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Old December 30th, 2011, 05:58 PM   #1
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My computer...Tick Tock of death?

So lately my home computer will just start making a loud tick-tock sound when I go to change screens or open a file it. It used to do it once a week then once a day and now it will do it sever times in a day. Sometimes it will shut down and I have to restart. Is that the hard drive?

If its soon to die what is the quickest way to save my pictures without burning all to CD? (1000 or so pics) Anything else is easily replacable.

I also have a (parts) computer exactly like this one. I needed a power supply once and it was cheaper to by a whole computer off EBAY than a new supply. Could I rob something out of that to get this one going again? They are both Dell GX280 Optiplex towers.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 06:18 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by gearheads78 View Post
So lately my home computer will just start making a loud tick-tock sound when I go to change screens or open a file it. It used to do it once a week then once a day and now it will do it sever times in a day. Sometimes it will shut down and I have to restart. Is that the hard drive?

If its soon to die what is the quickest way to save my pictures without burning all to CD? (1000 or so pics) Anything else is easily replacable.

I also have a (parts) computer exactly like this one. I needed a power supply once and it was cheaper to by a whole computer off EBAY than a new supply. Could I rob something out of that to get this one going again? They are both Dell GX280 Optiplex towers.
A Dell GX280?? That is quite the antique you have there, time to replace it!

Sounds like your HDD is likely going south so I would suggest that you get a flash drive and copy your files to it. Just move them a couple hundred at a time, not all at once, that way your HDD will not thrash too much. Grab one at Fry's, Best Buy, or Wal Mar, they are pretty cheap there. Considering the age of your PC 2-4GB will probably be fine. You could swap the drives out of your parts PC, but again, you would have to reload Windows, and something like that would not work with anything other than Win XP. Don't even try Vista or 7. Move the files and send it to eWaste.

Go to Best Buy or Office Depot/Max (NOT Fry's or WalMart they sell junk. Sam's Club/Costco is a gamble.) and get something in the post-Christmas sales isle. $500 or so (less if you don't need a new monitor) you are ok for 4-5 years. I suggest Dell or HP, Asus and Acer are crap and Lenovo is a crap-shoot.

That or spring for a Mac
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Old December 30th, 2011, 06:19 PM   #3
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Richard, go get an 8GB flash drive. Transfer all your pics to that. LOTS of space there and you can keep the pics there, or download them to a new puter if needed.

A ticking sound? I went to a geek site to find this answer for you. They say:
Quote:
The most common ticking sound from hardware devices is hard drives. The "tick" comes from the needle arm bouncing off the disc shield on either (but usually the inside) side of the rim.
So that probably means your hard drive is on borrowed time.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 06:33 PM   #4
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Don't even try Vista or 7.
I suggest Dell or HP, Asus and Acer are crap and Lenovo is a crap-shoot.
Actually you can't buy a new one with Vista - it's been outdated since it was revealed. Vista was supposed to be Windows 7, but it was released early to be competitive with Mac at the time. All the new stuff is Windows 7 and I hear that Windows 8 is due for release in Feb or Mar of 2012.
Vista is a bit of a memory hog, but it runs fine on my puter. I have plenty of space and run dual quad core processors. Still it has it's hangups.

I like HP. I would buy HP again. But I don't think Acer is that much of a crapshoot. They have been building better puters for some time now and are very price competitive. Let's face it, not everyone can afford to spend a lot on a puter, and that's where a lot of their market comes from.

Remember Casio and their pocket calculator? Same idea. Cheap and reliable. Not everyone could afford T.I. I got both. Bang for the buck? Casio. White elephant that went outdated immediately? T.I.

Its really going to come down to whatever Richard can afford. I know he's going through some tough times right now and money is tight. FWIW though, I agree that a new computer is a better option than trying to fix the old one. There are too many parts of the old one that are likely ready to quit. Time isn't a computers worst enemy, it's heat and lack of air circulation. (well cheap parts too)
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Old December 30th, 2011, 06:53 PM   #5
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Copy all the files you value onto a memory stick, then do a disk cleanup and defrag. You could also slave the HDD from the other machine into this one too.
Or after you have all the files you want of the weak HDD, replace it with the other one.
Old doesn't mean you need to toss it, I've got old computers I built for $12 working 40 hours a week at the shop. People are kind of computer nutty with all this upgrading every 3-4 years.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 06:55 PM   #6
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Yep, that's the most likely cause. If it has been doing it for weeks I would estimate you might have a couple of months left if you are lucky.

The needle is seeking all over the drive trying to access files, which are spread out all over the drive. Eventually the needle arm will slam into the side of the drive and stick and that leads to complete drive failure. If the arm slams into the disk plates causing a spindle failure, the drive is toast. (That sucks when it happens. ) There is a real technical reason as to why it is really doing it, but I will spare you that.

If the drive fails, you can send the drive to a data recovery place and they can sometimes retrieve files off of the disk plates, but that rarely works 100% and is very expensive. Expensive on the order of a new PC is a LOT cheaper that the recovery service.

An alternate to a flash drive (if you are in a big hurry) is to upload the pictures to a "cloud" account like box.net. It is free, you are allowed 5GB, and it can be made private so you can protect your pics. I would still suggest the flash drive to archive because with cloud accounts, no internet = no access.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 07:33 PM   #7
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To re-re-re-repeat:

A clicking ticking sort of sound that happens when the computer is looking for something is almost definitely the hard drive. Its days are numbered.

Get a flash drive, 8mb should be fine. If you're in doubt, splurge and get 2.

Put all photos and other important files on flash drive NOW.
You Do NOT know how much time your present drive has left.
Don't mess with this - it's like having the Oil light come on and saying, "I'll try to get it to the next exit."

I agree with moving them in blocks - WinDOS machines tend to be easily overwhelmed by large processing requests.

If you're handy, you should be able to fix the current machine, if you want to, but you have to have the Windows install disks so that you can recreate your computer on the new drive, or you've got nothing. All you need to do is to open up the cases, unscrew the HD from the parts machine, unplug the wires, and swap it with the HD in the good machine.
(If you want to get brave, you may be able to install both at once, go into the BIOS, tell the machine to boot off the replacement HD, then reinstall Windows onto that drive, and just transfer files from the old disk to the new disk internally, but it sounds like that may be a bit advanced for you at this stage.)

If you wanted to, you could also buy a new HD - you could probably get one twice as large as your current one for less than $50.

Whatever you do, back it up onto flash drives first, though.

My number one suggestion would be to buy one of these Click the image to open in full size. - $600 and you can use your own screen and keyboard, and you'll never have to deal with WinDOS crap again.

- Eric
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Old December 30th, 2011, 07:38 PM   #8
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@Allan: Yes Allan that is true, you cannot buy a new PC with Vista anymore, but what I was trying to illustrate is that some people think that an OS upgrade will fix the issue. I didn't want Richard to fall into that trap. That is throwing money down a rat hole.

My experience with Acer has always been negative, but that is just me. My work laptop is an HP and it is fine so if given the choice of the two, HP all the way. Trying to take into consideration the amount of money it would take to repair his Dell, you can buy new off the shelf a PC for $350 which would be cheaper in the long run. Yes you can buy used parts and patch it together, but that is all it is, a patch job.

To be fair I did abandon "PC's" a couple of years ago by switching to Mac, but I was fortunate enough to be able to do so. I certainly am not suggesting to anyone to drop $1800 on a 27" iMac or $2000 on an Alienware monster PC.

@Summerof 84: While it is true that you can slave the second HDD considering the age of the PC, the issue will return at some point. The Dell GX series, depending on model year, are going on a decade old (EOL was 2005). I am not saying that old PC's are worthless, but like most things they can wear out and since the HDD is pretty much the only moving part (except for fans) that is the most likely thing to break. I would hesitate to buy a used HDD and I don't think you are going to find a new IDE drive off the shelf. Used drive = paperweight/doorstop most of the time.

Disk Defrag and clean up is 50/50 at best and if this is hardware beginning to fail, then defrag and disk cleanup will not fix the issue permanently.
I will concede that yes, defrag may help a little, but there is a risk of the drive failing during the cleanup. Yes, I have had that happen before.

I usually run 5-6 years before upgrades
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Old December 30th, 2011, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MDchanic View Post
My number one suggestion would be to buy one of these Click the image to open in full size. - $600 and you can use your own screen and keyboard, and you'll never have to deal with WinDOS crap again.

- Eric
Well I'll be damned...Eric are you a consumer of the Cupertino Cool-aid as well?
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Old December 30th, 2011, 07:46 PM   #10
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The needle is seeking all over the drive trying to access files, which are spread out all over the drive.
Richard, here is something you might want to take notice of. When a computer has to find information 'from all over the place' on the HD it's also a lot slower.

One thing you can do to help out your computer is something called a 'DEFRAG' - short for defragmentation. This is a task that may take your computer several hours by the sounds of it - so run it overnight. Basically what it does is 'tidy and organize' all your files so the computer can find them easily without sending the read head all over the place

You can find the defragmenter in your programs. Clik Programs, > Accessories > system tools > disk defragmenter. It will analyze your situation and ask you if you want to defrag. Say yes and walk away....
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Old December 30th, 2011, 07:51 PM   #11
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Well I'll be damned...Eric are you a consumer of the Cupertino Cool-aid as well?
It is a heady brew...

The first of many products from Infinite Loop that I enjoyed using was a Mac 128 around 1984, back when google was still a number.
Wylbur, Orvyle, CallOS, RSX-11 and DOS didn't stand a chance.

I want my computer to work - not to make me work.

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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:01 PM   #12
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It is a heady brew...

The first of many products from Infinite Loop that I enjoyed using was a Mac 128 around 1984, back when google was still a number.
Wylbur, Orvyle, CallOS, RSX-11 and DOS didn't stand a chance.

I want my computer to work - not to make me work.

- Eric
I started with a Commodore Vic-20 and a 64 way back in the early '80's. My first real computer ("real" meaning a computer that had a HDD) was a Mac Classic in college in 1992. I only moved to PC because it was easier to exchange class notes. (Emulators back then were severely lacking.) I have since come to my senses and gone back to Mac. Since I still have thousands sunk into PC software, VMWare fixes that little problem.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:06 PM   #13
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Quote:
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u can do to help out your computer is something called a 'DEFRAG' - short for defragmentation. This is a task that may take your computer several hours by the sounds of it - so run it overnight. Basically what it does is 'tidy and organize' all your files so the computer can find them easily without sending the read head all over the place

You can find the defragmenter in your programs. Clik Programs, > Accessories > system tools > disk defragmenter. It will analyze your situation and ask you if you want to defrag. Say yes and walk away....
I agree Allan, BUT, Richard should move data off of the drive first (in small chunks) before doing the defrag. Running defrag is system intense, can take hours, and can expedite the drive failure. If the defrag works, then he might gain a little time, but not much. The drive will fail.
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:13 PM   #14
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I had a drivve that would often do a "ka-*****, ka-*****, ker-chunk" sound when accessing it. Kickind the machine helped, so it was a mechanical issue. Time for a new drive. Back your stuff up on a cheap USB drive. 8G is common, and a 16 gigger only costs 16 bucks at Adorama.com - free shipping, too.
I avoid the cloud as you never know what they might do to your stuff. You sometimes also sign away your rights to your work.

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Well I'll be damned...Eric are you a consumer of the Cupertino Cool-aid as well?
The computer holy wars have begun...
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:22 PM   #15
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I agree Allan, BUT, Richard should move data off of the drive first (in small chunks) before doing the defrag. Running defrag is system intense, can take hours, and can expedite the drive failure. If the defrag works, then he might gain a little time, but not much. The drive will fail.
Yes, that makes sense. If, no...WHEN he buys a new system he can set the defrag option to run automatically when he's not using it to help manage his files better.

You guys remember when tech cost big $$$$? Look at how ridiculously cheap it is now. My first work computer had 4M ram. Who would need more. Good ol 486DX. Nowadays, some pics would eat that alive. We used to have to resort to .bmp and .tif to get anything in pic format back then. Oh, and we didn't have the web or email either at that time. How long ago? Only 1992. Less than 20 years lookit where we are now!

Now I'm kicking myself for buying a 46" LCD 2 years ago. I could have waited and got LED Quattro for the same price now. BTW I LOVE HD TV. I can actually SEE whats on
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Old December 30th, 2011, 08:29 PM   #16
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If, no...WHEN he buys a new system he can set the defrag option to run automatically when he's not using it to help manage his files better.
Or he can get a Mac, which just manages its disk properly from the start.



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Old December 30th, 2011, 09:14 PM   #17
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Less than 20 years lookit where we are now!
I know! My iPhone has more horsepower and storage space than my first Pentium II PC. As far as data space goes these days...well I kinda sort of have a 6TB RAID at home. Man those media files take a lot of space!

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I avoid the cloud as you never know what they might do to your stuff. You sometimes also sign away your rights to your work.
That is a good point!

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Or he can get a Mac, which just manages its disk properly from the start.



- Eric
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Old December 31st, 2011, 06:40 AM   #18
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Or he can get a Mac, which just manages its disk properly from the start.
And it all works great until apple forces you to update your firmware and bricks your device. They did that to my ipod 3 years back and they did it to my neighbors just last week. As a result, I shun the forbidden (and rotten) fruit...
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Old December 31st, 2011, 07:16 AM   #19
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And it all works great until apple forces you to update your firmware and bricks your device.
[threadjack]

Wow. First I've heard of that happening.
What did Apple say?
I've had them bend over backwards to help me on more than one occasion.

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Old December 31st, 2011, 11:41 AM   #20
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I have only had something similar happen once and iTunes simply restored everything. Has not happened since and I have a multitude of apple items.
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Old December 31st, 2011, 02:35 PM   #21
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Thanks for the advice all. I don't have the funds for a new one right now so I will keep nursing this one untill it dies. I did pick up a flash drive on the way home from work today so I will start moving pics over and defrag after.
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Old January 1st, 2012, 10:16 AM   #22
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You could also get a 500 GB USB hard drive like I did and put all of your stuff on that, it will take a LONG time to fill that up and it saved my bacon when my computer crashed a couple of months ago. Another thing you can do if you have a little cash is get Carbonite or Mozy (which I have as well) and they back up all of your stuff for you, if your computer crashed, just reload your stuff on your repaired or your new computer.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 01:27 PM   #23
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OK computer guys. She is on life support now. Last night it got to where it don't stay up more than 10 min before shutting down on its own. It goes to a black screen with green letters with all kinds of error messages. It seems its been a fast down hill slide since the defrag a couple weeks ago.

Sooooo if I wanted a new machine what is my best bang for the buck and what do I need to stay away from? I don't need a moniter. Mine is still fine.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 01:30 PM   #24
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How much do you want to spend? besides the 'little as possible'. Need a budge amount
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Old January 20th, 2012, 01:38 PM   #25
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what do I need to stay away from?
IMHO Window's "Vista" sucketh
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Old January 20th, 2012, 01:44 PM   #26
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IMHO Window's "Vista" sucketh
Not to worry Jamesbo, it's not available anymore on new PCs The standard is windows 7. Windows 8 should be out in a few months though
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Old January 20th, 2012, 01:54 PM   #27
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If your price point is in the mid-$200's to mid-$300's I would suggest Best Buy or Office Max/Depot. Avoid Fry's of possible, they sell rejects that even the manufacturers don't want. MicroCenter might be an ok choice, have not looked at their stuff in a long time. The store on 75 in Richardson is pretty nice.

In order of my preference: HP, Dell, IBM, No-Name, Acer.

If you have $600, go with the Mac Mini.

Were you able to pull your pictures off?
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Old January 20th, 2012, 04:29 PM   #28
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Back up everything ASAP!!


When mine went belly up a year ago, a friend talked me into building one. I got a bare bones kit with extra memory for about $300 from Tiger Direct. I reused my DVD/CD drives, monitor, keyboard, speakers and mouse. The OS they sell is OEM and about half the price of off the shelf OS because there is no tech support for it. You are the manufacturer so you are your own tech support.


The upside is the machine wasn't loaded up with all that ad software that comes on a store bought machine. The downside is I really didn't save any money when the dust cleared. But it was a fun project. Also my friend helped walk me through it and would have been a bear otherwise. I would probably do it again just to avoid all the crap that comes on a store bought machine.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 04:37 PM   #29
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If your price point is in the mid-$200's to mid-$300's I would suggest Best Buy or Office Max/Depot. Avoid Fry's of possible, they sell rejects that even the manufacturers don't even want. MicroCenter might be an ok choice, have not looked at their stuff in a long time. The store on 75 in Richardson is pretty nice.

In order of my preference: HP, Dell, IBM, No-Name, Acer.

If you have $600, go with the Mac Mini.

Were you able to pull your pictures off?
I saved everything last week so I am good there.

I was at Microcenter today and got overwhelmed pretty quick. There was a house brand that looked liked a good deal with Pendium 5 for about $450.00 Thats about as much I want to spend if even that.
They showed me ones with Pendium 3 5 and 7 and I think my needs the 5 will be more than enough.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 04:41 PM   #30
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Here's what I would do

buy the used or refurbished

http://www.amazon.com/Dell-GX620-Int...106367&sr=1-12
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Old January 20th, 2012, 05:39 PM   #31
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I saved everything last week so I am good there.

I was at Microcenter today and got overwhelmed pretty quick. There was a house brand that looked liked a good deal with Pendium 5 for about $450.00 Thats about as much I want to spend if even that.
They showed me ones with Pendium 3 5 and 7 and I think my needs the 5 will be more than enough.
Yeah going to a computer store these days with all of the choices out there you can get overwhelmed very quickly. What is good, what is bad, what is a good deal, and what is just cheap, etc. Since these guys work for commissions, you can't blame them for trying to upsell, but most don't ask the real questions to match your real needs. MicroCenter and Best Buy does an ok job, office stores are usually not great and the people that are hired at Fry's generally have an IQ hovering around room temperature.

The PowerSpec series used to be pretty good though to be fair, I have not used one in years. I did snoop the Richardson store online and I noticed they had a Dell Inspiron 560 for $350. http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0378708
There is also another Dell Inspiron 560 that is $399. The only difference is that it has a larger hard drive, 1TB v. 500GB. http://www.microcenter.com/single_pr...uct_id=0373634

From what I can gather regarding your needs (sorry for the presumption) but I think that these would meet your needs well for probably 5-years before you might consider a replacement. They both have Windows 7, plenty of RAM for most people (has 4GB that can be upgraded to 8GB), a 500GB Hard Drive (1TB on the other), a DVD/Read/Write drive, a decent video card and a more than adequate CPU for the general user. I have purchased products from MicroCenter and have been satisfied. And like I said before, ANYONE is better than Fry's! (See an anti-Fry's pattern here?)

The only other suggestion I can make, and I know there are differing opinions on this; don't purchase the "insurance" offered by stores. It is a generally accepted notion that these are a rip off. If a computer is broken, it will be broken out of the box and if there is something really wrong with it, it will break within the warranty period.

Other suggestions I can offer:
  • Use antivirus software - I have used Avast! free antivirus for years on my Windows-based PC's and have not had any issues. If you decide to go this route, UNINSTALL what ever antivirus that comes on the PC BEFORE you install another antivirus application. I cannot recommend MacAfee or Norton AV's. Experience with these products have continually shown that they slow your system down substantially, are over priced and you have to pay every year for an update/upgrade. These days, that is not necessary. Again, my opinion, but I have been doing this for quite a while.
  • Backup everything and backup often - We discussed earlier on this string using a flash drive to backup your files. Keep doing that and just get into the habit of doing it every few days, or even daily if you choose. The more frequent your backups, the less time it takes, generally speaking. If you want some redundancy, you can also burn onto CD or DVD as well.
If I was still in DFW I would have been more than happy to help you personally, but I am in Ca now, so not too much help there.


@citcapp - Yes that is always an option, but I would personally avoid that route, unless it came with a full factory warranty. I would advise against buying a refurb from an Internet-based Billy-Bob's PC's, Bait and Tackle, and VCR repair. No warranty, no support, just a buck and thank you. That is just throwing good money away and you could be back to square 1 in 18 months and I will bet that the company you bought it from is long gone.

They literally buy them by the pallet load at about $10 each (These are large company lease returns with makes them 3-years old already), they cannibalize parts to get as many of them working as possible, load a Windows a Windows XP OEM and sell them cheap.

If you were to buy a refurb Dell from dell.com, yeah, I can see that because most of them are under warranty.

@Highwayman - I hear ya on that pre-installed crapola they load on PC's. Non-tech friends usually have me come by and uninstall that junk for them. Meh! All I ask for is a couple of beers and I do it for them.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 05:45 PM   #32
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Windows 8 should be out in a few months though
I am still looking for the good part of that sentence.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 06:33 PM   #33
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I am still looking for the good part of that sentence.
It's not VISTA!! Hopefully the newer version will be fully developed before it's released. I'm also a little leery about new releases so I do understand your jab....

FWIW I'm not a big fan of Best Buy for their service work on PC's. They are grossly overpriced for what they offer. One other thing is that buying at Best Buy means you will be getting a computer that is preloaded with all the unwanted 'trial' packages they can wedge into it. My next computer will be a Mac.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 07:18 PM   #34
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It's not VISTA!!
Touche'! But I think you are dreaming about a new fully developed version being released. Microsoft Creedo: "Let 'em eat service packs!"

I have not used Best Buy support so I cannot speak to that, but yeah, I do get the pre-load thing. When I have purchased OTC PC's I always uninstalled ALL trial ware, anti-virus, everything and start as fresh as possible with my own suite of applications, burn a disk image, and then start using it.

Since moving to, what Lady72nRob71 refers to as the "forbidden and rotten fruit," I have been nothing but pleased with the outcome. I think that MDchanic will also vouch for the Mac product line. Ready out of the box, very little pre-installed junk, plug in, turn on, go... Rock-solid stable (thanks to the UNIX core), smoking fast, no issues...ever!

I think that I mentioned it here before, but if you have some serious money invested in Windows-based software as I do, you can purchase VMWare (the brand I use is named Parallels, there is an actual "VMWare" brand name that is just as good) you can install 1 or more instances of Windows, and even multiple instances of Linux and run them on a Mac. You need a valid OS disk of WinXP/7/whatever, you can install it, install your Win software within that instance and bingo! Windows on Mac.
The attached is a screen shot of my iMac with an instance of Windows XP and Ubuntu Linux running on Mac OSX at the same time. $80 for Parallels! Cheaper than replacing software and no system degradation!

One you go Mac, you never go back.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Screen shot 2012-01-20 at 6.59.30 PM.jpg (61.9 KB, 8 views)
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Old January 20th, 2012, 07:26 PM   #35
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I think you are dreaming about a new fully developed version being released. Microsoft Creedo: "Let 'em eat service packs!"
Why, it's almost like you're the voice of MS!! That's exactly how I feel about it too. Not to mention the SPs seem to create more problems that they solve

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I have not used Best Buy support so I cannot speak to that.
I have. One word to describe it? Sucks I think their geek squad should be renamed to 'ripoff' squad

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One you go Mac, you never go back.
I've heard that so many times, I looked into it. They will be my next PC and laptop. Fortunately I don't have the complex needs of a system that you do.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 07:32 PM   #36
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LAST place to get a computer is worst-buy. Prices listed are bare boned, but there is always a mandatory 'geek squad" ""optimizing"" process ths "has" to be done before they will sell it. Basically it is just a big bloat-ware package you do not want.
http://consumerist.com/2011/06/if-yo...computers.html
Overall, not a good place...
http://consumerist.com/cgi-bin/mt/mt...rch=geek+squad

I bought three computers through Dell's small-business sector about 4-5 years ago. They come ready for work and you can specify no trial junk you don't want. I think my account is still active, so if you find something there you want and cannot fool it into believing you have a business, I could probably get it for you.
SB units are cheaper than the home users, too. Home units are full of bloatware you cannot opt out of.
Out of the four computers, my home laptop will no longer burn cds and the battery croaked. Rest experienced no issues. All have XP, which i cam sticking with.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 07:36 PM   #37
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Once you go Mac, you never go back.
Word.

Once you use Mac, the rest are crap!

... and I've had great luck buying them used from private sellers on eBay.

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Old January 20th, 2012, 08:44 PM   #38
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Fortunately I don't have the complex needs of a system that you do.
Yeah, I am sort of a freak that way.

Quote:
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LAST place to get a computer is worst-buy. Prices listed are bare boned, but there is always a mandatory 'geek squad" ""optimizing"" process ths "has" to be done before they will sell it. Basically it is just a big bloat-ware package you do not want.

I bought three computers through Dell's small-business sector about 4-5 years ago. They come ready for work and you can specify no trial junk you don't want. I think my account is still active, so if you find something there you want and cannot fool it into believing you have a business, I could probably get it for you.
Never have used any store-based support, and I guess that I shouldn't be too surprised that you can get nickled and dimed for everything, but I have never been "forced" to purchase anything extra. I got my iMac at Best Buy Dec of 2010 and didn't experience any "optimizing" or "mandatory" anything and I can assure you that there is no Geek Squad anything on my Mac. Best Buy did offer a Geek Squad support and service contract, but I said no. They said something about the 'benefits of bla bla bla' after that, but I just stopped listening after I had the box in my hand, I just kept saying 'no, nope, no, thank you.' I have always simply said 'no' and moved on.

This was at the now defunct Circuit City chain, but a few years back I did have some high school aged twit try to upsell me some support contract for a PC that I purchased for my mother. I pleasantly declined, he then said to me, in a VERY snarky tone, 'Ha! Well if it breaks, you probably won't be able to fix it yourself.' My response was something along the line of 'I have a Bachelors in Computer Science, I am the IT Manager for a company that has 20 servers over 100 PC's, I think I can fix it a**hole..."

Reading the links you posted have given me some pause as this is the first I have ever heard about this, but I don't and never have trusted any 3rd party "support." Most of these DeVry Dropouts don't know diddly! If I had direct experience with BB/GS where I was forced to take or purchase something that I didn't want, then I would be inclined to throw hot grease on the parties responsible, walk out, and never return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MDchanic View Post
Word.
Once you use Mac, the rest are crap!
... and I've had great luck buying them used from private sellers on eBay.
Still not too hot on buying a used computer on eBay, but I would buy a 'gently used' Mac before an 'ever used' PC.

@gearhead78 - The above option of buying direct from Dell is something that is definitely worth looking into and if Lady72nRob71 can get you a deal, I would go for it. If you are concerned about not being able to see and touch it (some people don't like to buy sight unseen), get the model number you like, go to a retailer that carry's that model, test drive it and buy it online if it makes sense. If you are unable or unwilling to buy online, there is always price matching.
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Old January 20th, 2012, 11:22 PM   #39
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You guys just did a good job reminding me of the joy of a DIY PC. Think of it as doing a special order for that new car instead of buying something off the lot with the options someone else thinks you need instead of the options you want. No crapware. Picture a new machine where the only shortcut on the desktop when you start is the recycle bin. It's almost like marrying a virgin. OK, maybe the virgin thing is over the top.


It's better if you have a PC that died. Rob the video card for your monitor and even the DVD drive to have duel drives in your new one. You already have a keyboard, mouse and speakers. You can be into something for under $400.


There are some folks here smarter than me present that may have other ideas, but I submit this would be a good basic PC for the average user like me.


The downside for gearheads78 is he's going down now and without access for some kind of tech support DIY might not be the best choice for him.


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=1857704&CatId=332


http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5213933&csid=_25

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Old January 21st, 2012, 12:26 AM   #40
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Fun with Computers , I feel your pain ... my last computer was about 6yrs old when things started going bad , had to replace the power supply a couple of times and fans of course , and the harddrive , but then I beleive the motherboard was going because every two months or so you could not get windows to load anymore no matter what I tried ... so I had no choice but to reinstall windows onto the computer again via the boot disk and start all over .... then it would work again I must of had to do that about 10 times in all before the video card went also , as far as losing data , we never kept anything pressing on there , and all the pictures from the digital camara we have on the camara memory cards , but it still sucked having to load all the programs back on the computer ( im now a expert at loading windows XP and with the updates it takes forever) so I have a reconditioned PC now that I had to alredy swap out the power supply from the last one already and the cd rom / dvd player on it to.... if that aint good enough now my nice exspensive only 4 or 5 year old monitor is gonna take a crap I think , its a Samsung monitor that wont give me a display for about 10 minutes after I wake up the system from hibernation via moving the mouse , I tried putting all monitor settings so it will not go to sleep , but it does anyhow and takes about 10 minutes to get a visual display on the screen again . I think the only thing I did not try was a pc cleaner or registry cleaner , but I do have Avast *free* antivirus software on the pc. im gonna have to ride the monitior thing out until tax time then ill get a nice big one.... sorry for the hijack
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