Weird Dimension 9200 problem

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Tom Scales, Jan 12, 2007.

  1. Tom Scales

    S.Lewis Guest

    Larry -

    One more question........?

    So, will "members of your team" be identifying themselves (via sig, etc.)
    during times when they're present here and posting or replying much as you

    My point in asking is this: can users of this group count on you and/or your
    team to directly escalate problems for resolutions through Dell?

    Or, will your team just be shagging questions and providing answers like the
    rest of us (where we can), and directing users of the group to certain Dell
    phone numbers or chat/e-mail tech support links?


    S.Lewis, Jan 27, 2007
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  2. Tom Scales

    DellCA Guest

    All of the Dell Customer Advocates (my team) should be identifyin
    themselves when they post or contact people as we are officiall
    representing Dell when we do so (unlike the average Dell tech who woul
    be posting on his own time to try and help out). If the question i
    dealing with Dell or a Dell product we will be responding and, i
    needed, escalating the matter (like this particular topic).

    Since we find these threads through searches (Technorati and others) w
    might not see everything right away. For that reason we don't reply t
    all of the posts. If you guys have already given the correct answer b
    the time we find it we'll leave it at that. We might throw in
    confirmation depending on the situation.

    So, don't retire the amateurs yet. Everybody still needs them. ;)

    Dell Customer Advocat
    DellCA, Jan 29, 2007
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  3. Tom Scales

    Notan Guest

    DellCA wrote:

    I just dropped in on this thread, and discovered your presence.

    Welcome. We all look forward to working with you!
    Notan, Jan 29, 2007
  4. Tom Scales

    S.Lewis Guest


    Thanks for the response.

    Please pass along to the team that there are regulars here who've been
    regularly posting (and helping) for over 5+ years - even a few whom I'd let
    work on my personal machine. FWIW, I really don't consider them amateurs,
    per se.

    I hope you guys will especially monitor support complaint threads
    (particularly those involving overseas support) as the regulars in the group
    have nothing to offer to help address those issues - or to sort out whether
    they are genuine complaints or simply trolls.

    Glad to see you guys here to provide an avenue for answers and possible

    (6 Dells in house.)
    S.Lewis, Jan 29, 2007
  5. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Yeah, we old-timers know a thing or two :)

    (11 Dells)
    Tom Scales, Jan 30, 2007
  6. Tom Scales

    HDRDTD Guest

    Many thanks for you and your group doing what you're doing to help everyone.

    Tis much appriciated....

    Only 5 Dells here.
    But I do have 13 others....(grin)
    HDRDTD, Jan 30, 2007
  7. Tom Scales

    S.Lewis Guest

    This reminds me of 1st grade and urinals, but that's another discussion
    S.Lewis, Jan 30, 2007
  8. Tom Scales

    HDRDTD Guest

    Thanks for putting pictures in my head that i reaaaaly dont want to
    HDRDTD, Jan 30, 2007
  9. Tom Scales

    npsaltarelli Guest

    Thanks, Tom. I'm just getting back after a few days away. I loaded and
    ran HD Tune as you suggested. The resulting graph looks like a stock
    chart - lots of ups and downs ranging from 4.6 MB/sec to 55.0 MB/sec
    at an average of 40.1. Access time is 19.9 ms, Burst rate is at 70.5
    MB/sec and CPU Usage is at 22.4%.

    My replacement PC from Dell is scheduled to arrive today. I will swap
    out the hard drives rather than go through a fresh system setup and
    see if the performance improves.

    I haven't gone to the MS KBA yet, Larry, but will do so later on

    thanks again

    npsaltarelli, Jan 30, 2007
  10. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Yeah, that's not right. Sounds just like mine
    Tom Scales, Jan 30, 2007
  11. Tom Scales

    npsaltarelli Guest

    Perhaps this performance is typical for the Dimension 9200, then? Hope
    not. Guess I'll find out once I fire up the new box.

    I'm not much impressed with Dell's approach to a customer's
    inconvenience. While the sales agreement specifies next business day
    onsite service it appears they have been reluctant to follow through.
    Up to me to do the hardware swaps, repackage up the old box and drive
    it to a UPS location to ship it back. No big deal, I guess, but it's
    been almost six weeks since I brought these issues to Dell's
    attention. I suggested to Dell some sort of consideration was in
    order, but they disagree.

    This is my fifth consecutive Dell computer, and probably my last.
    npsaltarelli, Jan 30, 2007
  12. Tom Scales

    Notan Guest


    Something doesn't smell quite right.

    Over the past <many> years, every request for service has resulted
    in the tech showing up on time. These requests all involve "same
    business day" or "next business day" contracts, and all purchases
    were done through Dell's Small Business Division.
    Notan, Jan 30, 2007
  13. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    I'd read the fine print more. I suspect it is next business day, IF
    REQUIRED, and that the customer is expected to do significant
    troubleshooting and parts replacement themselves.
    Tom Scales, Jan 30, 2007
  14. Tom Scales

    npsaltarelli Guest

    Tom's probably right, Notan. I didn't specifically request a service
    call but agreed to take a new tower and swap out the hard drives. The
    reorder got lost somewhere and the new box didn't arrive as it was
    supposed to three weeks ago so Dell had to re-reorder. The context is
    having had to wait six weeks for resolution to an issue that could
    have taken a couple of days.

    Anyway, I received the new box today. XP System check still reports
    only 3GB of RAM (of course - unfortunate that Dell's Technical
    Department weren't on the same page on that one) and performance seems
    to be better. We'll see if things begin to slow down and get flaky
    over time.
    npsaltarelli, Jan 30, 2007
  15. Tom Scales

    scott9200 Guest

    Hi all,

    I got a Dimension 9200 in October 2006 and started out with a fres
    install of Windows Server 2003 Enterprise (it was purchased with X
    Home). Single Seagate SATA drive. I had to turn off RAID in BIO
    (1.0.3) to do the installation IIRC. I remember not being excited abou
    some of the performance, but didn't know the specific problem unti

    Among other things, this machine was to be a hub for 4-5 external usb
    drives. All of that worked well, but a few weeks ago I decided t
    compare the performance of my new gigabit ethernet switch. I trie
    dropping large files on various network shares. I was surprised to fin
    the speed of the usb 2.0 externals was much Much MUCH(!) faster than th
    internal SATA. The estimated time to completion went from 4 minutes, t
    12, to 30, to 59, ... back down to 32, up to 112, etc. uh oh.

    I tried to upgrade the Intel drivers from to
    each time I did this, it appeared to work, the computer rebooted, bu
    the driver would still show Reboots are extremely slow;
    guess it's related, but I'm not sure.

    Per some of the discussion here, I installed HD Tune and saw th
    behavior Tom mentioned... every few seconds, the performance dropped t
    essentially zero. If I try copying a largish (9Gig) file within a folde
    on the SATA drive--just pressing Ctrl-C then Ctrl-V, it says maybe
    minutes, then sometimes looks like things are going ok for a fe
    seconds, then the estimated time jumps up, and then the whole machin
    may totally freeze for 2-3 minutes. Even the mouse froze (ps/2 mous
    because I'm using a KVM)

    I upgraded the BIOS from 1.0.3 to 2.1.2 and nothing changed (I actuall
    did this before I read about *downgrading * to 1.0.3, but I actually ha
    the same problem before, when I was running 1.0.3). I also tried movin
    the SATA drive to SATA3 from SATA0 (or SATA1... however it ships) i
    case it had something to do with the particular connection. All o
    these things left me with the same results:, with moderate activity.PNG

    Dell won't support this because I'm using Server 2003 and I bought i
    with XP Home. The system is probably going back in a few days becaus
    I'd rather pay the restocking fee than mess with it any more. In al
    honesty, I'd like to make a big flap about never buying another Dell
    because this has been an expensive disaster in terms of my time, but m
    other one (9150) is working great. Safe to say I won't buy another 920
    though; it feels like a fluke, it's just an expensive one for me.

    I thought I'd post here in case anyone has any final ideas. Obviousl
    the BIOS downgrade didn't work for me since I saw the problem wit
    1.0.3. I don't know if there's a significant difference with Serve
    2003 or if I can/should switch to "RAID On" at this point. If nothin
    else, this provides everyone else with another data point.

    scott9200, Feb 7, 2007
  16. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest


    You can't turn Raid back on with reinstalling the OS (at least in XP Pro).
    What video card do you have? Is it the nVidia 7300LE?

    Oddly, I've been able to confirm the problem is with that video card. If
    you do, try swapping cards with another machine and see if it fixes the
    problem. When I put my 7600GS in the machine it was flawless.

    Tom Scales, Feb 7, 2007
  17. Tom Scales

    scott9200 Guest

    Thanks for the reply; that *is *the video card I have! I have som
    others laying around (although I think they're all quite old) that
    can try out later today--hopefully they're not all AGP.

    I only expect to use the 9200 remotely, so the video card isn't a bi
    deal to me. The 9150 I'm on right now has a Radeon X300/X550... if i
    comes down to it, I'll use this one although I hate to mess with m
    main (and very stable) workstation. I'll let you know what happens..
    later today if possible.

    scott9200, Feb 7, 2007
  18. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    Sounds like the only card you may have handy is from the 9150. If it was me
    (although I am insane), I'd pull it long enough to test the theory and then
    put it back. Don't touch the 9150 config, just borrow its card.

    Bet it solves the problem (oddly, as does more memory).

    Tom Scales, Feb 7, 2007
  19. Tom Scales

    S.Lewis Guest

    HDDs. Video card. RAM.

    All on the 3.3v rail.

    Could be tied to the card, but then you're saying adding RAM works. I wonder
    why that is.....
    S.Lewis, Feb 7, 2007
  20. Tom Scales

    Tom Scales Guest

    perhaps, although the 7300LE is so low power that it doesn't require an
    additional power connector.

    What's weirder than extra ram is that the 7600GS, which should require more
    power (but also doesn't require a power connector) is the best solution --
    by FAR.

    Makes the graph incredibly smooth.

    Weird, huh.
    Tom Scales, Feb 7, 2007
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