I’d love to hear from Dell

My main desktop PC is a Dell XPS Gen5. Runs Windows Vista Ultimate, installed last April. Great computer except for peculiar behaviour when everything on screen freezes up, which happens when… well, just about any time.

Tried to figure it out myself. No luck. Spent hours googling and searching on the Dell Forums. Still no luck.

Even spent a total of 40 minutes in a call two weeks ago with a Dell XPS Support person. No luck – he actually told me he couldn’t help because the PC’s running an unapproved operating system (it originally shipped with Windows XP Pro).

This sorry tale is in the embedded video, above (link here for RSS subscribers if you don’t see the video). It’s not a rant, just a lot of exasperation.

I’d happily pay Dell for support if they can find out what on earth this problem is, and then help me fix it.

Dell, what do you say? Love to hear from you. Thanks.

Neville Hobson

Social Strategist, Communicator, Writer, and Podcaster with a curiosity for tech and how people use it. Believer in an Internet for everyone. Early adopter (and leaver) and experimenter with social media. Occasional test pilot of shiny new objects. Avid tea drinker.

  1. RichardatDELL

    Hi Neville,

    Ellee, my apologies it took us so long to catch up to you anad your issue, but glad when we got there, we addressed rapidly.

    Neville, sorry to hear about the issues you are having and for our delay in responding. The issues you outline do not sound “common” and will follow up on why when you called we didnt follow thhrough. In the meantime, just so you know I am a tad delayed in responses as you caught us in a transition of blog monitoring.

    I will take this up with the tech support team and our folks in Europe and hopefully you will hear further from us tomorrow (MOnday)

  2. neville

    Richard, many thanks indeed for your comments, I appreciate that. You’ve filled me with hope!

    Ellee, what a great conclusion to your experience. I do indeed have hope.

  3. Kevin


    I have mixed feelings about Dell right now. I just got a new machine and after a couple days had the dreaded ati2dvag.dll error. If you haven’t heard of this (I hadn’t) it’s all over different forums with no consistent solution. After spending an hour on the phone with a Dell rep he deleted a few files the he said were the problem.

    After that my iPhone wasn’t recognized and I still had the error. I finally tried updating the drivers from the ATI site and so far that has solved the problem.

    I was treated well by my rep and he worked hard for me, but it was frustrating that no one I talked to there seemed to know about this issue and, from my research, it’s been a pretty common thing since 2005.

    Overall I had a good experience with the person I dealt with…just would have liked a bit more technical expertise about the problem.


  4. neville

    I think each of us has different experiences with companies we have to deal with for support (so don’t let me get started about Virgin Media…).

    The advice you received, Kevin, doesn’t seem very smart at all. In my experience two weeks ago with a call to support, the support guy wanted to access my PC himself for a look around, which he did.

    I wonder what might have been the outcome if that step wasn’t in the process. Delete a file or two here and there, maybe?

    Today I received calls from Dell in Ireland about my little problem. I appreciated that a great deal (and Richard, I emailed you re this).

    The problem’s not gone away, nor even been properly identified yet, but things are in motion.

    Getting the calls, though, was a giant step for me. Reaffirms my belief that some companies really do want to help you once you ask them the right way. Most companies aren’t perfect, and processes and procedures can leave an awful lot to be desired but, bottom line, service people want to deliver service.

  5. KerryatDell

    Hello Neville, glad to see there is some progress/motion at this stage. I hope there is more good news to come and we’ll stay in touch.

    Kevin, I am glad to hear you were able to resolve your issue. I know it must have been frustrating. Issues with video drivers affect systems manufactured by all PC vendors.

    It appears that your system’s symptom was corrected by the latest driver directly available from ATI. If the driver were available at that time for download from Dell’s site, I am confident the end result would have been the same. While it is unfortunate that we do not always have the latest driver available from ATI available for web post from our site, it is good to see you were able to download a driver from ATI directly.

    I had a conversation with a few on my Dell Global Online Community colleagues about your comment, since drivers is a question that comes up from time to time on the Dell forum. While Dell strives to make the latest drivers available on our site, it is a matter of process that there are inherent delays in web posting the latest driver. Basically, we get the driver from ATI, and it has to be tested and validated on our systems before we can post it. Often our testing will find problems with the driver that are Dell-specific, and we take corrective action before going live with our version of the same driver. These instances are rare, but our process requires we do our due diligence in testing before we post any driver from any vendor.

    In regards to the technical expertise of the front line representative, I apologise, but we do not typically make Tech Support aware of new driver revisions and issues they address until our testing is complete or near completion. We do, however, from time to time, encourage them to consider the vendors’ latest reference driver as a valid troubleshooting step.

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