have problems. If you do, tell the tech that you reloaded windows vista and installed the video drivers and it still does it, say you think you have a "intermitten" problem with your video card and you would like to get it replaced.

They will run you through a bunch of bs (running tests), humor them. Then tell them it happened again, even when it doesnt. They should give u a way to send it back for repair or send a guy to your house to fix it.

Using Dells instant messenger
http://support.dell.com/support/topics/global.aspx/support/chat/hardware_chat?c=us&l=en&s=gen


Or emailing them, you get better responses.
https://support.dell.com/support/supportrequests/create.aspx?c=us&l=en&request=true&s=gen


I have bought alot of dells and usually am very content with them (all business optiplexes and xps laptops). Maybe the higher end stuff you have less probs...  But that means less money for trains,, ohh well.


-Andrew
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
The problem (as described to me by a friend who builds computers and writes websites in Cold Fusion) seems to be partly a compatibility issue as much as a video driver one. He thinks that something with Vista is changing values in the video driver when it self updates and causing it to glitch. His solution was to see if I could download a newer driver from the manufacturer's website (not Dell's)...Unfortunately, it seems doing that would also compromise the warantee.

I'm actually MORE frustrated with the customer service at the moment than the original problem. They would not even consider me taking it to the authorized repair guy here in town, and having him make it right (faster, easier, maybe even cheaper)...they want me to return it and wait for them to build me a new one.
 

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Computers are neither smart nor dumb
They're just plain MEAN!

I wonder, (no offense intended, just musing on many comments on this board over the years) would you accept this type of thing from a new locomotive?
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Charles, Depends upon how much I spent and what the problem was. I would expect any loco to go forwards and backwards without hiccuping. (It makes it rather hard to use a computer when the screen acts up.) I also would expect if it didn't that the manufacturer would make a reasonable attempt to make it right. Returning it (so they can fob it off on some other poor sucker) and having me order another machine, rather than just fixing it just seems unduly wasteful to me.

I've lived 2 years with a tap pad that occasionally clicks links when I don't intend it to. Minor stuff....
 

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Posted By Mik on 02/08/2008 5:13 PM
Charles, Depends upon how much I spent and what the problem was. I would expect any loco to go forwards and backwards without hiccuping. (It makes it rather hard to use a computer when the screen acts up.) I also would expect if it didn't that the manufacturer would make a reasonable attempt to make it right. Returning it (so they can fob it off on some other poor sucker) and having me order another machine, rather than just fixing it just seems unduly wasteful to me.

I've lived 2 years with a tap pad that occasionally clicks links when I don't intend it to. Minor stuff....


I agree, wasteful to have to send it off to get it to the condition it should have arrived in.  I could understand problems if you had installed some old (read that "incompatible") software or attached some old (again, "incompatible") hardware. We assume that the hardware is compatible with Vista, or something is really bad!  This has got to be bad hardware.

I would call the situation unacceptable and demand a working PC at no further cost, and it should arrive quickly or a refund should arrive quicker. "There are OTHER brands to choose from!"
 

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Mik,
  I've had a few Dell computers over the years, and for the most part have been happy with the machine.  One laptop that I ordered came shipped with a damaged DVD player.  The door would not open by itself because the frame must have been bent.  I thought that they would just send me a new player, but no, then had me send the broken machine back and sent me a new one.  I had it in my hands in no more than three days.  Wonderful service.  I could not have been happier except I had to use my old machine for another three days.
  Sending it back and having them make up a new one may not be as bad as you are expecting.  Give it a try.  You got nothing to lose.;)
 

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I'm on a Dell with XP right now and the wife's got a Dell laptop. Like them very much. I switched from Gateway when we had problems with one of our computers and had to call their "customer service". Fortunately I haven't had to call Dell's yet.

I had a similar experience with Dish Network. I've been with them I guess almost from the start and the service was always great. I've only called "customer service" a couple of times in the past and once again...great! They even spoke English.

Recently I had a very minor problem with billing that should have been quite easy to take care of. I get a guy on the phone that I could barely understand and that obviously couldn't understand me or care. What should have been a quick two minute fix turned into a 30 minute ordeal. He didn't believe me and seemed incapable of even checking his computer records. Finally after much tooth pulling he got mad at me and put me on hold. A bit later he came on the phone and said he'd adjusted the charges, quickly said "have a nice day" and hung up on me. No explanation as to what he'd done or anything.

I called back to find out what had been done and to complain about the service. I get a supervisor that sounded suspiciously like the previous operator who was no help at all. A search for phone numbers or email addresses that would allow me to complain higher up were either no longer in service or non existant. If you want to complain about Dish Network's customer service you must call "customer service".

I'm still with Dish but I'll never call customer service again. If I have a serious problem in the future I'll just cancel the service. I'm not going through that again. Also I was considering Wild Blue for satellite internet (connected with Dish somehow) but after my experience I thought better of it. Surely I'll have some problem(s) with a new internet connection and there's no way I'd call customer service to get it rectified. I'd rather do without!

Oh well. Modern marketing, outsourcing and management!
 

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I had a  xp problem  but it wasn't black and White.   It was all the white spaces on my screen  turned  various shades of pink.

It Fixed itself  when the  power supply went south for  ever.    It took the mother board with it.   I used the monitor off that system for  a while then it went to South America  too.

Now I have this   cheap  flat screen  that is   19 x ? somthing.   It works well
 

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Mik,

There seems to be a huge problem with running Vista on laptops.  It is something to do with the video cards that are installed in them.

I have dabbled in computers and still get some of the literature.  Some of the people who tear these things down and report on them are unable to get Vista running properly on their laptops, so it is not just you or Dell.  They finally decided that if you want to keep Vista, you need to turn off the fancy "eye candy" and it will run acceptable.

Hope this helps.
 

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Posted By Ironton on 02/09/2008 7:23 AM
Mik,

There seems to be a huge problem with running Vista on laptops.  It is something to do with the video cards that are installed in them.

I have dabbled in computers and still get some of the literature.  Some of the people who tear these things down and report on them are unable to get Vista running properly on their laptops, so it is not just you or Dell.  They finally decided that if you want to keep Vista, you need to turn off the fancy "eye candy" and it will run acceptable.

Hope this helps.


This description is most disturbing.  How could the manufacturer sell the product if they know that, as a laptop, it doesn't work with Vista?

Consider a car being sold with a gasoline engine that won't run on gasoline.

Oh yes! The new Beltchfire 9000 with the brand new, extra light, gasoline motor made entirely of balsa wood and frozen naptha.
You can get the metal engine for additional $$$$ if you intend to actually use the vehicle, but if you install it, you will void the warrantee.
 

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Posted By Semper Vaporo on 02/09/2008 9:50 AM

This description is most disturbing.  How could the manufacturer sell the product if they know that, as a laptop, it doesn't work with Vista?

Consider a car being sold with a gasoline engine that won't run on gasoline.

Oh yes! The new Beltchfire 9000 with the brand new, extra light, gasoline motor made entirely of balsa wood and frozen naptha.
You can get the metal engine for additional $$$$ if you intend to actually use the vehicle, but if you install it, you will void the warrantee.


Simply put...cause they can.  We're stuck with Vista as far the consumer goes....and all it's warts.  I am typing this on a Sony Vaio that is loaded with Vista Home.  Last year, my XP based Vaio crapped out...and I could NOT find another new laptop without Vista loaded...except for one from Dell for $1700...more that twice what I paid for this Vaio.  

To give you a conusmer's point of view...this was the FIRST Vaio I ever bought that was a dog.  It's NOT the hardware either...as this has a 2GHz clock and 2G of RAM.  The problem is Vista...and Norten...and drivers for external devices.  All of the interfaces within the Vaio work fine...display, ports, WiFi, keyboard, touchpad, etc.  BUT, when you first turn it on, it takes minutes to get fully loaded...from hibernate.  It's longer from a clean boot as you'd expect.  I have NO idea what Vista and Norten are doing, but if turn on my Google Desktop or Windows Task Manager, I can see that CPU usage is high...like 50 to 100% for many seconds...and it's NOT Google Desktop doing it's indexing.  But, for sure, something thrashes.  When my Norten lease expires, I'm going to try AVG and see if it reduces the boot up time...a all I can think is that Norten is doing a LiveUpdate load...and reconfiguring all the antiviral files.

Now for the crapshoot part....drivers NOT made by Sony.  My new Nikon D40 won't interface.  My two year old Epson RX500 All in One scanner won't interface.  My older Sony snapshot camera won't interface.  Adobe Photoshop Elements 4 won't interface properly.  The new Adobe Reader 8.1.2 won't load and run.  Updates for older Office Programs won't load (I get a daily reminder to load a Visio 2002 service pack...that won't load.)

Now for the really good part...Vista SP1.  That's the update for Vista that is to come out NEXT month.  So far, it's getting CRAP reviews on the PC blogs.  Many are calling it a NEW operating system...not an update.  BUT, the worst part, is that people are reporting that devices that worked under the first Vista...do NOT work after you install SP1...devices like the LCD inside the laptop.  AND...of more note...some of the external devices that won't work are the ones that bear the "new" logo....Vista Certified.  This was supposedly a new level of compliance that manufacturers could put on their boxes AFTER they completed a battery of Microsoft tests to PROVE compatibility with Vista.  That means that you NEW "Vista Certified" printer, scanner, camera, etc....may NOT work after you load SP1.

What's got me bugged is that I have a perfectly operating laptop...albeit slow to start up.  NOW....I'm reading that if SP1 gets loaded on this laptop, I might lose the "perfectly" part...and move towards Allen's operating mode...crapped out.

Folks are going to say...well, just go get an XP machine.  And, you can now...except they're at least $200 more than the Vista version of the same machine as far as I can see....AND, there are substantial warrenty issues being described in those blogs I've read.  As far as I can read between the lines...the root issue seems to be that Microsoft looks to have developed an OS that is HARD to write good drivers for...and manufacturers of interfacing devices are taking shortcuts...leading to drivers that only partially work...if they work at all.  

This shortcut method is especially prevalent when you're looking for drivers for your old peripherals/interfacing devices...like why would Epson spend a lot of money to write a new driver for a two year old, out of production printer/scanner that I have....when by doing a poor job (or no job), they might cause me to go buy a new printer/scanner with "maybe" a working "Vista Certified" interface....at least until March when SP1 comes out.

THIS IS A BOHICA EVENT!!!!!!
 

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You guys are making me love my MacBook Pro more and more with each post.  Oh, and it runs XP nicely, too./DesktopModules/NTForums/themes/mls/emoticons/tongue2.gif

Ditch Microsuck.  I moved 4 years ago and will never go back.  The only reason I keep XP around at all is that I prefer Quicken for Windoze over the Mac version.
 

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I might be in the minority, but I am enthusiastic about Vista. Just one example: while installing it on my desktop I got a message saying that Vista found a wireless HP 6980 on my network and asked if I wanted to install it. Fifteen seconds after hitting "Yes" I was asked if I wanted to print a test page. So, in a half-minute I had the evidence in my hands that the printer was installed and working.

Installing the same printer on XP is another story. First you have to install it direct-attached to get the drivers installed. Then you write down a buch of numbers which you then insert into the network setup. Then you disconnect the printer and enable its network connection. Takes about an hour.

And here's a great solution for those of us who still need XP for a program that isn't Vista compatible. Download the Microsoft Virtual PC program from the Microsoft web site. Install the program on your Vista computer. Initially, Microsoft said that Virtual PC would only be supported on Vista Ulitmate and Vista Business, however they have relaxed that requirement and now support it on Vista Home Premium (which is what I'm using). It might also be OK on Vista Home Basic - I'm not sure.

Once the Virtual PC program is running, you can install a copy of XP, or Win 98, or Win 2000, or OS/2 - or even another copy of Vista as a "virtual machine". In fact you can install as many of these as you like. Each virtual machine needs only 128K of RAM while it runs, and its disk storage expands and contracts as needed. When the virtual machine is closed, the disk space it used is compacted and its RAM is returned for other uses.

I'm running XP on a virtual machine as I write this. I've only installed the two programs that Vista didn't like, and they run exactly as they would on a "real" XP machine. I've been using Virtual PC for about three weeks and am really impressed with it. You can minimize the virtual machine to the task bar, and switch back-and-forth between it and your client machine as needed. An alternative is to run the virtual machine in a window on the Vista desktop, making the switch between operating systems very easy. This is really much more convenient than setting up a dual-boot system (which I've also done) because in that type of installation you have to reboot the computer to switch from one OS to the other.

You can set up folders (or even drives) to be shared between your virtual machine and your client machine. I just have a folder on the desktop (I've named it VM Shared) which I use to drag-and-drop files from one OS to the other.

A reason you might want to install another copy of Vista as a virtual machine is to install software that you're not certain about, and want to play with for a while before you commit it to your "real" machine. If software goes haywire while running in a virtual machine it causes no harm. Close the virtual machine and it's gone.

Highly recommened. And, Virtual PC is just a program; if you don't like it you can uninstall it. And - it's free.
 

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I purchased a Lenovo laptop with Vista Business. I have two different video issyes when my laptop comes out of sleep mode. Either the screen stays dark or the background doesn't stay all across the scren, or lastly it comes up with a different font. I just live with it for now.
I once spent a total of 7 hours over two days on hold waiting for a Sony tech to help with a hardware issue when the president of our company had a problem with his Vaio. Never got to speak to a tech and he decided to get an IBM unit which is what I had recommended before he bought the Vaio. When it comes to Dell I really hate talking to tech support people who either can't understand me/I can't undersrand them and/or they don't know a damn thing about PC's but just read from a PC or a piece of paper. I feel that Dell is the worst for this when it comes to support. Just my opinion.
LAO
 

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Is it just me....but I NEVER got a copy of XP that I could load in another machine. It always came inside the computer and via the internet.

I like Stan's idea...I have a copy of Win98 and some programs that ONLY run under Win98...but where do you get a copy of XP that is installable? I would VERY much like to be able to use my OLD software and peripheral investment.

Question for STan...when you operating the virtual PC...can you install drivers for peripherals in that virtual machine? Have you tried that? Or is this JUST for programs that run within the PC?
 

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Posted By Mike Reilley on 02/10/2008 1:06 PM
but where do you get a copy of XP that is installable? 

Question for STan...when you operating the virtual PC...can you install drivers for peripherals in that virtual machine? Have you tried that? Or is this JUST for programs that run within the PC?
Mike, I had a couple of copies of XP but they had already been activated on other machines, so couldn't be activated again. There are always legal copies of XP for sale on eBay. I got mine for $88 from a seller called bluenovacomputing. It was brand new, installed perfectly and activated without problem.

It's a mixed bag with peripherals. Virtual PC supports parallel and serial ports but, surprisingly, not USB. If you have printers or other stuff on your network you can get to them. I imagine that support of USB will be in a future update. For my XP programs that can't use a network printer, I can create files in XP which I can then print from Vista.

Network setup was a snap. There's a check box in the Virtual PC setup that says something like, "Use client machine's network". Click - and you're on.
 
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