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Old 05-25-08, 10:18 PM   #1
mazpr
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Broken Seal because FireDog on Brand New Notebook...!?

I was checking different notebooks this weekend at Circuit City. The one I did like was "upgraded" with Fire Dog and so they wanted an extra $40.00 on the purchase. I ask about the broken tampered factory seal and he states all notebooks or most of them have the upgrade.

Could this be a way to re-sale returned notebooks and the cover up is the upgraded Fire Dog service.

They state the upgrade is composed of removing unwanted software and optimized settings for a faster computer.

How can they know what I want to delete?

What a coincidence, all the notebooks left for the one I wanted had the green sticker with the broken seal. I decided to find a computer that didn't had the green sticker at a reasonable price. All of a sudden the seller said it was ok and was going to waive the 40 bucks as he did not want me to buy a computer I really did not want. How generous of his part...


Has anyone had similar experience with Circuit City and the extended CC warranty?
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Old 05-25-08, 10:32 PM   #2
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Nope.

I had a bad experience with Jerkit City and haven't bought anything from them since.
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Old 05-26-08, 12:39 AM   #3
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Broken seal == who knows what was put on the computer. Even though I wipe the machine completely, I do image off the original partitions, and when I do, I want the original factory stuff, not some crap a junior tech wannabe slopped on there to generate more revenue.

I just don't like unknown, unsigned software on a notebook. At least with a sealed notebook, should the OS load be infected with something, it can be reported to the factory. With their crapware being installed, you have zero assurances, unless you completely wipe everything and install your own copy of the OS from your own media.

I know Best Buy will offer to "optimize" a laptop, but at least they won't explicitly break factory seals.
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Old 05-26-08, 01:20 AM   #4
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http://www.powernotebooks.com/

I parted together a custom laptop with these guys and they are great.
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Old 05-26-08, 01:57 AM   #5
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What are you people talking about? None of this makes any sense to me. What do any "seals" have to do with installing or uninstalling software?
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Old 05-26-08, 01:59 AM   #6
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If I got a product with a broken factory seal, I'd be asking them to at least halve the price... It's like they took the depreciation for you. Seems very fishy to me.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:42 AM   #7
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For me, what I buy a laptop for vary so much. This time around, all I needed was something that could do word processing and Minitab for statistics. Laptop before that, I went for a "gaming" laptop, which worked decently for 2-3 years until the fan bearings (it had five fans in the thing) started wearing out and it started to sound like a jet engine taking off, where it was completely unusable.

It doesn't seem like it, but laptop technology changes a lot within 1-2 years, either for the better or worse. For example, most laptops sold today have at least decent wireless, and use a dedicated laptop CPU as opposed to a couple years back when laptops were using desktop CPUs and a lot of engineering to keep those things cool. There are also irritating trends. For example, the shift to wide screens (which suck for anything but movie watching) and shiny displays instead of matte ones because laptop makers can use less powerful backlights.

My next laptop, I probably want something that can be used for gaming, but my main requirement will be a TPM/security chip for my next one, just due to how prevalent laptop theft is these days.

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Old 05-26-08, 03:41 AM   #8
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FireDog == ****

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Old 05-26-08, 09:37 AM   #9
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I need to buy a laptop as my Sony Vaio with the Pentium 4 and 40 gigs is just crumbling on me. When I bought the Sony was $1,500.00 4 years ago, compared to $600.00 now.

It just seems so fishy all the notebooks have this crappy Fire Dog crap. If I buy one I will demand a discount and must be on writing the seal was tampered before buying it as CC charges a restocking fee and demand like new returns.
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Old 05-26-08, 09:57 AM   #10
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Three or four years ago, we spent a boatload of money to buy a Compaq Presario R3000 series laptop at Office Depot. Cost at least $1500 back then. It had 512MB of ram, which sounded almost huge then, Pentium III, widescreen, huge hard drive, the works. Well, it did well until the extended warranty ran out and then it developed a problem with the plug and the screen started delaminating. So, I said no more HP/Compaq products. It was really a desktop replacement system with at least two fans inside. I'm going to repair the plug *again* and wipe the hard drive and install Ubuntu or something similar.
I now have a MacBook, but wife wanted something else. We went out to places like Best Buy and Circuit City, and the selection just seemed lacking at best. It was kinda surprising and really disappointing. So, she ordered a Dell Inspiron off of the Dell website. Exactly what she wanted at a decent price.
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Old 05-26-08, 02:04 PM   #11
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I know about the DELL, I got an XPS 400, yes I know with all the canned softwares and junk. Its rocksolid, I think I am going to follow the samw route Will1974, Dell all the way.
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Old 05-26-08, 04:39 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mlts22 View Post
My next laptop, I probably want something that can be used for gaming, but my main requirement will be a TPM/security chip for my next one, just due to how prevalent laptop theft is these days.
If you're looking for the TPM for BitLocker in Vista, Fedora 9 (Linux) can do full disk encryption (like BitLocker) without it... It's a simple check box during the install.

I'm running Fedora 9 on my Dell 9400 laptop and it worked perfectly out of the box, including the wireless and all the hotkeys. (There were NO external drivers to install for any of it, unlike with Windows) And the full disk encryption is nice.

Linux is becoming more and more stable and easy to use all the time, and with OpenOffice you can do the vast majority of what anyone ever does in Office for no cost at all.

Oh, and my experience with Circuit City??? I called them to report that my hard drive was failing (It was making the clicking noises that anybody with computer repair experience will recognize instantly) and they kept me on the phone for an hour arguing with me that it was fine (The clicks were plenty loud for the tech to hear them over the phone if I held the phone up by the laptop)... then right before he was going to hang up the drive failed. Can you say 'I told you so?' It also had a bad battery that they were supposed to replace... they wouldn't ship me a new drive, nor would they let anyone repair it locally... had to wait for the shipping carton, ship it to them, and wait for it to be sent back.

Took 3 weeks and they didn't replace the battery... The extended warranty ran out the day after I got the laptop back so I'm stuck with the bad battery.

Never again.
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Old 05-26-08, 05:37 PM   #13
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circiut city may be out of business in the next month or so warranty claims may be an issue...buying a laptop with a broken factory seal sounds like the worst idea I've heard of this month
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Old 05-27-08, 01:14 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bmclaughlin807 View Post
If you're looking for the TPM for BitLocker in Vista, Fedora 9 (Linux) can do full disk encryption (like BitLocker) without it... It's a simple check box during the install.

I'm running Fedora 9 on my Dell 9400 laptop and it worked perfectly out of the box, including the wireless and all the hotkeys. (There were NO external drivers to install for any of it, unlike with Windows) And the full disk encryption is nice.

Linux is becoming more and more stable and easy to use all the time, and with OpenOffice you can do the vast majority of what anyone ever does in Office for no cost at all.

Oh, and my experience with Circuit City??? I called them to report that my hard drive was failing (It was making the clicking noises that anybody with computer repair experience will recognize instantly) and they kept me on the phone for an hour arguing with me that it was fine (The clicks were plenty loud for the tech to hear them over the phone if I held the phone up by the laptop)... then right before he was going to hang up the drive failed. Can you say 'I told you so?' It also had a bad battery that they were supposed to replace... they wouldn't ship me a new drive, nor would they let anyone repair it locally... had to wait for the shipping carton, ship it to them, and wait for it to be sent back.

Took 3 weeks and they didn't replace the battery... The extended warranty ran out the day after I got the laptop back so I'm stuck with the bad battery.

Never again.
That is ironic -- I have Fedora 9 running on the laptop under a child partition with Hyper-V. (Well... had, I moved the VM over to my new server, added "noreplace-paravirt vga=0x32d" to the kernel's command line so it would boot under VirtualPC and present a known good text console.)

The couple reasons I'm not using the hard disk encryption in Fedora 9 is because its running in a VM sitting on an encrypted drive, and that I use EncFS (doesn't ship by default with Fedora 9, but "yum install encfs" will grab and install it for you) to mount /home. I also (because I'm old fashioned, and have been doing Linux partitioning by hand since the days of SLS, Slackware, then RedHat), have static partitions, so the anaconda installer will skip the default LVM options for me. I seriously recommend that anyone who is using Fedora enable hard disk encryption, especially if its a laptop, but I've ranted about this before.

As for Circuit City, I have never really bought much there because their location is quite inconvenient to get to compared to Best Buy, and (RIP) CompUSA. Best Buy has been decent, although I have had good luck with machines I have purchased there, so have not had to test their service depot yet. If I have to, I definitely will be re-imaging the machines with the default factory stuff so I don't get any complaints about non-supported operating systems, even though its an obvious hardware problem like a crashed drive that is spewing prefail warnings in smartctl.

I second (third?) the OpenOffice recommendation. I use both Word 2007 and OOo, mainly Word because of its database of tracking references for those long research papers that require 50 to 100 references and exact MLA/APA formatting. For a product licensed at no cost, OpenOffice.org is definitely something worth installing.

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Old 05-27-08, 08:17 AM   #15
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I'm sorry to hear about your trouble with Circuit City. I actually work with them, and is some circumstances the extended warranties can be really helpful when the manufacturers warranty runs out or doesn't cover something. If you have any problems, I recommend emailing them at customer_affairs@circuitcity.com. They are really responsive and committed to helping their customers.
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