• On hold

    by  • 5/29/2001 • life • 1 Comment

    On hold once again with the abysmal Dell Technical Support.

    I’ve got a Dell Inspiron 5000 that I rarely have problems with. We’ve got a bunch of them. We’ve got a couple Inspiron 3500s as well; cheapie Celeron systems that apparently weren’t ever meant to work.

    This particular 3500 that I’m having nightmares about and waking up in cold sweats due to has had every part of it replaced at one time or another; hard drive, screen, CD-ROM, and the motherboard (a whopping six time).

    What’s the problem? Audio is broken.

    I can play CD Audio, but the machine is physically incapable of playing wave audio; mp3, wav, etc. This makes the machine useless in the hands of a sales person on the road doing demos that involve multimedia.

    Dell claims it’s a software issue, but they claim to keep replacing the motherboard in an effort to fix it. Replace the motherboard and ship it back claiming it’s been tested successfully and that it works perfectly, so it must be a software issue.

    Okay, so playing along, I pull out the magic recovery CD that ships with a Dell system. This CD puts a machine back to the basics; it sets the machine back to the way it shipped from the factory in theory. I grab the latest driver updates from their web site and install.

    We actually get sound. Not pleasant sound. something between a jackhammer and a modem negotiation noise. That lasts for a little while in place of the normal wavs. Play a 30 second wav, get thirty seconds of noise.

    Not ideal, but it sounds like progress.

    I call Dell. I’ve got the machine done up with everything that they’re going to require that I do, so they can’t stall fixing this issue.

    Shock of shocks, someone picks up the phone roughly 30 seconds into hold. Tres bizarre for Dell. Average I’ve spent is about 20 minutes.

    Anyhow, he goes through the motions and he’s as mystified as anyone else there. I’d mentioned that we have multiple 3500s and he asked if we’d tried this hard drive (with it’s software configuration problems…) in the other 3500 to see if audio plays. It does. We tried that.

    So what’s that mean? Likely that we’re stuck with a laptop that they won’t replace because they will insist yet again that it’s a software issue and can’t be fixed. Logic doesn’t matter, after all.

    I’m still on hold, sharing the smooth jazz hold music at a nice loud volume with my cow-orkers. Helps alleviate some of my stress by distributed stress processing – offloading my stress on those around me. Yum.

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