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  Share you warranty war stories 
 
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Vitaliy (Administrator) Oct 16, 2007, 09:24am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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arlen nelson Oct 16, 2007, 03:29pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 16, 2007, 03:32pm EDT

 
>> Re: Share you war stories
would this service not have been processed with the same efficiency with the 1yr over the counter warranty?

I had a horrendous time with a Asus notebook... taking almost 8 months several telephone calls to the service department and a call the BBB to finally get my situation straightened out; but they were always very prompt and I never paid a dime for the shipping. I did not have to buy additional warranty.

Beavis Khan Oct 16, 2007, 03:50pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you war stories
1. There is no need to update BIOS, unless there is a known issue that is affecting you and is resolved by the update. If an update is to be performed then you should really use a boot from floppy or CD update process rather than update from within Windows. In fact, Lenovo offers a bootable CD to update ThinkPad BIOS and that is clearly the better choice.


You should make this a sitewide sticky! Too often I see people recommend BIOS updates as a remedy to something the update is not at all likely to fix. Better safe than bricked. Nice that Lenovo/IBM took good care of you, though.

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Vitaliy (Administrator) Oct 16, 2007, 03:56pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 16, 2007, 04:00pm EDT

 
>> Re: Share you war stories
arlen nelson said:
would this service not have been processed with the same efficiency with the 1yr over the counter warranty?

I didn't really say that it wouldn't. I actually didn't really say I paid for additional warranty - I guess that could be implied from "warranty is worth every penny" - but even included warranty is not truly free, it's just included in price.

For the record, I did increase my official warranty to 3 years at the last second, something I don't regret now. I fully expect Lenovo/IBM to provide the same level of service if something happens 35 months from now.

Also, I'm not sure if 3rd party extended warranty (often sold by retail stores and provided by 3rd parties, not manufacturers) would work as well, if at all. Those are very rarely worthwhile, particularly because you can receive similar level of warranty by paying for your purchase with a credit card that provides free warranty extension (which is many, if not most, credit cards).

dark41 Oct 16, 2007, 03:57pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you war stories
Big Beavis said:
Too often I see people recommend BIOS updates as a remedy to something the update is not at all likely to fix. Better safe than bricked.


Most BIOS upgrades are for a good reason. Even though you may not realize you have a problem, the upgrades usually make things better, and very rarely make them worse. For that reason, I always upgrade to the latest "proven" BIOS asap and think everyone should.

I've had one failed BIOS update in the past 20 years. It was a Gigabyte board that was also replaced immediately, no questions asked. :-)

EX38-DS5
E8500@4.0GHz (445x9, 1.40v) TRUE Black
Corsair HX620W
2x2gb Kingston HyperX 9600
HIS IceQ4 HD4850
2X1TB F1s (RAID 0) XP Pro/Win7 Ult 64
Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1
Cambridge Soundworks 500w 5.1
G5, Antec 1200
Beavis Khan Oct 16, 2007, 04:41pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
dark41 said:
Most BIOS upgrades are for a good reason. Even though you may not realize you have a problem, the upgrades usually make things better, and very rarely make them worse. For that reason, I always upgrade to the latest "proven" BIOS asap and think everyone should.


At the risk of jacking Vitaliy's thread, I have to respectfully disagree with you. If there is a good reason that pertains to my particular configuration/symptoms etc, I'll update - otherwise I'm not willing to risk breaking something that is already working fine. I'm certainly not going to assume that a bigger version number means better in the absence of other information to confirm that.

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
arlen nelson Oct 16, 2007, 08:19pm EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
I agree with both sides of the firmware game; care must be taken while flashing bios, it should not be done frivolously... BUT its can solve many problem of add features.

the fact that bios flashing is kinda risky, and that everything can go wrong, it makes flashing bios really fun... its a rush... in a super nerdy kinda way ;)

FordGT90Concept Oct 17, 2007, 12:25am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 17, 2007, 12:27am EDT

 
>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
dark41 said:
Most BIOS upgrades are for a good reason. Even though you may not realize you have a problem, the upgrades usually make things better, and very rarely make them worse. For that reason, I always upgrade to the latest "proven" BIOS asap and think everyone should.

I'm with Big Beavis and Vitality, only update when needed. That goes for audio, video, BIOS, you name it. "If it ain't broke, don't fix it." I don't stick to the "if it ain't broke, fix it until it is" mentality.

________________________
If I remember what I forgot, I have not forgotten it.
CrAsHnBuRnXp Oct 17, 2007, 12:57am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
I have no warranty war stories. I simply just buy a new part and ditch the old. I rarely ever RMA. It takes to damn long, sometimes you end up getting the same product back that was never fixed in the first place, and just buying a new one cuts down half the time.

Yes, I realize most people cant do this. Nor can I, but I try my damndest to. Even if I have to pay someone back later on down the line.

dark41 Oct 17, 2007, 02:32am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
Mark Allen said:
I rarely ever RMA. It takes to damn long, sometimes you end up getting the same product back that was never fixed in the first place, and just buying a new one cuts down half the time.


I RMA'ed a DFI Lan Party SLI-DR a couple times. The first time they sent back a refurbished board with scrathes on the back in 6 weeks that wouldn't go into BIOS. The 2nd RMA also took 6 weeks, for the fact that it wouldn't go into BIOS. Not only did it take 6 weeks to get back, but it came back with the RMA rejected and the warranty was voided due to the scratches. I'll never deal with DFI again for this reason. The only other RMA that I can recall was with Crucial RAM. The RAM was 18 mos old and replaced with no questions asked in 2 weeks. I agree that's a long time to go without a computer, but testing the support was as important as getting the computers back up and running (we have several others to get by with in the mean time). I deal with Crucial every week now.

I don't usually have to RMA computer components. We get 95% of our parts from wholesale suppliers because we're system builders. I return the parts to the local suppliers where they are normally replaced on the spot, as long as they're still under warranty. Our customers have their system back running same day, or next day at the most. But that's also why I avoid retail shops when possible. No such service from them.

EX38-DS5
E8500@4.0GHz (445x9, 1.40v) TRUE Black
Corsair HX620W
2x2gb Kingston HyperX 9600
HIS IceQ4 HD4850
2X1TB F1s (RAID 0) XP Pro/Win7 Ult 64
Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1
Cambridge Soundworks 500w 5.1
G5, Antec 1200
dark41 Oct 17, 2007, 03:01am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
The responses from people who don't update BIOS and drivers surprise me. I expect the users of this forum to be computer savy. But the "not fixing it unless it's broken" attitude is ignorant IMO. Most savy enthusiasts insist upon updating for a good reason. Most BIOS updates improve system performance in some way. So Frankly, in that case you wouldn't know what you're missing without the latest updates to see the difference. Sure, it's working now, but it's not working the way it's capable and intended to work. In that case, you're not really getting what you paid for.

I guess I wouldn't recommend that ameteurs upgrade their BIOS without help from someone who knows what they're doing. But most motherboards now supply Windows based updating which is quite simple. I'd expect computer savy individuals to have no problem with it.

All of our systems are updated constantly. The first thing I do after building a system is upgrade to the most recent drivers, BIOS, software versions (except WMP 11, we use 10 and leave that one up to the customer due to the DRM issues) and Windows updates. Because we test all components in our own systems before using them in our customers' systems, we already know which BIOS/drivers are proven and which aren't. I guess my attitude would be different if we'd encountered problems doing so in the past, but we really haven't. I consider the 1 problem out of 1000s of BIOS updates an acceptable percentage.

My question to Vitaliy is, did you try and run the BIOS update program from Windows again before rebooting? I'd have done everything possible to get it to work, including downloading the original BIOS again and trying to load that before rebooting. Rebooting with a failed BIOS update was a death sentence. :~

EX38-DS5
E8500@4.0GHz (445x9, 1.40v) TRUE Black
Corsair HX620W
2x2gb Kingston HyperX 9600
HIS IceQ4 HD4850
2X1TB F1s (RAID 0) XP Pro/Win7 Ult 64
Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1
Cambridge Soundworks 500w 5.1
G5, Antec 1200
Gerritt Oct 17, 2007, 03:31am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
Don't update BIOS from Windows.
If you do update BIOS make sure you save the present image prior to doing so!
The problem you may run into is that a bootable FDD does not have the space for both your old and new BIOS images.
Run a "legacy" update in which you only store the old BIOS to FD, then run the update from a separate FD.
Always keep in mind that the "update" may crash your system.
Sometimes you can recover RAID and other settings by reincorporating the same settings; which will most likely need to be reentered after a update/upgrade. Don't assume it's gone, just make sure that you've reset your settings to what they were prior to the update.

Gerritt

Ad Astra Per Aspera
(A rough road leads to the Stars)
We all know what we know, and everyone else knows we are wrong.
System Specifications in BIO
Jules Oct 17, 2007, 05:16am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
>Our customers have their system back running same day, or next day at the most. But >that's also why I avoid retail shops when possible. No such service from them.

Absolutly - whenever I give advice on purchasing a computer I say "Buy from a computer specialist store, that way if you have any issues they will usually be resolved while you wait or at least only a few days".
Department stores usually give it to their 'in-house' techies first and when they can't resolve it, then it goes back to the manufacturer - and all that can take up to 6 weeks.

Many of my clients just tell me they will forgo their warranty (not given by me) in order to have their computer back same day service. Time is money, and if their 'baby' is out of action they will lose more dollars in business than the non-warranty service is worth.

~~+++++++^^^^^^^^^^^^^^+++++++~~
Only read the manual as a last resort.
Beavis Khan Oct 17, 2007, 07:41am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
dark41 said:
The responses from people who don't update BIOS and drivers surprise me. I expect the users of this forum to be computer savy. But the "not fixing it unless it's broken" attitude is ignorant IMO. Most savy enthusiasts insist upon updating for a good reason. Most BIOS updates improve system performance in some way. So Frankly, in that case you wouldn't know what you're missing without the latest updates to see the difference. Sure, it's working now, but it's not working the way it's capable and intended to work. In that case, you're not really getting what you paid for.


I'll say it again - if there is a reason to update, I'll do so. If the BIOS release notes don't mention any updates I care about, I won't update. If the company producing the BIOS is in the habit of including fixes in the new BIOS version without telling their customers, then that's a reason (for me) to avoid that company's products. You can continue to call me unsavvy and ignorant if you like, but the reason I don't updates**t willy nilly is because I've been burned by way too many "fixes" in the past that did more harm than good. This includes BIOS updates, Windows update, as well as driver and application. It has very little to do with the possibility of a failed BIOS update, which I agree, is quite remote. Many people here seem to think a bigger number means it's better, which is about the most ignorant thing I personally have ever heard. If pointing out how silly that is that makes me unsavvy, then, guilty as charged.

And now I'll let you get back to your thread Vitaliy, sorry for the threadjack.

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
S Gold Oct 17, 2007, 08:50am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
Lenovo could not buy with any amount of advertising expendature what this column provides in terms of value to the brand. As a result of this column I will buy Lenovo. It is a false economy for manufacturers to scrimp on support since the result is unhappy consumers. Look at Dell's declining reputation and market share as an example of the combination of huge advertising expendatures and frustratingly inept support. Here's an interesting article citing Gartner data respecting Dell's market share decline. http://arstechnica.com/news.ars/post/20070419-dell-continues-t...ating.html

dark41 Oct 17, 2007, 10:06am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 17, 2007, 10:08am EDT

 
>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
Sorry, but I think this advice is old school. Years ago I'd have agreed with it all, but not anymore.

Gerritt said:
Don't update BIOS from Windows.

Why not? I've been doing it daily for 2 years and never had one fail. We're talking several hundred BIOS updates over that period of time. The lone one that did fail was done via floppy disk a few years ago (GA-K8NXP-SLI). Whether it fails from Windows or from a floppy isn't going to make any difference as you won't be able to get into BIOS to flash again. Either way you should be able to see if it worked correctly or not, but if it fails via the flash utility in DOS you won't have a computer to check for info online or download any fixes. From Windows you have a working computer, at least until you reboot.

But I agree that backing up first is a good idea in case you decide to go back to the old version for some reason later on. That can also be done through every Windows BIOS update program that I've seen lately, which also allows you to format the floppy disk again if need be, or change to a different disk if you get a bad one (that happens to me fairly often, and I'd have no way of doing anything about it from DOS).

Gerrit said:
The problem you may run into is that a bootable FDD does not have the space for both your old and new BIOS images.


It's just DOS. BIOS utilities which are run from a floppy will allow you to swap floppy disks to formatted disk for backup, then swap back to flash. Once the DOS flash utility is started, it only reads and writes whatever disk is in there. At least that's how Asus, Gigabyte, and Intel boards have been for the past couple years.

Gerrit said:
Sometimes you can recover RAID and other settings by reincorporating the same settings; which will most likely need to be reentered after a update/upgrade.

Again, most BIOS udates used to load with the default settings. But lately every update I've done on those 3 board manufacturers has saved the current settings, including RAID.


I'm not trying to convince anyone who doesn't want to upgrade to do so. I just find it baffling that anyone would choose not to if they're comfortable with the process.

EG: Here's the last 3 BIOS updates for my P35-DQ6. Every one has some performance advantage included:

F4 2007/05/11 Enhance memory performance and add Turbo options

F5 2007/08/20 Fix 1394 device can't work when system resumes from S3 mode.
Enhance system performance
Fix dual BIOS issue (Sometimes recovery from backup BIOS may fail)
Fix PS2 keyboard compatibility issues

F6 2007/09/07 Fix PCI device option ROM compatibility issues

The board worked fine with the F4 BIOS that came in it. But doing the 2 updates made it even better. To each their own I guess.

EX38-DS5
E8500@4.0GHz (445x9, 1.40v) TRUE Black
Corsair HX620W
2x2gb Kingston HyperX 9600
HIS IceQ4 HD4850
2X1TB F1s (RAID 0) XP Pro/Win7 Ult 64
Auzen X-Fi Prelude 7.1
Cambridge Soundworks 500w 5.1
G5, Antec 1200
Vitaliy (Administrator) Oct 17, 2007, 10:14am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
dark41 said:
Sorry, but I think this advice is old school. Years ago I'd have agreed with it all, but not anymore.

Gerritt said:
Don't update BIOS from Windows.

Why not? I've been doing it daily for 2 years and never had one fail.

I've done it numerous times on my desktop EPoX board.

The reasons I suspect Windows was partially at fault is because I was running Vista which most likely has better safeguards against blatant hardware alterations such as BIOS flashing, particularly because this notebook has a TPM chip in it. It's possible that Lenovo hasn't fully tested BIOS flash utility under Vista with hardware security enabled. (For the record, this paragraph is purely my speculative suspicion).

Vitaliy (Administrator) Oct 17, 2007, 10:16am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
Mark Allen said:
I have no warranty war stories. I simply just buy a new part and ditch the old. I rarely ever RMA.

This is my 2nd time using warranty, ever. I think most of the time I upgrade before things break.

The first experience was with an Abit motherboard which died within first year, which was just annoying. The replacement board died within months and took a few components with it. I think it's still collecting dust somewhere in the basement.

Vitaliy (Administrator) Oct 17, 2007, 10:21am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
dark41 said:
Most BIOS upgrades are for a good reason. Even though you may not realize you have a problem, the upgrades usually make things better, and very rarely make them worse.

For the record, the particular BIOS update in this article had only one "fix" in it - something related to what happens when notebook is removed from its docking station. I don't have one.

Historically, I've updated BIOS "once in a while", maybe once a year if there is a significant number of fixes that sound even remotely relevant.

On the other hand, there are BIOS updated that have been available for years for servers running this very site but we haven't installed them because, mostly, it's too logistically complicated, but also because fixes are not relevant to us and machines have been running great.

Beavis Khan Oct 17, 2007, 11:12am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
Vitaliy (Administrator) said:
For the record, the particular BIOS update in this article had only one "fix" in it - something related to what happens when notebook is removed from its docking station. I don't have one.


There's a perfect example of an update I would not install. dark41, I don't know if you're deliberately misreading my posts or what, but in the case of "F4 2007/05/11 Enhance memory performance and add Turbo options", that is a reason to update, and one I'd almost certainly take advantage of. Clear enough?

____
"For every complex problem, there is a solution that is simple, neat, and wrong."

- H.L. Mencken
Phil Oct 17, 2007, 11:40am EDT Reply - Quote - Report Abuse
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Edited: Oct 17, 2007, 12:43pm EDT

 
>> Re: Share you warranty war stories
RMA'd a 2 day Old Foxconn LGA775 Board and Pentium LGA 2165 CoreDuo CPU b'cus they wouldnt work

Supplier Suggested i RMA'd them so i did, a week later they returned back with comment 'Returned due to secured with Brown Tape. None restockable item' :|

altho not strictly a Warrenty War, it was a war on the phone to supplier lol

__________________________________
AMD64 X2 6000+
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