I have known for quite some time that Dell has been big into cutting their production costs so they can maximize their production possibilities, but this really surprised me. My dad about 3 months ago got himself a new Dell to use in the dyno booth in his shop. Everything has worked fine up until today.
He was running a dyno test and suddenly a blue screen popped up. I don't remember exactly what it said, but I knew it was something about the hard drive. I figured turning off the computer and letting the memory bleed, and then turning it on would fix the problem. Halfway into booting Windows XP, the same blue screen came up again. I tried safe mode, and it didn't make any difference. I checked the settings in the BIOS and it detected the hard drive.
Finally, I booted it up once more. This time, a different message came up. It didn't even begin booting Windows. Instead, it said there was no partition information. So I brought out the backup computer that he used before he got his Dell and tried linking the hard drive from the Dell to the old computer. It found a new hard drive on the old computer which likely meant the cables were working fine, but then it put a big question mark on the drive's icon and moved it into the "other" category. I tried to open it and it clearly said it was corrupt and couldn't be read. I viewed the drive's properties and it couldn't detect the size of the disk or the disk file system. It was safe to say the drive was toast.
My understanding is that these drives are guarenteed to 3 years? Well it's short about 33 months! We're going to see about having a Dell representative come down and look at it. Luckily, I don't have any fears about the warranty being voided because the computer doesn't appear to have a seal on it anywhere. Still though, doesn't this kind of thing make you seriously consider the quality of these computers? I've heard a few other Dell horror stories, and this one has just been added to the list. My computer is a Dell and it seems just fine to me, but I'd hate it if my hard drive just died out of the blue.