Computer Stuff: March 2004 Archives



I have listed a number of faults in ascending order of importance. Please reference my previous inquiries using ref. no. 1655925, I spoke with Adam (both times). I'm referring to my notebook, a 3150HW which is about 3 weeks in my posession.

1) Whenever I open PowerDVD 4, the screen refreshes as if I had changed the colour depth from 32 to 16 bit. I have also seen this problem with display models I've seen in stores, so I wonder at how widespread this issue is.

2)Most of the time, when I unplug a USB device, the system completely shuts down. These are items that I cannot "stop" through the OS before I physically remove them - specifically my USB mouse and USB audio devices. I have updated both my bios as well as my usb drivers (uninstalling and reinstalling) to the latest version available. (3)If the battery was connected while this happens, the backlight will fail to come on when I restart the system. The only way I can get the backlight to come back on is to shut down, remove the battery, and start up again using only ac power.

4)USB audio devices have huge problems on my notebook. These devices, that work on all the other systems I've tried them on (and are hence not faulty), do not seem to function properly on the USB ports. I've tried both the Creative MP3+ and the Hercules Muse Pocket. After installing the latest drivers and restarting to fully install these devices, the sound is perfect. In particular, DVD's play perfectly with no problems. Video mostly plays with no problems. Video with MP3 soundtracks above 192kbs seem to cause crackling sounds. CD's consistently cause the same crackling sound. Music files of 192kbs (and perhaps below that as well) seem to cause the crackling. This crackling is loud, audible, incessant and continuous along with the sounds/music. Once the crackling starts, it continues indefinitely until the computer is restarted. Some times the crackling occurs after playback of a not-crackling-inducing media/file is stopped and later restarted.

A circumstance I would like to suggest and perhaps rule out/query as contributing to the USB problems would be that I am currently in the UK and have been using (obviously) UK power sockets to charge my batteries/use AC power. In the course of this, I've used both an adaptor for the american socket and a replacement input cable to the power supply that has a UK 3-pin head.

Would the wireless module be a factor in all this, since it (apparently) connects through USB?

I need to know if all this behaviour is consistent with your engineers' experience in dealing with faults regarding this notebook. I do not relish sending my notebook in for repair if this is simply an ongoing/novel issue that cannot, from what you've heard, be definitively/routinely repaired. I'm unclear on what your policy is regarding exchanges, but I'm more than willing to exchange my notebook for a tested replacement instead of sending it in for an uncertain repair process.

This of course is complicated by the fact that I will not be in the US for the next few months at minimum, so I would appreciate a clear course of action for when I do return to the US.

It's been suggested to me that I should RMA, but I would only do so if you can assure me that ALL of my issues stated above can be addressed by my doing so. In particular your tech staff has tended to suggest that the faults with the USB audio devices are the fault of the devices and not the notebook, which, if you've read the extent of my experiences, seems incredibly unlikely. I would need you to acknowledge all of these faults as recognisable and valid, and that they can and will be fixed, before I RMA. Nothing would frustrate me more than to recieve my notebook back with any of the above issues not satisfactorily addressed.

It's also come to my attention that you are in fact responsible for keyboard caused scuff marks on the LCD screen due to faulty keyboard placement and I would appreciate it that if I RMA, you would deal with those issues as well. ie: you would reposition the keyboard and replace the screen.



Ok, so first really alarming thing about my lovely Averatec. It was on mains, I changed power saving mode to Max Battery, closed the lid, and when I opened it again, the backlight wouldn't come on. Restarting didn't help. Wasn't until I shut down and unplugged the mains, plugged in the battery that it came on again. Somewhere in what I've done is the reason but I can't for the life of me think what it could be. And obviously changelogs for bios' are too difficult for them. Thankfully it wasn't a hardware thing with the latch.

Well there's that and the fact that when I'm going to hibernate and unplug my usb mouse, the thing shuts right down. I'll see how it goes, if it keeps up I might give them a call just to get the lay of the land at their tech support dept. Maybe an RMA somewhere within the warranty year - where I can get them to flash the bios for me.

More Gripes


So yes, it is pretty annoying that Caffe Nero's wifi access is absolutely superb on the ground floor. Admittedly it's not so smoky, but there are also no power points and it's right next to the drafty door. Mugsy. But no dropped connections and just a generally wonderful connection - while my battery lasts. Cunning bastards.

At Michel's (rather cryptic) request, the notebook can be found at the Averatec page, and the price can be gotten at Pricegrabber.

Anyone who's asked me about buying a computer has gotten this as a recommendation from me. And now that I've finally gotten it, I'd say that was a well founded recommendation. No Neverwinter Nights, and laptop hard-disks are a bit poky after a raid array, but regardless a fantastic value.

For no particular reason I'd just like to wonder aloud at why editing/copying over my search.ini causes search boxes to disappear every once in a while. And also whether Caffe Nero will have power points.

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This page is a archive of entries in the Computer Stuff category from March 2004.

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