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NewEgg: Installing Linux Breaks Laptop 518

Posted by timothy
from the au-contrair-mon-frere dept.
Rick Zeman writes "According to the normally geek-friendly online store Newegg , installing Linux Mint is tantamount to breaking your new Lenovo laptop. Is it the purchaser's fault for not restoring the laptop to its original state of Windows-y goodness, or is NewEgg being too dogmatic trying to enforce a term that doesn't seem to exist?"
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NewEgg: Installing Linux Breaks Laptop

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  • by Microlith (54737) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:28PM (#40296999)

    Virtually no vendors these days include a restore CD. Instead they include a junkware riddled "restore partition." Microsoft stopped letting them include clean OEM install CDs years ago.

  • I had issues too (Score:5, Informative)

    by SoupGuru (723634) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:30PM (#40297041)

    I bought a refurb laptop from Newegg a couple of months ago and received it with an obvious screen defect. The CSR was very nice and helpful and got me an RMA and a UPS label and all that lickety split, no hassle. I sent it in and got an email update a few days later that there was nothing wrong and they were sending it back. So I called in again and this CSR was very helpful too and got me the refund with very little hassle again.

    I don't know what's going on in their laptop repair department.... a manager that doesn't care?

    Any time I've had to interact with a Newegg CSR, this time and others, things have been splendid and I've never had an issue getting a problem resolved.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:30PM (#40297047)

    If you read the article, you'd know that this was a GIRL Linux user! Not a "guy"

  • by Venotar (233363) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:31PM (#40297049) Homepage
    Really, glitchy drivers? Way to RTFA: "On the third day of use a loud coil squeal/chirp became apparent, becoming louder when it was running on battery power. Within hours the wireless chipset failed and refused to connect, the display began glitching with horizontal lines appearing through it, and it became unresponsive. I tested it with a Windows live USB thumb drive"
  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:32PM (#40297059) Journal

    If I understand correctly, the Magnum Moss Warranty Act [cornell.edu] prohibits vendors from tying warranty coverage to branded components unless they can demonstrate that the failure was due to the third party component.

    No warrantor of a consumer product may condition his written or implied warranty of such product on the consumerâ(TM)s using, in connection with such product, any article or service (other than article or service provided without charge under the terms of the warranty) which is identified by brand, trade, or corporate name; except that the prohibition of this subsection may be waived by the Commission ifâ"
    (1) the warrantor satisfies the Commission that the warranted product will function properly only if the article or service so identified is used in connection with the warranted product, and
    (2) the Commission finds that such a waiver is in the public interest.
    The Commission shall identify in the Federal Register, and permit public comment on, all applications for waiver of the prohibition of this subsection, and shall publish in the Federal Register its disposition of any such application, including the reasons therefor.

  • Re:Thank you. (Score:5, Informative)

    by spicate (667270) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:34PM (#40297095)
    Out of their millions of customers, one had a bad experience. You could find the same with any company. I've returned numerous products to NewEgg without a problem, and they typically have excellent prices and top-quality service. This may be a sign of things to come, but it's a little bit of an overreaction to write them off so quickly.
  • by danomac (1032160) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:36PM (#40297131)

    Yes, some drivers can cause issues. My laptop came with Vista, which I despise, and so I installed linux on it. Everything mostly worked properly with the exception of the hard-wired lan port and the occasional hang. During my own troubleshooting, I discovered one problem would happen in both OSs and one would not. It turns out a linux driver was causing issues with the temperature probe or something similar and was overheating. So I can understand why manufacturers void the warranty when software can cause the machine to overheat and do nasty things. The LAN port was actually defective. I fixed the temperature issue by getting a bleeding edge copy of lm_sensors.

    In my case, I tarballed my linux install to an external HDD and restored an image I took before I installed linux and sent it back for servicing (which was repaired and sent back to me.)

    In the article it says the BIOS tests confirmed an error. Who knows if it was a rogue driver that caused it?

  • by Hatta (162192) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @12:38PM (#40297151) Journal

    Whenever I buy something, it seems like there's no way to get it without Windows. This means that I am paying for something I don't want.

    The Windows EULA requires the vendor to refund the cost of the license if you decline the agreement.

  • by TeddyR (4176) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:08PM (#40297703) Homepage Journal

    Old news. This has been Neweggs policy for a while now...

    http://lxer.com/module/newswire/view/97248/index.html [lxer.com]

    http://parrot-farm.net/Newegg/Newegg.com%20Horror%20Story.html [parrot-farm.net]

    I stopped buying computers from them in 2007 as well. (still get the occasinal HD or videocard)...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:08PM (#40297705)
    As far as I know:

    1) Microsoft isn't preventing shit. OEMs are doing it because it saves them $0.20 per computer, not having to press the fucking DVD.
    2) OEMs then let you burn your own 'restore DVD' (at your expense, natch), despite burned DVDs being more expensive and less reliable than a pressed disk, in case of a HD failure
  • by erroneus (253617) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:19PM (#40297891) Homepage

    I think the appearance of this story on Slashdot will raise enough of a stink within NewEgg to make them reconsider their position on this and similar issues. Their RMA techs need to be able to address HARDWARE issues when the issue is hardware. The OS is irrelevant. (mostly)

    But we all know the risk of using an "other than Windows OS." But for the past... oh, I don't know... 10 years or more it seems like? I have always made it my practice to buy a new hard drive for any computer I buy. I remove the original HDD, slip it into an anti-static bag, label it and store it. THEN I begin installing my new OS... usually Linux.

    This way, when/if I get an issue with hardware, I can pop the Windows drive back in and deal with the moronic tech support on the other end.

    You can fight the system all day long, but it will have to take a lot more influence than I can muster to make things change.

    I'm grateful that this story has made it to Slashdot. A lot of NewEgg customers will reconsider certain types of purchases from them or at least whether or not to buy it with a new HDD to drop into it.

    I can definitely see things from NewEgg's perspective. They need to use cheap techs. Cheap techs aren't great techs. Also, they need to be able to process things in a timely manner. And if they don't happen to understand what they are looking at, it causes delay. Delay costs money. There could be more to it than that but I don't think Microsoft has played any role in this one.

  • by cayenne8 (626475) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:38PM (#40298173) Homepage Journal

    Not sure about the current stuff, but I remember way back in the early days of Linux, if you set up your X config incorrectly you could actually fry video cards by feeding them values they couldn't happen.

    Actually, it wasn't so much the video cards, it was the actual CRT monitor you could 'smoke'.....

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @01:55PM (#40298439)

    ... so why would they accept it back if the recovery partition had been trashed?

    maybe because a HD is designed to be user-writable space, so you can't invalidate the warranty when the computer is used as designed... My car analogy would be if a car warranty was declared void because the dealer didn't like the station presets on the radio.

  • by nabsltd (1313397) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:18PM (#40298725)

    How do you expect the CPU throttling or fan speed be controlled with, magic?

    Modern Intel and AMD CPU throttling is done via hardware on the chip itself. If you remove the heatsink and boot to the BIOS screen, you'll see that the CPU has throttled itself, with no involvement from any OS.

    CPU "drivers" just pass on the throttling state from the CPU to the OS, so the OS knows what is happening. The OS can't un-throttle the CPU.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @02:25PM (#40298827)

    No it doesn't. At least not the way you're implying. They don't have to refund just the Windows license and allow you to keep the computer with no Windows license.

    Windows 7 EULA:
    "By using the software, you accept these terms. If you do not accept them, do not use the software. Instead, contact the manufacturer or installer to determine its return policy. You must comply with that policy, which might limit your rights or require you to return the entire system on which the software is installed."

  • Newegg is cracked (Score:4, Informative)

    by RoboRay (735839) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @03:33PM (#40299749)

    Newegg is not the company it once was.

    I used Newegg for virtually every parts purchase for nine years (and I make or "guide" a lot of purchases, amounting to many thousands of dollars over that period), in part because they were among the first willing to ship internet orders to FPO/APO addresses of military personnel located overseas. I kept using Newegg at home, even when they weren't the cheapest, because of that courtesy when others (like Tiger) simply refused. Newegg also had excellent customer service on those rare occasions when I needed to return an item.

    Last year, when upgrading a system, Newegg sent me a defective DDR3 stick. The twin-pack was, I think $23. I swapped the stick to another machine to verify that it was indeed defective. I submitted an RMA request to Newegg, and was shocked when I was told there would be a $2 restocking fee on the return.

    Restocking fees are to cover the cost of inventorying and repackaging an item for resale. You can't resell a confirmed-defective item. There is no such thing as a valid restocking fee on a defective-item return. I went back and forth with Newegg for a couple of weeks on this, and they insisted that I would be charged a restocking fee for returning a defective item. I sent in the RMA, and they did indeed charge me for it.

    I hope Newegg found that $2 worthwhile. It's the last they have gotten or ever will get from me or the many friends/family/colleagues that come to me for advice. I do find their website makes a great front-end for finding what I want to buy from Amazon or elsewhere, though.

  • by Dogtanian (588974) on Tuesday June 12, 2012 @04:32PM (#40300477) Homepage

    Modern Intel and AMD CPU throttling is done via hardware on the chip itself. If you remove the heatsink and boot to the BIOS screen, you'll see that the CPU has throttled itself, with no involvement from any OS.

    AMD will burn! See the Tom's Hardware video.

    Very interesting... except that the video is originally from 2001, so I doubt that it has a lot to say about "modern Intel and AMD CPUs" unless you count hardware that came out between the dotcom crash and 9/11 as "modern". :-)

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