My current rig is the DELL XPS 420. Machine looks nice but deep down I suspect that XPS stands for Xtreme Piece of $hit. Since I've owned this machine there has been problems with it. The friggin ATI card constantly crashes on Vista and ATI keeps blaming Microsoft for it.
Anyway, to make a long story short I could no longer login to my box. I could get to the login screen but only to face a locked system. I tried everything from system tests to reinstalling the OS. The end result was always the same which is a locked/hung OS. Which only seemed to work in safe mode.
After being totally frustrated I decided to call DELL. To my surprise I had an option. Talk to a foreign English is not my first language rep or spend $150 to speak to a North American rep. I opted for choice one until I could not take it anymore.
For my $150 I got a guy who basically said "Hey, you seemed pretty smart and did all the trouble shooting already. Verify your address and we will send you out a new hd." WTF?
So I spent a bill fifty to have a guy who obviously had the authority to authorize a new peripheral being shipped out. Sweet? Not. This will be my last DELL and from here on out I'll build my own rigs to suit my needs.
Thank God that I at least back up all my $hit on removable hard drives or I would be really pissed right now.
So what was the problem really? According to DELL there may be a bad sector on the HD which is preventing the login. I actually agree with this but to me the video card here is the 800lb gorilla in the room everyone is ignoring. As much as the system crashes due to the vid card, I'm sure it had a hand in corrupting the HD.
R&D of course will be short to non existent this week as I try to get my lab back on line....stay tuned.