Dell Garbage and Infinite Install Loop

Discussion in 'Dell' started by journey, Apr 11, 2006.

  1. journey

    journey Guest

    Well I got the E1505 today. It was loaded with extra garbage. I
    deleted the virus protection and everything else that I don't need,
    and there were tons of registry entries left over. When I removed
    them and compressed the registry, there was 13% wasted space.

    I got the Sonic continuous update loop again. To me it is
    UNFATHOMABLE that Dell knows about this and doesn't do anything about
    it. Anyone who gets a laptop who uninstalls the extras will end up
    with this loop. Everytime Windows boots a Sonic install runs asking
    for disk 1.

    When I got my 630m I was baffled, and tried all sorts of things
    including uninstalling Sonic, and even that didn't help.

    I did a Google search and found that many people were having the same
    problem. Some poor souls went into the registry manually deleting
    things, and others attempted many other kinds of fixes.

    All that needs to be done is for an InstallShield update file to be
    downloaded and run. The problem has nothing to do with Sonic.

    So, I am a fairly competant user, but I can empathize with all of the
    "usual" users out there -- like my mother, who would get this and
    never be able to solve it on her own.

    Yet Dell continues to sell laptops with this problem. I can't
    comprehend why they would do that -- is it a quality control issue in
    which their current baseload has been tested and in order to make a
    small change they would need to go through exhaustive testing again to
    make sure fixing this doesn't break something else?

    Anyway, that's my rant. At least if I see someone post here about
    that problem I'll be able to direct them quickly to a solution.

    journey, Apr 11, 2006
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  2. journey

    S.Lewis Guest


    Why Dell hasn't been able to work out some agreement with Ahead Nero is also
    beyond me.

    This seems odd since virtually every retail OEM drive I've bought in the
    last 2-3 years included a copy of Nero 5.5 or 6 Express.

    I'm sure it's all about the money.


    S.Lewis, Apr 11, 2006
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  3. your purchase price is subsidized by the very things that you complain
    about. but i didn't hear you complain about the low price. can't have your
    cake and eat it too... and the solution to the sonic 'insert cd' prompt is
    easy as has been posted here before... google it.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 11, 2006
  4. journey

    journey Guest

    Hi, when I went through solving the insert CD infinite loop, it was
    still a needle in a haystack to try to find the solution. There were
    many other "solutions" that ran more of a risk of messing up a
    person's PC than solving the problem.

    Being able to "Google it" doesn't get Dell off the hook for shipping
    systems for at least weeks (my experience between my two laptops) with
    a known problem that most users could not diagnose and fix on their

    If there is a correllation between the garbage installed on a Dell
    laptop and purchase price, I wish Dell would provide the option of
    buying one at a higher price without the garbage :)

    Again, most users would not know how to clean up an compress the
    registry, so they are left with an unnecessarily sluggish system.

    I would like to see an option at startup and accessible from a desktop
    icon that would enable a user to decide what products to try. That
    way they can select them and have the trialware installed. Dell might
    be able to offer more trials that way too.

    Anyway, I am happy with the price. Free!!! lol But the agency that
    purchased it only had to spend just under $1,300 -- not bad for a
    loaded system.

    Also, whatever the logical reasons for having or not having the system
    gunked up with all this trialware, I think it is very therapeutic for
    someone to be able to vent about it.

    <end of vent> :)

    journey, Apr 11, 2006
  5. we agree that dell should not be shipping systems with this known bug after
    so many months. it is a mystery why they still do but i suspect it lies
    with the lawyers who drafted the license agreement between sonic and dell.
    but the solution is straight forward and non invasive. if you have
    purchased a hp, compaq, emachines, or gateway recently you would find that
    they also come with lots of baggage preloaded which subsidizes the purchase
    price. no one is going likely going to sell an offer free (software wise)
    system as they only make money being able to put what is effectively an
    advertisement on each and every pc they sell. however, if you purchase from
    the dell small business division you can come pretty close to a clean
    install of windows with minimal free trial software pre-installed.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 11, 2006
  6. journey

    Mike Guest

    I, and every advanced user I have ever know, does a format and clean install
    as a first step of any new computer purchase.

    I bought my laptop from Dell because you can't beat their prices, but would
    never even consider buying a pre-built home system (from any manufacturer).

    One nice thing about Dell is that if you order (or burn) a reinstallation
    disc, it does not contain any of the BS software that systems ship with.
    There are some OS settings that are changed from the default, but those can
    be changed back relatively easily.

    When I got my 600m a few weeks ago, the first thing I did was image the
    entire drive (in case I wanted to restore it before selling it in the
    future), delete the hidden partitions, create new partitions and do a clean
    install of XP Pro.

    I'm lucky enough to have MSDNAA so I can get operating systems free. But
    even without that you can order or burn reinstallation discs and still do it

    Mike, Apr 11, 2006
  7. journey

    journey Guest

    I think we're on the same page for the most part. In reality, most of
    the users who are not capable or who do not want to become capable
    enough to remove the trial software probably won't realize that their
    system performance could be better.

    I am just empathetic with the people who can't resolve things very
    well on their own. Perhaps Dell's technical support staff could walk
    someone through fixing the problem -- I don't know. I think we both
    know that can be hit or miss.

    In one of my volunteer positions I help a lot of people set up their
    comptuers. Recently, I helped an elderly man and tried to place
    myself in his position as if I hadn't been there. At one point three
    different trialware / setups were happening at the same time.

    OK I have a question ...

    For every person that I help get started with their Windows system, I
    have to make sure to very clearly explain how to get to Windows
    Explorer. In Windows, you have to navigate to Start | All Programs |
    Accessories | Windows Explorer.

    Shouldn't that be in a more prominent place? I mean, it's pretty
    essential and it's buried fairly deep. It seems like it's right up
    there with the Start menu in importance.

    I set up their Quick Launch with that on it, and also tell them about
    Windows Key + E.

    Maybe I'm missing something -- I probably am.

    journey, Apr 11, 2006
  8. journey

    Mike Guest

    I find that for novice users, it's best to have shortcuts on the desktop to
    folders they need to navigate to. It's pretty hard to explain directory
    structures to someone who can't (or more likely, doesn't want to) understand
    the difference between files, folders, data, programs, and shortcuts.

    Mike, Apr 11, 2006
  9. in 'classic' view it is also available under start-internetexplorer (the big
    blue 'e' in the upper left hand corner of the start menu). the upper left
    hand corner of the start menu lists permanent application for the start
    menu. the lower left hand portion of the start menu lists recently used
    applications. you can drag recently used applications to the upper portion
    of the left column to make them appear permanently. you can also right
    click on the task bar to gain access to the task bar properties where you
    can turn on 'quick launch' icons that appear next to the start button. the
    default set of quick launch button includes internet explorer.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 11, 2006
  10. journey

    Mike Guest

    We are talking about *Windows* Explorer, right? Otherwise my comments don't
    make much sense. My point was that novices users don't usually seem to be
    able or want to learn to navigate through directories in Windows Explorer to
    get to files. At least in my experience anyway.

    There seems to be a resistance to learning about computers in the above 35
    age range. Often, I'm trying to teach stuff to extremely smart people who
    could obviously understand it if they wanted to; they just don't want to (or
    maybe they have some kind of weird mental block).

    Mike, Apr 11, 2006
  11. oh, you are right... he said windows explorer not internet... never mind.
    Christopher Muto, Apr 11, 2006
  12. Christopher, it would seem that your attitude is that Dell's are cheap
    and you should expect nothing less from a company that provides cheap
    computers. Do you also consider everyone that uses a Dell to be cheap
    and therefore not worth the extra time to try to make their computer
    experience more satisfying.

    I believe that you readily accept that it is perfectly fine and to be
    commended that Dell doesn't care whether or not their products
    actually work correctly when they are sold. As long as they are sold
    would seem to be the only concern of people that think like you.

    You would more than likely consider it perfectly normal and also
    encourage car makers to put brake pads on cars that only last one week
    because it could reduce the price of the vehicle. They wouldn't have
    to buy all those expensive brake pads that cost a lot of money and
    therefore could sell their cars for less.

    Surely everyone that has a brain in their head has enough sense to
    change their own brake pads and bleed the lines, etc... If they
    don't, they surely have enough sense to get it to the shop to get it
    fixed after their one week brake pad time limit is exceeded.

    Let's try to put all of this into perspective shall we. Individuals
    who buy new vehicles don't wish to have to take an automotive college
    course in order to be able to own a vehicle that will not kill them.
    That is why they pay good money to receive a vehicle that works and
    works well.

    Just as computer purchasers do not wish to take courses in college to
    learn how to fix their computers. Nay, they don't even wish to have
    to Google up a fix for their brand new computer. You know what they
    really want, they want a computer that works without complications.
    Why? Because that is what they paid for.

    Computer companies, like other companies, will eventually start to
    lose customers, no matter how cheap their products are, if those
    products perform poorly. And this Sonic debacle that plaques all new
    users of Dell computers, desktop and laptop, will eventually start to
    affect their bottom line. Just like all of us here in this group that
    are talking about Sonic this and Sonic that and Dell this and Dell
    that, everyone that buys a Dell has to put up with these nonsensical
    headaches. Other people on telephones and emails talk about all the
    problems Dell seems to have nowadays. Soon enough, that "good" cheap
    computer is no longer being bought in such massive quantities, because
    word does eventually get around. No longer being bought from Dell that is.

    Free market economy, gotta love it.
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22=28Ctrl=A4+/Alt+=A4/Del=A4+=29=2, Apr 12, 2006
  13. Okay, I reread this and realized I was talking about plaque on a tooth
    when I really meant to type plague, like the Black Death. But then
    again, the Great Dell-Sonic debacle could be described as plaque on a
    tooth that just keeps eating away at its host, the very thing that
    that lets it survive.
    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22=28Ctrl=A4+/Alt+=A4/Del=A4+=29=2, Apr 12, 2006
  14. you are reading way tooo much into this. the sonic fix is easy, have posted
    it here before. odd that dell still ships systems like this. yet they
    remain the lesser evil given the alternatives.

    Christopher Muto, Apr 12, 2006
  15. journey

    PDR Guest

    ....and the car analogy doesn't wash because what the OP has done would be
    the equivilent of buying a car and then immediately stripping out the aircon
    that came free with that model. To then complain that he can't find a way of
    driving the power-steering pump or the alternator does not in any way
    suggest that the original car worked fine in the supplied condition.

    What he has attempted (replacing the supplied OS config with his own install
    config) is not something that would be attempted by someone who was unsure
    of their technical competence. It certainly suggests that he should be
    sufficiently competent to look up and implement the simple fix needed to get
    himself out of the mess of his own making. If he had said to Dell at the
    time of purchase that he intended to strip their config off the machine and
    replace it, and Dell's sales people had confirmed that the supplied product
    would be suitable for that, then he might have grounds for complaint. But I
    don't believe that's what happened.

    He can at any time recreate the (working) product that Dell supplied by
    simply reinstalling the Dell-supplied disk image, so it's not as if he's
    permanently stuck with an unusable product. He's in this situation because
    he believes that he knows a better way to configure the OS, and that's his
    privillage, but taking this path means he's on his own.

    PDR, Apr 12, 2006
  16. PDR, not that it really matters, because there is no way to make Dell
    and Sonic stop doing it to their customers, but the update problem
    with Sonic has nothing whatsoever to do with what the OP did.

    This is a very aggravating problem that Dell and Sonic both approve of
    and see no need to eliminate. If you buy a brand new computer and do
    nothing but take it out of the box and plug it in, you will have this
    problem. It is a feature that Dell and Sonic intentionally allow to
    continue, perhaps just for fun, to see how many people complain about it.

    =?ISO-8859-1?Q?=22=28Ctrl=A4+/Alt+=A4/Del=A4+=29=2, Apr 13, 2006
  17. ""(Ctrl¤+/Alt+¤/Del¤+)""
    it is hard to understand why this problem has made you so angry. it is an
    annoyance, but it dosen't prevent the software from working. it is crazy to
    think that dell or sonic is happy about it and the failure to rectify the
    situation likely lies in the hands of lawyers and liciense agreements. if
    you want something to complain about why not talk about why it costs
    consumers $37.50 for hp to come out to repair a computer that has a on site
    Christopher Muto, Apr 13, 2006
  18. Hi!
    I've never found it that hard to, well, find. But then again, I try to avoid
    Windows XP. (And when I have to use it, it's running with the "classic"
    Start Menu and Desktop model.

    Quite honestly, I don't use Explorer all that often. I much prefer to set
    folders to open in their own windows and to use the run command on the Start
    menu to do things.

    William R. Walsh, Apr 13, 2006
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