Incredibly Frustrating Part 2

Well, I finally got around to trying out the Automatic Document Feeder for my scanner that HP shipped, and low and behold it works.  Well, not 100%, but it works.  The only problem now is that when it’s doing duplexing some documents get stuck half way through on the second pass.  Mildly frustrating, but not nearly as much as not having a functioning document feeder at all.  I wish I could praise Motion Computing the same though.

If the University didn’t pay for this POS laptop, I would’ve sent it back months ago.  So, the problem is that my mouse “dances” in one of the corners.  It essentially gets stuck there, bouncing around and clicking till it’s heart is content.  The only way to get it out is to take out the pen and use it.  Now, granted, it’s annoying but at least you can still use the bloody thing.  That brings us to problem two; it mysteriously going into standby.  Yes, that’s right, I’m using it, not really doing anything intensive (writing this entry for example), and the machine decides it wants to go into standby. 

Now, being the inquisitive and helpful person that I am, I’ve been troubleshooting these two problems on my own since they first started happening.  About 2 weeks after the dancing cursor started happening, I had concluded it was solely based on heat buildup in the laptop.  It was only occurring when it was in sunlight, I was holding it, or I was doing something very intensive like running VMWare.  I sent it back to them (on their buck) to see if they could fix it.  I get it back, still does it.  I then get a call about a month or so later from Motion asking if I was still experiencing the cursor problem.  They wanted to get as much info as possible since they weren’t sure exactly what the problem was since simply replacing the digitizer didn’t work.

During this time, I thought I’d help them out and wipe my machine to start from scratch.  Well, that’s when the lovely standby problem started rearing it’s lovely head.  Granted, it wasn’t the first time it had happened (last time I wiped it, same problem), but I somehow got it to stop before.  Needless to say, this problem makes the laptop 100% useless.  I can’t even attempt to do anything without it shutting itself off.  I narrowed it down to the machine actually overclocking itself.  Who knows why, but at times the front side bus was running more than 33Mhz faster.  Being that there’s no fans in this tablet, that couldn’t have been good.  Well, I started up another RMA for that, but also mentioned that my cursor was still doing the same thing.  They said to send it back.  This time, they didn’t offer to pay for it.

“The motherboard may need to be checked out, it maybe defective.  I suggest you send it in again.”

So, of course I send it back in on the 19th.  I live without the tablet for half a week and then got it back on Monday.  Played with it a bit, and it seemed to be working fine.  Well, that didn’t last long.  Standby over and over.  It makes the workday so enjoyable.  So, I start back up the email conversation, continuing on from the previous one where they said they’d check out the motherboard.

At first I just conveyed that it was still doing it again, but this time it seemed to be regardless of what I was actually doing on the machine.  After a day of no response, I received an email.

An RMA has been issued to you so that you can send the unit in and have it fixed by a tech.  It sounds like an issue with the motherboard and needs to be checked by a tech.  I don’t think this problem can be fixed over email, please let me know if you still want to use this RMA to send the unit in.

What the hell?  Why are they looking at the same problem that they apparently looked at last week.  It didn’t seem right to me, so I responded.

I just sent it in 2 fridays ago, and just got it back on Monday from an rma (9949) on this exact same problem and I was told you were going to replace the motherboard.

“>>Shane Farris
>>The motherboard may need to be checked out, it maybe defective.  I
>>suggest you send it in again.”

Now I know that this laptop is indeed overclocking itself.  I used cpu-z ( the fsb is more than 50% of the time >100Mhz (and therefore the quad-pumped bus speed is greater than 400Mhz).  In fact, using cpu-z I’ve seen bus speeds ranging from 250Mhz to 750Mhz!  These speeds were noted while Outlook, Trillian, and internet explorer were open with no intensive tasks running.

Also, I just received a phone call that there is a permanent solution to the dancing cursor problem, which I also have.  It would be great if both of these problems could be fixed the next time I send it in.  Unfortunately, I have a presentation tomorrow afternoon in which I need the tablet, so I wouldn’t be able to get it out until afterwords.  It would also be nice if you guys would pick up the shipping to you this time, especially since it looks as if nothing was done last time I sent it in.

And their non-helpful response was then beamed back to me.

I’m sorry I thought you didn’t send the unit in yet.  Motion has found a solution to the erratic cursor problem and can fix that for you now.  I also told them to check out the motherboard issue and see why its over clocking the bus.  Please send the tablet back to the same address using RMA number MTC10518.  Thanks

Once again, I was going to have to pay to send back this piece of crap laptop.  At least I’d be able to kill two birds with one stone.  Granted, I’d still have to send it back on my buck to pay for their mistakes.  Well, I figured I’d give them a call and see if I could get them to at least consider it.

Before I called, I wanted to see what they actually did on my machine last week when I sent it back.  They at least have a website where you can type in the RMA number and see what they did. 

Root Cause 1 DEFECTIVE

WTF?!  So, they replaced the digitizer, even though that wasn’t the main problem, plus they knew it would’ve fix it.  I’m starting to fume, I figured now would be the time to call.  Called, and of course I got Shane, who I’m assuming is the guy that I’ve been dealing with, since he starts all his emails with his name (don’t you usually start letters/emails with the other persons name?).  I asked him why they replaced the digitizer last week, even though that wasn’t really the problem I sent it in about, and that they knew it wouldn’t be fixed.  He sidestepped it well and mentioned that there was a fix for the digitizer problem.  Somehow they figured it was a heat problem, and by putting a cover over the hard drive, it would solve the problem.  I wanted to hang up right then.  I’d been telling them this for months, and they finally listened.  Well, I told him that I do want that fixed, but that is not the most urgent problem, the one where my computer randomly goes to sleep is.  He said that they’d have to replace the motherboard, and I asked, “Like they were supposed to do last time?” 

Well, finally I said that there’s no way I’m paying to send it in, since I paid last time and they didn’t fix anything.  I also informed him that they previously paid for me to send it in, the first time, when I thought they were a decent company.  He said that he could get me labels, but would have to have his manager/supervisor do it, since I would need them for tomorrow, not today. 

Hopefully my machine does restart too many times while I’m trying to be professional and doing a presentation on and Exchange Migration.  For some reason, I’m not holding my breath.