back to article Dell's laptop customisation options not very customisable

Forward-thinking Dell customers who want to make cash savings on pre-loaded memory cards in the firm's latest range of laptops could be in for a hard time. El Reg reader Paul contacted us after problems he had when attempting to customise a Dell XPS M1530 on the PC giant's website. He was hoping to get a laptop loaded with a …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    4gb RAM

    Can you get a refund on the 1 gb of RAM that remains unused if you install a standard 32bit operating system?

  2. Graham Jordan


    Love the bot comment!

  3. Lee Jenderko

    Never ask a BOt it's name

    ROFLMAO if it wa a BOT it would be programmed to lie and say it was a person. That is the first canned response I would program into it. That and to make sure it had a strong foreign accent to give it a touch of realism.

  4. Ben Norris

    Its worse than that...

    It will actually run memory in a non dual channel mode ie. 1x2GB so the reason that they have given is bogus. Yes, there is a slight performance hit but if you are aware of that then why not give people the choice to take it?

    But also it is actually far cheaper to just select the 2x 512MB option, throw them away and then go and buy your 2x2GB sticks from another supplier.

  5. Paul Brindley

    Good old Dell

    I bought an XPS from Dell recently. It had an audio problem which they tried to fix by sending out an engineer to change the motherboard (twice). The second time the engineer actually broke a piece off the laptop, and disabled the media playback panel and tried to hide this. They agreed to send me a replacement laptop and sent the wrong one out to me. I've been asking them to upgrade me on memory or hard drive after all this hassle and they offered me a free case (which they'd already sent to me). Good old Dell!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    It sounds like the question is about technical detail of the Intel chipset, although it could be about features a customer wants Dell to support.

    The Dell XPS M1530 supports 4GB max, so it sounds like it's the Intel PM 965 chipset.

    The relevant specs< page 65, 68 has the Intel supported system memory configs.

    dual-channel asymmetric(or non-interleaved) mode is used when only one channel is populated. Channel A should be populated.

    12/07 rev 7 spec update. Doesn't look like there are any bugs.

    If the complaint is about why Dell doesn't support the asymmetric mode with unpopulated Channel B, well that's up to Dell. Maybe they don't test it, so don't want to guarantee it. Or maybe they don't want to test it with 2 dimms to make sure that works in the future, and then depopulate for the final shipping configuration test. (doubles the test time).

    Also don't know if Dell supports non-matching DIMM sizes (another variant of asymmmetric mode) in this system.

    One could imagine different electrical/power issues with the different mode, although I would think it would be less stressful than populating with two DIMMs.

    but who knows.

    Or is the complaint based on believing Dell does support the mode, but doesn't want to tell people they do?

    I'm not sure what the complaint is about. The tech support person seemed pretty clear about the answer to the question. The person didn't like the answer though.



  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Good old Dell

    They sent out an engineer to replace the motherboard?

    In a laptop?


    Every sensible (consumer) laptop service call I've seen involves a tech being dispatched with a matched laptop and swapping the user's existing RAM, hard drive, etc. into the new laptop, thus saving at least an hour of everybody's time carefully disassembling the whole damned thing and putting it back together. Occasionally it'll happen the other way around on the business end of things, but that's only if the customer wants to keep the same shell for asset tracking purposes.

  8. Joe


    Most mobos / laptops these days support single stick of memory (the asymmetric "non dual channel mode" mentioned above), in our experience as a Laptop seller.

    We'll be happy to install any memory configuration that works in the laptop - heck, we'll even test it! (!).

    Plus, no annoying Vista issues; we will install any flavo(u)r of Linux you wish! Ubuntu, Fedora, even Mint, Mepis, or Suse, or any other on request. Even FreeBSD, OpenBSD, etc.


    CEO and Founder

    eRacks Open Source Systems

    And avid Reg reader...

  9. MondoMan

    It's worse than "It's worse than that"...!

    Dell actually offers one of their pre-configured M1530 versions with 1x1GB + 1x2GB modules (3GB total), meaning that they are selling a version where part of the RAM runs in single-channel mode.

    Thus, the refusal to sell a version with only a single RAM module is purely a marketing/configuration issue, not a technical issue. However, this issue is not limited to Dell, as most notebook manufacturers seem to populate their systems with the lower-cost pair of modules rather than the single higher-cost module. To their credit, Asus sells at least some of its notebooks with only a single module, allowing for more economical RAM upgrades down the road.

  10. Chad H.
    Dead Vulture

    how the...,

    how does a blatant ad get through the moderators???

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: how the...,

    Because it makes a pleasant change from the astroturfing we routinely reject and because we are full of Christmas goodwill...

    Normal service will be resumed shortly.

  12. Power Pentode
    Thumb Up

    Re: how the...,

    I don't mind seeing the occasional ad-ish posting if it's in reply to someone seeking advice or assistance. All in moderation, of course. The large double spaced sig was a tad much, though... :)

    A warm and pleasant Christmas Eve to everyone.

  13. Curtis
    Thumb Up

    Re: how the...

    actually, i want to thank the Mods for letting it thru.

    as for Dell, one of my great sames is that i was a dell sales consultant for 6 months (after my tech job went to india). I routinely had to re-train the sales staff on my floor about what you could and could not do with systems (selling an AGP4x video card for an Ultra-lite laptop was my favorite.) the sales droids are taught to follow a computer program regarding the configuration of a system, and in most cases have never actually seen one, much less ripped the guts out.

  14. David Lurie

    @ Reg Moderators

    Do you normally just accept advertising comments from people like "Joe"?

  15. This post has been deleted by its author

  16. Ben Norris

    dual channel

    To be fair running 2 modules rather than 1 is better as it doubles the memory bandwidth.and reduces the effective latency.

  17. John Bailey

    Oh come on!

    If you want to choose the motherboard, memory configuration, drive spec, video card, OS and perhaps go for a better mouse than the standard off the shelf system, then for heaven's sake, build your own! Or go to a small place where each computer is hand built to exactly the spec you want.

    Don't bother with an underpaid telesales person for a large company who wouldn't know a stick of RAM from a hole in the ground. They can't offer anything outside the options listed for each model in their database, so you are going to get nowhere. Full flexibility or mass produced non standard crapplet laden junk, your choice.

    Personally I wouldn't touch a brand name computer. Way too much hassle.

  18. Uwe Dippel

    @Drew && The Register

    Fully agreed with your decision to let the blatant self-ad through on a Christmas Day.

    But you didn't reject the astroturf of AC, who happily blurbs along defending DELL (to which he is surely completely unrelated, unemployed, nor linked in any possible way). He comes across as a customer I'd like to have: defending the seller, when he as customer can't get what he wants, "well that's up to Dell".

    Since the specs of the chipset (miraculously the good poster has a lot of first-hand information, datasheets) allow for the mode requested by the buyer, something else was cooked up: "One could imagine different electrical/power issues with the different mode". Words, just words.

    Happy Christmas everyone !

  19. B Bauer

    Same thing here

    I talked to an actual Dell person (Indian accent), and was also told I couldn't use a single DIMM. Of course, I can toss out their memory and add new for much less money than their upgrades. So I just closed the ticket.

    Oddly enough, that same Dell person called ME today to tell me my laptop has shipped, two weeks ahead of schedule.

  20. yeah, right.

    Reality check.

    Let me see. People purchase something from Dell, then expect good customer service? That MIGHT (arguably) have been the case many years ago, but Dell hasn't had anything resembling decent or competent customer service for many, many years now. What the heck kind of research do these people actually do before they purchase these systems?

    As for the subject of the article: it was worse than a bot. It was an employee of a lowest-cost telemarketing firm. A person who is trained to sit in a 4'x4' box (if they're lucky) and strictly follow a script. Deviation is punished. Questions are punished. initiative is punished. Actually helping the customer is punished. These places have lockers at the front where employees leave their brains as they get to work.

  21. Walter Brown

    HP isnt any better...

    HP isnt any better, on both their product lineups or their repair efforts...

    except, on their DV9700 series at least they dont offer any notebooks with 1x dimm.

    I've bought 2 hp notebooks in the last 2 years. the first one i picked up in the beginning of last year, a DV8000, off the shelf $900 budget model from the now tits up comp usa, 3 weeks in to it, the motherboard fries, i send it to HP for repairs, 6 weeks go by, nothing, so i start calling, i get a case manager looking in to it for me, the case manager is telling me the part is out of stock. finally after 7 weeks they agree to replace it. to HPs credit, the case manager threw in "a few small upgrades", when i got the new notebook, i was shocked, the case manager decked it out nicely, high end across the board. i spec'd it out on their website, $2100 would have been the retail cost. not too bad, fair trade off for 8 weeks without my laptop.

    come fall of this year, i decide its time for a new one, considering HP stepped up to the plate last time around, i thought i'd give them another shot, ordered me a DV9500z, this time i bought custom to order. after having the notebook 10 days it started overheating, i sent it back, they fixed the heat problem, but now my keyboard was screwed up, sent it back 3 times for repairs, each time saying it was repaired, but when they returned it to me the problem continued. last wednesday a case manager again agreed to replace it.

    we spec'd out my replacement. a DV9700z with "a few small upgrades". this time, i didnt leave much room for the case manager to work with on upgrades, really the only things internally he could upgrade was one step up on CPU (my was top when i ordered it) and to add 7200rpm drive x2 instead of the single 5400rpm drive i had, and a higher end graphics card that wasnt available when i bought mine. but the case manager didnt feel that was enough to make things right, so he added a HDTV tuner, second battery, travel charger and 3 year warranty + accidental damage protection...

    The moral of the story is.. HP is no better than Dell when it comes to its offerings, nor are they any better at fixing the shit they sell, but, when it comes time to throw in the towel and replace the unit, they sure as hell step up to the plate and nicely compensate to make up for the troubles you had with their products. which makes HP the lesser of 2 evils..

    bootnote, the replacement DV8000 they sent me runs like a champ still to this day, i'm looking forward to getting the replacement DV9700 next week...

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    funny: ad Dellinem argument

    Hey it was funny they guy thought I was connected to Dell. Hmm I do have a Dell Inspiron 2600 that I bought as a refurb. That's about it in terms of a Dell connection.

    I wonder if you guys also complain about the level of the rpm limiter in your cars? "It can go higher, why am I constrained so unjustly"

    I think people are funny about computer hardware. They like to believe they "know" what they should get, based on relatively little information.

    But they are blissfully ignorant about what features they're "allowed" in most other technology they interact with in daily's kind of funny. Ignorance is bliss I guess.

    The only way to affect things is to not buy what you don't like and buy what you do like.

    The problem is, that people really like cheap, and cheap usually wins over this kind of pissing and moaning!...there are a lot of factors that go into cheap. Limited configurations helps.

    It'd be funny if Dell shipped the single stick....there's be another bitching post about how the performance in the Dell laptop isn't what the benchmarks say it should have.

    Doesn't really matter what you guys think. Decisions will continue to be made to make cheap work, at some reasonable profit. You guys will buy it, and the company will continue to be successful.

    You won't make eRack successful because of it's handholding.


  23. Ishkandar

    @Drew Cullen

    Are you sure that you are full of Christmas goodwill and *NOT* Christmas spirits ???

    @Walter Brown - That must have been when Fastbuck Fiorinna was booted out and HP regained its sense of commitment to its customers !!

  24. Jeff Dickey

    It's a cold day in Dell...

    ...when "customer service" isn't either an oxymoron or administered via a splintered 4x6 at 7200 rpm, to the customer's posterior orifice.

    I don't have any connection wtih Dell, HPaq, et al, except that I've been going around cleaning up after their messes for a decade and more, in response to friends who got suckered into buying one. I'm American, the son and grandson of union men, but there isn't a single "American" "name-brand" PC (outside likely Apple) that I'd even think about recommending to people.

    Case in point: a friend's company bought ten new Dell XPS systems earlier this year. Instead of delivering all ten at once, they sent three, then a week later four more, and then one a week for the next three weeks. Even though when the order was placed, it was placed for 10 identical systems, what was actually delivered had varying motherboards, disk drives, monitors (different cables indicate different models, no?) and so on. Some systems had no problems with his engineering and finance apps, but four of them had individual "quirks" that drove us crazy until we realized that we *weren't* dealing with ten identical systems, and if Windows and Linux both thought that different video and network drivers needed to be used, then they were probably right. What was supposed to be a no-brainer, open the box, plug in and get to work turned into two days of downtime *for his entire company*. I think that ol' Michael would have a hard time convincing him - or me - to buy Dell again, at least until and unless people start reporting stability in their systems - or, as my friend put it, "we don't want to be guinea pigs for the cheapest-parts-this-morning approach."

  25. Bryan
    IT Angle

    Dell Support

    Their tech support people still read off a computer, I have an old Inspiron 8200, A few years ago it had a problem. The problem was on the MB, where some of the power circuitry had failed. I had to explain the problem in detail and go through the same questions 5 times - despite having known the problem from the start.

    At the time I worked on a cruise ship, I had an on site warentee that I couldn't use, and as they would only let their courers pick the machine up I had to be there (we docked on a Sunday, no support)

    This may seem a little off thread but bear with me . . .

    I contacted their customer support, and organized for a friend who was going on vacation to give the machine to the couriers from home, but then have it delivred to our company offices for me to collect (so it could be signed for) I finally got a reply having sent it off with him, that it could only be returned to the address it was sent from.

    Luckily I have put a note requesting the different return address inside the box with the machine and the nice people that actually fixed it (rather than the tech support in india) sent it to the right place.

    The moral being, you cant trust Dells remote Sales or Tech support for anything, the guy that comes through the door usually knows what they doing in my experience but no one on the phone.

    Hence the IT? icon, to represent Dells phone support IT knowledge

  26. Naadir Jeewa

    Dell lies

    At a certain institution, we get Dell to configure all of their computers with 1 DIMM, even if their website doesn't allow it. They obey.

  27. kain preacher

    @By Anonymous Coward

    @Good old Dell

    By Anonymous Coward

    Posted Monday 24th December 2007 19:32 GMT

    They sent out an engineer to replace the motherboard?

    In a laptop?


    Every sensible (consumer) laptop service call I've seen involves a tech being dispatched with a matched laptop and swapping the user's existing RAM, hard drive, etc. into the new laptop, thus saving at least an hour of everybody's time carefully disassembling the whole damned thing and putting it back together. Occasionally it'll happen the other way around on the business end of things, but that's only if the customer wants to keep the same shell for asset tracking purposes.

    You have never done field service warranty work and it shows. I've done warranty repair work for sony, dell, apple and IBM. They all will just send out the mother board because its cheaper. What you don't know is that the tech gets a flat rate for the call. SO while it might take more time, its still cheaper to just send the parts out instead of whole laptop

  28. Andrew Smith
    Dead Vulture

    Business support

    "The moral being, you cant trust Dells remote Sales or Tech support for anything, the guy that comes through the door usually knows what they doing in my experience but no one on the phone."

    The consumer support may well be poor but the the business support is excellent, once you get through (this can be tedious however if you get the direct lines to the various support sections it's much easier) to a specialist they're pleasant, scottish and know what they're talking about. The visiting techs are a local company (not Dell unless it's a knackered server) but they're generally excellent and the speed at which they change a motherboard is genuinely impressive.

    Sales leaves a lot to be desired; they have very little product knowledge, often send the wrong kit and seem genuinely offended that they might have to do a little bit of work to get a sale.

  29. Enno

    well they used to do the right thing here in Oz

    Well the Dell laptop I'm using now was pretty much bought the way the guy in the article wanted (an Inspiron 9400). When ordered on the web site there were a whole list of memory options including details of how the memory was provisioned (e.g 1Gb with 2 DIMMS, 1Gb with 1 DIMM, 2Gb with 2 DIMMS, etc).

    As I recall it cost me about $10 extra to choose a single DIMM config.

  30. David Perry
    Thumb Up

    Generic dell point...

    I've spent a company I consult for's money 3 times in a year and a bit on Dells - 1 new Dimension (I forget the number) and 2 Optiplex GX260s (one was a larger case than the other mind, but both came off ebay). All 3 worked fine out the box, and, presumably as the new spec one last year was a basic spec, it arrived 2 days after ordering! Never had a problem with them, and my dad's old OLD Dell laptop (that no longer boots, not had a chance for a year or so to check why) that was bought in 1997 or something crazy like that (it was when a machine with 144Mb of RAM, NT4 and 266Mhz was an extreme spec), survived til end of my 2nd/3rd year of uni with no faults. I agree Dell's technical support people in India are useless, but then again as I know what I'm talking about I generally ignore any bull**** of theirs I disagree with and demand to speak to a supervisor (who tends to get on and accept I might know better than a lot of their staff). Same with PC world - all I get is useless advise from most of their staff, so only go there knowing what I want from the getgo (and when I've ordered it online first to get it a bit cheaper, if I really can't wait for dabs to deliver something I need).

  31. Arclight

    If they don't sell it, don't buy it

    I went into Sainsburys today and asked for someTesco Value Sausage Rolls, but the silly shop assitant said they didn't sell them. I insisted they sell them to me, but they outright refused. Disgraceful.

  32. Luiz Abdala

    Laptop Customization?

    Oh, come on. Dell is just as customizable as Ford T model's color, geez.

    I wouldn´t be surprised if their motherboards would have some compatibility components "deleted" in order to save a few grams of cooper, thus making it cheaper to mass-produce the damned thing.

    If you want customization, but you don´t want to build it yourself, try Falcon Northwest or Alienware (google it down, man), they will even paint the notebook's case to match your car. For a grand. Ow, that´s their problem, it ain´t cheapo. Remember you must pay import/export taxes as well, so watch out.

    I had a friend, whose Dell components in his PC where incompatible to each other, as shipped, if you know what I mean.

    BTW, I guess Alienware was bought by Dell, so, expect disaster too.

  33. Austin Denyer

    @ Andrew Smith

    I disagree about Dell Business Support. I had a drive fail in a PowerEdge 2950 and it took a week of fannying around with Dell Business Support, firmware upgrades, etc. before they would finally agree the drive was borked and sent out a replacement. Had a similar incident a few months later with another 2950.

    To cap it all, don't trust them when they say the PERC5 firmware upgrade can be performed on a running system. I made the mistake of trusting them (I have their statement that such an upgrade on a running machine was safe _in writing_!) and crashed a server with seven running virtual boxen...

  34. vincent himpe

    pebcak problem

    Dell XPS ... that a performance tuned machine. So why do you shell out money for that thing, to cripple it then by running it an assymetrical memory mode.

    By using only one dimm you are cutting mempory bandwidth down drastically ( no more interleaving ... )

    The buyer might as well have insisted to install a 320x200pixel CGA compatible monochrome plasma display ( the red/amber ones ) , a 20 Megabyte 4200 RPM drive laptop drive , yank out the ethernet and wifi and downgrade the built in modem to a 75/1200 baud one. And while they are at it , insist on having an original 8088 at 4.77 MHz installed and no , leave the coprocessor blank as well..

    As for the optical drive ; a 5 1/4 single sided 360 K floppy drive would fit nicely there....And why coulnt he opt to have CP/M86 installed ?

    Its like going to buy a Ferrari and insisting they install a smaller hoses for the fuel distribution ... sorry bub. there's no such option.

    Typical case of PEBKAC if you ask me... and not on dell's side.

  35. Chris

    Re: PEBCAK problem

    "Its like going to buy a Ferrari and insisting they install a smaller hoses for the fuel distribution ... sorry bub. there's no such option."

    No it isn't. It's more like going to buy a Honda and telling them "You can keep your stupid cheap plastic floor mats. I'm only going to toss them out and replace them with better, real rubber ones for half what you want to charge."

    Of course the dealer is going to tell you that "no floor mats" isn't an option, because he makes a nice markup on them, but the car will run perfectly fine with either kind.

  36. Herby

    In the same sentence

    Computer vendor (ex: Dell) and Customer service/support. In the same sentence, I'm surprised. Given the state of things these days, it is easier to either "build your own" (especially if it is a tower), or get an upgradable one at a dumb retail outlet. You need to make VERY SURE that you test it well, because it probably has a "tail-light guarantee" (If I can see your tail lights, it is guaranteed). Bring your Knoppix CD/DVD along and see if you can TEST it fully.

    Of course, this being written on a Dell Latitude D810 running Linux....

  37. Orv Silver badge

    Friends don't let friends buy Dell laptops

    I gave up on them after some Latitude machines we had at a previous job. Each one went through two CPU fans while still under warranty. Dell's solution (other than sending out a tech to replace them) was a BIOS update to make the fan run less often. Shortly after the warranty period ran out the keyboards on both machines went flaky and the batteries failed.

  38. Mahou Saru

    Think of the children!!!

    Technical reasons aside, it is a shame that some people miss the point about taking a course of action that is more environmentally friendly.

  39. David Wilkinson

    They don't have to offer eveything the customer wants

    With a company as big as Dell things that seem simple get complex fast.

    There probably isn't a way for an agent to put though an order with options that don't exist. They are under no obligation to offer every possible configuration. And people who complain about every worker not being a skilled technician are probably not willing to pay extra to get that.

    If you want a personal experience and deal with skilled people you have to go small. Of course it will cost that small company a lot more to push the same hardware.

    To me this is like getting fast food and complaining you don't have service and options you would get at a proper resturant.

    I still like this kind of article because its in everyone's benefit for Dell's customer to complain. Maybe next time Dell reworks its ordering system they will decide to offer different options.

  40. Terkanil
    IT Angle

    I remember those days...

    For what I know of Dell, both from using Dell machines (currently own an Inspiron 1720, and 4000), as well as working in the Tech Support, I know at least a little about how things go in sales (felt sorry when I had to send a customer to sales).

    As for the pairing, the sales rep was misinformed. Sales are good at that. They generally stick to the configuration application they have to build the machine, but they don't always have an option in there to do what you'd want. However, it is a matter I'd have to recheck with contacts still inside Dell, but I don't believe there's a base config option for just 1 stick. But to the point, specifications state you can run a single stick. And usually the internal specs we get even list what combinations (such as the 2 and 1GB stick combo).

    And with any work either in Tech Support or Sales, its also a matter of where you talk to. Some sites are better than others. I rarely used the support knowledge base; didn't need it most of the time. I was also one of the most knowledgeable agents at the site. According to colleagues still there, its sounds like I created a black hole when I left.

  41. Peter Fielden-Weston

    @John Bailey

    "If you want to choose the motherboard, memory configuration, drive spec, video card, OS and perhaps go for a better mouse than the standard off the shelf system, then for heaven's sake, build your own! Or go to a small place where each computer is hand built to exactly the spec you want."

    I tried to do that. I went to all of my local computer shops and gave them a spec (for a powerful machine), warning that I expected the cost to be about £2.5K. I gave each of these shops my email address to send their quotes. NONE of them gave a quote, not one of them emailed at all. My machine was bust so I went to PC World and bought an Advent of similar spec to that given to the local places. I also bought a top of the line ATI video card and a 17" flat LCD monitor (this was 3 years ago). The whole lot came to less than £2.0K

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell Tech Support

    I have only good things to say about the Dell Tech Support. My power supply died. I gave them a ring in the evening after coming from work. The next morning a Dell technician was at my place and changed it in a couple of minutes.

  43. Dellboy

    Stop Knocking Tech Support

    To all those who say we use computers and scripts. That's India you are referring to. We use our own brains (That's why they look for industry qualifications / experience before they take you on!!)

    I have to agtee tho, sales are a bunch of muppets. We still take the michael out of them for selling a server to connect two computers together.

    Please don't tar us all with the same brush!!!

    A Dell Tech Support Lifer

  44. Morely Dotes

    "simple technical explanation"

    "We asked Dell why Paul wasn't given a simple technical explanation about the limitations of the firm's customisation options, but it has so far declined to comment."

    Paul wasn't given a simple technical explanation because (a) the low-wage person in Bangalore wouldn't have known a DIMM from Dim Sum if they were both on a cart in front of him, and (b) there is no "simple technical explanation" for "I can't let you do anything that isn't on my script, even if you know what the Hell you're talking about and I don't, because I have no clue whatsoever, and furthermore, I don't care as long as I get my 50 rupees every Friday."

    That's Consumer Level support for you. Business level (e.g., you paid an extra sum equal to half the cost of the laptop for "Gold Support") is provided by people local to you ("local" meaning in the USA for Americans, Scots for Scotland, and so on), and they generally know some technical info and aren't afraid to ask a supervisor if they aren't sure of something.

    I would no more buy from the Consumer division than eat from a cesspool.

  45. Eddie Johnson
    IT Angle

    All chiefs, no injuns?

    When I see "CEO and Founder" I usually suspect its shorthand for "CEO, Founder, and sole employee" and the company sign hangs on a basement door. Also, quitting time is whenever mom yells, "Supper's ready!"

  46. Anonymous Coward

    Dell Support

    I had a drive fail in a PowerEdge 1600SC (admittedly aged) and it was replaced within a day. They did, however, insist on attempting to rebuild the RAID array before admitting it was dead, but that only took a few diagnostic tests, but they had a new drive out to us about 5 hours after the first call.

    That said, I'd never consider buying from Dell for home use. :)

  47. Paul

    DELL (cough) Support

    I am not surprised to see comments like these.

    DELL could have just simply explained that the type of memory used required two memory modules of the same size to work.

    In the last 9 odd years I had heard many and experienced many horror stories about DELL and their so called "customer service" , which is non-existant in my opinion.

    Just google DELL HELL and see for yourself.

  48. MondoMan


    As pointed out above, the type of memory used does NOT require two memory modules of the same size to work.

  49. John Grindstaff

    Our method of dealing with Dell

    Our tech Dept here in Texas has over 2500 dell computers and Laptops. I got 75 just this month. Updating Drivers and getting good images to deploy are important.

    We have one of our staff pay the money, take the tests and become a certified Dell technician. We e-mail him the serial number and part we need. He goes online and orders the part and we get it the next day. We open the computers and do all the work ourselves.

    I cannot imagine talking to someone in India for an hour to tell them what I already know. Just send me the part!

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Dell customer disservice

    It's not just joe-average-user who has Dell troubles.

    I work for a _large_ UK university. Dell mysteriously seem to get through the procurement process every year even when the tech people make it clear that we'd rather face the joys of red hot pokers than have to deal with Dell support.

    (We managed to ditch Sony a few years ago, but various staff still INSIST on buying Sony laptops, then get pissed off when we tell them "I told you so" after the units go titsup 8-14 months on - mostly just outside the 12 month warranty most have gotten instead of the extended 3 year contract the institution REQUIRES for computer purchases.)

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