Sunday, 7 October 2007

Dell Vostro 1700 woes

Dell Vostro 1700


So I recently bought a Dell Vostro 1700. It seemed to me that this laptop had everything that I needed. 17" 1920x1200 display, 2G of RAM, 160G hard disk (and 2nd hard drive bay for expansion possibilities), Santa Rosa CPU (64Bit and VT extensions), 256MB Nvidia Graphics card. How could I possibly go wrong for 700 quid?


I was warned that the it would take 4 weeks for delivery, so went in with an open mind. It turned up in 2.5 weeks. Excellent.


First fault


So I powered it on for the first time. The number lock lit, then flashed. The power light lit. The HDD light lit quickly then switched off. The Bluetooth light lit quickly then switched off. The laptop continued flashing the number lock for 30 seconds then shut itself down. Nothing had appeared on the screen during this time. Sigh.


Call to Dell. Get quickly passed to second line support. Extremely impressed- they quickly ramped up to my technical ability. We were going to reseat the removable SODIMM with the battery and power removed. Done. Still no boot. Continue to remove all the field replaceable components (DVD, HDD, Memory). Still no boot with those components removed. The Engineer arranges a field engineer to visit on Monday to replace the Motherboard and Memory (under the keyboard as well as SO-DIMM). I ask him what state to return the laptop to. He said replace the components. I did this. I then did a quick test and what do you know - it boots! I ring Dell back and cancel the field Engineer's visit.


Second fault


The laptop then locks solid during whilst booted into Ubuntu (Windows Vista has made it nice and easy to repartition NTFS these days). I switched off and back on and get the blinking lights again. I reseat the removable SODIMM, and wahey it boots. This happens again 2 days leter. Ring Dell back and tell them that there is still a problem. They arrange a field engineer to visit and replace the motherboard and SODIMMs. Excellent. The engineer visits as planned and the laptop is trouble free apart from.....


Third fault


I had terrible response from glxgears - 6000 frames/second dropping to 1700 consistently. When switching on the laptop I get 6000 frames for 30 seconds or so, then 1700 until reboot. Hmmmm... The laptop also feels sluggish. I switched off Intel Speedstep I get 6000 frames or so for a minute, but then lose it after 2 minutes or so. Windows Experience Index gives me 1.5 due to CPU and Memory calculations. Ouch. The laptop is hot and no sign of my left hand heating. Look at the underside of the Motherboard and the fan isn't spinning. Ouch. It doesn't spin at power on, it doesn't spin whilst booted. The fan spun before the engineer visited, as I remember my driving hand being hot. Oops. Looks like either the fan has failed (unlikely as the BIOS/POST would spot this) or the engineer has failed to connect the fan. Needless to say Dell will be getting another call. I will attempt to insist on a new laptop as I'm not convinced they can keep bodging the same Friday afternoon car. Sigh.

1 comment:

got burnt by dell said...
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