The Gateway Saga Continues

This morning, I received the replacement Gateway laptop from the Corporate team — who, by the way, has been very responsive — and after lunch, I began to test it. As we had planned, I took the hard drive from the original laptop and swapped it into the new laptop, which had received a full day of testing by the Corporate team. Since the two systems were identical, the hard-drive swap made no difference at all to the system, and it immediately connected me to the wireless network.
And, 30 minutes later, it failed again in the exact same way.
I decided to take advantage of having both systems on hand, and I powered up my original Gateway with the other hard drive. After wading through the pop-up screens for the newly-imaged drive, I loaded my network key and connected into the wireless system.
And it’s still working.
This is not necessarily dispositive; I’ve had entire days where the wireless adapter did not fail, but usually I get a failure within the first half-hour or so. This seems to indicate that the problem resides not in the hardware, but in the driver for the adapter. I had reloaded the Gateway drivers repeatedly through the Recovery system and it never fixed the problem, and even once downloaded a 2006 driver from Realtek’s website, but that hadn’t made a difference. Today, I used the driver interface to download the latest files, and this one is a March 2007 driver set. So far, it seems to be working.
I just got off the phone with my contact at Gateway, and they’re happy to let me test both systems for a couple of days. If both stay up, I’m going to send back the new laptop and keep my original system. They are going to alert tech support of the potential driver problem if all my tests are successful. We’ll see.
UNRELATED BLEG: Can anyone tell me if they’ve used Pair Networks as a hosting service, and if so, how they performed?

4 thoughts on “The Gateway Saga Continues”

  1. Captain, I have been doing computer support since about 1985. During that time, I have known perhaps 30 people, businesses, university departments and churches who have purchased a Gateway PC.
    Without exception, every single one of them has had to call Gateway about their computer (or one in a batch). Not enough memory, poorly seated memory, a cable unplugged, monitor DOA — the trouble varies. Gateway has been uniformly responsive and fixed the problem.
    Sometimes, if it’s been a while since they got the PC, people will at first say they didn’t have to call Gateway. Then, as I congratulate them and detail some of the issues people have had in the past, it’s “Oh, well, I had forgotten, but I did have to call them about not getting the right keyboard” or something like that.
    I’m sure ithere are some Gateway customers who have not had to call Gateway support. I’ve just never found one.

  2. RE: Socrates (May 8, 2007 09:22 PM)
    Without exception, every single one of them has had to call Gateway about their computer (or one in a batch)…
    That’s a pretty stunning revelation. While it’s good to know that Gateway endeavored to repair all issues to the customer’s satisfaction, it seems as if there has been a shift in the quality control (offloading) from the company beta testers to the customer. Perhaps it’s just the nature of a ridiculously paced industry due to technological advances and the dot-com boom; however, endless tech support issues, even if resolved, eventually and always detrimentally effect repeat customers or a public perception of company reputation.
    While some problems are expected since computers are very sophisticated machines despite the salesmanship that they run as simply as a watch/VCR, your experience still surprises me. I’ve built many computin’ machines and never run across the failure rate you describe, and I’m certain it’s not because I’m particularly savvy at it. What do you suppose is the major contributor of such recurring issues with mass production PC’s?

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