Now Dell in the US have announced that they will be offering Windows XP pre-installed after June 30 2008 via the Vista Business/Ultimate "downgrade" feature, but there are no equivalent announcements being made by Dell UK at this moment.
To avoid any problems, if you are considering buying a new PC in the near future and you wish it to have Windows XP installed, then I would advise you to buy now to avoid any uncertainty.
Please remember that this is the end of "OEM sales" whereby it can be purchased with a PC (the Vista loophole not withstanding). Retail copies are not being pulled off the shelves and the actual operating system will be supported by Microsoft until early April 2014
We recently had a client who applied Windows 2003 Server Service Pack 1 on their Dell Poweredge 420SC server. On reboot, they were greeted with the dreaded blue screen of death (BSOD) with the error message.
STOP 0x00000051 (REGISTRY_ERROR)
The server would then reboot and then do it all again. Safe mode and Last Known good configuration made no difference.
After searching the net, it turns out that this is a known problem on older Dell Poweredges that have had a factory install of Windows on.
Dell is recalling 4.1m laptop batteries following reports of its laptops overheating and bursting into flames.
It has issued the biggest recall in computer history following video footage of one of its laptops on fire.
There have only been six instances and no-one has yet been hurt, but Dell are erring on the side of safety and issuing the recall of the batteries - made by Sony Energy Devices.
The recall involves 18 percent of Dells 22 million notebooks sold between 1st April 2004 and 18th July 2006.
A few years ago, one of our clients needed to replace their old office workstations. Great we thought and prepared a quote for 5 new Dell workstations with flat screens.
The SFF SX270 looked the business and the customer was keen due to its small footprint.
This, in hindsight was a mistake as almost 3 years later we are still paying for.
- The sx270 uses laptop hard drives. So it's slower than comparable standard 3.5 inch drives.
- It uses a cramped case system that seems to blow air upwards and has a heat sink at the top of the unit. So it runs as hot as the centre of the Sun.
- And finally to cap all the performance problems, there was a manufacturing problem which causes them to blow up after a few years.
The upshot is, of the orginal 5 purchased - 4 have been replaced with new mainboards and had Dell engineers on site. Thank goodness we always recommend 3 year onsite warranty. (This expires in about 4 months!)
The moral we are taking from this is to buy normal desktop/towers from decent manufacturers and learn from your purchasing mistakes! We now use a combination of Dell and HP business grade units and experience an acceptably (very low) number of failures.
And if you have a SX270, when it fails insist on a warranty fix from the Dell call centre.
We recommend Dell servers to our clients. However for some bizarre reason they set the default wallpaper to their own high colour Dell wallpaper that is highly graded.
Unfortunately this has the side effect of making it very slow to access the server via RDP when connecting, as it has to transmit this wallpaper even when the "Wallpaper" option is switched off in the RDP client.
To fix this, this registry entry will remove the default Dell wallpaper. (just rename from .txt to .reg after reading it!) or use this command at the 'Run' command prompt
reg add "HKU\.DEFAULT\Control Panel\Desktop" /v "Wallpaper" /d "" /t REG_SZ /f
If you would like to change the RDP port number while you are at it:-
reg add "HKLM\SYSTEM\CurrentControlSet\Control\Terminal Server\Winstations\RDP-Tcp" /v "PortNumber" /d "3389" /t REG_DWORD /fChange 3389 to the port number you desire, then reboot.
As an independent IT support company, we've dealt with many suppliers of IT products over the years. Consistently runPCrun has found Dell have been impossible to beat on price, quality and after-sales care. This is why we recommend that you buy Dell PC equipment. Our experience with Dell show they are good value and we have plenty of experience of their after-sales service and support - and whilst they are a big company with 'the ways of the call centre' and all that entails- we know how to navigate their systems to get what we want for our clients.
The main reasons we love Dell:-
- After care - 3 years on-site replacement of parts often come as standard with Dell, and laptop users can buy an additional 3 years of a "we'll repair it, whatever the reason" accidental insurance policy. Which is invaluable for those people that use their laptops everywhere (and are therefore more likely to have an problem or accidental damage)
- Price - Dell are simply such a large company, that economies of scale mean they can give you great value.
- Quality - Even at these low prices, Dell can ship their PC's and servers out with quality parts under the hood.
- Price (again!) - As we buy Dell on your behalf, you can take advantage of our buying power. We can often beat Dell's own prices advertised on their website, especially on orders of more than £1,000.
If you want to install anything from a home office to large office, we can help you decide exactly what you want and then get it at a great price!our stance on reviews and recommendations.