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I was happy being back finally yesterday after 6 days without my computer.  The motherboard was replaced (2nd time and 2 hard drives, too) and I was up and running again.  

Less than 10 hours later, I was in the bathroom putting on my PJs and I heard the start up music.  Hmmmm, my puter was on when I left.  Running to the computer room, I found myself stuck on the desktop and then, a blue screen that told me to restart the computer.  I did that and once again returned to the blue screen.  

Today, I'm at my cousins who has a functioning computer, so I'm posting this to let everyone know that I'll be away for a while and I don't know how long.  I left a message with the Dell Technical Support desk, but didn't have a call back last night.  Hopefully, they'll call after I get home.  I DO know that I'm sick of this.

My "new" computer has been a headache until it came out of the box.  If I got paid for all the time I've been on hold or online with technical support, I'd be able to take a lavish vacation.  

I was just getting myself smart again - I was soooo stupid after 6 days with no computer (no access to information) and realized how poor the TM really is.  There is also way too much happening to be computerless yet again.

So, sadly, I'll be away for a while and anyone wanting to reach me will have to use the phone (no email) or send a telegram or smoke signal.   I'll post again when I finally have a computer that functions (hopefully for good).

This sux.

2:32 PM PT: I'm heading back home now.  Thanks for visiting.  I'll see you when .... I have a functioning computer again.  Besides missing you all, I miss accessing real solid information rather than the talking points and BS delivered by the TM.

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Comment Preferences

  •  I always build my own (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    SoCaliana, weck, Puddytat, lineatus

    Well, except for my laptop, of course.

    I don't even use a computer for posting at DK anymore. Just my Android smartphone.

    It is a bit of a PITA, due to it's screen size and typing on such a small touchscreen "keyboard," but it's reliable and portable.

    Hope you get it worked out.

    Somebody has to do something, and it's just incredibly pathetic that it has to be us.
    ~ Jerry Garcia

    by DeadHead on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:06:50 PM PST

  •  NO More Repair, REPLACE!!! (23+ / 0-)

    repeat until Dell hears it!!  You have a lemon!  You didn't get it with a credit card by any chance did you?

    Check with your state's consumer protection or even the one in DC.  You didn't get what you paid for!

    Repeat: No More Repair, REPLACE!

    Don't they have any idea how many people are following the story of how bad Dell computers are to begin with?

    Do they really want you to tell 150,000 people on line and other places that Dell computers don't work??

    Just get us a consumer service address and we can start letting them know how we feel to be without Puddytat!!

    Please donate to Okiciyap food pantry. . If love could have saved you, you would have lived forever.

    by weck on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:14:35 PM PST

  •  Mac (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Puddytat, Denver11, weck, looseleaf, Odysseus

    Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac Mac

    Okay, first kick Dell's ass, get a new computer because yours is a lemon.

    After that, always have everything backed up.  If/When the new one breaks down,

    BUY A MAC.

    Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for. We are the change that we seek. Barack Obama

    by delphine on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:24:23 PM PST

  •  Sorry to hear about the puter problems... (5+ / 0-)

    My only tip for you would be to run screaming from Windoze and the BSOD.

    Take a look at Ubuntu. You can try it using a boot disc while not changing anything in your system.

    If you don't want to go all in with Linux, you can dual boot.

    All the best with getting back online.

    'If you want to be a hero, well just follow me.' - J. Lennon

    by Clive all hat no horse Rodeo on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:25:43 PM PST

    •  Does Windows still suck? (3+ / 0-)

      Been on a Macs since 1984 and only use windows machines a work - with lots do firewalls and tech support

      •  I've recently purchased three new Lenovos. (15+ / 0-)

        Two laptops (one $320 and the other $500). And a desktop ($425).

        They all have Windows 7 and I couldn't be happier.

        I've had terrible experiences with Dell products and Windows XP, Millennium and Vista. I'll never go back to Dell.

        If fact, Puddycat, if you want my Dell laptop you're welcome to it. Kosmail me your address and I'll put it in the mail. It's four years old and works fine. I needed something a little faster.

        What, sir, would the people of the earth be without woman? They would be scarce, sir, almighty scarce. Mark Twain

        by Gordon20024 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:43:08 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  I'm Running a Probably 4+ Yr Old Dell Desktop (7+ / 0-)

        17 hours a day that I bought 3 years ago refurbished from a business, Win XP home and it just keeps running like a champ. Every so often it gets grumpy and needs a forced cold reboot, one or few times a month at most.

        After the new year I'm going to try to downsize for power consumption reasons, keeping the desktop monitor and keyboard. Just gotta see if a few critical apps can make the transition, like some ancient graphics software that actually runs in DOS mode, that's easy and fast for my primitive eye to use for illustrating work docs.

        We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

        by Gooserock on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 05:01:36 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Can't go wrong that way.... (4+ / 0-)

          Every few years I'll wait for the right used desktop to come along on Craigslist and snag the best one available for $100 or less.  I've never paid more than $100 for a used machine and if you get the right one they last forever.  Do a clean install, spend the $20 for a couple extra Gigs of RAM, and you're good to go.

          It amazes me sometimes how much people pay for computers given the depreciation rate.

          "It is never too late to be what you might have been." -- George Eliot

          by paulitics on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 05:47:48 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Dell, HP and Lenovo have a several 'grades' of (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          pgm 01, Denver11

          computer models.  Home consumer models are least expensive, business models are more expensive, and 'gamer' models are most expensive.  Expensive gamer isn't necessarily better in terms of reliability than busines grade.  

          The models made for small, medium and larger business use are usually much better made, pass the sorts of Quality Assurance tests that businesses expect PCs to past, use proven quality parts and designs, and engineered to last for 5+ years, even being used 8 or more hours per day, and they usually remain upgradeable during that entire time.  It's also why they tend to cost 30% to 100% more than the home consumer PC.

          The PC model lines made for home consumer use tend to be put together with lowest bid parts and often are only warranteed for 30 days to 90 days, maybe 1 year if you're lucky, and there is a difference in the quality of service provided the business line versus home consumer line.  Dell may only keep exact replacement parts in inventory and available for a home consumer line PC for 6 months to 18 months.  Parts for business line models are much more likely to be stocked for 3 to 5 years, plus there'll be a number of vendors stocking the OEM replacement parts.  So if one buys a 'refurb' or 'open box return' from Dell from their business line, it is likely to be a more reliable PC than even a new consumer line PC, and you'll be more likely to find decent working replacement parts.

          So a Lenovo Thinkpad is well engineered for business use, for surviving airport travel and being lugged around a lot, and is intended for people putting in long days of work.  A Lenovo Ideapad, the sort marketed to college kids, isn't going to have the same ruggedness, features or upgrade options.  Similarly a Dell Lattitude is going to be a better engineered laptop than a Dell Inspiron or Vostro.  HP sells their Pavillion line as the cheap home consumer line and save its Compaq label for the business grade computers.  I suspect Apple is being pushed into seperating their computer lines more and more.  It used to be consistently good across all the models, but I've heard more and more complaints these days.

          As for the debates over Windows versus Linux (Ubuntu or Red Hat or Open Suse or Android, etc.) versus Apple iOS the big drivers for most people is, will it reliably perform, are their frequent security patches provided, does the software you most want to use run on it, is there reliable help easily available.  Personally, I do rank Linux as a better option for those who have a bit of a geeky bent or have good IT support able to help them solve issues that may crop up, but you need to make sure your hardware works with Linux or it can be a few months before Linux handles the newest hardware.  And you need to make sure Linux runs the sort of software you intend to use. Windows reliability these days is largely a factor of how good the 'drivers' are for the PC parts and the reliability of the hardware. Windows still has too many security problems and problems with bugs due to all the 3rd party applications people run on their PCs.  Apple iOS tends to be more stable, but if there is a security issue getting a fix pushed out may take a few days.  Some security threats Microsoft handles pretty quickly, but they're seem to be trying to push out most fixes and patches overnight on the last Tuesday of of the month, unless it's a 'hotfix' and then businesses tend to be offered those whereas home consumer users have to monitor and realize they need and should apply a given hotfix, and will need to know how to 'undo' it if need be. Others have persisted for years.  Linux there are many geeks looking at the bugs, problems, security issues and solutions and patches are usually quickly derived, often in under 24 hours.

          When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

          by antirove on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:58:02 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

      •  Still running XP and it has been great. (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        No surprise crashes, and almost all my clients use it too. When doing book editing, the main features you need are your gray cells, the dictionary, and the Chicago Manual of Style, not the bells and whistles. Half the time my clients have not even heard of tracked changes - so Word 7 would be an affront.

    •  will it keep (1+ / 0-)

      the computer hardware from dying?

      Because that's the most common problem.

      (Is it time for the pitchforks and torches yet?)

      by PJEvans on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:58:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  We'll miss you, and weck is correct (13+ / 0-)

    If it's under warranty (which I'm guessing it's not) send it back to Dell and get them to repair it.  If not, replace it.

    Since we had two operating computers when my Toshiba failed (under warranty), we sent that back to the factory, and when they couldn't fix it in three weeks, they sent me another Toshiba but a SIGNIFICANT upgrade, and that's what I'm using now.

    -7.75, -8.10; All it takes is security in your own civil rights to make you complacent.

    by Dave in Northridge on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 02:31:11 PM PST

  •  I bought a Dell back in the late 90s. (7+ / 0-)

    I had all the problems you have now, then.  I would stay up to 3AM in order to talk to their people on the phone I believe in Utah.

    One night I am on the phone with this young guy and he starts laughing his head off.  Some company who had purchased Dell for their entire staff with all the problems I was having hired a helicopter and had all the dells they bought dumped on the factory parking lot.

    I quietly hung up.

    I have never even looked at a Dell product since--under no conditions and no offers.

    I have only had hewitt packard since with almost no problems.

  •  Dell is known for their poor support. (6+ / 0-)

    The Consumerist website has had a number of horror stories over the years. Their suggestion email: Michael Dell directly at

    He's been known to get involved.

    "The human eye is a wonderful device. With a little effort, it can fail to see even the most glaring injustice." Richard K. Morgan

    by sceptical observer on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 03:31:51 PM PST

  •  Sorry to hear that, Puddytat. My computer is doing (7+ / 0-)

    odd things, too. It freezes up for no reason, etc. I can't afford a new one, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. I commiserate.

  •  I Must be the Exception (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    emeraldmaiden, blueoasis, pgm 01

    I have used a Dell Dimension 3000 system for Years
    running XP Professional.

    Full Disclosure: I have worked in IT for Over 30 Years.
    Keeping computer systems UP and Running is What I Do.

    Once a Month I Defragment the Disk, Run Malware Bytes
    and Make a full IMAGE Backup of the Hard drive.

    Knock on Plastic and Stamped Metal.
    No Hardware Problems at All.

    On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

    by Brian76239 on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 04:36:04 PM PST

    •  A Dell Dimension is a 'business' grade PC, which (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      pgm 01, Creosote

      is better made and has better parts than the 'home consumer' lines.

      When life gives you wingnuts, make wingnut butter!

      by antirove on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 08:01:20 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I am still running my old Dimension (0+ / 0-)

        12 years old and only recently did the hard drive fail.  I did buy a new drive so when I get a new system this one will live on as a backup server.  I absolutely love the Clevo P150EM, but I think I will wait to see how the next generation of that machine performs when Intel releases their next chips.  I might just get a cheap refurbished sub $300 machine from Newegg to use for in the meantime.

    •  Me too, in for 44+ years now, but even keeping (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      things scrupulously 'clean' I still get bit by various hardware problems (I suspect lightning related most often, despite UPS and protectors, comes with the ridgetop real estate I guess) and software too (usually related to MS updates IMO).
      Have tried to stay with XP Pro, but getting used to Win7U on a couple of laptops. Don't like the look of Win8 at all, but I'll stay openminded.

      Hardware probs can be very subtle and hard to resolve sometimes, other times the component just dies and there isn't much to finding it.
      Windows runs extensive logging, even if you don't expand on it. Many clues to problems can be found in the syslogs, both hardware and software, and sometimes not.

      Poor Puddytat, other comments about reaming Dell a new one are on target. Get a replacement or money back.

      Puddy, you still need a backup machine. You can find very reasonable ones on ebay or craigslist, Newegg or Tigerdirect (refurb's are OK w/a warranty), if you're careful. Something like a small notebook (see below) netbook or tablet (still $$) and or smartphone (but those still tiny screens suck).

      Something like this Sony laptop could be a good choice:
      These SZ models, and the slightly older S- series are very common, run great (no longer worldbeaters, but small and light laptops that have great features and proven performance for non-gamer types), fairly inexpensive. Replacement/second batteries and power bricks are dirt cheap (~$30-40 and $8, resp.)
      The higher the number after the SZ or S, the more features, cap, speed, etc.
      The Sony US website is excellent for getting manuals, updates, specs on all the models, etc.
      Sony has many other models as good or better I guess, I'm just hooked on these two series. I rotate a couple on the boat as navigation tools/websurfers adjunct to the dedicated chartplotters, etc., if it's torpedoed/gets wet/whatever, the little Sony is expendable (the Sony VIAO laptop that is, not the whole friggin' boat).

      Watch what kind of OS is provided ( it varies from none/XP Home to Win7 Ultimate), find one that looks in good shape, is not a "parts" junker or one made from one of those, check out the seller, ask about the condition of the fan (its' only weak point).
      Your normal monitor can be plugged in for a bigger screen, lots of USB stuff, PCMIA, Memstick, etc., can be added/plugged in, the wi-fi is bulletproof, etc.

      And then use at minimum the following anti-scumware apps (after stripping out most all add-on crapware provided by manufacturers, resellers, etc.):

      1. Microsoft Security Essentials (free)
      2. Comodo Internet Security (free/paid combo Firewall, A/V, Defense mode, etc. (turn off the MS Windows firewall)
      3. Malwarebytes Anti-Malware
      4. SpywareBlaster
      5. Spybot- Search & Destroy
      6. Avira Free Antivirus
      7. AVG Antivirus
      * I checked the spelling of these, be careful obtaining them, there are malicious impostors out there!

      Don't click on doubtful crap online, avoid certain types of websites, they are poisonous. (even DKos has had bad stuff embedded once or twice)

      There are others too that I use, but that's a good minimum suite of free 'protection', all available free or in paid versions (except MS SecEssen-always free).
      The free ones are more than good enough.
      Norton and Mcaffee, etc., are crap. IMO of course, but I go back to before them and they could be nasty stuff over the years, never touch 'em again.

      For an average machine:
      #1 & 2 should always be running in background for protection, full 'on-demand' scans run once a week or so;
      #4 just needs to be updated every week or so, then it is silent in the background;
      #3 & 5 should be run 'on demand' once a week or so;
      #6 & 7 should be kept updated and run in 'scan' mode 'on-demand' every so often.

      A supercomputer type box with max RAM, disk, etc., can run #1, 2, (4), and #6 or #7 all simultaneously for max protection.

      And demand run (or schedule) a  disk defrag (standard Windows applet) for each disk no less than once a month (every few days is good).
      And of course the advice for making regular 'image' backups (standard Windows backup is good too). Runtime Software's DriveImage XML is an excellent one.

      Oh, and an excellent browser: Opera can't be beat. No way/no how.

      And I give this advice as one whose main system is still software braindead. Died after a round of g'damned Microsoft XP Pro updates (it's very complicated, mult procs, runs 10+ large harddrives, which are a mix of SCSI, IDE PATA/SATA RAID, and USB, various opticals, vid cards, mult monitors, big KVM, etc., etc., and of course optimized for low power usage, heh).

      "Double, double, toile and trouble; Fire burne, and Cauldron bubble... By the pricking of my Thumbes, Something wicked this way comes": Republicans Willkommen im Vierten Reich! Sie haben keine Bedeutung mehr.

      by Bluefin on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 10:55:49 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  What is a full Image backup? (0+ / 0-)

      And what do you use to defragment? (Thanks!)

      •  Think of your Hard drive as a Picture (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        Your hard drive is split into tiny pieces called Blocks.
        Each Block of your hard drive is like a Pixel.

        A full "Image" backup makes an exact copy of Every Block
        your hard Drive. That includes all the System stuff like file
        folders and Directories.

        If you Hard drive crashes, you can restore the entire
        "Image". Everything is exactly the same as when you
        made the backup. That includes all your settings for programs.

        A "File" backup only makes copies of SPECIFIC files.

        The folks at your local computer store Will know what
        "Image Backup" Means. They can help get you started.

        If they Don't Know what "Image Backup" Means,

        The Defragment Utility is a standard windows Program.
        You can find the Defragment Utility by using the "Help"

        On Giving Advice: Smart People Don't Need It and Stupid People Don't Listen

        by Brian76239 on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 08:46:45 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Exactly what I needed to know - very visual (0+ / 0-)

          and explains why file backup is insufficient.

          In art world terms, this gives me a Chuck Close portrait, as with this one titled Agnes (1998), so that  all the invisible glue holding the folders and files together is backed up too, rather than just an oversimplified linear version.

          Surprised you'd recommend MS Defragment, but if you do then that's good.

  •  What a drag. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Im so glad i bought a netbook.

    "Let us never forget that doing the impossible is the history of this nation....It's how we are as Americans...It's how this country was built"- Michelle Obama

    by blueoregon on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 05:40:21 PM PST

  •  I bet it's the power supply (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    I worked on computers for sounds like the power supply is faulty and is screwing up the other parts.tell the Dell repair person to change out the power supply.

  •  Check the registry (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    That might be causing the problem--if not the power supply.

    Romney-Ryan: America's Rollback Team

    by Christian Dem in NC on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 06:37:32 PM PST

    •  Alas, most people would have no clue ... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      as to how to fix registry problems, or even diagnose if that is the problem.  For that matter, most people would have no idea how to swap out a power supply or any other basic computer component either.  Being so helpless usually eventually results in unnecessarily expensive solutions.

      "Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity, and I am not sure about the universe." -- Albert Einstein

      by Neuroptimalian on Fri Nov 23, 2012 at 01:58:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  May be a borked driver or?? (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mathazar, antirove

    A friend of mine came by 3 weeks ago with a brand new Toshiba laptop that was blue-screening at boot-up.  We installed Linux Mint 13 Mate,

     dual boot with Windows 7, and the problem doesn't occur with Mint--it is Windows specific.  Because the blue screens are intermittent it will be a beast to find what the problem is, but since Mint Mate works, we know it is Windows 7 specific, and not bad hardware.  He's been running Mate13 for 3 weeks with no problems at all.

    I can't remember the last time I had a machine that was Windows only, and I never use Windows on the internet.

    The machine I'm typing this on is a 3 year old Dell with Ubuntu, and I've never had a single problem with it in that time.  My desktops have all been bought at garage sales, and the most expensive 2 are P4 2600's that I paid $10 apiece for.  My wife's desktop is a Celeron 2000 that was $1 (yes, that is $1 for the tower, with hard drive, and 526 M of ram).  It works fine with Linux.  The folks sold it cheap because the Windows install was borked and blue screened at boot.  Her laptop is a MacBook, though.

    Anyway, the best way to tell if the problem is software or hardware is to install Linux.  If it works with Linux, it's software.  If not, or Linux won't install at all, it's hardware.

  •  While I am a solid Mac man… (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    don't pay much attention to claims of differences when it comes to new computer hardware problems. Most of the parts come from the same sources – and most initial issues like this are failed third party parts. (Now the system differences are a different story altogether.)

    I voted for the UPPITY ONE

    by qua on Thu Nov 22, 2012 at 07:31:13 PM PST

    •  Both Mac's and PC use the same hardware (0+ / 0-)

      I have built all of my computers from scratch.I can tell you that Mac's and PC's use the same hardware.the only difference is the operation system.there is even a hacked version of the Mac OS that will run on a PC.

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