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Author Topic: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)  (Read 7691 times)

zridling

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Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« on: June 01, 2008, 11:39:16 PM »
A neighbor of mine bought himself an incredible new HP laptop a few days ago and asked me to come over and tweak it for him, since he knew no Vista. However, we spent almost three hours uninstalling (and constantly rebooting) 28 crapware programs installed by HP. Microsoft seemed to have everything they've ever made as a "trial" installed on the HD, and if you clicked on any Microsoft icon, you were immediately asked to buy — not try — the software before using it even once. Amazing audacity to say the least.
fedup-e.jpg
It took a while longer to tweak Vista (no need for tweak apps, I already had a full Vista tweak list from a simple Google search), but HP had Vista locked down so tight that there were many parts you could not adjust, UAC and Vista's power settings for some odd reason. I ended up reformatting and reinstalling from the partition, but that took three calls to Microsoft for "permission," and this included being lectured to for "altering the system" in the first place by a MS tech support rep.

I've built my own systems for years and now I have a renewed wonder why anyone would tolerate the pain of a commercial computer! I seriously didn't have that kind of time to spend on a computer. Just load the OS, load your apps, let them activate/validate themselves, and GO!
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 11:21:18 PM by zridling »

sri

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app103

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2008, 12:13:00 AM »
There is a big difference between buying an HP or Dell machine meant for a home consumer and a business machine. The business machines do not come with all the crap installed.

As a matter of fact, my daughter's HP laptop came with the OS on disk (not a restore partition), a driver CD, and a disk of optional crapware...none was preinstalled.

Hers was a business machine.

My HP desktop, on the other hand, came with everything preinstalled, lots of crap I had to remove, and a restore partition rather than an OS disk. If I had not changed settings to reveal all hidden files & folders and browsed around in the depths of things, I would not have known that there was an outdated copy of python preinstalled on my machine, which could have become an issue when I went to install my own copy. Not only that, but there are security risks associated with having really old outdated hidden copies of python preinstalled on machines.

Lesson learned: Buy a business machine if you are going to buy prebuilt.

steeladept

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #3 on: June 02, 2008, 02:00:30 AM »
App103 beat me to the punch - I love HP machines, but will NEVER buy any of their "consumer" grade machines.  I too build my own, but when it comes to desktops, nothing beats a "business" grade laptop from HP (except maybe a business grade laptop from Lenovo).  To be fair, you end up needing to get the top end to have a decent graphics card, or at least going through their custom configurator, but it is the same for Dell's, and I always found supporting HP laptops a bit easier.  Unfortunately, for that convienience, you pay a premium; but in addition to the clean OS you get drive bays instead of built-in drives, you get cleaner designed docking stations (if you want them) and you get a much more customizeable system, both during configuration and later for upgradability.  I will never buy a laptop that is not business grade unless I find a custom build.

PS - I don't know how other companies are handling it, but HP no long provides disks even with their business machines.  Instead, they provide a disk label with instructions on how to make your own disk.  Another cost cutting measure to annoy the masses (what does it save them?  $.30/machine, if that much?  Come on!), but since they were designed for businesses, I guess you only need a couple disks at most for your entire company and it does cut down on trash.  Eh, not a bad tradeoff on the disks as long as they include the burning software (since you typically make it first thing on boot).  Of course most businesses that maintain any significant number of machines use their own created image using something such as Acronis or Ghost....</rambling>

SirSmiley

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #4 on: June 02, 2008, 06:01:37 AM »
I've stuck with Dell my last two computers, always the business model plus upgrades and have never had to deal with the level of crap that I constantly hear about.

Also their customer service and responsiveness have always been great for me, maybe that's also a nice perk of the business models?

Stoic Joker

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #5 on: June 02, 2008, 06:21:08 AM »
Dell's Vostro line is one of the best stick-to-strictly-business machines I've seen; I've ordered several for clients with just Windows and actually received a machine with just Windows on it.

The consumer grade stuff (Zoiks!) I'm with ya 100% man, damn what a nightmare!

PhilB66

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Deozaan

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #7 on: June 02, 2008, 09:38:35 PM »
I build my own desktops, but if I were to get a laptop it would be from some brand. Probably Dell.

But the first thing I'd do is format and install a fresh copy of the OS.


Armando

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #8 on: June 03, 2008, 12:12:13 AM »
When I bought my Dell Inspiron 6400 (consumer) 2 years ago, it came with a bit of crap, but not too much. I just uninstalled that useless apps (starting with McAfee -- yeah, that one was a tad tricky) and started building from there.

I guess that I could've wiped the drive and start from scratch, but... I didn't. All in all, I think it was quicker this way, and except for my RAM problems (not windows related), I haven't got any windows related problems.

Am still running the same windows install I was, 2 years ago.

Of course, if you'd give me the choice I'd choose a laptop with just windows and drivers... nothing else. But I'm not necessarily willing to pay the big $$$ for that...

BTW : it's usually possible to order the windows CD from Dell -- yes, you can do that, and it's often free : I did it, but never used it. (Of course, I don't know anything about Vista's activation scheme, etc. That would probably be a pain...)
« Last Edit: June 03, 2008, 12:14:07 AM by Armando »

J-Mac

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #9 on: June 03, 2008, 01:37:34 AM »
After refusing to purchase from Dell for almost five years, I recently broke down and purchased a notebook from them - an XPS M-1330.  Though it does have a fair amount of issues, due mostly to manufacturers releasing rotten drivers for their "Vista-compatible" hardware, there was almost no crapware on it at all.  A few Dell-specific things - one of which I found to be extremely annoying - but other than a few of those, nothing.

I was pleasantly surprised.

BTW, the annoying thing I mentioned above was a Dell-branded Google search page.  Anytime you go to Google's home page you instead get redirected by a BHO to a Dell/Google page that has 75% sponsored ads and 25% real search results.  I found the problem - it's actually a program listed only under "C:\Common Files", but II could not install it from the Control Panel.  When I tried it said that it required me to install a disk first. But none of the Dell-supplied disks worked to uninstall it.

I finally just found the DLL and renamed it, then found and deleted the registry key for it.  B@stards!!

Jim

zridling

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #10 on: June 03, 2008, 11:20:49 PM »
Thanks for the tips, guys. Next time I will politely refuse the offer to help someone with a commercial computer, except to point them to the business machine section first. He didn't ask before purchasing, but I'll let him know for future machines that's what he needs to do.

Shades

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #11 on: June 04, 2008, 12:10:01 AM »
Totally agree with Deozaan on this one...I will gladly waver away any kind of support/guarantee plan from any laptop manufacturer even if that means sacrificing the rescue partition!

My laptop...my personal treasure chest so to speak. Get the (hardware) drivers from the original installation and start over from scratch. Now I have to say that I don't have (or see) any problem with using an copied Windows CD (the same version as was installed on the laptop originally!) using the Windows registration code provided on the bottom. In my point of view the license is payed for, and I can use whatever installation CD as long as it is the same version/edition (in my case an OEM Win2000).

Maybe that is why my HP Omnibook 6000 (PIII-500MHz-128MbRAM) still does a good job. No crap of any kind and that includes useless baggage as hardware specific software from the manufacturer as well! Using only the essential software you need on it and the life of your laptop will be greatly extended.

The only upgrade and re-install I did (after 6 years!) was changing its 6Gbyte harddisk for a 40Gbyte one. But in the mean time it has been a real lifesaver on many occasions.

Josh

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #12 on: June 04, 2008, 12:19:42 AM »
I have to stand by dell. For the past two systems, I have purchased from them, learning my lesson about building a system on my own when it is not really my passion. Yes, I can build a system given the time, but time has become a valuable commodity to me with the military and my family. Dell's warranty services are the best, turn around time just shy of two days for a received new part on failure. Their system configurations on their website make it very easy for me to customize their systems to my exact needs.

Also, when it comes to "crapware", my last system had about 4-5 apps I had to uninstall. Given how often I reformat, about once every year or so, this is a very very negligible annoyance and one I will gladly put up with to obtain a system that I know will work, continue to work, and if it breaks I can have it fixed without any out of pocket expense. Bravo to you Dell

J-Mac

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #13 on: June 04, 2008, 02:03:19 AM »
I have to stand by dell. For the past two systems, I have purchased from them, learning my lesson about building a system on my own when it is not really my passion. Yes, I can build a system given the time, but time has become a valuable commodity to me with the military and my family. Dell's warranty services are the best, turn around time just shy of two days for a received new part on failure. Their system configurations on their website make it very easy for me to customize their systems to my exact needs.

Also, when it comes to "crapware", my last system had about 4-5 apps I had to uninstall. Given how often I reformat, about once every year or so, this is a very very negligible annoyance and one I will gladly put up with to obtain a system that I know will work, continue to work, and if it breaks I can have it fixed without any out of pocket expense. Bravo to you Dell

I'll agree to a point - warranty services are much better for the business site than for home users.  Last time I purchased a Dell (prior to this last notebook), all Home service had been outsourced to India.  now I don't usually have any problem with that.  When I was still able to work I spent time at my company's Mumbai office and had (still have, actually) a lot of respect for the engineers and designers there.  As talented as any I have known.  But Dell had apparently gone the "cheap" route. Their Indian techs were extremely poor from an English language standpoint, and they only read from scripts - the same as you could read on the Dell support site or in the user manual.  No higher tier there, and they would not transfer you to the US offices.

And though their crapware levels are way down presently, they used to put a ton of it on their Home systems five years ago and prior. You couldn't even pay them to leave it off!

Jim

Deozaan

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #14 on: June 04, 2008, 03:38:23 AM »
Yeah, and members of the military get really good technical support contracts with Dell.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 03:40:33 AM by Deozaan »

steeladept

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #15 on: June 04, 2008, 03:47:42 AM »
REALLY?  I didn't know that.  I guess I should ask about that more often...

Josh

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #16 on: June 04, 2008, 04:29:40 AM »
Deozaan, This has nothing to do with me being military. I am talking about systems I have purchased for my HOME USE, NOT BUSINESS.

Deozaan

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Re: Why I could never buy a Dell or HP computer (rant)
« Reply #17 on: June 04, 2008, 04:38:57 PM »
Deozaan, This has nothing to do with me being military. I am talking about systems I have purchased for my HOME USE, NOT BUSINESS.

There are organizations that have large contracts so that anybody who buys a Dell through them get very nice technical support contracts with Dell. These include military, corporations, universities, and others. Even if the computers are for home use (i.e. students ordering a computer through their university) they still get the awesome contract.

That said, I obviously don't know how you ordered your computer, but just because you bought it for home use that doesn't necessarily exclude you from one of those nice tech support contracts that come from being in the military.

And with this line:

and if it breaks I can have it fixed without any out of pocket expense.

It makes me think that you DO have one of those nice contracts. Whether you got it through the military or you paid the extra money to get it, you've got a very nice support contract.

« Last Edit: June 04, 2008, 04:42:36 PM by Deozaan »