Dell inflicts their shit BIOS code on me

So about three weeks ago I was outside with my new Dell laptop, listening to MP3s when somebody comes by, gets something caught on my headphone cord, gives it a big yank, and breaks the headphone port. This being a problem needing repair, I call Dell tech support and ship the laptop to the repair depot around last Friday (I had an assignment to finish with it first).

This Wednesday, the laptop came back with a note saying that they had replaced the motherboard and updated the BIOS. So I boot it. It boots faster (due to reduced POST) and has more info in the setup screens, but nothing incredible.

Until, that is, I tried making it go into standby. It worked perfectly before I sent it to Dell. Now it just sits there, screen blank, nonresponsive to whatever input I send it until I power it down forcefully by holding down the power button. This made me mad.

After searching Dell’s website, I came upon a newer version of the BIOS (that still didn’t work) and a hard drive firmware upgrade (which also didn’t work). At that point, I called Dell tech support. She had me running full diagnostics, and, at the end, reinstalling my operating system.

Nothing worked.

It turns out that Dell decided to start making the BIOS themselves instead of having Phoenix – who’s been doing it for at least 15 years – make it. Not only that, they’ve changed the way that code was written in a way that makes it impossible to go back to the Phoenix BIOS. Then, they inflict this code upon the masses.

Their first release produced a ton of complaints in the Support Forums. Gods know how many calls they got. This one looks just as bad.

Dell, a question: What the fuck possessed you to think that you could make a better BIOS than Phoenix? Seriously. Did you even check the code before inflicting it on the hapless masses? It doesn’t appear so, from all the complaints it has wrought. Now everyone’s system is screwed up, you have a buttload of tech support overhead, and it’s all your fault. Chew on that next time you think you can save some money on the competition by scrimping on system-critical software. Hell, it’s not like you have to save money. You’re a very big company. So why not put more money into making quality systems instead of making pieces of crap?

sigh I guess, Dell, that’s what makes you the Wal-Mart of the computer business, complete with low prices, shoddy hardware, and non-English-speaking tech support. See if I buy from you again.

I guess those interns aren’t as great as the ads would imply. :wink:

I wonder if this is why my Optiplex GX150 doesn’t want to hibernate anymore in Win2k. :dubious: Oh well. Who needs standby on a… uh… laptop.

Seriously, this seems like an incredibly dumb thing to do. I thought not having a temperature sensor on my GX150 mobo was scrimping (it wouldn’t surprise me if it cost them money to have that removed - it’s pretty standard), but making your own substandard bios and then sticking it to the end user… :smack: Perhaps instead of measuring crap with measuring tapes and making walls out of TFTs, they should, I dunno, make their stuff better?

I absolutely shudder every time someone I know says they have purchased a Dell, or Gateway for that matter, product. Then I sit back and wait for the complaints to start.

A very good friend of mine bought himself a Gateway a couple years ago. Complete with WinME and a 10 gig HDD. I casually suggested that for the money he was spending he could build himself something that would be comparable or better, and not to get ME as it is a piece of junk. I also suggested to him that if he did go through with the Gateway deal, that he should at least triple the hard drive capacity and get a different os.

Fast forward a couple months. I was listening to his lamenting over constant Blue Screens of Death and how is hard drive was already full. I just pointed, laughed and said “I told ya so.” I’m no computing genius by any stretch of the imagination, but he does at least take my advice a little more seriously now.

Blue Screens of Death and a full hard drive are not Gateway’s fault. That’s the operating system, application and rampant abuse of peer-to-peer networking.

Nothing wrong with the Gateway. Lot wrong with the Operating System (Window’s fault) and your friend’s file system management (Burn a cd or two, dagnabbit).

Agreed, I have had the same Gateway for about 5 years now and have had to call tech support exactly zero times. I mean, it’s not a fantastic system, but it’s certainly not a bad system. The only change I had to do was increase the memory about two years back. And given the abuse this puppy has endured through college, I’m surprised it’s still running.

Anyway, I don’t think Gateways are the worst way you could spend your computer money. They’re cheap and durable.

We have a Gateway that we’ve had for at least five years that still works fine. Granted, it doesn’t have enough memory to run some of the current apps, but for what it’s used for, it’s reliable and functional. Never any repairs on it, either.

I think it’s like cars, sometimes you get the lemon no matter who’s making them.

I have bought a Gateway in the past. It worked fine, but customer service when shopping for a new one was horrible. I went to Fry’s and configured my own.

But what the OP refers to is a much bigger thing than crappy customer service or selling someone a machine with a small HD.

They are replacing the BIOS with their own code? A BIOS that won’t allow a LAPTOP to sleep? Which one of those idiot interns did the cost/benefit analysis on this one? Don’t the salaries of added tech support staff enter into the equation? Or are they staffing it the same and making everyone wait longer?

This is something that the casual user would never know to ask about, but creates HUGE usability issues with the computer. Try giving one of these Dells to your mother and see how quickly she says “Forget it”.

There are plenty of reasons to hate Dell (ask me where I work 9 months out of the year), but even they wouldn’t purposely make a BIOS that didn’t go into standby. Of course, since most of the QA jobs are being done in China now, maybe they just can’t quite get it right.

My friend bought a Gateway with a 40 Gig HD. It arrived partitioned with a 10 Gig C: drive and a 30 Gig D:. Guess where all the space-hogging software packages were installed? That’s right, in the default place many insist on going: C:\Program Files.

The end result is continual running out of space on C:, with acres spare on D:. And this on the same drive all the virtual memory is stored.

This partitioning could have only been dreamt up by a moron.

Oddly enough, the problem randomly fixed itself. I have no explanation of how this occurred. Here’s hoping it stays fixed.