Kevin Vance - whine whine

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11:26 pm

whine whine

Monday, June 18th, 2007
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On the same day:
  • My less than three-week-old Dell laptop appears to have a defective hard disk (lots of dmesg errors, SMART read failure, apt database is dead)
  • My DS Lite hinge cracked (playing tetris while waiting for dying hard disk to calm down)
I'm sure Dell will give me a new disk. But I hope they will send me the disk and a shipping label, not demand the entire laptop back. This thing is still minimally functional, and I'd prefer to keep using it.

My DS is probably a couple of days out of warranty, so I doubt Nintendo will fix it for free.

On the positive side, I spent much of the weekend hanging out with dormando, lorelai, and duinlas, two of which had birthdays, and one of which was much cuter than the other two.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2007-06-20 03:46 am (UTC)
That's almost exactly what I said when the hinge cracked.
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From: c99koder
2007-06-19 01:40 pm (UTC)
Yep, Dell will ship you a drive via DHL w/ a return label inside. And if you're really lazy, they can also send out a tech to install it for you.
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From: c99koder
2007-06-19 01:41 pm (UTC)
Haha. LJ stripped my fake HTML tag. I had written </ex-warranty-field-tech> at the end of that, but forgot to use &lt; and &gt;
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2007-06-20 03:47 am (UTC)
Heh. I get my mail text-only, so I actually saw the fake tag!
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[User Picture]From: casey
2007-06-19 02:22 pm (UTC)
My hinge started to crack this past weekend. Probably unwisely, I glued it back down. :P
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2007-06-20 03:51 am (UTC)
Why unwisely?

On mine there are two more tiny cracks near the main one. I'm not sure how well glue would work for me.
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[User Picture]From: casey
2007-06-20 03:54 am (UTC)
Because I used Elmer's. *hangs head in shame*
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[User Picture]From: wikle
2007-06-20 12:11 pm (UTC)
Assuming you've given up on the warranty I would use epoxy and a needle and glue that sucker back together. Use the needle to spread the epoxy inside the crack (or as much as possible). Just be careful not to glue the darn thing so that it can't open or close.
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[User Picture]From: graa
2007-06-19 03:21 pm (UTC)
My brand new Dell laptop's HD completely corrupted itself after two months. They sent a new one the next day, but they sent me the wrong drive, and trying to convince their support department to just send me the right drive instead of sending a technician over was an absolute nightmare.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2007-06-20 03:55 am (UTC)
I can imagine. The results of the SMART self-test were insufficient to get my hard disk replaced. I had to say the "magic" Dell Error Code.
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[User Picture]From: graa
2007-06-20 06:58 am (UTC)
The first guy I talked to agreed something was wrong when it took more than 25 minutes for XP to boot into safe mode.

And also when Dell's wacky built-in error check produced a series of beeps at eardrum-shattering volume.
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From: thedexter
2007-06-20 12:43 am (UTC)
I've heard Nintendo goes out of their way to help people, even slightly out of warranty. worth a shot.

I'm sure you mean "whom," not "which."
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2007-06-20 04:00 am (UTC)
I'll give it a shot, but I've heard of these repairs costing ~$50. For a new piece of plastic...

"Whom" usually feels wrong to me. Especially when I'm describing HTML entites as people.
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From: (Anonymous)
2007-06-20 06:53 pm (UTC)

My name is Todd and I'm with Dell's online outreach program that works with customers via blogs and forums. Normally with notebook hard drives we just send the drive and not a technician.

If you haven't gotten that drive ordered yet you're welcome to email me at (include ATN: Todd in the subject line of the message so it can be routed through to me) and I'll be glad to help you.

Since your system is so new I can arrange for the drive to be sent out with the Dell factory image installed on it, or I can send you the Windows reinstallation CDs, whichever way you prefer.

I'm also curious, someone mentioned that when calling in on a bad hard drive the Dell tech wouldn't take a SMART error as evidence that it's failing. How long ago was that? It's something that the technicians should be used to accepting.

Let me know if I can be of help.

Thank you,


Customer Advocate
Dell, Inc.
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[User Picture]From: kvance
2007-06-22 08:58 pm (UTC)
Hi Todd,

Thanks for commenting. My replacement disk arrived yesterday, though it was missing the OS image. (This is the new Ubuntu laptop, which may be why.)

The SMART failure report was also me. I pasted the smartctl test output into the IM session, and was asked to run the Dell diagnostic utility anyway.

Overall, it was more of a hassle than it should have been, but not really any worse than I expected.

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