May 7, 2006

Attack of the purchase pains

My new computer purchase pains that I’ve been chronicling for a while now, decided to strike back in force yesterday :p Of course, the story stretches over a few days and begins day-before-yesterday.

The story actually begins on Wednesday the 3rd when I last referred to the purchase pains story 🙂 I received a call from the notebook sales guy and he said that they had the RAM and that they were ready to come over to our place and install the RAM. I said fine and they said "see you in about half an hour" and hung up. An hour goes by, nothing. Two hours go by and still nothing. So I call the guy up and ask him if he’s lost or something and he says, "Oh sorry, our boss had an urgent job for us and so we’re doing that instead. We’ll try to come over to your place tomorrow".

And of course, they never turn up on Thursday :p On Friday, we had to go out and so I decided that we might as well take the notebook over to the shop and get the RAM since otherwise we’ll probably be waiting forever and still get nothing. So over to the shop we went, got the 2GB of RAM installed, got the USB flash thumb-drive we were promised as well and came back home.

Everything appeared to work fine on Friday. Saturday morning (yesterday), I turn on the notebook and start working and half an hour in or so, the screen suddenly goes blank and the computer reboots. I get a sinking feeling in my stomach since these are familiar symptoms (at least for me :p). When the computer comes back up, it doesn’t even get through the boot process. I think perhaps the new RAM is not seated properly and so I open up the machine, remove the RAM and replace it. The machine boots up, stays up for another half an hour and then reboots again. So it goes through the morning – sometimes the machine boots up immediately, sometimes I have to keep it shut down for a while before it will come up again and it always appears to go down soon enough.

I had sent a Windows crash report in there somewhere and Windows came back saying that it was probably a RAM issue and to use their Windows Memory Diagnostic utility. I download the thing and realize that there is nothing remotely Windows about it – it’s a DOS-ish utility which needs to boot via a floppy or CD-ROM and I don’t have any CD’s to burn at the moment. So I find an alternative – AleGr MemTest, which can be launched from XP itself. I launch the test and one screen into the test, the screen goes blank and the computer refuses to come up at all after that :p

It’s around 9 o’clock at that time and shops do not open for another hour. I get read, call a trishaw and go to the notebook shop. The shop is closed! I call the guys and they are like "Oh, we had a meeting and so we are opening late but we’ll be there soon!". They come in, get the machine open and test the RAM and it turns out that one of the RAM sticks are bad. And guess what? They don’t have any more RAM in stock! What about the two 512MB sticks they removed from my machine a couple of days ago? Oh, they’ve already sent it over to their head office since they needed RAM badly! So now I’m down to 1GB again and they tell me it is going to take at least a couple of weeks for them to get the other 1GB in because they’re having cash-flow problems. If mine is any indication of the kind of experience in dealing with them, I can perhaps see why they might have cash-flow issues …

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Tags: Real Life, Software
Posted by Fahim at 6:36 am   Comments (2)