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djberg96 (2603)

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Journal of djberg96 (2603)

Saturday June 01, 2002
11:56 AM

Gateway tech support - Moo!

[ #5358 ]
A friend of mine called me up last night to tell me about a recent encounter with Gateway's tech support. Like most versions of Windows, XP automatically goes out and checks for updated drives from time to time. His Windows XP detected that there was a new driver for his nVidia card. He ignored this message for a while, but eventually decided to go ahead and install the new driver.

Big mistake.

After installing the new driver and rebooting, his LCD is black. Nothing, nada, zippo. My friend is not completely computer illiterate but he's not a computer guy. So, he decides to use the much-vaunted Gateway tech support. He calls tech support. The tech guy tries to get him to boot into safe mode. This doesn't seem to work - there's still nothing on the screen.

The tech guy's next suggestion? Reformat your hard drive and re-install the OS. My friend is like, "What? Hell no am I doing that!". So, he hangs up on that guy, fiddles around a bit, and calls tech support again. Different guy, same proposed solution.

Coincidentally, his computer is still hooked up to the LAN from our party last weekend, so he decides to check something. Sure enough, he can see his desktop system via a laptop on the LAN. This gives him another idea. He unplugs the LCD (using a digital input) and plugs in an anolog monitor. Sure enough, he can see his desktop again. Apparently, the updated nVidia driver effed up the digital output, but still worked with analog display. Uninstall driver, plug in LCD - all is back to normal.

He ended up calling and complaining to a manager, but she didn't seem to care all that much.

So much for the vaunted Gateway tech support!

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  • Reformat your hard drive and re-install the OS

    Yeh, unfortunately that's the standard tech "support" answer I've received on the few occasions I've had to call Dell or HP over the years - sigh.

    Just once it would be nice if they actually admitted they didn't have the faintest idea how to fix the problem instead of pulling the emergency "just-reinstall-the-OS-and-call-back-if-you-have-any-problems" answer out of their bag-o-tricks :-)
  • He ended up calling and complaining to a manager, but she didn't seem to care all that much.

    In an industry that's nothing but layers of incomprehensible jury-rigging and "ship it now" approaches, caring is impossible.