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OEM's can be a pain


OSNN Sexual Deviant
Political User
OK, this laptop my mother had (which was handed down to her), was badly infected with several viruses, trojans, a key logger; and oh the joys of the thing recognizing it's infected going to "protect" one from harmful sites like google.com even while the web browser would spontaniously launch and load pages about free viagra and what not :p How's that for ironic.

OK, so after going through a bit with "but I don't know my email password, what if I can't get my emails", I finally was a bit blunt, this needs a reinstall, bad. Oh, and the Dell laptop (other then being infected), had one of those horrible recovery disks that set the thing up. I don't know where everything came from, but it had AOL software on it (which by any definition should be termed a virus by definition), and of course she has Optimum Online, never did subscribe to AO-Hell, naturally a whole load of Dell pre-installed software, about 5 or 10, so called anti-virus and anti-malware software all running at the same time, on top of each other (obviously not very effective given how badly infected that system was); and booted up with like 65 processes listed in Task Manager when first bringing up the desktop. Speaking of yikes, that older laptop only had 768 MB of RAM, and it used 750 MB just at the desktop alone. It was this point, I wanted to reinstall, before even getting the gist of how badly infected she was. By the time I got all the virus information, it was like "ok, enough, this really needs to happen and it's kinda bad you don't want to allow a reinstall".

Those recovery disks are horrendious. I hate them. They're notorious for always loading too much crap on an install (that otherwise, hell just XP on that same computer, not from Dell's disks, but from my XP CD I got from an MSDN subscription some years back, boots at 85 MB used only, fresh install. Naturally that's pre-SP2 however).

OK, all good, don't use the stupid recovery disk, and let it load up all that crap. Only thing? The drivers. So I'm like this is OK, I can download drivers from Dell's site, list the laptop model, and all should be good. However? They don't want to let me download and save the driver file. Oh no! They want an online install. Umm OK, the NIC is what needs the drivers, and it can't get online. And I doubt my father's desktop would very much like the driver's for my mother's laptop :p So I'm searching for some time, to find another link that will let me save a .exe for an offline install on a different computer. And nope, they don't want to make that readily accessible. In the name of dumbing things down for a user who might not know better, they so obfusficate the stinken download bit, and try to auomate things to too much of an extreme, that "hey, I need the stupid NIC drivers so that box can get online" doesn't seem to ring a bell for whoever maneages their websites. So it's a half hour searching, and getting links that either auto-download and instantly assume I want to run the installer (no save to disk option), or re-direct to some "analysis utility" meant for plug and pray (let us chose the drivers for you).

And yet in all of this, it remains, the drivers have to be downloaded on a computer other then the one that they need to be installed on. Why thank you Dell, for trying to dumb things down to the point, you remind me of precisely why I like to build my own computers, and not use OEM's pre-built systems. Well one of them. So search for a way around this, and get people on their support site wanting to suggest one either let it automate to a computer that isn't even the one online, or get a recovery disk so it can dump a whole lot of pre-loaded crap that just wastes the computer's resources with a bunch of junk one doesn't need to take up CPU cycles and RAM anyhow.

I finally, get to a link that allows me to download the stupid NIC driver for offline install, after like 40-45 minutes of searching and having to change sites, links, whatever, burried somewhere that isn't easy to get to; and all that wasted time, for a download that once one got to it took about 30 seconds to actually download.

So now, after all this time spent for this, I can finally drive back home, and install the file on her computer (along with the service packs), so I can go grab the remaining drivers, then having a network conection of use. And naturally I knew exactly what I needed when I came over here, just wanted a server that would let me have the file, without trying to take control for a computer that wasn't even here :(

Admiral Michael

Michaelsoft Systems CEO
I just visted Dell's site and I don't know where you got the idea that you can't download and save the files but I had no problem downloading AND saving the driver for my video card.

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Hello, is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me ...
What a long strange trip it's been. =)

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