Posts Tagged 'Dell'

Kudos to Rafael!!!

I use this blog and my twitter account to complain when my Alienware computer fails, and I feel Dell isn’t listening. So I must use it to tell you that Rafael of Alienware Tech Support positively ROCKS!!!!!! I was VERY bitter Tuesday evening when my “repaired” M17x came back and promptly failed in SL again. Armed with a glass of wine and a few unscheduled evening hours, I called Alienware support on Wednesday evening.

Rafael took my call. Yes, I DO know his last name and I’d be thrilled to tell all of you and even more thrilled to tell his management. But I did not get his permission to publish his name, so this will have to do. Rafael – you are THE BEST!!! He was upbeat, positive, and determined to fix my machine. We were on the phone for at least 90 minutes, probably more. In that time he ran a test or two, but mostly he LISTENED to me and he READ the account log. What a concept. Listening to the client. We talked about the problem, we both agreed it was the driver. I had 2 new graphics cards but the same old drivers. The error message had been saying “driver” all along.

Rafael researched, searched and downloaded the latest drivers for my cards. It was my very good luck that nVidia had just published new drivers the week before. Getting that driver installed, however, proved to be a bit trickier. Suffice it to say that Rafael stayed the course, double-checking with his peers, and working diligently to get the drivers updated. He came inworld with me to watch me push the SL settings to the max and begin throwing continually changing video information at the machine. We encountered my good friend Greg at the Fogbound. Greg chatted with me and Rafael. I felt VERY good about that because not only was Greg knowledgeable and articulate, but he was backing up everything I’d said to Rafael earlier and all of Rafael’s own conclusions.

So – Rafael is a STAR!!!! My beloved Alienware M17x is in working condition yet again. I have my full pixel count – 1920×1200. Things are rezzing quickly and beautifully. I have shadows, reflections and depth. Yay Rafael! Yay Alienware Tech Support! Okay – I’ll even give a shout-out to Dell – that’s how happy I am to have my Alienware M17x back and running. *HUGS* to all!

Define “Repaired”. Because Dell Computers has no clue

Dell, Secondlife and I have a problem. I’m sure that the 2 of them don’t care, but I do. So my gorgeous gaming laptop, the famed and fabled Alienware M17x came back today – “repaired”, or so Dell claims. I headed into SL, turned the graphics up to high, and set out. Only took about 10 minutes before the video failed. The screen goes black, then it turns white, then I get a box (that fades fairly quickly) telling me that the drivers failed, but they have “successfully recovered”. Really? I don’t think so.
How Dell Repairs Video Cards
Why is it Dell’s problem? Because from now on I intend to tell everyone all over how Dell is incapable of offering proper support for configuring their gaming computers. And because I believe that they are not telling me truth about this repair. I have PAID for in-home support. That means they are supposed to come to my home and replace parts while I am watching. They refused to do this and demanded that I send the laptop to them for “analysis”. I did. I shipped it out Thursday afternoon and saw that they received it Friday. It was back in my house on Tuesday. That means they shipped it Monday. Really? You performed analysis over the weekend? Why do I find that hard to believe? The piece of paper claims they replaced/repaired my video card. I find that incredibly difficult to believe. It’s hard to believe because they didn’t have it long enough. Because when I turn on the computer and head into SL, the fans immediately make more noise than a helicopter coming in for a landing. Because it only took 10 minutes to crash out the M17x.

Why do I think this is Dell’s problem, not SL’s? I bought a new laptop 3 weeks ago. Nothing fancy – an Ideapad Y580. Guess what. It runs SL at Ultra graphics, quietly, smoothly and without crashing. That’s right, Dell. A mere Ideapad laptop whips your famed fabled premiere gaming laptop.

Yeah, when I have the time and energy I’ll call Dell’s Customer Service. I’ll undoubtedly have to beg and fight my way to talk to someone who actually knows something about their Alienware brand. That’s another big runaround that I get from their Customer Support. The techs say “oh yes, I know that”. Only after something happens, like last year, when the machine caught fire, do I find out that I’m dealing with people who have no special knowledge of Alienware.

I’m so disgusted with Dell. I have been a loyal customer for over 6 years. All of our computers were Dells or the Alienware until I bought the Ideapad. I have a year left on my contract with them. I’ll send them the AW every single week for the next year until they make it work properly for my needs. Don’t tell me it’s SL. You should be so ashamed, Dell. Expect to hear from me. Every single week, if not every day.

It’s going to be one heck of a year.

Another Song of Longing

*laughing* According to Fedex, my laptop has been received at the local facility. And this song sprang to mind….

My laptop lies over the mountains
My laptop lies over the sea
My laptop lies over the valleys
Oh bring back my laptop to me!

Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me

The plane will fly over the mountains
The truck will drive south long the sea
The truck will drive over the highways
To bring back my laptop to me

Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me, to me
Bring back, bring back
Bring back my laptop to me

Ahuva’s “Pie”

I gave you my little “prayer” in my last post. It’s Epic Poem time. My apologies to Don McLean. I’ve gotten this far, I’m asking for help with verses! Sure, we can stretch it a bit – it doesn’t have to be limited to just MY heartbreak….

Ahuva’s “Pie”

A long, long time ago
I can still remember how
My laptop used to make me smile
And I knew if I had my way
I could be in SL and play
And maybe I’d be happy for awhile
But the Dell tech came to help me
No such luck, he came up empty
Smoke came from my laptop
Along with a loud Snap! Pop!
I know that I began to cry
When I realized my machine had fried
And that thing made me lose my mind
The day my laptop died….

So

[chorus]
Why, why did my laptop just die?
Called the help desk for a problem but support came up dry
Them good ole boys I guess they gave it a try
But the video card – it just fried
The video card, it just fried.

Did you play virtual games
Do you think all video’s the same
If the help desk tells you so?
Now do you believe in Alienware?
Game for hours without a care?
Can you teach me how to mouse like a pro?

Well, believe I’m lost without my ‘chine
I can’t rez prims or cam the scene
You all claim that you’re sad
But as for me, I’m getting mad
I was a happy rezzing avatar
Dancing away in my favorite bar
But I knew things had gone too far
The day my laptop died
I started singin’

[chorus]

Ahuva’s Prayer

With apologies to Janis Joplin, and many, many others, including Amanda, the sweet young thing who is now working feverishly to help get this resolved. Unfortunately, it’s 12 days since the tech put in new parts and my beloved red Alienware M17x died (it had a small intermittent problem which while annoying, still allowed the machine to operate). 12 days and my dead laptop is still at my house, and there is no good estimate WHEN it will go, be healed, and return. I’m paying a HUGE sum of money for SUPPORT, Dell. THAT is why I bought from YOU, not your competitors. I WANT my red Alienware.

Oh Dell, won’t you send me a working machine?
My friends are in SL, I’m missing the scene.
They’re all using Asus, I’m starting to turn green,
Oh Dell, won’t you send me a working machine?

Oh Dell, it was your tech who broke my laptop.
He put in the new card, it went snap crackle POP!
Support gave me the runaround, I want it to STOP!
Oh Dell, it was your parts that broke my laptop.

Oh Dell, I loved my red Alienware
When it was running, I hadn’t a care
You must have solutions, I want you to SHARE
Oh Dell, I loved my red Alienware!

Together:

Oh Dell, won’t you send her a working machine?
The cool kids are in SL, she’s missing the scene.
The burnt smell still lingers, the smoke turned her green
Oh Dell, won’t you send her a working machine?

An Explanation of Sorts

Why am I not posting to my blog?

I post here when I want to share what is happening in my virtual life. For the most part, I try to follow the rule of “if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing”. Sometimes I rant and rave. It is MY blog, after all. *wry grin* But these days my virtual life is giving me mostly tears. And I’m loathe to come here and cry repeatedly.

Why has my my life in SL turned to tears? Because I loved SL so much, I bought myself what I was assured was a kick-donkey top of the line gaming computer – an Alienware M17x. I had to buy a new computer because the nVidia GeForce 8800M video cards in my Dell XPS M1730 burned out in November and Dell and nVidia could not tell me when the cards could be replaced. Up til then, well, I’d found Dell first line support a bit annoying, but no more so than much of life. Dealing with ordering the Alienware became an ordeal, thanks to Dell, who now own Alienware. I was going to blog about that, but quite honestly – it infuriated me every time I thought about it and I didn’t think that frustration and agony needed to be aired.

At long last my gorgeous fantastic super-duper Alienware M17x arrived (late, thank you Dell Order Modification Dept). Sensational. Until I ran SL. 30 minutes into it, then Blue Screen of Death. The whole first weekend – BSOD on SL, Portal Factory, SOLITAIRE!!!!! I mean – obviously a Dell issue. Then mysteriously it stopped BSOD’ing. Only SL died. Repeatedly. With the BSOD. Sometimes with just “normal” SL crash-end. I called SL support to see if they could help. With great joy in his typing, Fog informed me that I was running unsupported software and graphics. Not HIS problem. Oh? Then why are so many folk running the same and SL works for them?

Anyway, there really is a post here someday about Dell and Linden Labs and customer support if I can stop crying. I took a day and drove my computer to an SL friend who has years experience in getting machines to run SL. We thought it was solved. It seemed to run without crashing. No BSOD. Until I brought it home. Turned it on, raced into SL. Hung out there for an hour. Went to feed the cats, the dog. Came back to BSOD. Rebooted – let it sit running Firefox and Norton for an hour. No problem. Raised the machine on blocks (better ventilation). Went into SL with my alt. Didn’t move, just sat there. 2 hours – SL crash.

The truth is, I’m no techie. By my mother I’m a techie, but by a techie I’m no techie. I do NOT know what to do, where to turn, except to continually throw myself and my useless extremely expensive computer onto the mercy of friends. And there is only so long you can impose on friends. Dell isn’t going to care that one application doesn’t run – they will blame the application. And trying to fight your way past firstline support sucks you dry of all energy, patience and coherent thought. And LL has already gleefully told me THEY don’t care.

So I sit and look at this $$$$$ computer that won’t do the one thing for which I bought it, and I cry. Maybe that makes me a drama queen or totally emotional. So be it. But because I cry every time I look at it, and I cry each time I boot up SL on my other computer (which needs to run other software, do other things), I’m not having fun. I have nothing positive to share. I cry, my heart sinks, and all I want to do is simply walk away from SL for good and go back to reading. THAT is technology that actually works right out of the box. šŸ˜¦


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