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My Sister and her Terrible Dell Computer.....

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Arthur S, Jan 19, 2006.

  1. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    My 61 year old sister runs a business from home. She uses her computer about 7 hours a day. She has had a well equipped Dell 8300 for about 2 years and she says it has never worked properly.

    A relative who knows a fair amount about computers says that she causes the malfunctions, but he is not about to tell her that.

    Dell just replaced the motherboard, CPU and RAM and she is still having problems. The Dell tech did not stay long enough to actually get the computer running properly.

    My sister is seriously considering having a geek she knows reconfigure the computer,but that very well might void the warranty. For examle, it is set up as RAID with 2 HDDs. He would replace both current HDD with a new one Dell sent that is still in the box.

    I am thinking that she might as well let the geek work on it from here on, and forget Dell. I think he charges her $50 an hour to work on her computer.

    Any thoughts?

    Thanks
     
  2. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    What type of reconfiguring are we talking here? I doubt it will void the warranty.

    What type of RAID is she running? A mirror or stripe? If it's a stripe, then it's probably not necessary at all and I would get rid of it. If it's a mirror then that shouldn't be causing the problems because it's simply writing everything to separate drives at the same time.

    So what types of problems is she having? If she just had the CPU, MB, and RAM replaced . . . and is about to replace the HDD's there isn't much left to go wrong other than the power supply or software. If it is software related, I would assume spyware or virus and run the appropriate applications before paying some guy $50/hour to fix it.
     
  3. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    Seth

    To my understanding, it is set up as mirror.

    When I was over there a couple days ago, it would run scans of the HDDs and then restart. But it would just cycle like that endlessly.

    I think the guy would eliminate the RAID/2HDD and set it up with just the 125 MEG HDD new in the box.

    My relative who knows more about computers saying she is causing the problems makes me think that she is going to continue to have problems regardless of how it is configured and that she might as well pay this guy his $50 hour to bail her out if she is really causing the problem.

    She will write it off as a business expense, but I hate to see her near apoplectic with something she depends on so much.

    Thanks
     
  4. Carl Johnson

    Carl Johnson Cinematographer
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    It sounds like your relative knows more about the situation than we do. If he has reason to believe that she's the source of the problem why would he not tell her? Is it better to let her waste time and money hiring an unauthorized tech to service the system?
     
  5. Arthur S

    Arthur S Cinematographer

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    The relative is the kind of guy who does not want to bring that kind of bad news to the mother of his wife.
     
  6. Christ Reynolds

    Christ Reynolds Producer

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    the dell tech replaced all that hardware, but did he reinstall windows?

    CJ
     
  7. Reginald Trent

    Reginald Trent Screenwriter

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    No offense, but it appears that your sister is operating the Dell terribly and no amount of techs or change of computers can overcome operator error.
     
  8. Dave Poehlman

    Dave Poehlman Producer

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    What is your sister doing that's so terrible? I'm trying to think of what someone would do other than physical abuse that would require replacing all the innards.

    A lot of time Dell support isn't too swift and they're quick to replace mobos, without really digging into what the problem is.

    I mean, if all this stuff has been replaced, and she's still having problems, it sounds to me like a configuration problem. It's obvious to me she's set up the RAID to back up her data in case of a HDD failure. To switch to a single HDD, she's taking a big risk in losing her data if her drive fails. And HDD failure is probably one of the more if not the most common computer hardware problems people have.
     
  9. Kimmo Jaskari

    Kimmo Jaskari Screenwriter

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    Assuming this geek actually knows something about computers (there are lots of people out there who claim they know how to fix computers when they are in fact drooling simpletons, so one needs to be careful about checking out his/her qualifications beforehand) then that seems to me like the best option to recommend by far.

    The geek should go check out the situation in person and talk directly to your sister to ascertain what the problem is - a so-called ID-10-T error [​IMG] or actual problems with the hardware/software.

    Long-distance support over the phone with the user operating the computer is a major pain and much much slower than a hands-on situation where a knowledgable computer tech can get his/her hands on the machine in question directly and investigate the odd behaviour.

    There is a reason businesses have IT departments, and one of the reasons is that computers are critical bits of equipment that many employees can't maintain properly by themselves.

    Since your sister uses her computer for business, she should definitely find a local tech or company that can give her on-site support and help with her machine when she needs it; phone support is fine for minor issues, but big problems just have to be handled hands-on and preferrably by someone who is interested in doing a good job, not just slapping in new parts to get the heck out of there as fast as possible.
     
  10. Scott L

    Scott L Producer

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    ^ agreed. If it's for business and she spends 7 hours a day on it, $50/hr should be a drop in the bucket. (depending how good business is of course [​IMG]).

    How much will a place like CompUSA or Geeksquad make you pay?
     
  11. Eric Samonte

    Eric Samonte Screenwriter

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    A friend of mine wanted to make his wireless network secure as well as getting more reliable coverage in the house with 2 laptops. Geeksquad was going to charge him a whopping $250 just for labor and they also wanted to replace his existing wireless router with a "better one". So I went over and turned WAP on all the pcs, repositioned the router in the middle of the house. Now everything's fine and dandy and I only charged him a beer.
     

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