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Author Topic: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine  (Read 4228 times)

nudone

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quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« on: July 07, 2011, 04:19:38 AM »
Sorry for creating a new topic that is very closely related to my previous one here: http://www.donationc...ex.php?topic=27196.0 I thought I'd start here as I just need quick opinions for the following question.

I bought a new computer last week. I had problems installing Windows on it and concluded it was a SATA cable problem. Today (6 days after the machine arrived at my house), I turned the machine on and the system didn't recognise the solid state drive where the operating system is.

I've now got the machine working - simply by unplugging and reconnecting the SATA cables a few times. I've yet to restart and investigate further.

I'm looking at this situation with two options available:

1) If I'm correct, I have one day left to send this machine back to the store and get a full refund (unless they decide to be difficult). This is under the distance selling regulations (in the UK). I'd do this as I simply don't want to assume this machine is "perfect"; I want to buy a machine that works correctly straight out of the box - not something that might fail in a few days again.

2) I keep the machine and attempt to make the cable problem go away myself. Maybe it really is just a socket that is a bit "large" and the plug needs a bit of help to stay secure. Or, maybe I should just accept there is something at fault with the solid state drive. (I will be conducting a few test after making this post).

As a note: I did change the cables around a few days ago whilst attaching two more hard drives. This means I must have moved all the cables around inside the machine quite a lot whilst setting things up - none of this caused the machine to stop booting. So it seems odd that today the machine would not recognise the SSD. (Anyway, on with the tests.)
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 04:23:24 AM by nudone »

mouser

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #1 on: July 07, 2011, 04:27:09 AM »
i'd return it.  i know it's s huge pain in the neck.

but i think one has to distinguish between two kinds of problems.

if it was something where one part was clearly broken, and could be replaced, i wouldn't worry about it.

but you have a case where something RANDOM is wrong, that you will not be able to identify.
it could be the solid state drive (seems probable).
it could be the motherboard.
it could be cable.

you're going to have a hard time ever knowing for sure what's wrong even if you get it working again, you'll not know if the problem will re-emerge.

an alternative would be to get them to send you a replacement SSD and an email saying that they will extend the period you have to return everything if the problem does not get fixed.

im glad you have been moving stuff around in that machine, plugging and unplugging stuff, and stress testing it.  better to find out now that the machine is unreliable than to find out later.

40hz

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #2 on: July 07, 2011, 04:49:27 AM »
Return it. It sounds like there's a hairline crack, bad connector, or cold solder joint on the board that's causing intermittent faults. Moving the cables around could be flexing the board or connectors just enough to temporarily get things working again. But the minute the components heat up (after they've been running for a while) or get cold (because the system has been switched off for a few hours) you'll be back to square one.

Life is too short.

My rule: any component failure or repeated system anomaly within the return period - send it back.

Two big PC manufacturers hate us because we always advise our clients to do that. Even for the slightest hardware glitch if it's within the return grace period. Our attitude is that the manufacturer's warranty on parts and labor should only be invoked once you can't get a new machine or your money back.

Note: Sometimes you have to push a little to get them to honor their return policy. They'll often try to stall you with a promise in order to get you to slip the return deadline. Don't fall for it.

We had a client take delivery on a shipment of something like 20 desktops where two were obviously defective. After a few phone calls to "Peggy" it was pretty obvious they were running a stalling play on the client. First they wanted to send two replacement hard drives. (We had already run full diagnostics and positively identified the problem was on the mainboard.) Then, after a heated 45-minute argument with a series of techs as the case got "escalated," they finally offered to send two replacement motherboards we could install for for our client. When we said "no" to that, they then offered to send one of their techs to install them. I have a pretty dim view of the wisdom of replacing mainboards in the field so I asked for an RMA to ship the two machines back for replacement per the warranty terms. They declined.

When I pointed out what I wanted was within the terms of their warranty, Dale (the "senior customer service manager") informed me it was solely at his discretion whether or not to do an RMA - and since he felt he was "being reasonable" in offering to send out parts and a technician - it was now a case of "take it or leave it."

When I pointed out we were still within the return period and that I would be contacting sales to arrange for a return and credit, his attitude changed dramatically. Dale offered to cut an RMA, but he insisted our client would have to pay for the return shipping (which is not what the warranty or sales terms said). Further, he refused to cross-ship replacement machines without first charging them to our client's credit card - with an actual refund credit amount to be determined once the defective machines had been received and "evaluated."

At that point I thanked him, told him "no thanks," and said we would be contacting our sales rep to cancel and arrange for the return of the entire order. I also said I'd be sure sales was given his name in case they had any follow-up questions about what just went down...

We received two replacement PCs the following morning via overnight express - along with two prepaid pickup tags for the defective machines.

I hate to be an SOB - but sometimes you just have to push.

 Luck. :Thmbsup:



« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 06:38:25 AM by 40hz »

Ath

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #3 on: July 07, 2011, 05:17:58 AM »
+1 for returning the machine, agree with all above. If it's bad, it's going to stay bad (and probably get worst) and not 'grow better over time'.

nudone

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #4 on: July 07, 2011, 05:27:29 AM »
Okay, thanks for the sensible advice everyone. I'm now filling in the online returns form. It's going back. I hope they don't make a fuss over it.

Ath

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #5 on: July 07, 2011, 05:44:54 AM »
I hope they don't make a fuss over it.
Good luck! And you have this forum and the posts you made as kinda 'proof' it didn't die on you just yesterday or today :-\

nudone

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #6 on: July 07, 2011, 05:51:45 AM »
I hope they don't make a fuss over it.
Good luck! And you have this forum and the posts you made as kinda 'proof' it didn't die on you just yesterday or today :-\

Good point. Hopefully they'll appreciate I have no other reasonable option that to ask for the full refund. It seems clear enough on their terms and conditions page - but Carol did mention how awkward they were to her.

Shades

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #7 on: July 07, 2011, 10:08:50 AM »
When hard drives are not recognized during boot can mean several things. The first thing I try is to disable fast boot in the BIOS. Servers that I build always have this option disabled.

The next part is mainly about mechanical drives, but the concept behind it could be worth checking out.
Sometimes the BIOS isn't giving the hard disk enough time to spin up sufficiently and according to the BIOS it isn't there, while you do hear it spin. When booting the system for the second time the BIOS does recognize the drive and will go on to do its business.

Why a drive doesn't spin up sufficiently in the allotted time can be a lot of things, like a worn drive or power supply that is not supplying sufficient power to the drive (which happens the most in my situation over here).

Normally, a power supply has two 'rails' that supply +12volt, +5volt and GND with a certain amperage. What sometimes helps (again, in my situation over here in Paraguay) is switching one rail with the other.

This might be worth checking out as it eliminates one way for them to weasel out of giving you a new system or giving you your money back.
« Last Edit: July 07, 2011, 10:25:13 AM by Shades »

nudone

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #8 on: July 07, 2011, 11:01:39 AM »
I first saw your reply to the other thread, Shades so I posted my reply there: http://www.donationc....msg254375#msg254375

(I just said it's a solid state drive, so no spinning involved. The machine was working fine and today just decided to be stupid again. So, it's definitely going back to the shop and I want a full refund - but a motherboard replacement sounds like it might be enough to fix the problem - who can say though, I don't want to test that theory.)

cranioscopical

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #9 on: July 07, 2011, 01:42:27 PM »
Dump it!

Why pay to be aggravated when I'll do that for you free?

cranioscopical

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #10 on: July 07, 2011, 01:44:26 PM »
It's going back. I hope they don't make a fuss over it.

If so, show the relevant threads here to your solicitor. In fact, don't you have some kind of consumer-protection outfit over there?

nudone

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #11 on: July 07, 2011, 02:09:28 PM »
I don't think there will be a problem. But if they want to find a problem, I'm sure they could think of something that matches their terms and conditions. Maybe something like, "the machine isn't as sold because you've changed the cables around inside". Which would be ridiculously petty, but wouldn't surprise me at all.

cranioscopical

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #12 on: July 07, 2011, 02:37:38 PM »
It's been said here before but the main thing is not to let it get to you — your original reason for posting if I understand you. Once I was tenacious about pursuing any who displeased me. Now, I'm more often inclined to let things go — unless it's a really egregious transgression. Life's more relaxing this way. We all have our fingers crossed for you  ;D

mouser

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #13 on: July 07, 2011, 02:44:23 PM »
amen to what chris said.  :up:

mwb1100

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #14 on: July 07, 2011, 03:15:03 PM »
Why pay to be aggravated when I'll do that for you free?

That's awfully nice of you - would you mind being aggravated for me too?

cranioscopical

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #15 on: July 07, 2011, 07:21:32 PM »
That's awfully nice of you - would you mind being aggravated for me too?

Consider it done!

Anyone else?  I've had enough aggravation today for an army.

jgpaiva

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Re: quick opinions: do i return this annoying machine
« Reply #16 on: July 14, 2011, 05:30:46 AM »
Just crosslinking, see how this turned out here: A M A Z I N G ! - I got a total refund without any questions asked..