Last month I went on a bit of a rant talking about the lack of fully configurable laptops. The first laptop I bought had serious problems and I returned it. The result was that I gave up on Dell and ordered another laptop from Hewlett Packard. It took three weeks for the laptop to arrive and it finally landed in our office last week. After only a few days, I’ve had my fair share of experiences with it.
It took me a couple of days to install all of my software and everything was going well. Then the bottom fell out and I was getting the good old Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) every hour or so. If you have ever fought with these errors, the messages they give aren’t the least bit helpful. I immediately ran a heavy duty memory test that took at least an hour. No errors were found. At this point I called technical support and spoke with a gentleman named Robert. Compared with the Dell representatives, Robert was absolutely amazing. Most importantly, I could understand him. Not just that his English was unaccented, but also it was clear he wasn’t simply reading off of a script.
At his suggestion, I ran a hard drive test. The test took quite a while and again there were no problems found. I didn’t want to waste any more of Robert’s time so I ask him for a list of other things to try. Together we decided I should reformat the machine and start again.
I wiped the drive and started again. Then an old problem reared its head. I couldn’t get the wireless networking driver to work. So I wiped it one more time and this time all of the drivers worked. Yet the BSOD was back with a vengeance. I was on the verge or putting the laptop back in the box and returning it. The only thing that stopped me is that I was heading out to meet some friends. While there, I mentioned the problem to a couple of my techie friends and tried to figure out if there was anything else I could do.
My last ditch effort was to do an online search to see if there was any way that my security software, ZoneAlarm Security Suite, could be the culprit. There was a post that suggested turning off a setting on my network adapter. I did that and I haven’t had a BSOD since. All of my software is again installed and now it is time to migrate data from my old laptop. I’m just thrilled to have everything finally working!