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SolusLupus
2009-Oct-16, 09:02 PM
Okay. So let me tell you a story.

My current Dell XPS 600 is currently going under. This in itself is no problem; she's served me a long time, and has performed admirably. The base is cracked, but this is generally my fault for all the shipping I've been doing. The fan is getting loud, and pretty much I fear that my comp will overheat itself any day now.

My laptop is also currently kaput, and I'll be taking that in later; my main computer is just too old and the shell is too broken for me to want to bother to spend more money to save it.

So, I decided to get a new computer. I found a good deal for an Inspiron desktop, and the whole thing came out to about $690 or so. Then I charge it all on my credit card. Problem is, I forgot my credit limit was $500. Ooops! So I call Dell and inform them that I want to change it from my credit card to my debit card.

Now, I don't know much about business, so I'm probably ignorant here, but I was under the assumption that helping a customer pay for your product is generally a good thing. As it was, I had to deal with nearly a half hour of continually repeating the Order ID Number, spoke with a man from India, and then someone who sounded like he had an Australian accent. Luckily, I was rerouted only 2 times; some, have dealt with it 6 or more times for even smaller issues. But regardless, I was told to contact Dell Financial Services, after calling my credit card company and my debit card company. I thought this was too much work for some simple order, so I decided to cancel it.

Canceling it, I thought, should be easy, right?

So he said he would put me in contact with the right person, I was put on hold for about five minutes more, and then disconnected.

What?

Cancel an order to put in a new one. This is called, getting rid of the faulty order, so I can send you my money through something that works. Yet Dell disconnects me?

It gets worse. I started to do some research, to see what others have went through.

Here is a long list of customer complaints about Dell:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/computers/dell_svc.html

So, pretty much, after a while, I started to get the picture that Dell was attempting to discourage anyone from using their call centers. They were also engaging in activities that were downright illegal; and the New York Supreme Court even called them on it, although they only fined Dell $4 million. The lawsuit pretty much summarized up everything that seems to be wrong with Dell today, though:

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2009/09/ny_dell_fraud.html


Repeatedly failing to provide timely on site repair to consumers who purchased service contracts promising "on site" and expedited service;

• Pressuring consumers, including those who purchased service contracts promising "on site" repair, to remove the external cover of their computer and remove, reinstall, and manipulate hardware components; and

• Discouraging consumers from seeking technical support; those who called Dell's toll free number were subjected to long wait times, repeated transfers, and frequent disconnections.


This part scared me:

The court concluded that Dell lured consumers to purchase its products with advertisements that offered attractive "no interest" and/or "no payment" financing promotions. In practice, however, the vast majority of consumers, even those with very good credit scores, were denied these deals.

Cuomo calls it "a classic bait and switch scheme," with DFS instead offering consumers financing at high interest rates, which often exceeded 20 percent. Dell and DFS frequently failed to clearly inform these consumers that they had not qualified for the promotional terms, leaving many to unwittingly finance their purchase at high interest rates.

The decision also held that DFS incorrectly billed consumers on cancelled orders, returned merchandise, or accounts they did not authorize Dell to open, and then continually harassed these consumers with illegal billing and collection activity.

Although many consumers repeatedly contacted Dell and/or DFS to advise them of the errors, DFS did not suspend its collection activity and Dell failed to expeditiously credit consumers' accounts, even after assuring consumers it would do so. As a result, many consumers have been subjected to harassing collection calls for months on end and have had their credit ratings harmed.

Dell seems to be racing more and more downhill towards becoming a company I do not want to deal with, now or ever. So here's my warning: Get something other than a Dell.

NickW
2009-Oct-16, 09:11 PM
I am on my second dell and I haven't had a problem with them yet. Of course you don't really think about stuff until it happens to you. Best of luck to ya!

SolusLupus
2009-Oct-16, 09:13 PM
Sure, it's fine when it all works. When it works, you don't need customer service or call centers. Though there was a time where I would recommend you double-check your credit card account when buying a computer, as at times a "surprise" loan could appear, or you might be charged with something they promised you'd get for cheap.

(The bit on "Surprise" loans here: http://www.consumeraffairs.com/computers/dell_loans.html)

Don't try to use Dell rebates, either. http://www.consumeraffairs.com/computers/dell_rebates.html

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-16, 09:29 PM
I'm stickin' with my Mac. It's a bit pricey, but it runs and the service is good!

SolusLupus
2009-Oct-16, 09:32 PM
I'm currently getting an HP for about $730. It's a bit pricier than the Dell, but at least I feel I can trust the customer service more.

NickW
2009-Oct-16, 09:35 PM
I haven't had to call customer service for my either of my Dells. Of course I would never do it even if it broke, since I can work on it myself.

SolusLupus
2009-Oct-16, 09:39 PM
Unfortunately, I don't know how to do so, and even then, I'd have to call their customer service to cancel an order. Because there's no way to do so online, except through their chat, which constantly crashes.

pzkpfw
2009-Oct-16, 09:40 PM
Early this year I bought a very expensive laptop from them.

It arrived very very late, and with a cracked screen. (The front panel was lose so there was lots of dust behind the glass. I think it's a design flaw, really, with the two-tone build of the cover of the Studio series. It's a weak point allowing flex - and actually quite ugly and distracting to look at when using the laptop.).

So they sent a technician to fix it. Took a day or two for him to arrive, not too bad I suppose.

Before he got here, though, I noticed a little red wire sticking our from under the plastic surrounding the keyboad. It was near the down-arrow key, and would make the key stick down.

I told the guy about it, and after he replaced the screen he fiddled with the keyboard.

After he left I then noticed that he'd missed a "tab A goes in slot C" kind of thing, and now there was a very pronounced bulge under the flush "multimedia" keys above the regular keyboard keys. Also, a scratch on one key meant the backlighting showed through as a spot.

For what I'd paid, I thought "stuff that". I didn't want the technician fiddling with my brand-new laptop again. So I rang them again and said I wanted to send it back.

Then began a week of email exchanges, as they wanted me to pay $175 for the privilege of returning the thing.

After pointing out that I'd ordered over the phone and they'd never told me about this $175 fee they relented and refunded me.

The call centre I got, I think was in the Phillipines, not India.

Since then, I've bought:
An HP Netbook for the Wife (actually she "stole" it from me when I bought...).
An HP Laptop for me.
A Compaq laptop for my Daughter.
Another HP Netbook for me.

So far I've been reasonably happy with all of them.

(Though will admit that as I've not had to call for service, I don't know how good their service is.)


This kind of thing is all anecdotal, though. If just a few things had been different with that Dell I bought, I might be sitting here writing about how good Dell is.

Fazor
2009-Oct-16, 09:44 PM
That's funny. I'm in the same situation with my Dell desktop. And, like yours, it's old, and it's time for it to move on to the great computer place in the sky (or more likely, a pile of crap in some landfill).

And yes, I could have told you as much about Dell. Thier computers are fine. I think they're even decently priced, for pre-built packaged deals. But their customer service is . . . well, maybe someday they'll HAVE some customer service. It's something for them to work towards.

I always thought it was funny that a computer sales giant like Dell never had any online payment options (if you had purchased through a payment plan).

HenrikOlsen
2009-Oct-16, 10:02 PM
I'm currently getting an HP for about $730. It's a bit pricier than the Dell, but at least I feel I can trust the customer service more.
Ok, just don't expect good things from their customer service if you're a company and have hardware only support.

My client has a 128 node computing cluster, with next business day hardware support that they pay through the nose for.
They have yet to get a replacement part in less that two weeks.

Next business day don't count until it's been accepted "by the support desk people" that it's a hardware problem and they try everything they can to blame a software problem even if this is the fifth node that has that problem and all the other cases of that error was solved eventually by replacing the motherboard.
I've seen them replace a motherboard three times before one actually worked, and each time the support ticket was closed before the machine had been confirmed working so it took another week or two to get it replaced again.

Software support wasn't bought as HP only supports their own, slow, much earlier version of several libraries that are crucial for it's work.

They're going back to a Dell+DDN solution for the next major project exactly because of the customer support:)

tdvance
2009-Oct-16, 11:18 PM
I've been satisfied with my Dell PC (approx $10,000 about 2004 or so) and Dell laptop (about $3000 a year ago). I've tried other computers--and all have had some problems, but I found Dell the least of all evils (though I've never tried Gateway, just Dell, IBM, HP, Toshiba, and Compaq).

Neverfly
2009-Oct-17, 12:15 AM
I have emphatically been recommending against Dell for many years.

All of my own PC's have been Gateway- I still have an old PC, no Idea when I might get a new one. This one's still running like a champ.

I worked for Dell, only a few months. I literally quit out of disgust of how they do business. I have seen many facets of the inside of Dell. Not a pretty sight.

novaderrik
2009-Oct-17, 12:42 AM
i had good dealings with Dell when i ordered my computer from them back in the fall of '98. the lady that helped me build my computer over the phone was really helpful and knew her stuff, and they even shipped it out to me before they even got my check in the mail- i kind of figured they'd want to at least have a $2300 check in their hands before even thinking about actually building the computer, but i guess i was wrong.. they told me it would take a couple of weeks to get my computer to my door, but it only took 8 days- ordered it on a Monday and had it the next Tuesday.
since it was the first computer i'd ever owned, i had my share of problems in the first 6 months and always got good tech support when i called- and the person always sounded like they were from Texas instead of someplace half way around the world.
that computer- an XPS350 with it's screaming 350mhz Pentium processor and unbelievable 64mb of RAM and 10 GB hard drive (the memory got upgraded over the years in stages to 288MB or something like that) finally got replaced last summer with a $300 Compaq/HP/whatever from Wal Mart that has a processor that is 10 times faster, a hard drive that is 10 times bigger, and almost 100 times the memory.. but i'm still using the 17" Dell Trinitron crt monitor that came with the Dell 11 years ago.
the computer still works, but it's just too slow. even surfing the net taxes it these days.

Durakken
2009-Oct-17, 12:44 AM
Dell PCs are garbage...
Dell Monitors are some of the best...

But you guys should learn to build your own PCs. It's cheaper, easier to upgrade, and really quite a bit more simple than what people think.

tdvance
2009-Oct-17, 12:53 AM
Ironically, I have a Dell PC and a Gateway monitor.

Gillianren
2009-Oct-17, 01:19 AM
I can't fathom needing a $10,000 computer.

I don't know how to build one; I don't particularly want to know. On the other hand, I know a nice local company, and they built me one to spec, not that my specs were very difficult for them. I happen to dislike the person who actually did the building intensely, but as for the other person in the company, well, I've always liked her. Performed her daughter's wedding last year, too.

Durakken
2009-Oct-17, 01:29 AM
I've been satisfied with my Dell PC (approx $10,000 about 2004 or so) and Dell laptop (about $3000 a year ago). I've tried other computers--and all have had some problems, but I found Dell the least of all evils (though I've never tried Gateway, just Dell, IBM, HP, Toshiba, and Compaq).


well if you've spent that much money on it then it's probably decent enough to handle most things for another year or so ^.^

Van Rijn
2009-Oct-17, 02:11 AM
well if you've spent that much money on it then it's probably decent enough to handle most things for another year or so ^.^

The most I ever paid for a PC, in '95, was about $5,000. It was supposed to be state of the art - and it was, for a few months. Within a year, you could do much better for half the price. I learned a lesson then: Unless you have specific business/technical needs, don't bother spending a large premium for the best current specs. Instead, pick a good price/performance ratio and use the money saved to upgrade quicker.

slang
2009-Oct-17, 08:10 AM
The fan is getting loud, and pretty much I fear that my comp will overheat itself any day now.

[...] my main computer is just too old and the shell is too broken for me to want to bother to spend more money to save it.

So, I decided to get a new computer.

Ok. Just in case you find some other way to use the old computer, fans are easily replaced, and very, very cheap. At least, in most PC's they are. That, and a quick run with a vacuum cleaner may buy it quite a bit more time, even if only as a secondary, tertiary, or backup piece, or as a gift to some kid who wants to play with Linux.

ETA: replacing a processor fan is a bit more elaborate, and may need some reading up to get right (applying cooling paste correctly etc). But hey, what's to lose on a machine that was about to explore the inside of a dumpster? :)

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-17, 08:37 AM
Would advise against using vacuum cleaner but compressed air would be better, you might suck something in by mistake.

mahesh
2009-Oct-17, 09:00 AM
Wouldn't a blower brush or something similar help?
http://www.livingroom.org.au/photolog/images/thumbnails/Lens_Blower_Brush.jpg

Or wouldn't it be 'strong' enough for appropriate cleaning?

slang
2009-Oct-17, 09:24 AM
Would advise against using vacuum cleaner but compressed air would be better, you might suck something in by mistake.

Yes, that's a good option too, if you're uncomfortable with a vacuum. As long as it's used to actually remove the dust, not to just blow it around.

Of course you'd only carefully use the vacuum where it can't suck up jumpers, or wires, or screws. Like the bottom of the case, and the slits of the power supply. With the proper attachment. And making sure beforehand that there's nothing loose (which is a good thing anyway, making sure all connecters are connected tightly when you have the case open).

Mahesh, such a lense cleaner may be ok to use on the mainboard (where I would not go with the vacuum cleaner, btw!). But it would be woefully inadequate against some of the piles of dust that can accumulate inside PC's and their power supplies. But we're drifting off topic... Can't say anything about Dells, I've always built my own PCs from components, except some giveaways.

NickW
2009-Oct-17, 09:59 AM
Can't say anything about Dells, I've always built my own PCs from components, except some giveaways

Oh sure, just show your superiority to the rest of us... :)

mike alexander
2009-Oct-17, 02:01 PM
Ha, this summer last I couldn't get Dell to take my money. Wanted to get my son a laptop for college. Figured I'd go to Dell and order one (I'm typing on my old Inspiron, and aside from the stupid name has done well). So I go to their site and it asks for my password (since I bought this comp there 4 yrs ago). Well, doodles, I don't know. That started a go-around with site, call-ins, emails and I don't recall what else.

Barf that, says I, and bought the kid a Toshiba.

nauthiz
2009-Oct-17, 02:04 PM
Would advise against using vacuum cleaner but compressed air would be better, you might suck something in by mistake.

I've heard those compressed air canisters are iffy because that liquid that they sometimes spray is corrosive and can damage electronics.

darkhunter
2009-Oct-17, 02:26 PM
I use an air matress inflator--nice gentle stream of air that blows all the dust out without damaging the components. Have to vacuum afterwords because the dust blows everywhere....

captain swoop
2009-Oct-17, 03:49 PM
I workerd as a Dell field service engineer for 18 Months up till labout a year ago, I have supported HP sites in the past as well.

I think Dell equipments is good from a service point of view, they are, compared to HP very easy to work on. I know that Universities, Schools, Hospitals and Local Authorities like them because they are reliable and quick to fix. We also had the contract to support Toshiba Laptops and Acer Laptops and PCs. Dell are by far the easiest to work on and most reliable. Don't go for the lower end 'Consumer' Laptops. Get the Pro models, they cost more for the same spec but they have a dicast metal case that also forms the Chassis, they are rock solid.
As for things like keyboards, all the Laptop manufacturers use the same source for their keyboards, trackpads etc. Dell use Sony, LG and Samsung displays. Toshiba use their own panels but I have replaced LG and Samsung units on Toshiba Laptops.
In the UK you can opt for several different levels of cover but all seem to be fairly quick at responding. If you are actualy using your Laptop as a portable computer then I would opt for the 'On Site' support, get an engineer out if you want a quick turnaround. Standard Warranty in the UK gets a Courier to collect the machine from you and send it to a workshop, they return in when it's fixed. Turnaround is usualy a week or so.

captain swoop
2009-Oct-17, 03:52 PM
I've heard those compressed air canisters are iffy because that liquid that they sometimes spray is corrosive and can damage electronics.

I use air blowers, they are easy and convenient in the field, they won't damage anything.
We have problems with fans getting blocked with dust and fluff at sites that have posh wooden flooring (carpets keep the dust down, it sticks in the fibres), we recommend they use a vacuum cleaner to give the louvres a suck out every week.

TrAI
2009-Oct-18, 03:49 AM
...

I would think that your problems could have happened with any manufacurer, not just Dell. There will always be some costumers that have a bad experience, you can probably find sites against just about any well known company, and you will probably see much the same problems and issues on them all...

Personaly, my experience with Dell is pretty good, and the few contacts I have had with support have been solved quickly.

I think a very common error many people do is to call up a company on the phone in cases where E-mail or contact form would be much better for the intital stages. It is much easier to get a clear description of an issue and the things you have tried in a mail then recalling all as you talk on the phone. And if phone contact is needed later, the support person can refer to your mails.

SolusLupus
2009-Oct-18, 05:04 AM
You know, a "cancel order" button would be nice. Something nice and simple. Something you see on several websites where you make orders.

I'm also pretty sure that Dell wasn't fined $4 million by the New York Supreme Court for "a bad experience" that "a customer" has.

tdvance
2009-Oct-18, 07:50 PM
Well, I'd need the details to judge. Some fines/suits, etc. are right-on, some are overdone, and some are just ridiculous, and yes, some are under-done too. I suspect some are shakedowns by some wanting campaign donations, but can't prove it. Hey--that company donated x to my opponent and none to me, and I won the election, so hey mister prosecutor, I appointed you, do this little thing for me.... Given human nature, it would be surprising if this never happens.




Cancel order? I think if you just don't hit "submit" at the end, it works.

Now, if they are later than promised, or later than I think 6 weeks after hitting "submit" if no promise of time was made, they HAVE to, by law, give you the opportunity to cancel. That has not happened yet (it HAS with Amazon, and they always have given me the option). If there's a problem with payment, I suspect if it is never resolved, you never get your order, but don't know that from experience.

Gillianren
2009-Oct-18, 10:29 PM
Cancel order? I think if you just don't hit "submit" at the end, it works.

And what if you, as I have done, realize something important you left out after you hit that button? Shouldn't there be a way that makes sense available to fix that error?

tdvance
2009-Oct-18, 11:09 PM
ok, I see the problem. Yes, that's a good idea--I've screwed up and bought the wrong one on Amazon. I can cancel if I do it fast, but if I realize I screwed up a day late, I have to do e-mails and hope to stop it, or at worst, send it back.

I've done the first, and second, but not the third yet. Amazon IS pretty good about doing what they can to set it right when needed--one reason I've stuck with them despite competitors like Barnes and Nobel (which I HAVE used when the item didn't exist on Amazon, that being very rare) that I've never switched to (though they may be very good, I'm sticking with the known rather than testing the unknown). I've not bought often enough from Dell for that one in 100 mistake to happen and the cancel button being needed for myself to see whether it's hard, easy, or impossible.

tdvance
2009-Oct-18, 11:12 PM
On the other hand, Dell tends to be major purchases for me, generally, so I tend to come up with a system, and put it in the "wish list" or whatever it's called on Dell.

After some time (in which case, sometimes it disappears, since there's a 30 day limit, and things that used to be available are no longer available or are a different price) I'd go back and adjust or try again or whatever, and eventually, I decide...THIS IS IT, and press the "submit" button. I don't do all that with Amazon, that being mostly small purchases, but hit the "buy with one click" and THEN retract the few times I realized I screwed up.

Gillianren
2009-Oct-19, 12:58 AM
ok, I see the problem. Yes, that's a good idea--I've screwed up and bought the wrong one on Amazon. I can cancel if I do it fast, but if I realize I screwed up a day late, I have to do e-mails and hope to stop it, or at worst, send it back.

I've done the first, and second, but not the third yet.

I've done the third. It turns out they expect you to own a printer. Fortunately, I'm on good terms with our apartment manager, who let me use the complex's office printer, but I can see it getting very irritating, especially if you aren't, for example, aware that the library lets you go online and print things and so forth.

TheHalcyonYear
2009-Oct-19, 08:31 AM
I can't fathom needing a $10,000 computer.

I don't know how to build one; I don't particularly want to know. On the other hand, I know a nice local company, and they built me one to spec, not that my specs were very difficult for them. I happen to dislike the person who actually did the building intensely, but as for the other person in the company, well, I've always liked her. Performed her daughter's wedding last year, too.
Hmmmm, I have to agree with you on this I just priced my dream mac system with a quad-core, cpu, 8G of memory, and a screaming processor, fancy monitor, and lots of toys. I could only get the price up to about $9000 and macs tend to be more expensive than pc's.

cjl
2009-Oct-19, 02:36 PM
Well, that's because you aren't thinking big enough. Take this thing for example:
https://cx1.cray.com/ConfigureBOM.aspx?opt=234&state=22

(On a more realistic note, I agree with you - I built a computer that's about as loaded as they get last fall, and it came to around $4k)

mugaliens
2009-Oct-20, 01:29 PM
I like Mike. Good joe. Trapped up in too much crap and it's been more than a decade since I gave him a kicking.

HP

Unless he really turns things around, but take any promises with a grain of salt. In the meantime, HP began deliveing topnotch price/performnce in 2006, and they're still going strong! (what do you think I'm typing this on???)"

- Mugs

rommel543
2009-Oct-20, 02:17 PM
The company that I work for only purchases Dell, mainly for their corporate pricing and servicing packages. I made the mistake 3 years ago to purchase one through the company account. After receiving my laptop I found a similar speced on in Best Buy for about 1/2 the price. Although I know it was the service package that killed me, I have a 3 year in house warranty. I had to use it 3 separate times, once the DVD drive went, the other the video processor went and one of the speakers, and the last time was because when the previous person replaced the motherboard they didn't put the thermal grease stuff on the processor and video processor so it over heated and burnt the board.

The actual dealing with Dell wasn't all that bad because I dealt with Dell Canada and the corporate service department, not the consumer department. The dealing with the local repair shop that covered the Dell support on the other hand. All three times I needed work done they said that the laptop had to be dropped of at their repair facility, and that they WOULD NOT send a repair person to my house to fix it. All three times I called Dell support, informed that I paid for the in house repair, and then got a phone call from the local company asking what time is best. The same person that I talked to previously as well. No apology, didn't even acknowledge that I had called previously.

rommel543
2009-Oct-20, 02:20 PM
Oh and since my Dell purchase I've purchased a Sony Viao (almost the same specs as mine) 2 years ago for just under $1000, and a Toshiba for my step-son this summer that is faster than mine for $600. I bought my Dell 3 years ago for $2600.

NEOWatcher
2009-Oct-20, 02:38 PM
I work for a company that sells computers. Many times we have large firms buy server and network equipment from us, but by Dells as thier user machines. Many times, those firms come back to replace those Dells. I don't know if the issue is hardware or service, but it does indicate some issue.

I've never had experience with Dells. How standard are the components?

Many moons ago, this seemed to be the problem with some manufacturers. They went with non-standard layouts to keep the initial cost down and the upgrade path locked in, but it fell in thier face. Remember Packard Bell?

tdvance
2009-Oct-20, 09:15 PM
Dell desktops are pretty close to standard, and you can interchange almost anything. Dell laptops are as proprietary as most laptops.

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-20, 09:42 PM
A simple question about all desktops. If you have a model that is suppose to be horizontal can you put vertical like a tower?

The reason I ask this is because at the place where I use to work they purchased new computers with lcd screens but they were desktops not towers. Everyone wanted to place the monitors lower and not on top of the computer so they all placed the computers vertical. I and a few others said you should not do this because of the computers hard drives and fans were might to operate in a horizontal position not a vertical one.

slang
2009-Oct-20, 10:01 PM
I and a few others said you should not do this because of the computers hard drives and fans were might to operate in a horizontal position not a vertical one.

AFAIK this is not an issue, as long as the drives are securely mounted they'll work fine. CD and DVD trays may present a problem though. :)

pzkpfw
2009-Oct-20, 10:14 PM
I once read that once a Hard Drive has "bedded in" in one plane, it's not good to change that plane.

i.e. it doesn't really matter, but once you've used it a while don't change it.

However, I've never actually seen a HDD fail for anything that seemed like it might be this reason.

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-20, 10:15 PM
CD and DVD players a re locked so only the tech can use them. I would leave them they were designed in case one would fall over also I do not know how well secured they are so another reason to leave them they were designed.

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-20, 10:16 PM
I actually had a hard drive fail, I think it is because I did not secure it well enough.

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-20, 10:27 PM
At work I eventually gave up on the placement of the computers. Sometimes I would place a book or two under the monitor, I found them way to low for me.

slang
2009-Oct-20, 10:31 PM
Hard drive makers would already have been out of business if they could only work in one orientation. Laptop builders would have been screaming murder. I second pzkpfw's remark about keeping them in the same orientation as much as possible, I've heard the same. No numbers to back that up though, maybe some HDD maker website has it in their FAQ?

I've had many harddrives fail... most of them years ago. Some just... die. Regardless of orientation, years of use, claimed MTBF, etc. Some brands/types were known to die quick often.

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-20, 10:56 PM
Most of the time when moving a laptop it is not running and the hard drive is not spinning. When I move my laptop and it is left on I move in the same oreintation as on my desk but this is generally just around the house.

Brutal Mustang
2009-Oct-20, 11:24 PM
Dell provides great computers at a low cost. They can do this by keeping their customer service on the low end.

slang
2009-Oct-20, 11:43 PM
Most of the time when moving a laptop it is not running and the hard drive is not spinning. When I move my laptop and it is left on I move in the same oreintation as on my desk but this is generally just around the house.

That depends a lot on the situation the laptop is being used in! Perhaps you generally put it on a desk or a table, but that's definitely not how all people use them! Bouncing on laps in cars, trains, airplanes, balancing on the most precarious undergrounds. Consider the HDDs built into video cameras!

pzkpfw
2009-Oct-21, 12:01 AM
At work I eventually gave up on the placement of the computers. Sometimes I would place a book or two under the monitor, I found them way to low for me.

One weekend (doing some catch-up; this was at my previous job) I got bored and walked around the floor counting "monitor stands".

In total there were about 50 old phone books and 75 reams of paper being used to raise monitors.

At first I was a bit annoyed by the reams of paper - unopened and unusued they seemed such a waste.

However, 2 reams (average used per monitor) retail for about $14 here (and I'm sure the company got them cheaper), and "proper" monitor stands were more like $40...

The Backroad Astronomer
2009-Oct-21, 12:24 AM
Once I used Death from the Skies.

Slang
Most of them are not using them 90 degrees from their intended oreintation. Also hard drives crash all the time for all different reasons. There are companies that specialize in data recovery from damaged hard drives.

mugaliens
2009-Oct-21, 04:16 AM
So here's my warning: Get something other than a Dell.

Sounds like a plan! Consider HP, from Best Buy. As far as computers go, my perception of their reputation is better than Dell's. And with an extended repair plan from Best Buy, it's a no brainer, as their tech shop takes care of it.

Personal plug: My Dad's current and previou workstations were HP, and so's my laptop. We love 'em - never had a problem. You can get a p6280t series for about $600.

captain swoop
2009-Oct-21, 12:54 PM
I wouldn't buy an HP. I have worked with them. I was on a contract at an Insurance Call Centre a few years ago, they were in the middle of ditching all their HP Desktops for Dells because of reliability problems. It's 6=2X3 if you ask me.
Where I am working now they use Fujitsu-Siemens Desktops, as far as I can see they are no more or less reliable than either Dell or HP. One make I would keep away from if you ever come across them are Acer. When I was on the Getronics job field engineering for Dell and Toshiba the company had the Acer support account and they were terrible. Things like different motherboards in two identical spec and serial range machines, different spec power supplies etc. It seems like they change components without making a revision to model numbers. Not ideal if you have to go and swap a processor or ram and find out that the board isn't the one claimed in the literature.

LotusExcelle
2009-Oct-21, 01:00 PM
My laptop (a Toughbook) takes considerable abuse while powered... i.e. hard drive up and spinning. Most drives can take enormous unpowered g-force. I think its like 130g's or so which is a pretty good drop. Powered I think the limit if a regular drive would be in the 45g range and a shock-mounted one higher than that. Some newer drives have fall detection and park the heads quickly in the event of a drop.

I've never heard of the 'bedding' issue with drive orientation. Perhaps this is a tech myth or maybe there is merit in it but I cannot see why that would be the case. Most drive failures are due to head crash, not spindle bearing failure.

jokergirl
2009-Oct-21, 01:07 PM
I had an Inspiron for quite a while, but I like taking apart and putting back together my hardware, so I don't have a problem with that.
I did have a problem with every contact in there starting to oxidise and shake loose though, as well as the transformer breaking and being too expensive to replace.

;)

captain swoop
2009-Oct-21, 01:13 PM
Drives in Laptops 'lock' the heads when they are moved. On the Toshiba laptops you can play around with the setting and make them lock when a fly coughs near them. :)