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 Post subject: a Dell customer in distress
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 8:32 pm 
Coppermine
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I have an issue with a DELL Inspiron l8100 laptop that I bought secondhand from an enlisted soldier. Sold for $700.00, I couldn't resist the deal that was given to me. Before we made the transaction with a handwritten sales reciept, I verified his military ID with the information on the laptop. Files he created that were dated a few years back confirmed that it was a legitimate deal. Sure enough, his first initial and last name was in the system properties as the registered owner. I thought, cool.:o

I always wanted a Dell and had been excited with my new purchase. Relying on my memory with his login and password, thinking nothing much of writing it down, it happened that I forgot the password combination. :? I'm disappointed knowing that I only had the oppertunity to use the laptop for a little over a week, and Dell will not help. Needless to say, I wasted another week in an attempt to find this guy, moreover in fustration coping with Dell's lousy tech support so that I can logon and change the password. :x
Who would have though that buying a secondhand laptop is like purchasing a used car? Well with DELL and a secondhand laptop...you have to apply for a Transfer of Ownership. Doesn't sound like anything difficult to do. :arrow: :?

So I kept calling them on numerous ocassions, and after being pointed to their tech support person, I got a man with an Indian accent who could barely speak english. I was told by this "Indian" guy that before he releases DELL's default login code we need to complete the ownership transfer. So I gave him all the information I had from the sailor. Lo and behold, he wanted the information of the person who actually purchased the laptop from Dell. The name, the date it was purchased, the address it was mailed to, and the telephone numbers. Half of the information I provided didn't plug in so well, but this tech support guy told me that the last name was correct, the state and the zip code was right. :roll: Hello, It was a gift to Mr. sailor boy from a family member. How am I supposed to complete the "Transfer of Ownership" not knowing who this family member is? :idea: Bear in mind that the laptop is a few years old. People move, addresses change, and after telling him this, he still wanted the right telephone number! :shock: I'm stationed on Guam, I have no luck locating this guy, the man is also in the military for goodness sake.
I'm here to tell the world that from my expierence a hand written sales reciept is useless, and so is Dell's lousy tech support. Yes, I made a mistake not writing down the login and password. My efforts have all been exhausted. I paid seven hundred dollars and still can't use the laptop. What am I supposed to do? :idea:
Does Dell have any answers :?:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:21 pm 
Little Foot
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this a bios password or a windows pass and if its windows what version?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 9:42 pm 
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Sounds like your going to have try and locate this guy to get some info. If it was me, id throw the windows CD in and wipe the drive. Problem solved, fresh copy of windows as well.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Feb 22, 2005 10:16 pm 
Coppermine
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It's the login that pops up immediately after the power is turned on. Right before the machine does a POST :?






Edit: i'm guessing it's called the "BIOS login" :?:

I went to his Unit and met up with the Master Chief he was assigned to, and was told that he relocated to NAF Atsugi, Japan, so he is no longer here on Guam.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 2:47 am 
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Don't know about Dells...but on normal PC all you have to do is reset the BIOS.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:16 am 
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There is a way to do it, I picked up a Compaq from best buy that was passworded. FYI- the master password for a dell is, well Dell 99% positive- it's in a post somewhere in this forum from what I remember.

I'm not fully awake, but from memory, I tapped F8 while booting, went into safe mode, then logged in as admin- password for that is usually password, once there go into the control panel, user accounts, make a new user account as admin with your name, then delete the old (his) user account. Once you do this, you should have access to the lappy.

FWIW, The suggestion to reformat / restore back to factory is a good one, why would you want this guys info on there? For the life of me, I can't figure out why he even left his info there.

HTH


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 5:48 am 
Little Foot
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ya i'd try resettin bios too. after you unplug the power supply what do you guys think is easier holding the power button down for 15 secs or popin out the coin cell?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 9:09 am 
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Definitely a BIOS password then. Hopefully someone can give you the info on resetting it on a notebook. Never done it on one of them before. On a desktop its as simple as moving a jumper for a few seconds. Im sure someone will be able to help you out.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 10:02 am 
8086
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Don't you just unplug it and take the battery out and leave it for a while, so everything discharges? And then once you put it back in, it should be ready to go.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 12:48 pm 
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I would think it has a battery backup just like on a desktop, but thats just my guess. I think someone should move this over to the roadwarrior section to get some more help.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 1:33 pm 
Coppermine
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Edit: Once upon a time the master password was indeed "Dell". Unlike desktop computers, most laptops store the BIOS password in a chip that can not be erased simply by resetting the CMOS battery. Dell laptops have a "master password" unique to each machine.
Anyway, after combing the web for workarounds to remedy my situation, i've come to a conclusion. I'm going to sell the laptop parts to all the pissed-off customers in the Dell support forums. Within a matter of days, I'll get my money back. :P
To add to the irony, i've been chuckling over their new TV ad campaign. In the commercial, a Dell customer calls customer support and an American answers the phone and speaks English the customer can actually understand. Why can't it be that way in real life?

:shock:I'm in disbelief about the amount of complaints Dell has unleashed. I just can't imagine spending a hundred bucks for a three year warranty, and three years phone service support. Oh lawd please. Part of this problem is that any language difficulties come up after what has often already been a frustrating experience.

Moreover, I used to be such a fan of Dell, but my whole trial and error thing has made me really upset with their support and customer care. Besides putting me on hold for 30-45 minutes and disconnecting me not once but around five times, I get the runaround from tech support.

Some of the problems we've seen before with Dell are also still clearly factors in this current spate of gripes. E-mail and automated phone support systems don't seem to provide answers, and getting replacements for defective parts is a major undertaking. And, wheter they're speaking with an accent or not, the one and only answer most support reps seem to offer is to reinstall the OS, even if the customer has already tried that. As always is the case with support gripes, we also have to wonder whether product quality is the real culprit. Some corporate customers report high failure with Dell computers, not only notebooks, but desktop computers and servers as well.

So what do we make of the complaints about Indian accents? I can tell you there is always going to be a certain percentage of people who have trouble with the way the person on the other end of the line speaks English. And I think most of us would much rather talk to a support rep overseas with a slight accent who has the technical knowledge than someone in the heartland with an All-American twang and no clue.

Call centers in India are not in and of themselves a bad thing. On the other hand, when this many customers say they are having a problem, there is a problem. Yet I think it's less about accents and more about the choices that Dell is making. The reason so many companies are employing call centers in India and elsewhere overseas is because doing so can help them save money without significantly impairing service. But, just like in the U.S., you can always pay a little less and get people with fewer skills and less training. I think it's clear that's what Dell has done.

Low prices, but crappy service -- simply put, that is the value proposition that Dell now offers. If you want a little better support, pay a little more for an IBM or an Apple. That's what Dell is telling us, in a language we should all be able to understand.



***************************************************************************************

Update:

BTW: A relative found someone with the same laptop, make and model. He told me that his friends LCD blacked out on him, and will be calling me back. :shock: :)


2nd update:

Just called the other guy looking for the Dell LCD. It's going to cost him $713.75 locally to have it replaced. He says he can't wait a few more weeks for the part to arrive. Anyway (in short), I told him about the situation with my inspiron laptop, and we closed a deal for a decent price using my parts. :) I'll be changing his LCD screen, upgrading the thirty gigabyte HD to a sixty, and swapping out the GPU. I'm relieved to know that my headaches have been sold. Whhew!

I've learned a lot from this expierence, case closed.

Thanks for all the beneficial suggestions!
:wink:


Last edited by daveyd on Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:52 am, edited 2 times in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Wed Feb 23, 2005 3:57 pm 
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SirBob1701 wrote:
ya i'd try resettin bios too. after you unplug the power supply what do you guys think is easier holding the power button down for 15 secs or popin out the coin cell?


This is a laptop he's talking about. In order to get to the Cmos battery, he would have to take the whole thing apart & unless he has a manual, forget it- they are complicated. I've taken apart a Compaq with the manual.


daveyd wrote:
But really, thanks guys and gals for all the benificial suggestions. What I though was going to be a bright new begining, has truly ended.
I will be investing in a G5 :wink:


So, did you try starting in safe mode like I said? Post back with the results, if it didn't work I will sift through emails to make sure that is what I did.

If I were you, I would send in a complaint to the guys higher up and have them ask him for the password. You have to be protected from being screwed by one of your own, no?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:27 am 
Coppermine
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Quote:
So, did you try starting in safe mode like I said? Post back with the results, if it didn't work I will sift through emails to make sure that is what I did.


Thanks sweetie, bear in mind that the moment you hit the power button a login screen pops up. This is called the "master login," everything is disabled untill you can pass this point. Without this password combination, you can't do anything. This is what i've been requesting from Dell. Without a transfer of ownership they will not release this login and password.

After this initial login, I will then be able to acess the bios, and the system will post. So until I get the password, i am basically screwed.

Quote:
If I were you, I would send in a complaint to the guys higher up and have them ask him for the password. You have to be protected from being screwed by one of your own, no?


Absolutely, until he returns from sea duty which in about 6 months, i'll be able to contact him. For now I don't have a problem dismantling the entire laptop to a bare mainboard with hope that I come up with a solution. I'll be looking to see if there is any jumpers or a back-up battery.

Update:I sold the entire laptop as parts *case closed*...thanks again :wink:


Last edited by daveyd on Fri Feb 25, 2005 8:59 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Thu Feb 24, 2005 1:43 pm 
Little Foot
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I have an Inspiron 7000 and the master passrod for it is blvjch, hopefully this will work for you.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 5:52 am 
8086
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Yet another reason that no one with half a brain uses a BIOS Password.

Let me see if I have instructions on taking apart that model...

Did find this online:

To restore the defaults on the Inspiron 500m, 600m, 3700, 3800, 4000, 4100, 4150, 8000, 8100, 8200 or 8500 or Latitude C, CP, and CS Series Systems, hit <F2> when the BIOS splash screen appears and when the System Setup screen appears, press <Alt> + <F>. Then press the <Esc> key. The press the <Enter> key to save changes and exit.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 6:46 am 
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daveyd wrote:
Update:I sold the entire laptop as parts *case closed*...thanks again :wink:


Did you at least make your money back on it?


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:44 pm 
Coppermine
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Blondie wrote:
daveyd wrote:
Update:I sold the entire laptop as parts *case closed*...thanks again :wink:


Did you at least make your money back on it?


Sure did Blondie. With a little effort, I made more from breaking it down and installing my parts in someone elses laptop, than what I actually paid for the 8100.

:wink:


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 3:49 pm 
Coppermine
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kelemvor wrote:
Yet another reason that no one with half a brain uses a BIOS Password.


I thank the original owner for that one.

kelemvor wrote:
Let me see if I have instructions on taking apart that model...

Did find this online:

To restore the defaults on the Inspiron 500m, 600m, 3700, 3800, 4000, 4100, 4150, 8000, 8100, 8200 or 8500 or Latitude C, CP, and CS Series Systems, hit <F2> when the BIOS splash screen appears and when the System Setup screen appears, press <Alt> + <F>. Then press the <Esc> key. The press the <Enter> key to save changes and exit.


Thanks for the tip, but the laptop long gone.


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Tue Mar 22, 2005 4:32 pm 
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daveyd wrote:
Blondie wrote:
daveyd wrote:
Update:I sold the entire laptop as parts *case closed*...thanks again :wink:


Did you at least make your money back on it?


Sure did Blondie. With a little effort, I made more from breaking it down and installing my parts in someone elses laptop, than what I actually paid for the 8100.

:wink:


wow, that's great! Glad you got rid of that headache and made some $$$$


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 Post subject:
PostPosted: Sun Mar 27, 2005 4:20 pm 
Coppermine
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drainbread wrote:
Don't know about Dells...but on normal PC all you have to do is reset the BIOS.


I agree. It may be a simple matter of moving the jumper on the mobo - more difficult with a laptop.

Dear Serial Killer:
Your profile suggests that you are seriously deranged & in dire need of high doses of thorazine.


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