Welcome to Cor & Julie's journal

Lenovo installs 30GB of crap on your laptop (Computers, Rants)

Julie just got a new Lenovo X200s laptop with SSD. When we got it we noticed it had only 60GB free space out of 128GB. There was a 10GB recovery partition, but that didn’t explain where all the space had gone. The C partition had a whopping 42GB of data installed, and this is supposed to be a virgin machine!

Now for the really stupid part. When I reinstalled from the recovery partition, the same system was only 13GB. Still way too much if you ask me, but better than 42GB.

Lenovo, you suck.

Acer using low quality components? (Computers, Rants)

About a year ago I bought an Acer L100 core 2 duo box to function as a simple Linux desktop computer. It’s been working fine, until one morning it would not turn on anymore. When I contacted the supplier where I bought it, i was told that since it was a few days out of warranty, Acer would not repair it under warranty. Granted, I probably could not have sent it under warranty repair anyways, because I can not send one of my desktop computers in without removing the harddisk. I can not risk anyone getting a hold of any type of data related to my company.  Sending it in for out-of-warranty repairs would probably cost way too much for a box that only costs a few hundreds dollars in the first place.

So the only logical step at this point is to just try and figure out what’s broken. I asked a colleague to help me out, since Im not a hardware guru, and together we opened up the box. We immediately noticed what was wrong. One of the capacitors had expanded and opened up, oozing out electrolyte. Several years ago this was a real plague, as lots of vendors had used a faulty electrolyte formula. I’ve had lots of computers, but never had one ooze out electrolyte on a capacitor. This just doesn’t happen much anymore, as vendors should be using proper capacitors. So why is my Acer, which has never really had to work hard as i merely use it to run X with a few Xterms, blowing out capacitors. Is Acer skimping on materials? No wonder they’re so cheap.

We bought a 60 cent capacitor, replaced the broken one, and my Acer is working again. So instead of spending lots of money to have a factory fault fixed by Acer, i spent 60 cents (and a home made apple pie for my colleague).  I don’t think I’ll be buying Acer anymore.

capacitor.jpg

Dell messed up, or how to lose a day out of your life. (Computers, Rants)

Yesterday a very helpful Dell employee came to my house to replace my XPS700 motherboard with an XPS720. This was a free upgrade that Dell started to provide XPS700 owners with a better upgrade path for additional hardware. I also ordered a Quad Core CPU with it, which came with a 25% discount. Pretty cool deal.

After about an hour, the guy leaves, and it looks like I have a working system again. That is, until after another hour or so I notice a new hard disk I didnt have before. I immediately knew what happened. He had rebooted the machine without configuring the raid controller on the new board. My boot disk is actually a raid1/mirror and you need to tell the new raid controller that. Instead, it booted with 2 separate identical drives. Ofcourse, after the initial boot these 2 drives can no longer be seen as identical and I was unable to recreate the raid1 volume.

So you think.. no problem. I take the C drive and make that the first drive in a new raid1 volume. That worked. Now I had a degraded raid 1 volume which was missing its second drive. Good, i have the second drive, so now I can add the second drive and tell the raid controller to rebuild the raid volume. Right? Wrong! More »