Stupid computer. (Buying rant/vent)

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Dustin B, Jun 12, 2002.

  1. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    So after two years of the same computer I finally decide it's time to upgrade. Father likes taking my old stuff off me at reasonable prices and is really wanting to step up from the P2 300 he is currently using (added insentive). This should be easy.
    May 16th I place my order:
    Athlon XP 1800+
    Thermaltake Volcano 6Cu
    Abit K7RA-133A
    2x 256meg Samsung cas2.5 PC2100 DIMMs
    Abit Ti4200 64meg
    Maxtor DX740 60gig fluid bearing version (dubbed quiet version)
    Pioneer 16x slot load DVD
    Generic Panasonic Floppy
    Antec Performance Plus660 Case/PS (awesome case)
    Samsung 900NF monitor
    WinXP Pro
    Was gonna use my older Diamond MX300 sound card, 3Com 10/100 NIC, keyboard, mouse and for sh*ts and giggles put my old 56.6 modem in it.
    The video card, and case were not in stock. Gave the people I ordered from specific instructions not to ship anything until they could ship it all. 5 days after I ordered and two requests for price updates later (the ram and processor had dropped in price) they started shipping me stuff. Shipped everything but the hd, dvd, monitor, video and case. Over the next two days the hd and dvd shipped. Then 3 days later the monitor shipped. Two weeks after I placed the order I had everything but the video card (had an old one I could use) and a case/PS (need this before I can do anything). Great [​IMG]
    First package arrives. They sent the wrong heatsink and fan. Their label was what I wanted, but that wasn't what was in the box. I recieved the Cu+ which has a 7000rpm fan instead of a 4550rpm fan of the Cu. That 7000rpm fan was incredibly noisy. Get an RMA and send it back.
    Over the next 4 days get three more packages (dvd, hd, monitor).
    A week ago the case finally shows up (by some miracle so did the right HS/Fan an hour before the case). So I build the thing. Everything seems to be working fine except I don't install any games as I'm borrowing a crap video card and want to wait for my GF4. Watching some trailers the sound would occationally just cut out and I'd have to reboot to get it back. Just figured it was a bug in Mplayer.
    Today I finally get the video card. Install it and get everything working. Great all done. Except now when I get q3 going I discover it's not just Mplayer. My MX300 sound card, the Via chipset and XP don't like each other. A few seconds to a few minutes into a game the sound cuts out and I have to reboot to get it back. Tried the one fix documented online, didn't work. Too afraid to try the other fix as I don't want to play around with registers on the sound card. Guess I gotta order a new soundcard.
    Now the other fun thing in this story is when I pull the case door off to install the video card, I leave it off when I start the machine up. I hear this really audible high pitched squeal. It's the harddrive. Put the case door back on, and now that I've heard the pitch, I can hear it with the case all closed up. And it is really annoying. I realize now that I could hear it on and off before, but never thought it was the computer.
    Email Maxtor and ask them if the squeal is normal for this drive. Their response is simply instructions for an RMA. Do some looking and hear from a few people that they went through 3 or 4 drives before they got one that didn't squeal. I'm definately not up for that. Also during this looking find out I really should have ordered a Seagate drive in the first place (really are quiet).
    So tomorrow I need to order a sound card and see if I can get this Maxtor exchanged for a Seagate. Then if this goes well maybe, over a month after I placed the order and three installs of XP later, I'll finally have my new computer complete.
     
  2. Mike Voigt

    Mike Voigt Supporting Actor

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    I like futzing with computers as much as the next guy. Have been building mine for years now.

    But when something like the above happens, it makes you wonder whether it really is worth it.

    In the long run, I think it is. For one, it is cheaper. For another, you control what is on that machine. And for a third, having to 'debug' the machine gets you to learn the inner workings of some of this stuff, which if you're not in I/T isn't terribly easy to learn on the go, what with a full-time job and all.

    I feel for you, though. What you went through is the reason I do not mail-order a lot of stuff; I'll go by a B&M for things like processors, fans, and drives.

    Good luck, I hope you get that very nice system running soon!

    Mike

    Oh, I have had very little trouble with Maxtors. I have had more than my share of Western Digital failures, though!
     
  3. Michael*K

    Michael*K Screenwriter

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    Thank God I ordered a Mac. [​IMG]
     
  4. DonRoeber

    DonRoeber Screenwriter

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    I use a -lot- of hard disks in my work. If I need SCSI disks, I buy Seagate disks. If I need IDE disks, I buy IBM disks. I've had too many failures from other companies.

    Good luck with the rest of the computer. It's probably a good idea anyway to upgrade the sound card, as Diamond is out of business.
     
  5. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Thanks for the words of sympathy guys. I'm giving NCIX.com a few more hours to respond by email before I phone (email went out yesterday). I'm gonna see if someone can come close to them price wise on a sound card locally (I live in the middle of Saskatchewan, not a lot available). If that works out then all that will be difficult is getting the drive exchanged.

    Even with the hassle, I'm glad I didn't order a Mac Micheal. Don't think I could have come anywhere near what I have for $1475USD total (that includes shipping and 7% sales tax) with a Mac :p) Although I guess I'm also just that kind of person. I built my own sub too. Cost me just under $500 USD and it would take a SVS Ultra to match it commercially.

    The soundcard is 5 years old and no longer supported. If I had an Intel based system with a non Via motherboard I'd be having no problems with it. I should have known before hand this would happen. Stupid bus mastering problems.

    Mike, my family has also only had good luck with Maxtor drives. However, I think their lastest stuff is going the way of IBM.

    Don, I would have went IBM, but the current Deskstar drives are supposed to be junk. I'm only reading good things about the Seagate, so I'm hopeful I'll be able to give it a try. The sooner the better.
     
  6. JasenP

    JasenP Screenwriter

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  7. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    The one good thing is they have a flat shipping rate. It was just under $50CDN to ship everything (including the 50lb monitor and 30lb case).
     
  8. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    You're building your own Mac from parts bought separately? I didn't know you could do that, I haven't seen anyone done it before. Did you have any problenms?
    Dustin, I know what a pain it can be to put together your own computer, but when it's all up and running you'll forget about the troubles. [​IMG] I would be afraid to order everything through mailorder though, the fan, HD and power supply I would definitely want from a b&m store. Everything else has less moving parts so I wouldn't be too worried about that. I hope everything works out!
    /Mike
     
  9. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Yay, managed to get a basic oem Audigy card for the exact same price I could have ordered it for.

    And I just got my RMA number for the harddrive and they will replace it with a Seagate Barracuda IV 60gig.

    So save for the 7-10days before I'll have the seagate drive, finding a drive to borrow for the interim and installing xp twice more I'm a happy camper.
     
  10. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    When you build your own PC, it's like a crash course in project management. [​IMG] I've been building my PCs for the past 8 years or so (but I only upgrade every 2 years or so).
     
  11. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Well, I find the build part relatively easy. It's the getting the parts that is a pain in the ass :p)

    The first computer in my house was when I was 6. My dad payed $4000CDN for an 8086 with 640K of ram, no hard drive, only sound was a speaker that beeped, two 5.25" drives and a monochrome green monitor. A 24pin dot matrix printer was a grand cdn add on to that.

    Next upgrade was to a store bought 386 (talk about speed, could load wordperfect 5.1 in just over a second :p)). Then after that every computer in our house (starting with a 66mhz 486) was bought in pieces and assembled by my father and I. With the exception of the machine I was using before this one I just built. I just couldn't buy all the parts as cheap as I could buy from Dell at the time.

    I really didn't get into configuring and installing stuff until we went to win95.
     
  12. Graeme Clark

    Graeme Clark Cinematographer

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    Thank god there's a gabillion (almost) shops around here where you can just go pick up all the parts you need and haggle about the price if someone has it cheaper. And if you're going to get a whole system, might as well have them assemble it for you for free.
     
  13. Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray Supporting Actor

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    Dustin:

    Did you order this stuff through Techtronics? Just curious.
     
  14. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    No, ncix.com out of Burnaby BC.

    Have had bad experiences with the local Techtronics store so I tend to stay away from them. Which leaves me Compusmart, Futureshop and a few other small places that either don't have what I want, or can't do a reasonable price on it.
     
  15. Scott McGillivray

    Scott McGillivray Supporting Actor

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    Yup, similar experience here. Techtronics is super cheap (I mean...wow...they have low prices!) but they are just horrific to deal with. I have never seen such poor attitudes by an entire staff. I just hope that someday one of the little tech pukes comes to my health district looking for a job. heh heh heh (my evil laugh) [​IMG]
    PC Place in Regina is really great for customer service, but they are a tad high in price. Like most others who anything about computers, I tend to run from Future Shop and their ilk.
    Let us know how it all worked out.
     
  16. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Well as is good. Installation of WinXP takes less than an hour. It's the waiting for a 60gig drive to format and getting everything configured back the way I like it that takes the other 2.5 :p)
    The Audigy card works with no problems.
    My dad decided he wouldn't mind a new hdd. So we lucked out and the little store run by a couple of guys in their mid twenties actually had a 60gig Seagate Barracuda (this thing is soo quiet) drive for only $10 more than NCIX wanted. So it was purchased, and when I get the replacement from NCIX for the Maxtor my dad will just take it. Sweet deal, only had to reinstall once [​IMG]
     
  17. Patrick Sun

    Patrick Sun Studio Mogul

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    I just bought a Maxtor 80GB drive and use the Maxtor HD floppy/CD combo to partition and format the entire HD for NTFS, and I could not believe how fast the entire process took, under 5 minutes IIRC.
     
  18. Max Leung

    Max Leung Producer

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    Pat, that's because it's a new drive with nothing in it. A substantial porn collection takes quite a bit longer to convert to NTFS!
    [​IMG]
     
  19. Dustin B

    Dustin B Producer

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    Damn!!
    It took 30 min having the WinXP CD do my brand spanking new 60gig [​IMG]
     
  20. Dave E H

    Dave E H Supporting Actor

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    Sigh - I'm finalizing my new machine as I type this (it's sitting next to me formatting the rest of my 60 gig Maxtor 740. [​IMG] So far so good - knock on wood. I had one bad MB that I had to return tonight, but just got the new one and it's up and running fine.
    It seems like everytime I want a new PC - I always look at Dells and the like and go "I'm just going to buy off the shelf." I've never had a build go perfect - always one little nagging thing or another that has me running to USENET or a forum looking for a fix. But, I go ahead and buy the parts and build it myself. Masochism I guess - but I do draw a line with the SO's machine - she gets a Dell everytime. I just want that machine to work and be super stable - I'll leave the futzing (setting jumpers, overclocking, incompatiblity issues etc) for my own personal gaming machine - the server and her machine are Dells. [​IMG]
     

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