Skip to comments.In Faulty-Computer Suit, Window to Dell Decline
Posted on 06/30/2010 3:22:36 AM PDT by driftdiver
After the math department at the University of Texas noticed some of its Dell computers failing, Dell examined the machines. The company came up with an unusual reason for the computers demise: the school had overtaxed the machines by making them perform difficult math calculations.
Dell, however, had actually sent the university, in Austin, desktop PCs riddled with faulty electrical components that were leaking chemicals and causing the malfunctions. Dell sold millions of these computers from 2003 to 2005 to major companies like Wal-Mart and Wells Fargo, institutions like the Mayo Clinic and small businesses.
The funny thing was that every one of them went bad at the same time, said Greg Barry, the president of PointSolve, a technology services company near Philadelphia that had bought dozens. Its unheard-of, but Dell didnt seem to recognize this as a problem at the time.
Documents recently unsealed in a three-year-old lawsuit against Dell show that the companys employees were actually aware that the computers were likely to break.
(Excerpt) Read more at finance.yahoo.com ...
From the few hundred I have had my hands on, Dells usually held up well and gave little if any trouble. Really old units had typical failures such as boards/power supplies/bad caps.
You can imagine the Dell customer service department...getting this complaint...then noting it’s a math department at a major university...so then they cook up this excuse of folks adding too many numbers and that screws up the computer.
I’m just curious if the Jack Daniels distillery had Dell computers and would call up the customer service folks with a similar complaint...would they suggest that alcohol is causing the Dell computer to screw up as well?
This is where you take the guy who made up this excuse and just let him go (don’t even fire the guy)...and make sure everyone knows what he did.
Somewhere about six years ago...you could see various Dell models having unique problems (their first “mini” would burn up the motherboard in twelve months, then you did the warranty replacement, and the second lasted roughly twelve months...the whole interior was just too hot and no air circulation was the culprit).
Maybe Dell should just shut down and refund the value of outstanding shares to their shareholders, lol.
Corrosive fumes from alcohol distillation ... yeah, that’s it, corrosive fumes.
If my memory serves me, it was just a specific optiplex model.
I had similiar problems with compaq, they all failed at the same time.
My recent calls to Dell for warranty support were quite disappointing.
“If my memory serves me, it was just a specific optiplex model.”
Thats the only one they’ve admitted the problem existed on.
Due to the way the boards are constructed, and my lack of a $2000 soldering station, I had a very difficult time replacing about 8 capacitors without damaging the board. I ended up having to mount them upside down on the board with double sided tape dots, and use jumper wires to connect the leads to the board pads.
I'm using that very computer to write this even as we speak.
I wish this article had named the capaciter and its manufacturer(s). Capaciters are used in lots of electronic manufacturing, and I have thousands in the warehouse, left over from various jobs.
In before first “should have bought a mac” post.
See Reply #10.
It does and mine fails me on which one. 520’s and up that I run into seem durable enough.
Despite what complaints I have had with Dell, my run-ins with HP/Compaq have been far worse.
Panasonic DVC Pro videotape machines from a few years ago had endless capacitor problems. The maintenance unit would have to recap every deck every couple of months.
“I wish this article had named the capaciter and its manufacturer(s). Capaciters are used in lots of electronic manufacturing, and I have thousands in the warehouse, left over from various jobs.”
If my memory serves me correctly, ALL the electrolytic capacitors were potentially affected at a certain time of manufacture. I think the problem was that there was only ONE source for a chemical used in the manufacture of the caps and that it was contaminated. All manufacturers were affected to some degree. At that time I was working for NCR and had to replace a boatload of IBM motherboards.
PC’s are (for the most part) junk! Consider the hardware as disposable. The hardware will be overtaxed by the changes in software demands in about 2 years time.
Good thing FR has a very simple web interface. Gosh, I can even use a Win98 machine if I need to (or Puppy Linux as I am now).
They had a 2 stage failure. The first was the product line was bad, and then they failed at correcting the problem to the satisfaction of the people that bought the product. Unfortunately for Dell, the bad product was sold to major companies so word got around quickly.
I built a computer with one of the boards that was subject to failure. I guess that I was lucky since mine is still working. I didn't have to replace any capacitors. I'm not the one using it but it doesn't seem to have any capacitor related problems.
Let me guess. China?
I think it was 270 plus or minus 10..
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