* Posts by davmor

3 publicly visible posts • joined 11 Feb 2010

Rootkit blamed for Blue Screen patch update snafu

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Jury still out...

I'm sorry, but I'm still not convinced that Microsoft can just blame these problems on a/ some mysterious, unspecified, rootkit(s) and walk away "washing their hands". Apart from the fact that Microsoft have shied away from stating categorically that this is the reason (danger of litiigation if it can be proved not to be so?), if the patch was intended to prevent said rootkit(s), surely they could have tried it on a few infected machines to determine the outcome BEFORE breaking a large number (and issue with a specific warning, if necessary)? (As an aside, I just wonder if anyone has been able to clearly demonstrate a rollback of the patch to fix a machine and then go on to show it clearly does NOT have a rootkit? That would be interesting!)

From my perspective, I've had to deal with a number of affected machines in recent days, at least some of which had up to date anti-virus software by Symantec, McAfee, F-Secure and others and which were set to receive regular signature updates. Are we saying that ALL of these vendors have software which is incapable of detectting a rootkit? Also, many of these machines could not be repaired by simply rolling back the patch - admittedly some had suffered from their owners (natural) desire to attempt to fix the problem which had made matters worse, but they can hardly be blamed for that!

I use both Linux and Microsoft software and have no axe to grind but, on this occasion have found it hard to defend Microsoft to angry customers who, while they may now have a machine which following rebuild is DEFINITELY clear from rootkits/ viruses/ whatever, are now also missing their precious data (irreplaceable photographs/ documents/ etc). Yes, you can be cynical and say they should have learned about backing things up - but they trusted Microsoft, and recommendations to "keep your machine safe - turn on automatic updates" and have been badly let down. Not good enough!

Dell servers block un-Dell HDDs

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Holy vitriol? - No, plain common sense!

a) "Dell support on a server covers the installed HDs for the life of the server warranty" - no problem here; as numerous previous posts have already said, all Dell had to do was make plain it's warranty will not cover 3rd party hardware (that's common enough/ fair enough) - but that's a far cry from "enabling" non-functioning with said 3rd party hardware.

b) "Drives are cheap..." - and some (Dell?) are not as cheap as others! Also (and the point has already been made by others) how cheap will the Dell drives be in a few years time, when Dell wants its market to be the newest, latest, system design and doesn't want to be burdened with supplying these drives anymore - except at a premium?

c) "..lots, of people have been reselling Dell servers with cheap 3rd party consumer SATA drives that fail alot. And when I say lots, I mean LOTS.." - really? Only Dell make good, reliable drives? (Oh, I forgot, Dell don't actually make drives - just badge them) Of course, care has to be taken in reading spec sheets - but Dell engineers don't have the monoply on that knowledge...

d) "..a-c taken together lead to this, or an increase in warranty pricing across the board for Dell servers.." - no; just a simple clause in the warranty which restricts support for 3rd party hardware and leaves the choice with the customer - where it belongs. Customere will make a choice anyway - it's just that in trying to force the issue Dell may just find that the choice is "not Dell"!

disclosure; I DON'T work at Dell, and I don't benefit or suffer from Dell's decision - although how you can say that you don't, beats me! If you work for Dell then you do benefit - at least indirectly - from your employment. Also, although I applaud your loyalty, I think you may also suffer from Dell's decision here - because their decision to try and "strongarm" their customers will, I think, backfire and hurt them in the long run. BTW, I don't work for Dell's competitor's either, nor do I have an axe to grind. But I DO make recommendations to clients as to what systems to buy, and have to spell out the pro's and con's; Dell just added a "Con" in this instance - that's all.

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It's easy to vote with your feet...

I've never understood the mentality of any company thinking that restrictive practices and attempts to limit choice to your own company's offerings will improve customer relationships/ future business. By all means issue warnings about limited/ no support for 3rd party hardware/ software, but anything beyond that is pathetic (unless Dell are perhaps concerned that their controller design is so flaky that attaching other manufacturer's drives to it will damage their hardware?). Of course, it's entirely possible that Dell may decide to offer a price-match with the alternative offerings - but I don't think that's likely to happen in my lifetime/ this universe/ your unlikely scenario here...

Big mistake, IMHO.