Bellevue PC Sucks!

Warning: Lame rant ahead

I bought a new PC from a local PC company 2 years ago. It was a decent system, but I didn’t really think it was necessarily better than anything I could get off the shelf. About the only perk was that I could pick my own components, which I did with their help.

About 4 months ago I decided to wipe my disk and reinstall. I grabbed all my driver disks and away I went. I get to installing the video drivers and the disc they gave me wouldn’t recognize the video card in the machine. Damn. Not a big deal, download the drivers from the net. All was okay. With the new install the system still has some quirks, but it is livable.

I have two drives in the system. I backed up my data to the second drive thinking there was very little chance of both drives going at the same time. Buzz! try again.

I turn on the PC a couple of weeks ago and the thing shoots out sparks! Nice smell of acrid smoke fills the air. Wonderful. Try a new power supply. Nope.

So then I start the task of trying to PC shop without internet access. That was fun. Don’t get me started on that process.

I get the new PC and try and put the old drives in so I can recover my data. First drive not recognized. (insert curse word here). Try second drive. Still not working. (insert stronger curse word). Read everything I can on installing second drives. Plug in here looking for advice. Nothing. Try a friend’s PC. Still nothing. (You are still inserting those curse words, right?)

I call the company that sold me the original PC and asked if they would help, even though I didn’t buy the new PC from them. They said they would, and when I got down there, they had changed their minds. They now want $60/hour to diagnose the old system. (starts with f, ends in ers, and it isn’t fire fighters). So I asked if they felt any remorse about selling a system that died in less than 2 years. Not just some card dying or something… but sparks from the motherboard. Nope. $60/hour, please.

So I go to transfer video card and sound card from old PC to new. ISA slots on old, PCI on new. (now curse loudly, in capital letters).

In order to connect to work, I need to install special software. Guess what? They don’t have a version for XP. Isn’t life just grand?

All my data is essentially gone. Yeah, I should have backed it up to an external media if it was that important, which in reality it isn’t. But it still sucks and is a pain in the ass I want to rant about it. I warned you this was lame.

(To al: Nice rack!)

Are we taking about the Bellevue in Oregon?

If you still have those drives with the data I’ve got an idea for you so that you might possibly get the data off of them. Put them in the freezer overnight. Then plug them in to your system. Turn on system and then give the drives a small tap. Sometimes this works for getting stuff off of drives that have crapped out. I’ve done it a time or so and it’s really saved my ass.

Hastur That’s the one.

ATG I’ll give that a shot. I don’t quite get how that could help, but at this point I have very little to lose in trying. Thanks for the tip! (Just how hard do you ‘tap’ it?) Just so you know, the drives are spinning, they just aren’t recognized anymore.

I’ve used the Bellevue in Corvallis… it can be a pain in the ass.

::Anti-psychiatric protest signs held aloft, fliers about the evils of forced treatment in hand, AHunter3 comes into thread to add his voice to the discussion of Bellevue Psychiatric Center::



Oh, uhh,… ::switches gears::

ATA drives or SCSI?

Try hooking them up to a non-Windows machine. I’ve seen Unix and Macintosh successfully access drives that Windows won’t, which would let you copy the files off.

::leaves quietly with signs and handouts::

ATA drives.

I took the operating system out of the equation by downloading MAXBLAST and EZDRIVE from maxtor and wester digital, respectively. With those, you create a boot disk and try and configure the drive before the op sys even loads. I even unplugged my primary drive and plugged each of my two dead drives as master in turn. Still nothing.

I’d guess that everything/most everything you had plugged in at the time of the small annoying burst of sparks is fried. Dumping way too much voltage at hard drives is not something they tend to tolerate well.

As for the company, how do you blame THEM? If the system lasted 2 years, it’s obviously not their fault, nor their problem. They might help you as a courtesy, hoping to keep you as a customer, but since you’ve already chosen not to buy a new computer from them, all incentive is gone.

If you had the system on a quality surge protector, about the only entity you can blame is the power supply manufacturer.

I never intended to imply the problem was their fault or their problem. Well, mostly not. I think selling a system that lasts 2 years is bad business. Of course they didn’t do it on purpose or with forethought. Shit happens and I understand that. Unfortunately for me, the thing lasted 2 years and didn’t die in the warranty period.

So yeah, I think they should have tried to help as a courtesy. I didn’t want a new system and I didn’t go in demanding anything. I asked nicely, as a courtesy, if they would help me recover data from a drive they had sold me which had failed in a system they had sold me. I asked for 10 minutes of their time. No more. I told them that I suspected the drive is dead, and I didn’t want to waste their time or mine, but an expert opinion would certainly help given everything else I had tried. I was greeted with implications their systems don’t die like that and it must have been something I had done. Had I not been completely ready for them to make that accusation, it would have really ticked me off. But I knew the conversation would go either as “sure, let’s take a look” or “1 year warranty. We are under no obligation. Must be your fault.” I was annoyed it went the latter.

Obviously they were under no obligation and half my rant is really frustration over losing all that information. I just think customer service is dead. If I want 0 customer service I’ll go purchase from the chain stores at cheaper prices.

Was this at the Corvallis location? Did you speak to the same person each time?

Hastur I’m not sure what you mean by the same person each time. It was different people between when I called and actually went down to the store. On the phone I spoke with a tech rep to give clarification to the problem and ask if they were willing to help. At the store I spoke with the sales people up front who in turn talked with the tech reps. The sales reps then said they couldn’t help immediately and I would be charged. I never had the chance to talk with a tech rep directly when I went down to the store.

It was the Corvallis store.

Ah. I’ve had that problem with them… and on a system that was less than a year old. I don’t go to them for much anymore.

I’m looking for a better place within the Willamette Valley. Thus far, no dice.

If you didn’t like Bellevue, I’d stay away from the Computer Exchange. Similar problem, but far more insidious.

I’ve looked into buying stuff from Computer Exchange in the past, but when I’ve needed it they weren’t open or were too expensive. But I’ll certainly keep what you said in mind. You would think there would be decent place somwhere in the valley, though. At this point I’m just going to bite the bullet and head to fry’s for my computer needs. Might as well pay a lower price.