Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Dell and an Asian capacitor supplier faulted in many desktop hardware failures

There is a “disturbing behavior” story in the New York Times on June 29 about Dell as a computer manufacturer, by Ashlee Vance, “Suit over faulty computers highlights Dell’s decline”, link (web url) here.

The problems seem to relate to a capacitors, particularly those made by an Asian supplier named Nichicon, which leaked and damaged other components, particularly in desktops sold in large numbers to companies and universities. The problems became the most severe in 2004 and 2005.

Other manufacturers were affected, but to a much less extent than Dell.

According to the article, Dell employees were pressured to play down the truth about the problems and “emphasize uncertainty.” So much for the problems of the real world of work.

I have a Dell 8300 desktop purchased in September 2003. At the end of 2008, I had a failure that required a Geek Squad visit. In late 2009, the hard drive had to be replaced (after several months of the machine’s booting very slowly). But five-plus years without major repairs isn’t bad.

When I worked for ING, we used Dell desktops (mostly witn Windows NT then), and I recall a couple of problems with noisy CPU fans that had to be replaced.

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