Thursday, June 07, 2007

Gateway To/From Hell

I own a Gateway computer. I bought it two years ago under the impression that Gateway made a reliable computer. Unfortunately, impressions are often wrong, and I soon discovered through Consumer Reports that Gateway has one of the highest repair/service records of computer manufacturers. Note to self: read Consumer Reports BEFORE you buy.

Now to be fair to Gateway, I may be somewhat responsible for the current issues I'm having with my computer, with a BIG emPHAsis on "MAY". My computer was working just fine until I decided to upgrade my operating system in order to be able to use my new Zune player. Then things went rapidly downhill from there. About a month after installing the new OS, my computer completely died. I'd turn it on and it would try to boot, but then a cryptic message of gobbledy-gook would appear on the screen. I wrote it down and called Gateway support. "Oh, that's bad," the tech said with a hint of smirk in his tone. "Your hard drive is gone. You'll have to replace it." I told him the computer was less than two years old, but he was unflappable in his these-things-sometime-happen attitude. I called a computer geek repair dude (who wasn't at all geeky) who verified that my hard drive was indeed dead, and I paid him one arm and one leg to replace it and recover the information from my old drive. Did the new OS have anything to do with the failure of my hard drive? Probably not, but I'm open to the possibility.

So my new hard drive was tooling right along until a couple of weeks ago when my computer inexplicably began to lock up. No amount of CTRL+ALT+DEL could bring it back, so I'd have to power it down and restart the computer. Then the computer wouldn't boot. To make a long story short, I discovered that the registry was corrupt. I have no frickin' idea what this really means, but I do know that it's a fairly common problem to which there is no easy fix. My computer will eventually reboot, but I have to turn it off, unplug it, and let it "rest" for awhile before it will cooperate.

I've used System Restore and tried to reconfigure my settings to an earlier restore point. No good. I've done a full system restore, wiping out my hard drive and starting from scratch. No good. I've used my Windows XP discs to try to repair the registry. No good. Then last night, I did a total XP reinstall that reformatted the hard drive and deleted many of my drivers that I still need to reinstall. It's the last straw. If this doesn't work, I'm going to send my Gateway from Hell straight back to where it came from, and I don't mean Best Buy. Then I'm going to buy a Mac.


WilyHacker said...

Last week I spent about 3 days ridding one of our Windows machines of some really bad adware. It took some going in and editing that nasty registry stuff and getting
rid of the hooks it had left in.

Last Christmas I bought my wife a MacBook. She loves it. The Mac just works. Even though there is the old adage of not buying wives gifts that have a cord attached, you can't go wrong with a Mac.

the battered ham said...

I have several friends who own Macs and absolutely LOVE them. I never hear them complaining of it locking up or of having to fart around with the registry. Here's another relevant adage: you get what you pay for.