How to Deal with Dell Service? Hard Drive Makes Dell Laptop Run Poorly

Intrepid100

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Aug 11, 2014
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I have a dilemma.

I have a Dell Inpiron 5520 Laptop with an Intel i5, 8GB RAM and a Seagate 1TB HDD that came with Windows 7 installed, which I later upgraded to Windows 8. The computer was running horribly slow in Windows 8: 15 minutes to boot, 10 minutes to launch task manager, 10 minutes to shutdown, etc.

I scanned for viruses using three different programs, including booting from a CD and everything came up clean.

I eventually gave up on Windows 8 and reinstalled Windows 7, but had the same performance issue. I ran msconfig and killed all the startup programs and services, killed Aero and UAC and it still ran sluggishly. Same issue.

I ran Dell hardware diagnostics on the drive and they passed. Then, I took drive out and attached to another machine and ran Seagate Seatools and found 4 LBA errors, so Seagate -- the manufacturer of the drive -- failed the drive.

For kicks, I installed a new WD Blue 250GB drive in the system, reinstalled Windows 7 and the computer ran well!

So, just to confirm my issue, I put the Seagate drive in again, ran the Dell diagnostics again and it passed, but the system was back to 15 minute boots and 10 minutes to launch task manager.

I did a fresh install of Windows 7 again, turned off everything and still had the same issue.

I have a four year in-home next day service contract from Dell and explained to them what happened. They said that it did not matter that the tests from the drive's manufacturer failed because the Dell tests passed, so they would not replace the drive unless I could give them a specific error code.

However, they would be willing to send a tech over to reinstall windows on the bad drive even though it would probably cost them less to send me a new drive than it would to send the technician!

Is it just me, or is Dell's behavior really this bureaucratic? Because their solution clearly makes neither technical nor business sense. I have put a lot of time into troubleshooting and I bought a service contract so I would not have to.

Any advice on how to fix my system or, better yet, get Dell to fix it?

Or, is the real answer just to dismiss Dell as a vendor on the grounds that have totally lost touch their customers. They used to be a good company with great service and I used to buy a lot from them, but I am concerned that there seems like there might be something wrong with this new private-equity run version of Dell.






 

Episodic

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Feb 25, 2013
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I'm unclear on your exact question. If you are saying the HDD that comes included in the Dell laptop is shit and makes your system run slow and poor, then I would suggest upgrading it yourself. Somewhere on the underside of your laptop there are screws holding in the HDD in it's cage. All you do is buy an SSD, and pop out the HDD included in the laptop and pop in your new SSD. You can transfer all the data from one to the other or start fresh, either way it will increase your performance.
 

Intrepid100

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Aug 11, 2014
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Hi Episodic,

Thanks for your comment.

Yes, I thought about putting an SSD in there, but then I would not get the service I paid for. Also, the drive that came with the system is a 1TB, which (1) I need for the work I do and (2) which I paid for when I bought the system and which I paid for in the service contract.

As I mentioned, I put a WD 250 GB HDD in the system, but after installing Windows, Windows Updates and all the applications I use, I only have about 60 TB of storage left. So, putting a 180 - 250 GB SSD would not leave me much room for data. That would be a case of "all dressed up but no place to go". And if I want a 500GB SSD, that starts to get very pricey and I might as well buy a better laptop at that ponit.

Really, what I want is Dell to fix the problem because I bought a service contract from them that I feel that they are not honoring. But if Dell will not replace a hard drive that fails the manufacturer's tests, I will have to go buy another HDD that is larger than 250GB so that I can get my work done. Then, when something else breaks, I will have to go put the bad drive back in every time I call Dell so that the system meets their bureaucratic requirements.



 

Episodic

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Feb 25, 2013
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Well, companies not always honoring what they say is a problem a lot of people experience and nothing I can really do about it, as I am not Dell. The 250GB HDD is what is making your computer slow? Which was not included in the original laptop but you bought a service package for it? What are the details of the service package and how do you know the slowness isn't just the HDD itself, rather then it being faulty? However, try posting this problem on Dell forums directly, as there is nothing we can really do for you here. Along with posting on their forums, email them, call them, make sure you are on top of them if your HDD is truly defective and you have a service package for it. Another option is getting a 250GB SSD to put windows on and your application, then along with that having an external HDD that you put files on and whatever else you need. Then you get the speed from the SSD and the space from the external HDD (Which you could also plug into any other computer and have all your files), without breaking the bank.
 

Intrepid100

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Aug 11, 2014
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Hi Episodic,

The 1TB Seagate HDD that came with the Dell laptop from the factory and which failed in Seagate Seatools is what makes the Laptop slow. Because Seagate, not Dell, is the manufacturer, and Seagate's diagostics failed that drive, I believe it is clear that the drive is faulty. However, Dell seems choosing not to accept the fact that Seagate's tools have declared the drive as faulty. I have spent 3-4 hours talking to people at Dell. The service package purchase is complete in-home next day service -- warranty extension and in home service for 4 years -- if it breaks, they are supposed to fix it. However, it has been 3 and a half weeks and counting since I opened the ticket with Dell. I spoke with them again two days ago.

The 250GB WD HDD that I put in to see if it made a difference makes the Dell laptop run normally. However, I had to borrow that drive and cannot keep it in the system.

So, I am interested in how people have been successful getting Dell to respond to them. For example, do I have to call them three times, ten times, fifty times before they will do something that actually makes sense? Do I have to send Michael Dell a letter? What has really worked, because obviously calling technical support has not worked.

I agree with you about the speed of the SSD, but not with the external HDD option because the access times are too slow for any type of data processing. The external HDD is fine for storing files you don't need frequently, but not when your applications are doing frequent I/O on large amounts of data all over the drive. Also, having that drive attached all the time is not always a viable option unless one is always sitting at one's desk.

However, if you are saying that a 250 GB HDD is going to be an order of magnitude faster than a 1TB HDD, then I would be interested in understanding why.












 
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