hardware rant (replacement system)

(zdk1) #1

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this is a thread revival, scroll down the page for the new post

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ughh,
so I’ve had this Dell computer for about two years now and its given me nothing but constant splitting headaches. The system has died in some way or other 3 times in the last two years!first instance was within a week of opening it, which should have been a clear enough warning sign. got shipped a whole new computer after that. Then the hard drive dies in the middle of my midterms week. just kept onbluescreening.I get that replaced.
The hard drive fails again and is replaced again.

then it starts making noise, which I thought was the hard drive grinding, but is more than likely the PSU fan getting stuck or something,

now its just dying, not even a blue screen, just up and dies randomly. didn’t even start booting. For some reason, sticking an ubuntu live cd in, and then telling it to boot from hard drive seems to start XP finally. So right now I’m rapidly backing up my files to an external drive and hoping it finishes before it dies again.

I’m thinking that it may have overheated and one of the fan’s are not going so I have the case open and a vornado going full blast at it.

bleh, not really anyones business, but…
I am really, really sick of dell, and dell computers. to be fair, they were very prompt at replacing broken parts (no charge). that doesn’t help too much when everything they send me seems to fall apart. also, the entire system seems to be incompatible with every possible RAM, PSU, and graphics card I want to buy.

Win XP doesn’t really have anything to do with it but I’m getting pretty sick of that too.
anyways, continue your normal lives people. I just needed to vent a bit.

I really want a new box, preferably a core 2 duo, and dual boot to linux and win XP (for some apps I need). built from the ground up this time. That would have been my choice for the last system, but that decision was not in my hands. hence, why I ended up with an overpriced, overheating (idles at 40-55 celsius and jumps to 80-100!!), noisy, poorly designed (front usb ports are on the bottom angled downwards, an underneath a flap), block of plastic and metal…

edit:
okay, backup of important files complete (most were already backed up) so I’m not so nervous anymore. It seems to be working stably now, though I don’t know how long that will last. still, I’ll be really happy when I can get a new system and not have to worry about this constantly. seriously, the monitor (19’’ LCD) is the only nice thing about this system.

edit2:
nope, it just died again. I am really, really sick of this. work files are backed up now though. (i’m posting from a laptop)

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(guster3D) #2

hey man,

i can understand what your saying about hardware in general, i havent had any experience with dell though so far.

instead of getting a boxx, why not build your own system. ive just built mine…ok ok the RAM died within 4 hours :mad: but i thought i could get away with cheap value RAM, guess not…anyway the point is im running a core2qaud, 2GB ddr2 800, 8800GTS 320MB, 19" screen, soon to be 22" TFT though and an nvidia 650I ultra for well under £1000

i think its came to about £400-600 at the moment, which i still think is pretty good :eyebrowlift:

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(zdk1) #3

yeah, I meant building my own system from scratch, hence box and not boxx
I’m already speccing out a system that will put my current one to shame. unfortunately, I’m light on funds right now, but if it turns out the dell is gone for good this time (warranty is up by now so no more replacements) that will force my hand.

also,
I’m not saying that dell is a horrible evil company or anything. just, my personal experience with their computers has been subpar.

I like their monitors too.

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(Felix Kütt) #4

then you should have used the term “white-box” as thats used to refer to starting from scratch on building a custom box :wink:

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(Craig Jones) #5

I’d say thath it sounds like you have a power supply problem, or your processor is overheating due to your fan not working correctly.
I understand about Dell, and sometimes their ‘ingredients’ make you go ‘why?’, but they are mostly stable, since a lot of business rely on them for basic computer desktop work.
BTW, did you have an AMD processor or Intel? I have been told that while the AMD is better for games, they overclock on purpose to attain the level of processing they advertise, so they run hotter and have a tendency to burn up. Next purchase I get, it will be an Intel Duo or maybe the quad if I can afford it. :slight_smile:

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(BigBlend) #6

My computer died 5 days ago. It was 5 years old. I had bought 1 gig of ddr and a Geforce 7600gs four months ago. How many apples do I have left? :smiley: Seriusly, my mobo was dead.

I had even an older computer that had a amd 1,5 Ghz CPU but nothing else on it. So I took the gfx card, memory and harddrive, then I put it on the older computer. Didn’t think it would work but surprise surprice. It feels more stable now somehow. It might be the fresh win2000 installation. BF1942 works like a charm.

Sometimes old stuff works. Sometimes.

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(Orinoco) #7

Yeah, but the IT guys working for those businesses usually have spares in the back room to swap out when something goes wrong, and if you haven’t got backups of the files you need, well, that’s not their problem - they told you to keep backups in the new employee briefing. That system makes sense when its cheaper to buy 105 Dell boxes when you only need 100. But it really sucks when you’ve only got the one. My sympathy, zdk1, and good luck with your new system.:wink:

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(zdk1) #8

sigh, I was cautiously optimistic when the system booted up this afternoon. temperatures looked ok, then boom, black screen.

salveagable parts are the hard drive (and I have another extra drive), cd rom drive, dvd/cd drive, sound card, and ram. floppy is useless.

mobo and cpu probably work just fine, but they’re both ancient and I’d like to plan for a better future. the graphics card, geforce 6800 GTO, only works on Dell computers, so thats pretty much trash. ram I can upgrade significantly for not too much so I’ll be getting new RAM.

so I need:
case
fan x2
cpu
mobo
RAM
graphics card
PSU
heatsink
thermal paste

I’m reusing:
hard drive x2
sound card
cd and dvd drives.
monitor
speakers
subwoofer (I love this thing)

I know the CPU and RAM i want already, so I’ll choose a mobo that supports both.
Intel core 2 duo (haven’t decided the model yet), and GSKILL 2x1GB DDR800 paired ram.

I really don’t know much about cases, heatsinks, fans, etc, as I’ve never put together a system from scratch before. If anyone has suggestions or tips about what to look out for with regards to those I’d be grateful.
also, yell at me if I’m forgetting something really obvious (though I’d probably figure out as my new system exploded in my face or something.

as one last ditch attempt to see if I can still keep the comp, I’ll take my extra hard drive, format it, and try to load XP or linux on it to see if this might be a problem with my hard drive. I seriously doubt that though. if was a boot sector problem, it wouldn’t boot at all, and my filesystem looks intact.

felix:
yeah, nitpick more would you :stuck_out_tongue:

craigomatic:
yeah, thats pretty much the conclusion I came to. I think I’d rather lay this system to rest than try to salvage it though.
It was an intel processor (the older overheating ones). by all accounts I’ve heard, AMD processors run cooler than intel (at least back when I bought this system a few years a go, before the core 2 duo lineup).

bigbad:
sorry man. five years is respectable though. this thing lasted two, with multiple failures in between.
unfortunately, all my older systems are crap and dying as well. not to mention severely, severely outdated (pre AGP slots even).

Orinoco:
thanks, I’m studying comp sci but I’m more of a software person. This hardware stuff is making my head spin.
actually, that reminds me, I tell people I’m studying comp sci and they immediately expect me to do tech support on their computers :eek:

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(Craig Jones) #9

Yeah, I’ve heard the opposite is true about Intel to AMD, so maybe it has to do with the optimaization for gaming.
I think there are a lot of resources available for instruction on assembly, and I even saw a magazine resource one time at the book store that detailed a custom assembly, so it’s very possible to get a good system built yourself.
I’d read as much as possible on the parts dealerships’ websites for customer’s feedback - I can remember seeing some pros and cons up on each component I was looking at, and that is still on my mind now as I ponder doing the same thing.
Most of the people at work use the computer for a database and spreadsheet only, and email is the only main daily activity outside of that, other than internet. Most of them don’t know how they work, or even consider some of their problems are their own creation sometimes :slight_smile:
I don’t mean to defend Dell comps, Orinoco, so sorry if I seemed to - just pointing out that they are cheap and meant to be. Kinda liek Compaq and HP from a few years ago :slight_smile:

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(zdk1) #10

erm, I’m posting from the desktop right now.
it seems to have resuscitated itself?

too early to believe that it might be ok.
I did take out half the RAM, but I don’t think thats it. while I was doing that I noticed that putting pressure on the mobo made it “click” against the case. might be that was what was happening, just a short or something. maybe. I hope.

if it doesn’t die for a few more hours it might be ok, and I’ll just have to secure the mobo a bit better.

I still might get the new system, though if this is working I could wait till the holiday sales.

fingers are crossed.

edit:
and now the computer is idling 10-15C cooler than it usually does?! what exactly is going on here?

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(zdk1) #11

wheee,
ordered my new system (separate parts)
cpu/mobo from tiger direct and the rest from newegg.
btw, the dell is dead, if that wasn’t apparent.

Core 2 duo 2.33ghz, Intel mobo
4 GB of RAM!
Geforce 8600 GTS 512 MB EVGA
cool case, w/ 500W PSU, 3x80mm fans and front 120mm fan.

I’m salvaging from the old system:
hard drive,
CD drive
CD/DVD read write drive

and I have another hard drive sitting in a box.

this is higher spec than my original plan, but I did not realize that the case came with PSU and fans included. that let me bump up a few things (mainly RAM)

spent just under $850.00, and if it all works, this should be way more powerful than my old system.
after a bunch of rebates and other things it’ll be under 800.

I might still need some random cable, or thermal paste, or whatever, but most should be here soon.
just got the graphics card and RAM today. card came with HD, S-video, cables, as well as vga adaptors.

rest will come soon, so I will get progressively happier as the week goes on.

also, kind of amusing. I hadn’t bought anything on that card for almost a month and a half, so initially my payments were declined because my card company thought that the purchases were fraudulent hehe.

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(zdk1) #12

ahaha, I knew I forgot something.

hey, I’m sure the system will be fine without a heat sink :evilgrin:

bleh, well, two more days for that i guess, I’ll buy thermal paste as well, just in case that doesn’t come with it.

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