A quick recap on a Dell Inspiron I bought in December 2014. So far I have had a video problem that was caused by the Dell Tech installing a bad driver while trying to fix a bad USB 3 port problem. I had to send the unit back to Dell in September 2015 when the display died, and again in February 2016 for the same reason. Every time I called Dell Canada I was routed to Dell US where I was told they couldn't help me because I was in Canada.

For the last two weeks I have been having a wireless problem. Two laptops side by side running the same monitoring software. One shows my signal strength at -27 dBm (5 bars) and the new Dell at -69 dBm (1-2 bars). Both are within 10 feet of my router (line of sight).

So I called Dell yet again. After an hour with the hardware tech during which he ran the PC-Doctor diagnostics I was told it was a software problem even though I told them that I had restored an image from two months ago (long before the problem). He transferred me to software support where they had me boot into the diagnostic partition and run the full slate (which didn't include a network diagnostic). They concluded that it was a software problem and that I would have to pay to get it resolved. I got the tech to agree that if I restored the factory image and still had the problem he would concede it was a hardware problem.

I hung up and restored the image.

Same problem (what a surprise).

Back to the hardware tech (a different one) where he had me run the PC-Doctor diagnostics again. Finally he agreed it was hardware. They are going to courier the part and have a technician come by and replace it.

Never buy Dell.

Sorry for the trouble.... I've used Dell's for my company for years... never had an issue with repairs myself. But sometimes it depends on the Tech you get too I suppose.

At least they are replacing it finally.

Until my latest purchase (above) I had always been happy with Dell machines and service. But since December 2014 my opinion is that both are shit. I could accept that I got a lemon but it's just been one bad experience after another.

  1. The USB 3.0 was not configured properly
  2. The tech broke my video trying to fix the USB
  3. They sent me the wrong replacement keyboard (for another Dell)
  4. They had to repair the screen
  5. They had to repair the screen again (5 months later)

As for the screen problems - I had to explain multiple times that the screen was completely dead. Black. No display whatsoever. And yet, the techs kept asking "what do you see on the display when you...". NOTHING!!!!!! IT'S FUCKING DEAD!!!!!!!. "Well what do you see when you ...". AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!Q

I know how John Cleese felt in the Parrot Sketch.

The first time it breaks after the three year warranty is up it goes to the e-waste centre and will likely be replaced with an ASUS.

Dell sent a local tech out Friday evening to (finally) replace my wifi card. It took him only 5 minutes to swap the card and when we powered up, Windows downloaded and installed a new driver (obviously either a different make or model card from the original). The wireless signal was much improved but still fell short of what it was before the failure. Nevertheless, it was sufficient so I accepted it.

However (you knew there would be a "however"), yesterday I tried to pair the Bluetooth with my hearing aids (something I did frequently up to the day before the tech came). The Bluetooth software could not detect my device. In order to check if this was software or hardware I boot into my LinuxLive drive. Same problem.

This morning I spent 30 minutes on the telephone with the Dell tech when I got disconnected. I phoned back a few minutes later and was told that Dell's policy is to call back in the event of a disconnect. Fifteen minutes later I decided that their policy was lacking and called back. The new tech remoted in and ran a shitload of tests and downloaded/ran several other diagnostics (I didn't care because I had taken an image prior to calling). He was at the point of admitting it was hardware but woudn't go the last mile until I restored the factory image for further testing. I've just done that and am now awaiting a response to my email. He claims the next step is to replace not only the wifi card but also the entire motherboard.

The new laptop has been nothing but one long headache since i got it. Perhaps with the guts replaced things will improve.

But I doubt it.

Never buy Dell.

Postscript: After promising to replace both the motherboard and wifi card, Dell is now going to replace just the wifi. You can believe I will test it out thoroughly before the technician leaves.

The tech came at noon today to replace the wifi card. The new card did not recognize my bluetooth device. It also didn't see the tech's phone although his phone did see my device. He said he would contact Dell to send a new motherboard.

An hour later I got an email from Dell saying they would not replace the motherboard. Then another Dell tech called to remote in and download every goddamn driver on the Dell site. After all that and multiple diagnostics provided no improvement he agreed to send a new motherboard. He said that if that didn't fix the bluetooth they would replace the laptop (3 hardware replacements in 30 days = new laptop). It will probably come with Windows 10.

He called back a few minutes later to request that I return the laptop to the depot for thorough testing. I refused because

  1. I have a lot of personal data on it (medical, tax, etc)
  2. I have in-home service so fuck you (not my exact words)

He absolutely promised me that my personal data would not be touched (pinky swear cross my heart). I suggested (strongly) that this wouldn't be an option. Supposedly the new motherboard is being shipped.

Edited 8 Months Ago by Reverend Jim

Dell came today to replace the motherboard. The Bluetooth still does not work. The tech took out the old motherboard, removed the fan, then applied conducting paste before connecting the fan to the new motherboard. He tried for several seconds to put the board back into the laptop when pointed out that the fan is more effective if it is pointing out. He flipped the board over and put it in the correct way.

Once we got the system booted I started checking things out. The Bluetooth was first (failed) followed by the USB ports (all passed). Because I would have to call Dell again on Monday I didn't bother checking the HDMI or network ports. It wasn't until a few hours later that I noticed that my keyboard backlighting was no longer working.

Oh yes, that policy of replacing the laptop with three hardware replacements in 30 days? Turns out they want to renege on that. Too bad for them that I was recording that previous convrsation.

Don't buy Dell.

I restored the factory image and applied the Dell automatic driver updates. One of the updates was to the BIOS. When it did the boot into setup to do the flashing I discovered that the Dell tech had not properly initialized the BIOS for my particular machine. Fortunately this just required making a simple change in the secutiry tab but I have to wonder, though, what else was left undone.

He absolutely promised me that my personal data would not be touched (pinky swear cross my heart).

Wow - such BS. I have never had such problems will any Dell replacement.
By this time, I would escalate up to a manager to review the case. It should seriously not take this long. Especially with the tech loading the wrong BIOS.

I ran Dell Backup & Recovery to create factory restore media. There are three options

  1. create on USB HD (Dell recommended)
  2. create on USB flash drive (next best)
  3. create on DVD (least recommended)

I had a spare hD so Ii created the media on that. When Ii boot to it all I got was

error: unknown file system
grub rescue>

I ended up creating DVDs and the recovery seems to be working.

Just got off the phone with Dell and explained that the bluetooth was still not working after restoring to factory. I have had three replacements of the wireless card and one of the motherboard and my laptop is working worse than before. They finally agreed to send me a new laptop. When it comes, the first thing I will check is the bluetooth. If that doesn't work (or if anything else is faulty) then I'll just hang on to both machines until I get a refund.

Did Dell ever broach the subject of Bluetooth and WiFi coexistance? For reference look at figure 2 of http://www.marvell.com/wireless/assets/Marvell-WiFi-Bluetooth-Coexistence.pdf

Since that system uses a single FEM it's not going to do Bluetooth and WiFi at the same time even if the 2 systems are on different channels.

If Dell didn't sort this out ahead of time, which sounds to be the case here, it's going to be a royal mess. I'm not there to look it over but if it never worked, I wonder if the final driver pack just ditched Bluetooth and hoped no one noticed. I've been overseas and they do sh__ like that.

For me I like to see a WiFi module and a Bluetooth module but in Inspirons the price pressure means no such luck. I have an Inspiron here but it's card is WiFi only. If I want Bluetooth I plug in one of those nano USB dongles.

Before the first wireless card was replaced the wifi and bluetooth worked just fine at the same time. I'm not saying the bluetooth was all that it's been touted to be but it did work. It was slow connecting and when watching videos the sound would occasionally (but not frequently) lag behind the video by a second or two but this could be corrected by restarting the video.

Edited 8 Months Ago by Reverend Jim

Nice to read you are seeing that audio sync issue too. What I find not funny is that on some other gear (an Intel NUC) I had to try six distros and only one could fly straight. And even then there are troubles. This industry is full of issues. I've read your posts and this one is marked to get alerts and it's one of those shame shame shame on Dell ones.

I don't know if you know but my trigger is HP. May last HP was my last HP. At 3 months it went to their depot, came back in a week and HP walked. Six months of calls, web surveys and about the only honest answer was "We've done all we can." So that was it for me an HP. Like you and Dell, you won't give the nod to those brands.

Since I got the last Dell I have been asked to pick out a laptop for my brother and father-in-law. I recommended an ASUS for both. My older son also has one. All three are solid machines. Not a bit of trouble with them. At one time ASUS only provided components for Dell. They convinced Dell to go with them for more and more of the pats until they just decided to sell the machines themselves. I think it was when Dell and ASUS parted ways that Dell machines turned to crap.

I called Dell tech supporrt this morning and was told that the replacement laptop had been canceled. However, I had already received an email from the Dell Advanced Problem Resolution Group. They called me an hour or so ago and said that "at their discretion" they were sending me a replacement laptop but would email me the specs first to ensure that they were acceptable, The replacement system has

twice as much RAM (16 gig instead of 8)
double the hard drive space (2 TB up from 1 TB)
better resolution (1920x1080 up from 144xx900)
faster CPU

It also comes with Windows 10 instead of Windows 7. Knew there had to be a down-side.

On most dells, you should still be able to request a downgrade to Win7. I was still getting win7 laptops up to the last order I placed back in Dec. If not, request a copy of the win7 recovery OEM USB key, I can use mine to restore any win7 dell with a oem win lic.

There's an odd thing at Microsoft about Windows 7 and newer CPUs. https://www.google.com/#q=windows+7+no+support+on+cpu finds these articles. Very bizarre BUT I can see why.

It costs a lot of time and money to create drivers and apps for each Windows so makers are already dropping XP and even Windows 7 on the drivers for new Windows PCs. You will find a lot of talk about this and the same talk some piping hot was heard back when XP rolled out and no drivers for 95/98.

Here, 10's working quite well. At the office and home we have quite a few of new and upgrades to 10 so for me, I don't see what the fuss is about.

On most dells, you should still be able to request a downgrade to Win7.

I realize that at some point I will have to move to Windows 10. Better to have a Windows 10 OEM pre-installed on the machine with the proper Dell drivers than to try to upgrade later with a non-OEM version. I yoinked the 1 TB drive out of my current laptop and did a factory restore onto a blank 1 TB replacement drive (After two trips back to Dell Depot I figured it was easier to do that than to save and wipe and restore). That way I still have all my files available as an external drive and I suppose I could always try to boot the new machine off the Windows 7 drive which will still have the licenced Windows 7 OS.

The new laptop came while I was away for a few days. Just powered it up. It's an Inspiron 5759 which is a big step up from the one it replaces (even has a touch screen). I'm going to be fighting with Windows 10 for a few days whie I set it up but at least the Bluetooth works.

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