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Standard User Titus
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 10:34:31
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Dell Help


[link to this post]
 
[Not sure if this should be posted here on in "Hardware Issues", but here goes ...]

Help / advice, please!

A friend informs me by telephone that her Dell Inspriron 1720, purchased in 2007, running Vista, will no longer boot up. One day fine, next day, all that happened on power-up was that Dell logo appeared then eventually a message (in grey) "resuming windows" which faded to a blank screen. She has switched off and then on gain, in the time-honoured way - no joy.

She is a bright lady but non-technical and not a computer geek. Like many people, all she used her computer for is E-mail and surfing the internet, booking accommodation, concert tickets etc.

I am not the least bit familiar with Visa (am an XP fan) so don't even know if you can boot into "Safe" mode with Vista to run AVG (which is her anti-virus protection) or how to do any useful diagnostics from the BIOS or from "Safe" mode.

I have suggested that she finds the recovery disk or Windows disk which may have been supplied with the computer, but am not even sure how to boot into a mode which would enable her to re-install windows if necessary.

I am communicating with her by telephone and (of course) she is off-line while her computer refuses to boot up ...

She has tried contacting Dell but has been very unimpressed. After a long wait, a barely intelligible adviser in Asia apparently spent ages on the 'phone to her, guiding her through various diagnostic routines. The outcome of these diagnostic tests is unclear, but the adviser had to pass her on to someone more senior who said he would ring back at XXX O'clock. He rang hours later than that - no use to my friend who works part-time and who is only free at certain (limited) times.

Have you folks got any suggestions as the best way I can assist her, please? Even if one can boot Vista into "Safe" mode, I don't even know which key to press during boot-up. Nor am I sure what to do or what to check (or rather, advise her what to check ...) when in "Safe" mode or in any diagnostic mode.

Thanks in advance!

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User MHC
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 11:05:13
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
I am surprised by the Dell response - the second line support are normally in Ireland and will call back at an agreed time. If she works part time then she must be able to arrange a time when she is free - just tell Dell that is when she is available.

At least Dell were able to make it boot ...

The normal way for a Dell is to power up and as soon as the first (Dell) splash screen appears press <F12>. That will take you to a boot menu ...

There will be options including Diagnostics , or Utility Partition - which ever of those is there, select it. That will boot into the diagnostics set up.

Then select TEST SYSTEM ... press enter and then you will get a choice of Quick Test, Extended Test or Custom. Start running through those to check all of the hardware.


If the hardware checks out then it could be software corruption - and safe mode can be accessed by pressing <F8> at the Dell splash screen.





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Standard User Titus
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 11:54:25
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Re: Dell Help


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Thanks, MHC.

Regarding Dell: I, too had heard consistently good reports of both Dell computers and of Dell's customer support, which is why I was very happy to hear that she had bought her computer from them

However the advisor she spoke to (and his supervisor) definitely were Asian, not Irish.

She did exactly what you suggest: explained that she was only available at certain times, and when the supervisor said he would have to ring her back the next day and promised to do so at an agreed time, they arranged a very specific time - 11.00am. He actually rang her - eventually - at 2.00pm, when she was working ...

She had already accessed the diagnostics page (by pressing F12 - trial-and-error - during boot-up) under my telephione guidance but didn't go any further since I was unsure how to guide her through any diagnosis from the end of a telefphone.

Being fully aware of my own ignorance, I didn't want to risk inadvertantly changing any settings. I would have expected experts from Dell to be able to do this much more effcoieintly than me!

However, thanks for your advice. If she continues to have difficulties with the Dell "help" team, I will try to guide her through the diagnostics / test routines myself, in the way you suggest. If, after this, it is not clear to me what / where the fault is or where it lies (hardware / software), I will come and ask here for further help.

Thanks!

By the way, is it possible to boot into "Safe" mode with Vista? If so, how, and what can one usefully do in that mode?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''


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Standard User dandnsmith
(experienced) Fri 15-Jul-11 12:03:50
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
My, somewhat limited, experience with tangling with the asian support team was that they only had scripts to work with - fine if they are well written, but these didn't cater for the equipment we were dealing with (under Dell warranty). The only response I got when I pointed out that they were asking me to do futile tests (which I'd already carried out) was 'do it anyway' - so I did and reported 'no result' (as previous).
I got passed to some slightly better help, which determined that it was a HDD problem, and that it needed replacement, but said they had no authority to get this done (and couldn't pass me to someone who could).
I reported the events to the company for whom I was acting, and suggested that, in view of the cost (in my time) they were incurring, it would be more effective for me to visit a shop, locally, get a new HDD and install it - they agreed.

Derek
Standard User MHC
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 13:17:14
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Re: Dell Help *DELETED*


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Post deleted by MHC
Standard User MHC
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 13:28:10
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
The agent and supervisor will only be first line - second line is where she needs to get to. They are normally in Ireland, but some may be elsewhere.

To get into safe mode, it should as I mentioned before be <F8> during the splash screen.

However, you may need to select: Safemode with dos prompt

then once DOS is running type: c:\windows\explorer.exe





~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


M H C


taurus excreta cerebrum vincit
Anonymous
(Unregistered)Fri 15-Jul-11 13:59:16
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Re: Dell Help


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Dell in recent years have gone downhill rapidly fast concerning their support as well as build quality.

Their Ireland operations have been moved over to Poland for manufacturing and India for it's global support.

Although they all may be moved again at the drop of the hat to the next money saving location.

Anyways if the laptop didn't come with recovery discs it may be on a recovery partition which needs to be accessed by pushing one of the function keys during the BIOS boot up.

Also Windows should have invited your friend to make recovery discs when Vitsa booted for the first time
Standard User Titus
(legend) Fri 15-Jul-11 14:57:10
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Re: Dell Help


[re: MHC] [link to this post]
 
Thanks. She has contacted Dell again, still no useful response to the daignostic tests.

By the sound of it, it isn't even completing the diagnostics properly. This suggests a hard disk failure, confirmed by the fact that she now says "Well, it had been making funny scrapng noises from time-to-time when it was warm." OK, she didn't realise the significance of that, until now ...

I am unimpressed by the fact that so far, no-one at Dell has even mentioned the possibilty of a hard disk failure!

She has tried ringing Dell Customer Service instead of Dell Technical Help. Waste of time - just menus, and being referred from one number to another. How do you get to Dell's Second Level Support, please?

Is there a simple, foolproof way of checking whether the hard drive is faulty / dead?

If it is a dead HD, can it be replaced? If so, would DELL have to do that? Or could a local repairer do it?

Or would she be better off binning the computer and accepting that she has lost all her E-mails (which is the only data she cares about)?

Titus
''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Computer "experts": if you know how to switch a computer on,
then to someone who doesn't, you are apparently a computer expert ...

''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''
Standard User Apprentice
(knowledge is power) Fri 15-Jul-11 16:37:30
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Like you my PC is loaded with Windows XP so I've no practical experience of using Vista, but if your friend has a Vista DVD she could boot from it in order to try the Windows Vista System Recovery Options (she might have to bring her laptop over to your place):

http://pcsupport.about.com/od/toolsofthetrade/ss/win...

http://pcsupport.about.com/lr/hard_drive_problems/44...

Alastair

omadasafisho
Standard User Garyilka
(knowledge is power) Fri 15-Jul-11 16:54:13
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Re: Dell Help


[re: Titus] [link to this post]
 
Could it just be overheating? Blow the fan and any other bits you can get to with an airduster to get rid of the dust and fluff that can get into the fan and heat exchanger etc. It's amazing just how much gets sucked into the fan from the lap smile

As far as email is concerned - who does she use for email? If it's her ISP or a web based email such as Yahoo/Google/Hotmail etc then her emails are safe within her account whatever computer she uses.......,
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