Ive had my imedia 6200 for 18 months. Ive had four engineers visits. The computer has been taken away since the 17/06/02. I have not had it back yet. PC Service call is a joke. I was really happy at first with the pc. I had the memory upgraded to 128.mb Here is the letter ive sent Dear Sir or Madam Coverplan reference XXXXXXX I wish to make a complaint, as you are breach in your contract with myself. The part of your service agreement I am disputing is and I quote from section 2 of your agreement "And if we can't repair it we will replace it! -If we can't repair your product, or if it takes longer then six weeks, we will replace it with an identical or similar product etc…………….." I have been having problems with my computer since April this year. The computer has been faulty since April and after four visits from engineers with parts the problem has not been properly rectified. Only during the last visit has the engineer has taken an interest and managed to locate the problem. He had no new parts due to a computer failure. During one of the visits one of the engineers negligently broke one of the front USB sockets on my computer whilst opening it. After visit number four it was arranged that the computer should be uplifted was collected on the 17th June 2002. I have been told on the phone that there is a problem with the motherboard and that the motherboard for my pc that is just over 1.5 years old is not available no more which I find is a joke for a computer that I consider not to be that old although computer technology is vastly changing. No one from your repairers PC Service Call will write my computer off yet the problems has been happening since April, which is over 6 weeks. I have been told that the first visit does not count although I consider that the problem started then as the engineer wasn't really interested in looking at my machine
although that I was advised by customer services that someone still should look at the machine. In April this year the computer went off for no reason and would not boot or start upAfter leaving it off for a few hours the pc loaded in 16-colour mode. And would not reboot. So I rang up explained the problem. They did there and said an engineer would come out with some parts. I then reformatted the drive and all seemed to be ok. I then rang and said it seems to be ok. I was then advised that it would be ok for engineer to come out. I have had four visits and the machine was taken away on Monday. I wish to inform you of the history of the visits that I have had since April. Visit 1 I explained the problem told him what I did and explained that I had reformatted and all was ok. I told them that I was advised that the machine should be looked at. The engineer was not really interested in looking at the machine. Same problem happens again. Visit 2 Engineer fits new CPU. No new heatsink or fan was fitted. I am told that the problem could be over heating. Same problems happen again Visit 3 New CPU and Heat Sink and Fan fitted and the engineer negligently broke one of my USB Sockets at the front of the machine whilst he is opening it up. I am then told that the USB sockets are not in stock same problem happens again. Visit 4 Another engineer comes out explains he has no parts due to systems going down. But I explain to engineer what the problem. He then looks at the pc and it goes wrong. He plays with it and goes into 16-colour mode. He then makes a call saying it's the motherboard and/or graphics card. He then arranges for pc to be uplifted on Monday. I was told that it would be the best thing to take the pc back to their workshop. After making phone calls no one will write machine off and I am told about the motherboard yet again. I am demandi
ng that replace my computer or give me a refund for the base unit and your coverplan. I have been advised by Northamptonshire Trading standards to write this letter and to consider taking legal action. I am giving you a week to either offer me a refund or to replace my computer otherwise I will have no choice but to take you to the small claims court for breach of contract. Yours faithfully
In spite of the bad reports on DooYoo about Packard Bell computers my research told me that since those opinions were made things have improved a great deal. I did all of the things in my ‘Why Build When You Can Buy’ opinion and ended up with a Packard Bell imedia 6200 system. So what did I get for my £900? In short an excellent package, which does what it is supposed to and does it well. At the moment it is me who is the weakest link as I find my way around, but the manual is written to be understood by mortals. With over a month of ownership behind me I haven't explored all the possibilities yet but I am impressed with the thoroughness of the package. Help is a click of the mouse away and it all runs in True Colour at up to 1280x1024 screen resolution without any loss in performance. Not wanting to overwork my CPU I’m using 1024x768 at True Colour. My machine has an 850MHz Athlon CPU. The Florida motherboard sports 64MB of RAM with extra slots for more. The 32 bit Graphics Card has got 16MB of RAM also with slots for more and a TV output. The 20GB hard drive runs at 4,400 rpm and was pre-loaded with everything that I need to do what I want to do. The sound card is a 64 Voices Stereo Sound device. Finally the tower contains a CD ROM re-writer and DVD as well as a high density disk drive. I also got a 17" Packard Bell high resolution fast refresh rate monitor complete with speakers that clip onto each side, for £199 but that's another opinion. Of course I got a printer but that too is another opinion. Connecting everything up is straightforward and there really isn’t any room for error. Windows ME runs the whole shebang, which to me is a minor miracle. Although the hard drive has a capacity of 20GB only 17.6 GB is available for use as the other 2.4GB contains the back up software, which is used, when you go through the ‘System Restore’ pr
ocedure. There are two ways of doing a ‘System Restore’. Restore the hard drive to the state that it was in when it left the factory but before trying this you first have to produce 3 CD’s and a Master Recovery Disk. It is all done with the greatest of ease and you are guided through the procedure. This has the added bonus of testing your CD write capabilities in a very useful way. Having produced the CD’s you will find that some 1.37GB of hard drive space has been freed up and is now labelled Local Disk ‘D’. The main part of the hard drive is labelled Local Disk ‘C’. Local Disk ‘D’ can become very useful space when in the future you decided to do a factory restore. You can dump data from the main part of the hard drive into Local Disk ‘D’ for safe keeping whilst you restore the computer to its factory condition because the Local Disk ‘D’ is not affected by a factory restore procedure whereas Local Disk ‘C’ is trashed. Things like your Address Book, Favourites list and your documents etc. In fact you can dump anything you like in there for safe keeping during a factory restore. Or you can use it as another hard drive. Readers with a mathematical bent will have realised that there is still just over 1GB unaccounted for. This part is untouchable by normal means as it is the hard disk back up which is used for the second method of doing a ‘System Restore’. When you first switch on, the machine boots up in High Colour at a screen resolution of 800x600 and a Wizard appears to guide you through a very simple setting up procedure. Upon completion a ‘System Restore Point’ is created and using this point the system can restore your computer and all the settings to what they were up to and at that point, at your command. You can of course set your own ‘System Restore Points’ at any time so bearing this in mind
I set about making my new machine as recoverable as was practical. Having let the Wizard do his stuff at the beginning, after closing the computer down, I connected the printer to its port at the back of the tower and my Kodak DC240 digital camera to one of the two front USB ports and booted up again. During the boot up procedure the system found the two new pieces of hardware and loaded the appropriate software for them. I then adjusted the screen resolution to one of my choice and using the supplied CD ROM that came with the printer, installed the printer driver. Next I opened up Microsoft Word and inputted the 25-character key and my name to assign the programme to me and register it. On the desktop there was an icon to click on to set up your machine for the Internet once the internal modem was connected to your phone socket. Having already got an account with Freeserve, which was unmetered during evenings and weekends only, I had to wait until 6 o’clock before running this Wizard because it would dial the special unmetered number and that wasn’t active until 6.00pm. But the Wizard did its stuff and set up Explorer and Express with very little input from me. You could do it all manually but you had to have all your account details to hand. Once the Internet Wizard has done its stuff and got your software sorted out for the Internet, the icon disappears from the desktop. Once connected I ran Norton and sat back a while whilst it got itself updated and upon completion went through the process of making a set of ‘Emergency Boot Disks’. It was a good time to command the kettle to produce a brew. In the bottom right hand corner of the screen there is a tiny yellow speaker icon. Double click this and you get a GUI for controlling the sound on your computer. For some strange reason the Line Input section has the ‘mute’ ticked which means that any sound coming from your hi fi etc.
will not be heard, if a lead is connected between them that is. If you intend to sample sounds from your hi fi, records etc. then untick this. I did a few other minor adjustments and once satisfied that the machine was in a minimum basic condition I set up my own ‘System Restore Point’. After that I started to install the software of my choice and after installing some and being satisfied that all was well I created another ‘System Restore Point’. One final touch is that the My Documents folder on the desktop is a safe haven from the second type of ‘System Restore’. Whatever is in My Documents is not touched by it so you don't lose your data if it's in there. Could be very useful for temporary storage of all your downloads whilst you go and do a ‘System Restore’. Of course you could still use Local Disk ‘D’. It is difficult to know where the OS finishes and the other software starts as it is all totally integrated but I can write, print, draw, sample sounds, watch a DVD, listen to an audio CD, make audio and data CD's as well as copy them. I've got Norton virus protection and of course Internet connection via Explorer and Express. I can even do voice e-mail as the headset/mike is supplied. Well I could if I knew how. I’m er! working on that. The CD re-write works perfectly as does the DVD part. Alien on DVD runs as smooth as a baby's ....... and I can output it to my home TV. If you get a new system running Windows ME and with a CD writer, make your back-up CD's as soon as possible and also get Norton to make the emergency boot disk. If in your opening fiddling around with the system you make an almighty error you can always put things back as they were. Saves having to make those expensive phone calls to the technical staff. This computer is just about idiot proof. I have one criticism though. I’ve still got to make m
e a brew.