View Full Version : Scary computer tech experience...

10/10/2002, 03:45 PM
A little background --

For the last few weeks I've been having a problem with my Dell Dimension desktop that required me to "Press <DEL> to Resume" on boot up. I did a LOT of research and this problem seems to be limited to certain Dell models, but no definative resolution was provided on any site. A lot of "Try this..." responses. I tried it all! I reset my CMOS (even with a jumper), updated my ROM with the latest version, and even reloaded Windows XP after one early attempt at disabling drivers left me with a system that couldn't locate the activation code.

Now, here's the scary part --

I finally broke down and called Dell Tech support. After giving the tech my service tag code and verifying my name, address and phone number, he had me shut the computer off and restart. IT BOOTED UP!! He said he fixed my config.sys file (or some config). How could he fix my computer without me even being on line? The phone number I gave him is not even the line my computer is hooked up to. Is BIG BROTHER that powerful? What kind of back door do they have to my system? Are they keeping track of my actions? (Not that I have anything to hide :rolly2: )

Anybody know for sure?? Or is this something we're not allowed to discuss out in the open?...:nog: It sure scares me.

10/10/2002, 05:27 PM
Being in the business I am in... I KNOW about big brother... No way could he just do that without dialing in.. My guess, he just got lucky... But, it IS a scary senario!!

Hope the problem is solved for good!

VX Monster
11/02/2002, 11:44 AM

In the name of "better customer service," computer vendors are becoming more and more invasive. "It's for your own good." The reality is that they're just getting tired of trying to educate the consumer, so they're finding ways of fixing problems while letting users stay uninformed. (That's to say, back in "the day," if you had a problem, by the time you were done fixing it, you knew all about why it happened, how to prevent it, more about your computer, etc. Not anymore.)

How old is your laptop? Was it physically disconnected from the line? Just because your modem makes a racket when you tell it to dial up, doesn't mean it has to; it's just a speaker on/off setting in the modem preferences, and that could easily be changed and then changed back without you knowing it.

As for knowing your phone number, if your computer already had a connection up, the phone number is irrelevant; the IP number (your computer's address on the internet at that moment) would be more useful, but it's even more likely that your computer (if it's new-ish) has some way of uniquely identifying itself to Dell no matter where it is, using some sort of broadcast signalling.

"Microsoft has your best interests at heart" is flase for two reasons: can anyone name them?

11/03/2002, 07:36 AM
config.sys eh? Didn't know XP had one of those as it's used for DOS which XP does not run on like the previous Windows. I've been messing with PCs for 10 years and currently do phone support for Polaroid digital and can tell you that the major players (Gateway, Dell, HP, etc) have cut back on the tech support's salaries and are hiring less than qualified people to work for them (typical for the current market). Everything is based on call volume and let's just say they will say anything just to get you off the phone and rack up a higher total as this will keep their job. ANYWAY, a quick search on Google brought up this:


Check it out. You say you have WinXP? From what I read it's definately Dell related but with older versions of Windows. Honestly, next time you or anyone has any PC questions just type the error into Google and you will usually find your answer.

11/03/2002, 09:47 AM
I did several searches (Google, MSN Technet, Dell Support, etc.) and found several discussions, including the one you referenced, but none provided a solution for me. I tried everything listed, and then some. The Dell technician was obviously working from a solutions database that provided him with a series of items to check and correct. He found something in a configuration setting SOMEWHERE (I've been working with PCs since before the original XT, so I'm familiar with config.sys, sys.ini, autoexec, etc.), but I still don't know WHERE or WHAT he changed (he mentioned something about Windows XP being loaded from CD-ROM.)

It has to be something in the BIOS since it made no difference whether I booted from XP, WIN98 (swapped my two drive designations), floppy or CD. Flashing the ROM didn't help. Must be something that can't be set/reset through the user interface. I know that most of the chipsets provide more configuration options than the Dell BIOS setup allows. The tech was somehow able to scan my BIOS settings and change something -- but HOW!
I suppose I could just call back, and ASK. I was hoping someone here was familiar enough with tech support to know. Guess it will remain a mystery for now.