Sunday, February 19, 2006

When Will It End? 

More notebook problems. I just spent the last two hours in two separate online support chats with Dell. My notebook won't power up. Prior to calling, I went through all the troubleshooting I could think of.

Unplugged the adapter cord from the wall, the adapter cord from the adapter, the adapter from the notebook, replugged it all and tried again.

Unplugged the adapter from the notebook and tried under battery power.

Plugged the adapter back in, removed the battery, tried on AC alone.

Returned the battery, repeated above steps.

Moved to a different outlet, repeated above steps.

Noted that when I plug the adapter to the notebook, the power and battery lights on the front of the notebook flashes briefly. Noted that anytime the adapter is plugged into an outlet, its green LED is brightly lit. Noted that when the adapter is connected and I press Power, nothing at all happens. Noted that when working on battery alone, when I press Power, the power and battery lights on the front panel of the notebook flash once simultaneously, but nothing else happens.

So I logged onto Dell Online Support and waited 11 minutes for an agent. I then went through the above troubleshooting. Over the next 30 minutes I repeated all the above steps one at a time at the agent's instructions. What a shock - same results. I then searched my apartment for my tiny screwdrivers so I could follow the instructions to reseat my memory and my CD/DVD player. I couldn't find them after 10 minutes, so I had to log off in order to "arrange" a screwdriver. Before I left for CompUSA, I checked the drawers again, and found them. Reseated above components, with no status change.

Logged back on, and was connected with a new agent after 10 more minutes. New agent (Anupama) indicated s/he was reviewing my case notes, and asked about the screwdriver. I relayed my steps and results. Anupama then asked what the previous agent told me. Conversation as follows:

3:28:24 PM Anupama_01117550: [RSLS] I am going through the previous interaction.
3:28:32 PMYou: Okay.
3:30:53 PMAnupama_01117550: What did the previous agent tell you about this issue?
3:32:11 PMYou: That it could be anything loose internally, and to get a screwdriver so I could reseat the memory and the CD/DVD driver. This was after I repeated all the steps I had done before logging on, which I had also described in detail (removing the battery, trying to power with and without the battery while plugged into the adapter, power with just the battery, etc.).
3:32:16 PMAnupama_01117550: All right [RSLS] I went through the notes.
3:32:34 PMYou: So you know what the previous agent told me.
3:33:22 PMAnupama_01117550: yes

Then later in the conversation, Anupama asked me to "please verify the steps." You can imagine my visceral response to this. Good thing it wasn't a telephone support call. Instead of blowing my top and yelling, I was forced to breath for a moment before responding, "Which steps? Everything done so far?"

Anupama wisely apologized and corrected the typing error. The intended request was for me to verify my mailing address. Anapuma was putting in a "dispatch for the motherboard." Again, internal seething on my part. When I got this computer, I paid for the at home service, but so far every time there's been a problem I've had to ship it off to Dell, or they've shipped something to me, and I've done all sorts of pulling and reseating, etc. But it turns out that the dispatch is for a tech to come to my home and replace the mother board. The tech will be calling me in the next two business days to arrange an appointment. Guess I'll be working from home again one of these upcoming days, hopefully this week. And guess I'll be taking notes by hand at school this week. At least tomorrow is President's Day so there are no classes. But that also means it's not a business day, so I might not hear from Tech until Wednesday.

And yes, I back up my school notes onto my Palm after each night of classes, before booting down the notebook, so I have all my semester's notes. I guess that's something.

Posted by Beth Henderson at 3:59 PM