All Hail Dell Tech Support!

So I just finished chatting with a Dell Tech Support Agent. The conversation went south very quickly. The whole thing was too humorous not to post. Apparently Dell is scared shitless of messing with an system that has ever even heard of the word Linux.
Our exchange is illustrated below:

Him: 3:13:18 PM Thank you for contacting Dell Technical Support. My name is Arjun and my rep ID number is 152971. How may I assist you today?

Me: 3:13:42 PM I’m having a couple of tech support issues with my comp that I have not been able to figure out. First, my computer freezes up and gives me the BSOD with the error “Bad Pool Header” randomly. This has been happening for four months or so, but I have been unable to contact you as I am in Afghanistan fighting a war. I have tried all kinds of fixes for the Bad Pool Header issue. I did a re-install of the OS, not clean though as I am a software developer with tons of dev apps and no bandwidth to re-download and install them. I figured it may be a issue with the Nvidia drivers as I read a few threads online about people experiencing the same problem.

Him: 3:16:40 PM I sincerely apologize for all the inconvenience caused to you however please be assured I will personally look into the matter. May I know how does your name appears on the records?

Me: 3:17:10 PM Should be Christan S Kramer or Shane Kramer, Shane being my middle name.

Him: 3:18:55 PM Thank you for the information. May I have the telephone number you provided at the time of system purchase just for verification purposes?

Me: 3:19:18 PM Another issue that may be related is that is often takes XP about 10-20 minutes to boot up. I start and login fine, then it sits there with my wallpaper on display and no icons, or start menu forever. There aren’t too many startup programs on the system.

Me: 3:19:26 PM xxx.xxx.xxxx

Him: 3:20:13 PM Thank you. As per the records, you have an Inspiron E1705 with Windows XP operating system on it. Are you using the same system to chat with us?

Me: 3:20:27 PM No, can’t really, local internet is not reliable. I am using satellite at work.

Him: 3:21:17 PM Do you have the system with you which is not working?

Me: 3:21:26 PM About 5 minutes walk away.

Him: 3:21:44 PM Okay. May I place this session on hold for 3 – 4 minutes to find the best possible solution?

Me: 3:22:04 PM Sure.

Him: 3:22:40 PM Thank you. I will be right back on this chat session.

Me: 3:22:58 PM I am going to go get the laptop. I will be back shortly.

Him: 3:23:15 PM Sure. Thank you for staying online. I am sorry for the long hold. Christan, is there any way you can go online on the laptop where you are getting blue screens?

Me: 3:29:38 PM Back.

Him: 3:30:01 PM Great.

Me: 3:30:13 PM I have the laptop.

Him: 3:30:16 PM Is the laptop on the desktop screen now?

Me: 3:30:27 PM No, I am rebooting out of Ubuntu, coming up now.

Him: 3:31:10 PM Have you setup Ubuntu and XP on different partitions?

Me: 3:31:17 PM Yes. I set up ubuntu after I started having XP problems. It seems to work great. I just logged in. Let’s see if it takes 10 minutes to load. Okay, it is up now. This time it did not take forever. It has taken up to 20 minutes before.

Him: 3:33:49 PM In order to isolate the issue we need to work with only one operating system and it should be the one shipped with the computer. I would request you to install only Windows XP only on a single partition. After the Windows XP is installed we will check if the same Blue Screen appears and what are the other steps we can perform to get the issue fixed.

Me: 3:33:51 PM I think I may have a grasp on that prob though. Windows is installed on its own partition.

Him: 3:35:11 PM I completely agree with you Christan. However, we support computer shipped with one partition and one operating system. We do not troubleshoot dual partitions computer.

Me: 3:35:34 PM You know how silly that is right? The problem came about well before I installed Ubuntu, and I could just write back and say I uninstalled it when I did not.

Him: 3:37:01 PM I regret for the inconvenience caused to you. I would request you to install Windows XP on a single partition and then we can check if we have the Blue Screen popping up again.

Notice the time difference.

Me: 3:37:08 PM Okay done, just wiped Ubuntu. Partition Magic. Now what?

Him: 3:39:16 PM We need to delete all the partitions by booting from the XP CD. Once all the partitions are deleted we will install Windows XP on Un partition space and the process will take 40 – 45 minutes. After that we will reinstall the drivers and then we will check if the system has any issue.

Me: 3:39:35 PM I cannot do that, so I cannot receive support? If I wipe my XP partition it would take me 6 mos do download everything I had on there. I am working off of sub-dialup speeds.

Him: 3:41:06 PM I understand you have data stored on the computer and it is not easy for you to wipe out the data stored on the computer. However, we cannot troubleshoot with the system working on dual operating system.

Me: 3:42:17 PM Okay, cool, sweet, check out www.ahuiz.com/shane/ . I am going to post this awesome conversation. I am sure many other people will get shits and giggles out of it as I did. Have a good day Arjun. P.S. I just beat Solitaire!

So now I have to wait 45 minutes and call them back and pretend I uninstalled Hardy Heron so they can provide support. Nice Dell. Home Run.

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