Chuck Swiger wrote:

I've heard that Dells tech support isn't as helpful as it used to be, but I've had them replace a CD-ROM drive and a 4mm DAT tape backup on Dell machines dedicated to FreeBSD without any problems.

Try running the diagnostic CD or floppy that came with the machine?
(Or can be downloaded for the specific system type from the Dell website.)

Second that. They're not as good as in the past, but we have had hardware assistance on a FreeBSD-driven server on the condition of proving hardware fault using Dell's own bootable diagnostics.

Also, it seems like "YMMV" definitely applies to Dell, generally. We find that their higher end desktops (mainly Optiplex), higher end laptops and PowerEdge servers to be pretty solid and well-supported.

However, our support experience may be artificially "enhanced" compared to others because we buy off a large govt. contract. We do not talk to the same support group that most other posters have grumbled about. That said, our overall experience with Dell support has actually been as good or better than with many other vendors.

From time to time we're confronted with a 1st tier "non-help" desk operator (scripted responses, incapable of deviating from script or otherwise actually helping), but we find that it's not too difficult to escalate around those individuals and actually get help.

Greg Barniskis, Computer Systems Integrator
South Central Library System (SCLS)
Library Interchange Network (LINK)
<gregb at>, (608) 266-6348
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