More on my DELL laptop

I’m waiting for a call back from DELL from someone at the CORPORATE level. Someone that will speak English as their FIRST language. (Nothing against people who speak it as their second language.. unless they don’t bother trying to learn it and speak it correctly.)

The laptop is up and running fine… but I haven’t bothered upgrading it to Ultimate again, yet. I’ve randomly rebooted it and such to see if I could piss it off too. (chuckle)

There is the chance that the problems before were related to not having an up to date driver installed…. including the fact that I flashed the BIOS….

I ended up doing my 2 partitions and installing Home Premium all by myself, sans DELL tech support. (Gasp!!) Ord. (How I’ll refer to my fiance) pointed out that if it croaks under Home Premium it’s not because of Ultimate… so I’ll probably let it run Ultimate free for a little while – for now. It’s got EQ2 on it now too. I needed the hotfix to have it run a little better… and definitely need to adjust the graphics some so the performance is better (put it on balanced)…. but still, it’s playable.

And yes, I’ll be seeing how far it takes me to get through DELL’s chain before I get clear, concise, not-misleading answers to my questions. Hopefully they’ll call back before the semester starts back up next year.

Got my call back from DELL today

Was surprised to get it today….

The guy gave me some BS answer to the no support for multiple partitions thing. He mentioned system restore (but not quite by those words) … he used words like take image of hard drive. I never got a chance/got the answer to the question of whether or not he’s referring to a Microsoft product or a DELL product. If it’s a DELL product… null and void for me since I had to wipe the whole drive.

I pointed out I’ve never had a DELL tech support person refer me to downloads/drivers online. Never. He apologized and all that. Told me people do access the DELL support website. (Well, duh!) I said I’d be pretty stupid to think otherwise. Also pointed out DELL is trying to keep their customers stupid. (Probably should have said ignorant.)

Asked if DELL supports the “Upgrade Anytime” option on Vista. After confirming that he is familiar with Vista and the Upgrade Anytime option. He said yes, DELL does support it….. Then a minute later said no, they don’t, only if you buy it with the laptop.

He specifically said DELL is hardware support, not software support. Ok. That makes sense, that was nice and clear. However, that’s where we go back to the driver thing. When I called yesterday I needed hardware support. (I didn’t know if I could shut off my laptop without doing something else.) Drivers are related to hardware support… but nothing about drivers from anyone. My issues with Ultimate installation could have been because of newer drivers being out. (I have no way of knowing for sure except for trying Ultimate upgrade again… which I can’t bring myself to do just yet.)

Sooooo, I had to damn near argue with him… but after the yes then no answer I said I want someone above him. He obviously can’t keep his story straight so I need to go higher to get the information I want. He said he would escalate the call to “corporate.” He didn’t know when I’d receive a call, but should be next week. He did specifically say I’d receive a call from someone in the US. (I asked.)

I’ll probably need to be a little more careful the next time around. The next person I talk to might have actual experience with escalated calls. (chuckle)

Calling DELL Tech. Support (and Vista)..updated 2/26/08

After running Windows Update (and patching EQ2) my laptop decided it wasn’t going to boot up anymore. I tried running my Ultimate (upgrade) disc to repair. Repair failed. Restore failed. Restore failed numerous times, from numerous points. After the oldest restore point failed I decided to reinstall. Using my Ultimate (upgrade) disc I deleted the old OS partition/recreated/formated. Installed Ultimate (clean install) via that disc. It failed. (Anytime it failed/didn’t boot I got the “Windows failed to start” screen.)
So I used my Home Premium disc which came from DELL to reinstall. I deleted the OS partition/recreated the partition and formated (formated twice). Then I installed Home Premium. No issues. It booted up fine… except that it said there was no wifi so obviously I’m missing DELL drivers. I debate whether to update first or go right into my Ultimate upgrade. I ran the windows update only to get the updated updater and see how many updates are out there. Then I switched to the Ultimate upgrade disc to do my upgrade. Finally, it failed. The Windows (boot manager?) screen popped up… whatever screen also has the option to roll back Vista on it….Trying the first Vista listed got me nothing, but I did see a blue screen flash. Trying the second Vista listed (after the Vista rollback option listed second) got me the option to attempt to repair. I don’t remember if it was start up or system or set up repair… but it popped up a command prompt screen.

Now my laptop says:
FAILED

FAILED to nobulate (NOBNT) back to the manufacturing media (A:) such that the Software Install process cannot continue reliably

DO NOT REBOOT THIS SYSTEM. FAIL THIS SYSTEM TO EMR.

Press any key to continue….

(That does nothing)

Step 1: Look up number in “Contacting DELL” book that came with laptop. Call wrong number first.

Step 2: Spend over 20 minutes on hold.

Step 3: Finally get to talk to a guy who’s obviously Indian and obviously reading responses from a script. Give this DELL tech idiot my information and explain the problem. Argue with him. Get told he can’t help me with the Ultimate disc because it didn’t come from DELL. Explain that I just want help with my laptop at this point. Give the error message x2. Get put on hold so he can go “look up more information.”

*I typed this out while on hold.

12:55 pm to continue…

The DELL tech support idiot told me to shut off the system and remove the AC adapter and the battery. Then he told me to put them back and hold the power button down for 30 seconds. (Computer reboots.) Then he says I’m removing an electrostatic charge which has built up in the system. So I shut off the system again, remove the battery/power cable again and hold down the button for 30 seconds. (Not laughing because I’m annoyed, otherwise I think I’d be laughing.)

Now the computer is running the Home Premium installation. I’ve just deleted all partitions. (The recovery, the media direct and the OS.) I had pondered doing this before myself but hadn’t gone that far. He’s telling me even the Recovery partition is corrupt. So, now my computer has no partitions. He told me to continue my Vista installation with no partitions at all. I explained (and then argued with him) that I want a recovery partition. He said they don’t support (after I pulled teeth to get info)recovery factory installed partitions. (OK. That makes some amount of sense if you are talking factory installed software on a partition.) He insists that DELL doesn’t support partitions. (?!?!?!?) Finally I say “I want 2 partitions on the laptop.”

He’s placed me on hold again to check this. When I asked him what he’s checking I got some thing about “making sure there’s things we support.”

1:23 pm

He needed to double check how partitions are created. I think.

I’m on hold again. He’s just told me that they can only support 1 partition even though I’ve created 2. I just asked to speak with manager or someone else above him.

1:34 pm

I’m on hold again. In theory I’ll be speaking with the manager of the manger of tech support idiot #1. The manager was a little better handling the call than tech support idiot #1. He’s insisting that DELL doesn’t support partitions. He gave me a silly reason too. Because customers think they can save data on their back up partition even if the hard drive crashes.

1:48 pm

I’m off the phone. The last guy sounded a little bit more professional and gave me a little more information. He said they won’t support help with backing up files onto the second partition or installing the OS on the second partition. They won’t support the upgraded OS either….which makes no sense to me…. but I could see where it would save them money. They also won’t support 2 OS’s on the same hard drive. I don’t care, I don’t want to do that. (At least not yet.) I also got that to get support with backing up files I need to pay for my tech support.

So, now I’m supposed to get a call back from someone higher than the guy I just talked to. His on call name was Shawn and his real name was Sanaosh. I’m supposed to get a call in the next 24-48 hours (asked for between 10 am and 6 pm cst). He couldn’t tell me his position title and when I initially tried to get to talk to his manager he explained there’s no one else above him. I got to use the “Oh, I see. So you own DELL?” line. Then he explained there’s no one there higher than him. (Which I guess is possible with an outsourced call center… but I really think if he was the highest person there he would have been able to tell me his position.)

We’ll see. Maybe, finally, I’ll be able to tell someone how shitty DELL tech support really is.

That was 1 hour 37 minutes and 17 seconds on the phone. Total.

At this point I’m going to see how far I can go.

Wait a minute. The DELL media direct is on it’s on partition.

(metaphorical throwing hands up in air)

Update on now:

Home Premium installed. There appears to be no issues, no problems. I have yet to update it let alone connect to the Internet. It’s going to run on Home Premium for now. We’ll see what happens. I’m going to have anything related to school on the second partition. I forgot to mention. On my last attempt to upgrade to Ultimate I disabled anything “extra” I could in the BIOS. That obviously didn’t help. (I didn’t disable sound, couldn’t find where it was possible.)

Something I just thought of… as I reference either in the post or in the comment people who are proactive with their data and try to do more on their computer. I mean (as an example) anyone smart enough to know how to navigate BIOS.

Update for Jack Marron who commented this:

Hey i have checked all the comment here but do not understand 1 thing. Why are all here to blame Dell. Did someone ever think that Microsoft has the biggest hand in this problem and they are enjoying all the glory while the other hardware dealers are getting all the shit.

First, feel free to check the blog post I made about upgrading my own desktop computer to Vista from XP. You’ll notice I had no problems. It is common knowledge that DELL cares little for it’s home and office customers. The corporate ones are the only ones that really mean crap to them – they make the money. You might also want to check out the summary of the complaint I made directly to DELL and the call back I got from DELL at the corporate level. You might learn a thing or two.

Also, a small amount of research via Google or some other search engine will show you that many hardware companies have been lazy in regards to Vista updates. Now with Vista SP1 on the horizon a lot more hardware is compatible. But, for example, at last check I still can’t get a driver for my CANON Rebel Digital XT camera. Lucky for me I have a DELL monitor with a CF reader.

This might be silly

I started playing Vanguard: Saga of Heroes again. Mostly because it’s semester break. Partly because I wanted to see how the game had changed since I had played it during beta and shortly after release. (It’s better in many, many ways.) Also, I just learned the joy and power of alt+print screen.

Anyways…I finished a quest (like you do in MMOs) and got a new weapon. Now my high elf ranger has long swords that hold up her boobies!!

character-select-crop-of-vg-high-elf-ranger.jpg

(I cropped down the picture a bit… make it easier to upload, easier to view, etc.)

Flickr, photoshop and blogging


big-aloe
Originally uploaded by sillililygirl

I’ve been productive recently. Learned more of flickr, learned more of photoshop… and that was just some fun stuff.

Mother of all aloe plants.

(Testing, testing, testing blogging from flickr.)

(and now from wordpress) This seems to work well enough. Sadly… more proof (at least from Firefox) that there is something wrong with this theme.

Update: Saturday afternoon (that is 12/22)

So I have switched back to the theme I had before the last one… I think this one will stay.

Been playing with Photoshop today

I have CS3 and want to learn Photoshop… all those awesome things people do… I want to do that.

I did the “Hey, what’s this button do?” *click* “What about this?” *click* … you get the idea.

I figured out Layer > New Adjustment Layer and then Change Layer Content > Color Balance for some neat effects…. (Or at least I think.) I need to read some of the Photoshop book to understand colors a little better.

Anyways…

01018_neutronrevolver_.jpg Was the original image I started with. (I don’t remember where exactly I found it.. a place with free wallpapers?)

Then: 01018_neutronrevolver__in-bw.jpg

Then: 01018_neutronrevolver__purple.jpg

It’s not all that special… but it’s me definitely becoming a little more comfortable with Photoshop. And of course it’s a way for me to mess with uploading pictures on wordpress.

And I’ll need to figure out why wordpress won’t let me add categories now…

Computer parts and cleaning

Ordered the 8800 GT video card, 2 more gigs of ram and Vista Ultimate 64 bit OEM version from Newegg earlier. I’ll be moving from XP Pro to Vista Ultimate on my desktop and getting a bigger, badder video card and doubling my ram in the process.

In theory I’ll be able to do all of this before the semester starts next year. That hinges on a number of things.

Starting cleaning up the computer shelf. It’s so called that because it’s in the computer room/office. It’s got 2 printers, my work laptop, my collection of pictures (film variety) and almost all of my non fiction type books as well as school related books/etc. I took before pictures of the mess.

Fragrance free soap

Why is it such a pain in the ass to find fragrance free hand soap? Some nice soap for using after I’ve been preparing raw meat in the kitchen for example. To provide some context… regular Dial hand soap smells really strong to me now. I don’t want to try using it on me.

Don’t even get me started on the “hand soap” in “public” restrooms.

I’ve gone and done it…

I’ve made more stuff to keep up with. It’s become clear now I like blogging… so now to try something that looks a little nicer. Neater, cleaner, too?

Between school, reading, work, blogging, MMOs and messing around with other crap… who knows what’s going to happen.

This is really just a bunch of random crap for having a real blog post to look at. 😀

I don’t know how content will appear on this here blog… pictures might happen first. Comments on stuff I’m reading as well. Rants. Whines. Commentaries. Ok. That’s enough for now.

The edit post option is very nice here.

Sadly, I’ve already messed something up.. I made the blogroll disappear. *cry Changed the template 3x now. Maybe I’ll stick with this one.. but I must change the colors if I’m going to do that.