Saying goodbye to my last DELL

Yesterday, as I was quietly opening some windows, my laptop went dead. I have a Dell Latitude D800 and although it is my second Dell, I’m quite disappointed: that 15.4-inch wide display is really too big for my daily applications (quite tragic when surfing the web), the graphics card was not very fast and I recall once climbing a mountain with this model in my backpack… it was a nightmare (7.4-pound case). The battery was also quite a hoax, and the cooler very noisy. The only good thing was probably the 1GB of RAM but the overall concept was of a wind mill 🙂

When running the Diagnostic Tools I find a serious error:
DST Short Status Test: Failed
Error Code: 1000-0142
Msg: Unit 4: Drive Self Test Failed. Status Byte = 74

While checking on Google, I found out that ONLY DELL users encountered this error and it can be caused either by WindowsXP either by a broken HDD.

Of course that the people at DELL didn’t know how desperate I was (I consider my files to be important :)) and loosing a HDD is really not an option. After I discovered that the Windows XP setup disk didn’t even start properly, and after creating several boot disks from several websites (no success there), I decided to say goodbye to the D800 box.

First thing on the morning I called my data mining buddies in order to advise me how to recover my precious files (they can do wonders). A few hours after, using a Spire Giga Pod V and a special recovery software (compatible with the laptop’s HDD) I felt joy when retrieving every byte of the secured partitions. In the evening, a new laptop was on my table: a brand new low weight Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook Supreme S7110 with the Intel Core Duo T2400 processor.

My mobile history:
Dell CSX – H500XT
IBM ThinkPad R40e
Dell LATITUDE D800
Fujitsu-Siemens Lifebook Supreme S7110
I will not buy DELL again but I’m grateful that my battery didn’t explode. 🙂

Tips for Dell users that share the same problem:
– your HDD is ok, and you can recover the data if you use it in another system;
– this error is available only on Dell stations and there is no available support (don’t bother to disturb the call center);
– if your WinXP setup disk is not working the first time, don’t loose anymore time trying.
– if you change your HDD (with a new one) there is a chance to work just fine so this would be the best time to sell it.

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