Most of the computers in our house are Dells, with the exception of my laptop and my two servers. (I admit I was a little bit of a Dell fanboy) So about two years ago, my Mom ordered a Dell to replace her dinasour Compaq 600 MHz tower. So I help her customize a nice Dell computer to fit her budget and style. AMD Athlon 64, 1GB of RAM, 160 GB hard drive... nice computer for e-mail and Internet. So we ordered it, and it came about a week and a half later. The display wasn't working right on it when we hooked it up. So I called Dell support (Mom makes me go through Dell because of the warranty) and low and behold, the schmuck that built the computer at Dell installed an nVidia driver instead of an ATI driver. How bloody stupid do you have to be to get paid to not tell the difference between ATI and nVidia? So we got that driver mix-up fixed.
So about a year ago, my Mom's display on her computer turned a blue tint. So I decided we had two choices: it was either the monitor or the video card. So here I come carrying my flatpanel monitor out of my room and hook it up to her computer. Oops, blue tint is still there. So off to my place of employment (Wal-Mart) to pick up a video card (nowhere else I like to go but Wal-Mart on my day off, but she wanted me to use my discount on it). I pop in the video card and it works fine. Problem solved.
So that brings us to today's adventure. My mom and brother went to the grocery store to get some, well, groceries. She had turned the computer off before she left. So she comes home and turns on the computer...boots up OK. So she gets ready to open AOL (I know, I know...) and the screen goes black. The monitor shows its No Signal message, and there was a collective uttering of the F-word amongst the members of the household. I do my unique way of checking things and try to push the Number Lock key on the keyboard. The indicator stays lit. OK, frozen computer, hard boot it. So I turn off the computer, wait 15 seconds (yeah, sure) and turns it back on. The indicator on the power button stays yellow, the fans kick up and the DVD drive stirs. That's it. First thing I try is another PSU. Same thing. So I figure that it's most likely the motherboard or CPU. After all, there was enough dust in the intake fan to coat a small mammal.
So this brings me to my next question? Is Dell what it used to be? Or did I just get bad luck with the computer? Of course, being the KIND gentleman I am (
) I gave her my desktop and am going to use my secondary server as my new workstation. She said if you can fix it, it's yours. (I'm feeling a lucky trade here, a supercharged Dell in exchange for a Dell with a bad motherboard.) But we have decided that for Christmas, I can use my Christmas money towards building a new computer. So, my point is that I think Dells aren't as reliable as they used to be. What do you think?