My first Dell. . . I have some Questions.

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Mike, Oct 19, 2003.

  1. Mike

    Mike Guest

    1. Do they include the Windows XP CD with computer?
    2. Do they include any recovery disks? If so, what specifically are
    they? I know with HP they have a Recovery Console CD and I think a
    System Restore CD. They don't include it with the computer though.
    They only give it to you after your computer falls apart and you
    convince them that you desperately need it.
    3. The computer I'm going to be purchasing comes with one CD-RW drive
    but has two drive bays. If I want to add another drive like a DVD-ROM
    drive, can a local computer shop put in the drive? Or is this
    something Dell needs to do?
    4. I heard it's difficult to upgrade Dells. Why exactly is this?
    5. Is there anything anyone thinks I need to know about Dell

    Thanks for any help you can give
    Mike, Oct 19, 2003
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  2. 1. they do include a Windows XP Cd with the computer. That cd only works in
    a Dell, but that is ok because that is what you have.

    2. They don't include a recovery cd by default. They include the OS cd and
    then a driver cd with everything that you need. It is very easy to set back
    up in the event that you need to do so with the instructions that they
    provide with the drivers.

    3. Anybody will be able to add a drive to the computer. Depending upon
    what deals are going on, it might be cheaper to just get the DVD drive from
    Dell and then you have the warranty on the drive in the event of a problem.

    4. I don't find that Dells are difficult to upgrade at all. They use
    pretty standard components. Generally speaking their cases are very easy to
    get into and provide adequate space for working on the machine.

    5. I have heard that service is going a bit down hill with Dell. I can't
    comment personally because I have yet to have to call them on my 4550.
    Patrick L. Parks, Oct 19, 2003
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  3. Mike

    joe_tide Guest

    I agree with everything patrick said.

    Buying a Dell is a lot like building your own. That's why they don't have
    the recovery CD's. Some of the cards and the motherboards are be built to
    Dell specs, but just about everything else can be changed or added.

    On the Dell web site they even show you how to add and remove parts, such as
    an additional drive.

    I have bought about six Dells and have only called support once. As it
    turned out, there wasn't a problem with the computer after all. I'd say
    that's pretty good performance.

    The ones that had mail-in rebates - the rebates came as they said they would
    (you just have to follow the instructions).

    I wanted to extend the warranty on a laptop - I did it all by email. I don't
    know how it could get any easier.

    If you know how to read, you won't have any problems at all if you simply
    follow the instructions.

    Sort of went on a rant there - sorry. ;-)
    joe_tide, Oct 19, 2003

  4. I won't add too much to what the other guys have said, since they have
    given you good advice!!

    Just that I don't understand why you were told that they were hard to

    Just as an example, let me explain how you put an extra Hard Drive into
    my Dell Dimension 8200:-
    1 You release the clips on the case & it opens up like a hinge - no
    screws or whatever
    2 You locate the spare plastic slider-bars that have been conveniently
    provided for you & fix them to your new Drive (fixings come with the
    3 Slide your new Drive into its cradle (which is readily accessible) &
    click home
    4 Locate the existing Drives Power & Data Leads & you will find that
    they already have the additional connectors on them. Plug into new Drive
    5 Close up case
    6 Power Up & Format Drive etc..

    IMHO putting a new Drive into my Dell was the easiest of any PC that I
    have ever worked on!!

    Just to make sure that you understand BOTH sides of the story let me
    identify the following:-
    a Putting non-Dell CD-ROM into a Dell means you usually can't get the
    right colour on the front face
    b Replacing Power Unit - have heard (but have NO personal experience)
    that some of the power leads are non-standard connected
    c Replacing Motherboard - believe that the Motherboard/Case combination
    maybe proprietary &, therefore, difficult to swap out!


    John J. Burness, Oct 19, 2003
  5. Mike

    Steve Guest

    Not sure I'd agree with that. Just went thru a new setup, and the
    driver cd was very confusing - hard to tell what you actually need to
    Steve, Oct 19, 2003
  6. Mike

    Irene Guest

    It is very easy to set back
    That depends on two things. Your definition of "easy" and how much software
    you have to reload if a clean reload is required.

    That depends on the model. Some are quite easy and some are fairly

    "A bit down hill" is an understatement. Since the move to outsource over
    seas(India, etc.) Dell support has gone to hell in a handbasket. Just pray
    that you never have to depend on the new Dell Tech for anything that is at
    all complex.
    Irene, Oct 19, 2003
  7. "A bit down hill" is an understatement. Since the move to outsource over

    so does all the other PC manufacturers
    Dan Sgambelluri, Oct 20, 2003
  8. Mike

    Bob Schor Guest

    Comments on Questions 3 and 4. I purchase Dells for our (small)
    department because (a) Dells are reliable, (b) they are VERY easy to
    upgrade (because Dell tends to use "standard" parts), and (c) they are
    VERY easy to upgrade yourself (because they are well-engineered, Dell
    uses standard parts, and the manuals and web-based help are quite
    clear). Certainly any CompUSA or similar store that could sell you a
    drive would have no trouble putting one it. You could also probably
    do it yourself.

    Bob Schor
    Bob Schor, Oct 20, 2003
  9. Mike

    plated metal Guest

    Not true. Non-standard power supplies, case fans, motherboard connectors
    and dimensions (so they won't fit in other cases). Disk drives (hard and
    floppy), optical drives (CD, CD-RW, DVD, etc), RAM, processors (but not
    the way they're cooled), video cards, and other PCI cards; all are
    standard parts.

    The most annoying thing is the powers supply unit (PSU) and case fan
    issue, since these components invariably get noisy after a few months
    (Dell use cheap and shitty components) and are tricky to replace - doing
    so will require some research and possible modifications. Don't hesitate
    to post to this newsgroup when that happens!

    I won't buy a Dell again for that reason. I will only buy standard,
    replaceable, high-quality components (which rules out Dell).

    Best of luck.

    plated metal, Oct 20, 2003
  10. Mike

    Irene Guest

    Yeah, but three of our four PC's are Dell's.
    That's what is important to us and it sure doesn't excuse Dell for dumping
    on the consumer.
    Irene, Oct 20, 2003
  11. Mike

    goop Guest

    They don't include a restore CD, but if you call _*within 30 days of your
    invoice date*_ and report getting some error that requires a reinstall of
    windows, then when they tell you you have to reinstall, bitch and moan and
    complain that you just got the machine and it should work, etc. etc. they'll
    send you a restore CD. they'll only send it though, if you A) have a
    critical error and B) if it's within 30 days.
    goop, Oct 20, 2003
  12. of course

    but Dell is not the only one to do this.
    Dan Sgambelluri, Oct 20, 2003
  13. Mike

    Tom Swift Guest

    I don't care what country provides my tech long as the support
    is competent. I don't believe that people in India, the Phillipines, etc.
    are inherently dumber than Americans. Shame on anybody who thinks that way.
    I've gotten lousy support from American techs, too. I don't care if my tech
    support comes from a different planet. As long as they know what they're
    talking about.

    Tom Swift
    Tom Swift, Oct 20, 2003
  14. Mike

    Irene Guest

    We don't have any of the others and don't plan to acquire any of them. My
    concern and that of this group is with the support being(or more properly,
    NOT being) provided by Dell.

    You still missed the point.

    The fact that other manufacturers are out sourcing and providing poor
    support is no excuse for Dell to treat their customers shabbily and follow
    the same lead.

    And I disagree with you that "all the other PC manufacturers" are doing the
    same thing. All the major home consumer--possibly-----but "all" I think is
    not quite the case.
    Irene, Oct 20, 2003
  15. Mike

    Irene Guest

    I don't believe that people in India, the Phillipines, etc.
    I didn't say they were.
    But that's the problem---it isn't.

    Except for the fact that it's costing a lot of Americans their jobs, I don't
    either----PROVIDED, who ever they are, they are competent at their job and
    competent at understanding and speaking English. My experience has been the
    they are NOT.
    What they primarily do, is work much cheaper.
    Irene, Oct 20, 2003
  16. Mike

    Tom Scales Guest

    Current Dell's use standard power supplies. Have since the 8250.

    Tom Scales, Oct 21, 2003
  17. Mike

    plated metal Guest

    No, they don't. They have no -5V output. You certainly can't use a Dell
    PSU in another machine (okay, not the issue ;) ), and to use a third
    party PSU in a Dell, you'll need to check that the motherboard connector
    is otherwise standard, and that the place for the -5V wire (white) is a
    "no connect" (or snip the wire coming from the PSU). Also, Dell PSUs
    have no on/off switch at the back, whereas most (all?) third party PSUs
    (and you can buy much quieter ones than Dell uses) do. The annoying
    thing is that the metal plate at the back of the Dell desktop (all of
    them, I think), covers up where the PSU switch goes, so you need to
    drill a large hole in the metal plate to allow for the switch and fit
    the PSU properly. As I said, the Dell PSUs are non-standard,
    low-quality, and a pain to replace (but I sure as hell did).

    plated metal, Oct 21, 2003
  18. Mike

    Tom Scales Guest

    Which specific model did you do this on? From everything I have read, the
    8300, 4550, 4600, etc. are bone stock standard. The power supply switch is
    nice, but not a standard, by any stretch.

    Tom Scales, Oct 21, 2003
  19. there is some support from Dell overseas that are competent and some that
    aren't, no different from any other support staff from the other major
    computer manufacturers, whether they are in the US or overseas.
    Dan Sgambelluri, Oct 21, 2003
  20. I am not missing your point.

    of course, no business including Dell should limit customer support and Dell
    should not follow the others for going overseas.

    yes, not all the PC makers but the big names do.
    Dan Sgambelluri, Oct 21, 2003
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