NEW GATEWAY Computer crashed again. Gateway says it's not their fault.???

Posted on 2006-04-17
Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I purchased a brand new desktop computer from Gateway about 2 months ago and have had nothing but problems with Gateway. The first desktop that arrived was running very slow (about half the speed of my "old" computer that I was upgrading from. Gateway had to replace the entire system. The 2nd computer that arrived wouldn't recognize the monitor due to a faulty graphics card (according to Gateway). That was also replaced.

Now my 3rd "new" computer from Gateway has crashed and will not boot up in windows. Tech support says the only way to get this computer back to working condition is to completely re-install the OS. The only problem is that doing this will completely erase all my personal data and files (Which is NOT acceptable). Gateway is claiming that this problem was a software issue and nothing wrong with their computer itself and therefore they will not do anything other than help me re-install the OS.

I have taken this computer to local repair shop and waiting to hear what they have to say in regards to what can be done to fix this.

Depending on what the repair shop says, what would be a problem that is not Gateway's fault? And what would be a problem that would show it was in fact something wrong with Gateway?

Software issue would be something that is not Gateway's fault according to them? I assume this is true. What would be a problem that would in fact be a result of Gateway's faulty computer, mechanical error, hard drive failure, etc...

What could cause a computer to crash and not boot up in windows that would be a result of a defective manufactured computer?

Thanks in advance...
Question by:ffrllc
    LVL 69

    Expert Comment

    You can always try a repair install to copy system dlls, and it will keep your programs and data:



    If this fixes it, then it is not Gateway's fault, since all the hardware works and it may have been caused by a virus or spyware.
    LVL 95

    Expert Comment

    by:Lee W, MVP
    The problem is you took the machine to a repair place so right now, we can't tell you with any degree of certainty if the problem is due to hardware or not.

    Knowing exactly what the computer says when it "crashes" could more clearly define what the problem is.

    It's not always possible to know what causes each and every crash, but Windows is purely software - software from Microsoft that has NOT undergone the same rigerous testing that the chips in the computer undergo.  It is far more susceptible to problems from other software, including spyware and viruses, than hardware is and as such can far more easily crash without it being any fault of the hardware.

    If it were hardware you could experience a variety of problems.  You COULD have a Windows blue screen (STOP Error), your computer could just freeze entirely (no mouse movement).  Defective Hard drive, RAM or motherboard could cause hardware related crashes of this nature.

    One of the best ways to determine if it's a hardware issue or not is to boot another OS.  For example, get yourself a copy of Knoppix or another Linux Live CD and boot to that.  Run that for a few hours.  If it runs fine, then there is VERY LIKELY nothing wrong with the computer (although it doesn't eliminate the possibility it's hard drive related).

    Windows failing to boot is USUALLY more likely due to bad drivers (hardware related, but not the fault of hardware per se) than bad hardware.

    As for your data, you can use a variety of tools to get access to your data and copy it off, including BartPE, Knoppix (or another Live Linux CD), and putting the drive in another computer.
    LVL 23

    Expert Comment

    hi there

    let me explain to you actually when ever a computer is continously crashing or any such thing, the vendors usually try to replace the computer within the first 21 days without fail. then they will try to check if all the hardware is working fine.

    The gateway technician might have tried to run all the hardware tests to check if the hardware is working fine.

    if the all the hardware tests pass and still the issue persisists then they have to try reinstalling the OS if that too fails then they will send u replacement.

    so dont worry they will for sure replace ur computer or else u can claim a refund if they dont pay u a refund u can go to the consumer court which will take them to task.

    so keep cool and dont let the local technician create problems for you.

    i had been working as a dell technician and i know how the replacement system works.

    so try to take backup of ur data by connecting your hard disk to another computer and then go ahead and do the reinstall



    Author Comment

    The problem is I can't get to my data and the local repair shop can't either. They said my Hard Drive is too corrupt for them to receoiver the data. They suggested I contact a higher level of professional that can recreate the data. This will be very costly, somewhere in the $1,000+ range.

    My main concern is trying to find out who is at fault. If it was not the fault of Gateway, I guess there's nothing for me to do, but if it is in fact a problem with gateway and the computer they sent me, I want them to somehow correct things or AT LEAST offer me a full refund.

    Because this is my 3rd computer replaced from them, I am now passed to return period for this system and they will not offer me a return. SO, I need to determine who is at fault before looking into options...contacting the Better Business Bureau, etc...

    What type of problems could cause Windows to crash and not even be able to boot up in Windows that would be gateway’s fault?

    What type of problems could cause Windows to crash and not even be able to boot up in Windows that would NOT be gateway’s fault?

    THANKS !!!
    LVL 1

    Expert Comment

    I've had problems like this with Gateway before... ordered 6 machines from them, and 4 of them were messed up from the start. There was moisture in the hard drive.

    Best bet, never order a gateway again. I know this doesn't solve your problem, but at least you know you aren't the only one that's had issues from this company.
    LVL 31

    Expert Comment

    A problem that is caused by Gateway.... that would be if hardware in the machine stops working prematurely (before warranty expires), assuming you haven't done anything untoward.

    A problem that would NOT be related to Gateway is anything related to the software, I suspect, unless they specifically say the warranty includes software. As for windows breaking down, this is not too uncommon, actually, and it is more or less expected to happen nowadays, what with viruses and spyware and such. HOWEVER, if the hard drive has gone bad in such a way as to lose some or all of your files, it might be a hardware error that caused the software to crash to begin with. This doesn't help you, as hd warranties very likely don't include the data on them, but you might get a replacement hd....

    I don't think there's a possibility to get Gateway to pay for data recovery unless you can successfully take them to court over this.

    Making backups is good practice from day one. Hard drives have MTBF of hundreds of thousands of hours, but that doesn't tell you how safe your data is, it just gives you a hint about how probable it is that your data is going to be messed up tomorrow.
    LVL 1

    Accepted Solution

    Problems that would cause your computer to crash that are NOTGateways Fault:

    1. Virus/Malware
    2. Power faliure while the PC is on could corrupt a windows file.
    3. Deleting a system file
    4. Updating drivers that are not compatible with your hardware.
    5. Installing corrupt or conflicting software.

    Problems that could cause your PC to crash that could be related to Gateway

    1. Bad Memory Sticks
    2. Bad Sectores on your hard drive
    3. faulty motherboard
    4. bad power unit
    5. corrupt installation of windows due to bad memory or bad CD drive
    6. faulty graphics card.
    7. faulty sound card
    8. faulty logical drives.

    Also I have never heard of a hard drive being too corrupt to not recover data on a hard drive that a first level tech could not do.  Only when there is physical damage to the drive or electronic faliure to the drive that would it be necesary to call in a data recovery specialist.  Any competant repair shop should have software the recovers corrupt, deleted or even erased partion data. (over programs like that should not be attempted if physical damage is suspected.

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