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Please help!! no Post or Boot. Crappy PC Service Center story

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July 22, 2007 4:38:34 AM

My computer worked for a month. everything was fine. I needed to tweak it to make it run faster but at least it all worked. Then crap hit the fan. My computer would not boot or post. I turn it on and the power and reset light flicker then go out. The dvd burner light blinks for a few seconds then it also goes out. The fans stay on and nothing else happens. No signal to the monitor

I brought my computer in to [retail store] for diagnosis. They said it would take 2-3 days and cost $75. After 3 days with no phone call I went in to the store and they explained that it would take 2-3 days to get it off the shelf and 2-3 more days to diagnose the problem. 5 more days later they said my 600W power supply did not provide enough power for my computer due to my 8800GTS, core 2 duo and 2x1 GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 1066. They had me buy the new 650W $175 Antec power supply that they already put in. I brought my computer home and it posted then tried to boot from the hard drive and said

"This processor does not support 64-bit windows. Please install a 32-bit operating system or change to a 64-bit compatible processor." :non:  That's right, they switched my Core 2 Duo E6600 with a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz processor before they gave it back to me. :non:  I went back and made them put a core 2 duo E6600 back in. It was not mine that I bought and had a warranty on, but probably somebody else's.

After they replaced it they plugged it in at the store and turned it on. It made it to the boot screen right away and froze. I didn't think anything of it at the time since they reset it quickly and I was ready to get my computer back after 8 days at the store and 2 weeks of it not working. They restarted it and It went all the way to windows this time. They unplugged it and I took it home.

I plugged it in and nothing worked, just like before I spent $275 to fix it. No boot no post and definately no OS loading. I have tried 2 different monitors with 2 different DVI cables. 2 different power cords and now 2 different power supplies at 2 different electrical outlets with 2 different surge protectors.

I plan to head back to [retail store] tomorrow since they are now closed and give them a piece of my mind.


Can anybody please help me with this issue? I just want my computer to work. I have not played any decent games in weeks and my hands are starting to shake from withdrawal.
July 22, 2007 5:20:54 AM

secondsystem said:
My computer worked for a month. everything was fine. I needed to tweak it to make it run faster but at least it all worked. Then crap hit the fan. My computer would not boot or post. I turn it on and the power and reset light flicker then go out. The dvd burner light blinks for a few seconds then it also goes out. The fans stay on and nothing else happens. No signal to the monitor

I brought my computer in to [retail store] for diagnosis. They said it would take 2-3 days and cost $75. After 3 days with no phone call I went in to the store and they explained that it would take 2-3 days to get it off the shelf and 2-3 more days to diagnose the problem. 5 more days later they said my 600W power supply did not provide enough power for my computer due to my 8800GTS, core 2 duo and 2x1 GB Corsair XMS2 DDR2 1066. They had me buy the new 650W $175 Antec power supply that they already put in. I brought my computer home and it posted then tried to boot from the hard drive and said

"This processor does not support 64-bit windows. Please install a 32-bit operating system or change to a 64-bit compatible processor." :non:  That's right, they switched my Core 2 Duo E6600 with a Pentium 4 3.0Ghz processor before they gave it back to me. :non:  I went back and made them put a core 2 duo E6600 back in. It was not mine that I bought and had a warranty on, but probably somebody else's.

After they replaced it they plugged it in at the store and turned it on. It made it to the boot screen right away and froze. I didn't think anything of it at the time since they reset it quickly and I was ready to get my computer back after 8 days at the store and 2 weeks of it not working. They restarted it and It went all the way to windows this time. They unplugged it and I took it home.

I plugged it in and nothing worked, just like before I spent $275 to fix it. No boot no post and definately no OS loading. I have tried 2 different monitors with 2 different DVI cables. 2 different power cords and now 2 different power supplies at 2 different electrical outlets with 2 different surge protectors.

I plan to head back to [retail store] tomorrow since they are now closed and give them a piece of my mind.


Can anybody please help me with this issue? I just want my computer to work. I have not played any decent games in weeks and my hands are starting to shake from withdrawal.


I imagine they were pretty surprised at the service center when you brought your system back and said, "when I took it home I noticed the system had a 3.0 Pentium 4...put my C2D E6600 back in!" What is more surprising they did? Did they say, "I'm sorry...it was all a big inventory mistake?" Make a complaint to the Attorney General's office. You can also file a complaint online with the BBB.

http://bbb.com/


July 22, 2007 7:00:06 AM

Wow, seriously, what kind of service is that? I would file a complaint with the DA regarding fradulent business practices and have their license revoked! I mean, come on! How pathetic is that for a company??? Don't bother with the BBB as they can't do much - I would definitely give that company my "piece of mind."

In regards to your system, there's a good chance they f***** up your computer more by whatever they did. Heck, they could've installed a faulty MB too... If possible, buy a cheap (but NEW) HDD and reinstall Windows from there. Then post what problems you have.

Possible failures: MB, as I have multiple MB failures that resulted in similar symptoms. You can try referring to your MB manual by taking out your GPU and then your CPU and seeing what beep errors (hopefully) result.

BTW, if you have a Kill A Watt meter, please check your actual wattage use to see if that PC center was actually telling the truth for once or just pulling your leg for more cash... And what was your original PSU in the first place, as it may have just been a lack of amps on the 12V line(s)?
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July 22, 2007 8:47:49 PM

Thanks for the comments. I am going back pretty soon today to see how they handle the situation before I report them.

My old PSU was an ULTRA X Connect (Model No. ULt-VX600) The thing is that it worked fine (under heavy load) for a month before I had any problems... If it worked fine how is it not powerful enough. It has also been hooked up to a surge protector for the entire time.

If the motherboard is failing that would explain the fact that no output goes to the monitor with a new power supply. There is no mobo speaker or led. So unplugging one thing at a time would not get me very far.

It could also be the crappy new processor that was thrown in my system. Apparently they did thorough stress tests on my original processor and after it passed all of them it went missing. The new one they put in may not have had any tests performed on it. I have no way of knowing how old it is either. That would suck if it happened to be out of warranty from Intel.

I think I should have them fully test the new processor and if it passes buy another motherboard and test it and return the new power supply I bought or at least force them to take back my old power supply.
July 22, 2007 9:12:32 PM

Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I looked up the OP's PSU and his 12V rail had a 35A rating, which should be sufficient for an 8800GTS. @ OP, if you really want to give them hell, I would ask specifically what was wrong with the original PSU - if they say not enough wattage, then bull****. If they say not enough amps on the 12V, probably again: bull****. Now, if they say failing voltages....then maybe....

Anyhow, you should see if that cruddy shop has any onboard speakers - I picked up a couple from bestbyteinc.com for $.99, so they are pretty cheap.

You know, if you happen to know the original SN of your CPU, I would force the manager to give you your CPU back or pay for a new one as technically, what they did is stealing and is punishable by law.... If anything, definitely get that CPU tested (i.e. have them run Orthos on it for 12-24hrs and have them show you the results in real time)

BTW, what shop is this and where so I make sure I never even walk into their place?

Good luck.
July 23, 2007 1:54:18 AM

Well I brought back my computer today and a different tech looked at it. He was the one that put a core 2 duo back in my system. They tried to get the system to start and it would not. They asked me if I bought the processor at their store and I said no. I walked around the store for a while while they tried to fix it. When they came back they said the processor that they put in was definitely the original one I had. It was also defective. (Basically shielding themselves from any blaim of giving me a bad processor.) So in other words The power supply was not the problem It was the processor the whole time yet they did a full stress test on the processor and nothing showed up wrong. They also concluded the power supply was the issue before.

I got the serial # on the processor and I am trying to confirm through newegg that was in fact the processor I got from them. If they don't have the S/N I will try to see if intel can help me date the processor by it's serial number.

I did not have the box for the new power supply with me so I couldn't return it yet but I am returning it tomorrow.

I am going to try to put this processor in a friend's computer soon and confirm the problem. If the processor is defective I will try to use my manufacturer warranty through Intel.

I didn't want to name the store, but this all happened at Fry's Electronics in Austin, TX. They did say once I get a new processor from intel that they would take a look at my computer again. At this point I am not sure if I want them touching it ever again.
July 23, 2007 2:28:30 AM

Man I would be so pissed! Thats why I take my pc to a family friend who will fix it for next to nothing. Ill never take my pc to any other store, defiantly not a retail one. I still remember being at tiger direct and watching one of the technicians stick his screw driver in the ps/2(mouse) slot and turn... trying to get the side of the case off.
July 23, 2007 4:08:44 AM

You really have two problems now. The first one is a problem with the store which would have stolen a - most likely - perfectly good CPU, the second, of course, is that your machine still isn't working.

Taking each problem at a time, I suggest you do the following,

1. Ask the technician to explain how they determined that your - original - power supply was not working properly. Simply exchanging your power supply for another one is _not_ a valid test. There is equipment designed specifically to test power supplies - see the PC Power & Cooling web site - if they do not have similar equipment (at least an oscilloscope) then, their claim that your power supply is/was defective is at best a guess from an ignorant, self proclaimed "technician".

2. Ask them to explain to you how they determine(d) that the processor is defective. Again, simply replacing the processor is _not_ a valid test. They should have - at least - some software like PC Doctor to test the processor - preferably they would have some of the tools that intel uses to test and validate its processors (unlikely that intel would make such tools available to wannabe "tech centers" such as those found in retail stores.)

3. Ask them to explain to you the reason why they had you purchase a new power supply if they thought the problem was the processor (they obviously must have since they replaced it for "free"). Ask them why, once your realized they switched your processor, your old power supply is suddenly perfectly good. Ask them why you were not informed that your processor had been replaced and, since they didn't charge you for it, are they giving processors for free ? Ask them why, they would replace your processor with a significantly less powerful one ? (when a part is replaced - generally _after_ informing the customer - it is replaced with an equal or better part, not an inferior one)

Lastly, I suggest you get in touch with a lawyer - first consultation is usually free - to investigate how strong a case you would have if you decided to take this to court. This is not unreasonable on your part, nor are you being a troublemaker for doing this. These people stole from you (a processor _and_ a power supply). A less savvy customer would have been bilked out of a dual core processor and, adding insult to injury, charged $175 for a power supply that was, most likely, not needed.

Whatever the outcome of the above step is, you should file a complaint with your D.A. If you don't, you will effectively let them get away with theft. It is very likely that the processor "mistake" they made with you has been made with other customer that didn't realize what happened.

I would inform the manager at Fry's about what happened and, inform him that I expect _all_ of my money back _and_, in addition to that, I want the processor that they claim is yours and defective, replaced with a _brand new_ boxed processor and, that you want to be there when the processor box is opened and the processor installed in your system. Anything less is not acceptable and will result in you taking advantage of all legal remedies available to you. They are the ones that have to _prove_ to you that they processor they put back in your machine is the one you had there originally, if they cannot do that (I don't see how), they owe you a brand new processor.

Though you have very good reason to be quite angry, make sure you stay cool and level headed. Don't raise your voice, simply inform them that unless they make a show of good faith and make things right, you will enforce your rights - as the lawyers say - "vigorously".

After that, take your machine someplace else, or have the folks here in the forum help you figure out what is wrong with it and fix it yourself. Don't give them another opportunity to give you additional "customer service".

Good luck.
July 23, 2007 4:33:26 AM

very sound advice. I second 440bx's suggestions on how to handle that. something needs to be done. props to you second system for not just blindly followind along with so-called technicians and checking things out for yourself.
July 23, 2007 6:14:46 AM

440bx definitely has the right idea here. Stay level headed but let them know that if they dont fix what they did you are going to let them have it.
July 23, 2007 6:14:56 AM

Didn't the techs say it was a bad PSU? Because now we know it wasn't and you have already paid the techs money for services not rendered. You shouln't have to pay them a dime, but after swapping your processer out for a P4 3.0GHz I wouldn't let them touch it again! "Sorry you had to go through that."
July 23, 2007 11:13:13 AM

that is amazing, that they would be so dishonest.

I think take a photo of your the insides of your pc before you send it in. Compare the after photo with the before photo. if they are different, find out why.

you could even use ultraviolet ink to mark your stuff, when they give it back to you, inspect it in front of them. if anything has been swapped, find out why. If they tell you they swapped out your psu, and the ultraviolet ink proves they havent, take them to court.

its sad that we have to resort to things like this. why should people do that? why? I dont understand what makes people do things like this.

even if they had a valid reason for swapping your cpu out (ie it was defective) not telling you is dishonest to the point of lying. when you found out, you should have demanded your old cpu back and a refund for all amounts spent at the store.

keep your head cool - exploding wont help - but dont back down. dont let them get away with it.
July 23, 2007 4:23:25 PM

Man this sucks, and I thought "lie threw their teeth" sales clerks were bad
sales: "you need this computer that way I get $50 more commission otherwise you won't get the full areo-glass feel"
customer: "but all I want to do surf the net and read email"

I would go directly to the hire ups, these employees could have be running this repair scam for months now, it's like paying a thief to rob your house.

-{a reconstruction of events}-
wow it the E6600, *yoink* I'll just swap it with my old processor, there problem solved, *hehe* only 'techs' know how to open these screws.
--

just like at the circus as a kid, you buy one of those cheaply-made light toys, and as soon as you get home they stop working as if they had a expiry date.
July 25, 2007 10:07:05 PM

I have already started the return process through Intel. You have to read them everything off the back of the processor and the factory heatsink over the phone. Then they send you an email telling what you are supposed to mail them and what they will mail you followed by some instructions. There must have been a mixup because my email had correctly listed my processor and the replacement processor but the instructions were for an Intel laptop not a processor. All the links linked to forms to fill out giving laptop product codes...

I sent them a polite email and I bet they will fix this right away. Just One more hurdle before sweet sweet games in 1680x1050. Thanks for all your support!
July 25, 2007 10:13:02 PM

PCKid777 said:
Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I looked up the OP's PSU and his 12V rail had a 35A rating, which should be sufficient for an 8800GTS. @ OP, if you really want to give them hell, I would ask specifically what was wrong with the original PSU - if they say not enough wattage, then bull****. If they say not enough amps on the 12V, probably again: bull****. Now, if they say failing voltages....then maybe....

Anyhow, you should see if that cruddy shop has any onboard speakers - I picked up a couple from bestbyteinc.com for $.99, so they are pretty cheap.

You know, if you happen to know the original SN of your CPU, I would force the manager to give you your CPU back or pay for a new one as technically, what they did is stealing and is punishable by law.... If anything, definitely get that CPU tested (i.e. have them run Orthos on it for 12-24hrs and have them show you the results in real time)

BTW, what shop is this and where so I make sure I never even walk into their place?

Good luck.


Yeah but it's an Ultra PSU, so it's not really a good sign of trust. Anyway I'm dying to know... Did they install the Antec NeoPower Blue 650?? or just an Antec TruePower Trio 650? I'd love to know how those new Antec NeoPower Blue are running now that they're out, they seem so kickass.
July 25, 2007 11:43:01 PM

It was an Antec TruePowerTrio 650W.
July 25, 2007 11:49:21 PM

Aw shoot.... well yeah you got a bad deal there, Antec TruePower III 650 are like $120 or so :/  The new Antec NeoPower Blue 650 is like $155 or $170.
August 12, 2007 7:33:34 PM

Your best bet in a situation like this is just to sue them in small claims court.

It usually costs less than $50 to file a claim, and they are likely to not even bother to show up. Meaning you win by default. If they do show up, they will have a pretty hard time explaining to a judge why they switched an expensive modern processor, for an old clunker, and their waffling between the power supply/processor was the problem wont help them.

I would sue for New Unopened parts, and a credit to have them installed by someone else.

Small claims is a pretty simple process, and your local courthouse should be able to help you with any filing.

Parts switching should be a capitol crime.
August 12, 2007 8:51:46 PM

A computer like that would not need the power supply that they gave you, and even the one you have has lots of room to spare. My friend has a very similar computer, only thing is he has an opteron 165 proc and 3 hard drives, all running off a 450 watt power supply, same one he's had them on for a few months with no hiccups (though he is gonna get a new one soon).
August 13, 2007 2:08:12 AM

watch out in court though. Since you are the one filing the suit, you are the one that has the burden of proof. You will need to have proof that they swapped out your processor. if you have reciepts of each time you took it to the store, that is the first step. If not, think carefully before you continue. Don't get me wrong, I think I would be a good Idea to sue them for new parts. They need to know that that kind of business practice will not be tolerated. Just be sure going in that you will win. Otherwise, you will be out the $50 in addition to all the time wasted at the shop already. Good Luck!
August 13, 2007 9:44:11 PM

My experience was as a nuube, to take my computer (homebuilt) to a local computer shop, not a retail store. By now I don't take my computers to anyone because I have learned to figure out problems for myself (or Google for answers on forums).
August 13, 2007 10:30:15 PM

I would advise you gather as much documentation as possible. Communicate though EMAIL about the processor swap then have them put as much in writing as possible (I.e. recept with the processor swap (back to the 6600).

Take this up with Fry's cooperate right away. Let them know you are prepared to take this up with the BBB or your attorney general.


If you do not, you risk being out some computer equipment, cash, and allowing them to continue to rip people off.

Good Luck.
August 13, 2007 10:33:51 PM

fferree said:
My experience was as a nuube, to take my computer (homebuilt) to a local computer shop, not a retail store. By now I don't take my computers to anyone because I have learned to figure out problems for myself (or Google for answers on forums).

I was building a system for some one and It was not working right and I took back to place where I got the parts from and they fixed it for free had to replace the cpu and mb.
August 13, 2007 10:39:03 PM

CompTIA_Rep said:
I would advise you gather as much documentation as possible. Communicate though EMAIL about the processor swap then have them put as much in writing as possible (I.e. recept with the processor swap (back to the 6600).

Take this up with Fry's cooperate right away. Let them know you are prepared to take this up with the BBB or your attorney general.


If you do not, you risk being out some computer equipment, cash, and allowing them to continue to rip people off.

Good Luck.


A friend bought a Toshiba C2D notebook from Fry's several months ago. She recommended her frend buy the same system from Fry's and he did. I saw her last week and she said "you'll never believe what happened". Her notebook would crash periodiocally so she took it to Fry's service center to let their techs 'troubleshoot' it. She went to pick it up and the tech said turn it on and check it out. She turned it on and said, "that's not my desktop?" "This computer has Windows XP on it, mine had Vista!" The tech said, "are you sure you had Vista on here?" She said, "I bought all my software and anti virus for Vista, of course I know what OS was on my own computer!" She cusssed them out and left. She has since loaded the Vista OS back on her system (the OS thatt it came with and the OS she gave it to Fry's with) and doesn't shop at Fry's any longer.
August 16, 2007 5:43:57 AM

Woah, makes me proud to make my own pc, and trouble shoot using Homebuilt section.
August 16, 2007 9:02:44 PM

Well I have never had a Fry's near me, but the same thing happens all over the place, not just in a big store like Fry's or Best Buy, but mom/pop shops.

Just remember, if you don't know what you are doing for sure, get as much documentation as possible in case something is a miss.
August 16, 2007 9:21:51 PM

A good friend worked at Fry's electronics employed as a service technician. He went out on his own last year. I think he was making near minimum wage at Fry's after 2 year employ. I've spent time at Fry's service center watching what they do there. Sheeeesh. It's been a while since I have used even online support for anything. Well, setting up my digital satellite Dish network on computer at three locations required some assistance. Other than that not much.
August 16, 2007 9:26:05 PM

I want to set up a wireless security cam 'network'. I want to watch my property from home. All four sides of the building and the parking lot. My next major project.
!