Friday, November 9, 2007

Dell XPS M1330: Crashing, Freezing, Unstable, Buggy, Tech Support Nightmare

Summary: I purchased a top-of-the-line Dell XPS M1330 with Windows Vista Ultimate and all of the best options available including 3-year support. Within the first 30 days the system’s performance has degenerated to nearly unusable, and Dell’s promised “Premium Support” has been a bad joke.
Windows Reliability and Performance Monitor illustrates my laptop’s quick descent into Hell:
Dell XPS M1330 reliability
I will try to refrain from commentary, and just present the facts. I have only used the laptop for checking POP3 (Earthlink) email and composing MS Office documents (Excel and Word). I’ve installed two programs since purchase, both listed below:
9/26Ordered Dell XPS M1330 with Windows Vista Ultimate as a birthday present for myself.
9/29Laptop ships from Dell.
10/2Laptop arrives and I boot it up for the first time.
I install iTunes (with Quicktime). No problems.
I install LoJack for laptops. No problems.
Outlook crashes for the first time.
Windows has a fatal error and crashes for the first time.
Windows starts displaying winrnr.dll popup error at startup and intermittently during use. They are caused by the pre-installed Dell Support software running constantly in the background.
11/1Internet research reveals many others with windrnr.dll error. No solution found. I try reverting back to an earlier, error-free System Restore point. After that failed to stop the errors, I send an email to Dell Support.
11/230 Days after booting up my laptop, Outlook is crashing daily and I get constant popup winrnr.dll errors The system is nearly unusable.
Dell Support sent curt email telling me to run a "System Repair".
I call Dell Support and they tell me that this issue is not covered, then try to sell me a per-incident software help plan.
I calm down and call Dell Support again. This time the representative tells me the issue is covered and spends an hour looking around my desktop remotely. Finally they give up and tell me to call Microsoft.
I call Microsoft and they tell me that Dell should cover this issue since Windows Vista came pre-installed.
I emailed my Case manager from phone call #2 about my conversation with Microsoft, and someone else replies back that this issue is not covered, and they try to sell me a per-incident software help plan.
Reluctantly, I elect to try and run Windows System Repair. I get an error message that does not allow me to continue. I email Dell Support with one last impassioned plea for help. Dell responds saying to revert my system back to the Factory Settings. I will lose all of my data and restore my system to its original shipped state.
What to do now?
I’m extremely hesitant to revert my machine back to its original “pristine” condition. Not only will I lose all of my settings, but there is no guarantee I won’t just relive this situation all over again. I mean, I was getting errors right out of the box.
The culprits for most of the errors seem to be Google Desktop (pre-installed software), Google Toolbar (pre-installed software), and Dell Support (pre-installed software). Even though all of this software came pre-installed and I purchased every Dell Support planned purchased, Dell is unable or unwilling to help. Dell says Microsoft is to blame. Microsoft says Dell is to blame. The consumer gets screwed. It’s win-win for everyone!
Got a similar story to tell? Post it in the comments section.


Ruslan said...

Dell is shipping me a new M1330, the three day old one sounds like yours. I am beginning to think they should keep it. Thanks for the warning.

Anonymous said...

I recently purchased a Toshiba Satellite M205 series with Google desktop preinstalled and I was encountering a problem when I was running Word 2007: the mouse pointer was blinking the "busy hourglass" whenever I would move the edit cursor.

I shut down the Google desktop in my startup menu, then I removed it; I removed the Google desktop Add In that was active in Word 2007; and then I uninstalled the Google desktop.

The Google desktop seems to have been the culprit because I no longer have my "busy hourglass" problem.

Larry Weaver said...

Update: I had to replace the motherboard on my Dell XPS M1330 today. As you can see from the above post, I've had the machine for just over a year. In that time, I've also reinstalled Windows twice.

I will say that Dell Support was excellent when it came to replacing the motherboard. But for what I paid for this laptop, I sure expected it to work a lot better than this.

Stephanie said...

Larry, I have been having problems with my Dell XPS M1330, too. I am so beyond pi**ed. I have been on the phone with their POS tech support 4 times and the first guy sent me a new hard drive, didn't help, the 2nd guy told me to re-install something, didn't help. The 3rd guy did something, didn't help, and the 4th guy told me it is a software problem that someone has hijacked my computer. This is a load of shit! I have Norton, and have brought my computer to 2 different places ,m both of which said that there is nothing at all wrong with it!
All of these supposed "support" people have been on my computer remotely, and all of them gave me a different story, and my computer is STILL after 9 months giving my issues. It freezes up CONSTANTLY...I have to hold down the on/off switch to manually turn it off.


Anonymous said...

M1330 nothing but problems. I see issues all over the internet. That's how I found this blog. I had my motherboard replaced under warranty last week and having a whole new set of issues now. This thing is 8 months old and I can't afford for it to go bad.

Anonymous said...

Same problem here. Had my laptop (XPS 1330) for a month, and then suddenly the laptop started to get stuck on the loading Window's screen at start up, and when it did work, it would often throw up random error reports or freeze in other locations. I did the system restore. Worked like normal for less than 3 days, then the problems returned. I've had the whole Dell run around. They've been horrible. They tell me I have to pay either 70 or 120 dollars to fix the computer I JUST bought! The hardware section says it isnt the hardware. The software section says it isnt the software. I dont care what it is, I just know it isnt working like it should! (aka, turning on!) After my experience with Dell's customer support this last month (over 5 long and difficult phone calls), I'm never getting a dell again. Makes me miss my old Acer.