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Thread: Repair shops and their dodgy dealings.

  1. #1
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    Repair shops and their dodgy dealings.

    Hello all
    i recently had a major prob with my pc constantly rebooting. I took it to my local repair shop and just got it back today. The overall cost was 80.00 for repairs, even though they told me that they would look at it for free but saying as i need the pc for college work i had no other choice but to pay out for a repair, because i couldn't fix it.

    I was told that the the fan on my agp video card wasn't working so the shop replaced the card with some overpriced rubbish card which is no use for playing games

    I was also charged for a load of windows updates which i didn't ask for

    but heres the crunch, my processor is a p3 850, when i got the pc home today it was set at 233mhz so i changed it to 850mhz in the bios. Unfortunately, the pc just started to reboot over and over again after doing this So the pc will only run at a lower processor speed setting.

    Anyone got any ideas how to go about solving this problem?

    and how i would go about getting my money back from the shop grrr

    Thanks for any help or advice offered...

  2. #2
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    Hello veston pants,

    Welcome to Forums!

    Is this a proprietary build (e.g., Dell, HP)??

    Can you tell us what Motherboard you have in it??

    What setting exactly are you changing in the BIOS??
    Last edited by Whyzman; 03-02-2004 at 01:25 PM.
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  3. #3
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    Hi veston pants.....And WELCOME!

    How do you fix the problem????

    That's easy. You pick up your PC, go right back to that shop and tell them everything you just told us in this post.

    Then, you DEMAND some satisfaction. You paid good money to have it fixed...It should be fixed!

    (Sorry to yell, I hate stories like this)

    (Edit) Good Morning WYZMN! (Or afternoon, depending on when you are)
    ~ I had a life once...Now I have a computer and a modem ~

  4. #4
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    Hello jabar 'Tis afternoon here in Minnesoda! (snows a meltin')

    Good suggestion...bring the bugger back and since the repairs were not authorized...tell them to undo it!

    I would talk directly to whomever told you that a look-see was a freebie!
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  5. #5
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    Hello all...

    I will demand satisfaction...i've a good mind to simply ask for the pc to be returned to its original state and have a full refund of my moola..

    the m/b i'm using is an a-bit bx 133 raid...a little unusual as when i first got the board and put the pc together i had to hook up the hard drive in the usual way with the ide cable, but once windows was installed i had to swap the cable to another port designed specifically for the use of RAID in conjunction with the hard drive...

    In the BIOS i simply enter the correct speed for the processor which is 850mhz...the pc then just keeps on rebooting...

    I was informed by someone that it may be the processor overheating...that seems that like the most plausible reason simply because it runs fine when the processor is set at a lower speed...

    any help or advice would be appreciated..

    cheers..

  6. #6
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    In retrospect, getting that "free look at" in writing would have been good. I only mention this because it's happened to my family before, and boy did our parents teach us that lesson by demonstration!!

    It would have been easier to get all your money back and get PC satisfaction if done right away, but I can understand your willingness to just lay down the cash considering you need your PC. It's still quite possible to legally smash that so-called PC store for everything it's worth, tho!!

    Some initial legal things to consider - was there any sort of contract spelling out exactly what they would do and what they wouldn't? In addition, anything about what they are liable for? Did you get to keep your so-called broken AGP video card? The Windows updates are a big problem in my mind, and might get you some legal action right there. First off, home versions of Windows are a one-on-one license between you (the user) and Microsoft itself. I wouldn't think they are legally allowed to update Windows without your permission. Secondly, I don't know about you but I did a custom install of Windows, which among other things meant I didn't install Outlook Express. So, I don't install updates for Outlook Express. If any shop did this to my PC, I would nail them for everything they've got!!

    The thing about getting the PC back at 233MHz instead of 850MHz! That's a strange one, trying to figure out how they did that. Won't run at full speed? Judging from your initial problem, I'd say it was either heat or a crappy/inadequate PSU causing all that rebooting.

    At this point, my advice would be to contact a lawyer. I know it sounds like a lot of hassle, but if you've got a good case, even a relatively cheap & mediocre lawyer should pay for himself/herself!

  7. #7
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    LOL...a lawyer?...i think that would be goin slightly OTT...but my prob does hi-light the fact that theres so many repair firms that are willing to try to take people for a money ride if they believe the customer has no idea about what repairs need doing or what needs fixed or even what components were in the machine to begin with.
    Unfortunately there were no pre arranged agreements except the verbal one i was given that i wouldn't be charged for any repairs until they had worked out what the prob was, and notified me.
    Thanks for the info and advice...

  8. #8
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    All good advice above.....You definitely need to go back. If nothing else, to mention the "verbal agreement' you had.
    IE, why didn't they contact you before doing the so called "repairs"???

    And saphalline brings up several good points. I would certainly be very angry if someone installed updates to my computer without me knowing....I too am very picky about what gets installed.

    And yes.....Did they give you The AGP card back??? Be very interesting to see if the fan still works.....In any case, it BELONGS to you!

    They may have it up for sale in the shop next week.

    And yes, a Lawyer (or at least the threat of getting one), isn't as far fetched as it sounds.
    ~ I had a life once...Now I have a computer and a modem ~

  9. #9
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    thanks all...i intend to take it back and hopefully get some joy from them...as far as i can see the problem with the machine must be to over heating...if the processor was damaged it probably wouldn't work would it?...

    anyway thanks again...i'll pop back from time to time to see if anyone can shed some light on other possibilities as to why this reboot keeps happening...

    cheers all...

  10. #10
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    Good luck veston pants-

    Keep us posted.....There is a good group of people here that can more than likely talk you through this problem and get it fixed.

    The problem here, is that if you start messing around with it before you complain, they can simply say it was fine when it left the shop, and you messed it up again.....(they may say that anyway).
    Make sure you re-set it in Bios the way they had it before you return.

    But Please...(Pretty please?) I'm dying to know if they gave you the old Video Card back.

    Hang in there!
    ~ I had a life once...Now I have a computer and a modem ~

  11. #11
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    If you know anyone that knows computer hardware, check out your motherboard and processor before you take it back. It sounds to me like they may have done a switch on you and stuck you with a much slower CPU and probably an inferior motherboard. If so, this is a matter for the police...
    Budfred ..... Caveat Emptor....

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  12. #12
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    That's a scary (and possibly true) prospect.

    I REALLY hate this kind of stuff.

    I always think of some of the sting operations I've seen on TV where they'll pull into an Auto repair place with something simple like a vacuum hose removed, and end up being told there's a crack in the Engine Block- and it may need a new Transmission too.....Not to mention shocks and an exhaust system.
    ~ I had a life once...Now I have a computer and a modem ~

  13. #13
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    That prospect crossed my mind also Budfred, and I remember shaking my head and saying to myself..."Naw!"
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  14. #14
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    Hmmm..that was one of the first things that came to mind. I just didn't want to bring it up. I can't see any way you can make a 850mhz P3 read like a 233mhz Pentium.

    I can't think of any good reason why a computer shop would steal an 850mhz P3 and mobo, though. Chance your reputation for a hundred dollars of used parts??? Doesn't make sense.

  15. #15
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    Originally posted by veston pants
    the m/b i'm using is an a-bit bx 133 raid...a little unusual as when i first got the board and put the pc together i had to hook up the hard drive in the usual way with the ide cable, but once windows was installed i had to swap the cable to another port designed specifically for the use of RAID in conjunction with the hard drive...
    Not so unusual...I've an ASUS A7V133 with an onboard Promise Controller that I had to do the same thing with in order for it to be read and load Windows...

    I remember posting on the ASUS forums back then my solution and there were quite a few happy campers to know the "solution!" However, there must be an easy fix to get the Controller drivers loaded early on...even now, if I want to do a 'scanreg /restore' the drive cannot be read through the Promise Controller and I need to 'IDE the drive!'
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  16. #16
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    I was just doing a little checking and it appears the abit board in question supports PentiumIII/Celeron Socket based processors...

    They didn't even go down to 233mhz as far as I could determine. Could you even plug a 233 into this board??
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  17. #17
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    Could you even plug a 233 into this board??
    That was my point. The P3 was never issued at 233mhz. That's the Pentium (socket 7) chip. Socket 7 as opposed to 370 fc-pga. They would have to swap cpu and mobo. Doesn't seem likely.

  18. #18
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    Unless they busted the old board and decided the user probably wouldn't notice the difference if they stuck an old board they had lying around in there instead. Or unless they had the board out and didn't keep track so they installed the wrong board... or some other equally absurd, but possible, scenario.....
    Budfred ..... Caveat Emptor....

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  19. #19
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    The plot thickens...

    What priorities was the shop to deal with? A look-see for pro-bono, or a way to get you thru for the day, or week and/or semester?

    If the board was/is changed, it may have been for the latter. You need to take a 'look-see' of your own. Is it the same board?
    ____________________________________

    Now, on to compatability of wide - spectrum variances...

    P233's = K6 or K6-2 mobos: ZIF socket (oldie. socket 7 most likely)
    PII233's = Slot A's (BTW AMD = ZIF's ATT)
    PIII early versions = Slot A (BTW2 AMD = ZIF's ATT)
    PIII later versions = ZIF socket (newer) or Socket A for AMD at least... Uh, and Sock 376 or sumthin' fer if you all got time to P...

    Also
    PIII = doesn't go slow enough in listed processors speeds or voltage choices to list a 233mhz as you propose they did.
    What are the voltages available (on you original mobo) and what is the requirement of the processor that is loaded into the 'current' board.

    I'm startin to confuse myself, it would be better if I had the board 'on' hand, but maybe you with a hammer 'in' the other. As in, "nail'em" to the wall, if they were tryin to 'Take you for a ride'...

    Look at the board, the processor, oh yeah, your receipts too...
    There's no place like 127.0.0.1

  20. #20
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    Ok, the issue of the incorrect CPU speed bugged me, so I DL'ed your mobo's manual and here are my findings.

    You have the Abit BX133-RAID (just to reiterate) - 2 ATA/100 RAID IDE connectors (RAID 0, 1, 0+1), 2 ATA/33 IDE connectors, Socket370 for Celeron & PIII, 3 DIMM slots for up to 768MB SDRAM (256MB in each slot), and Abit's Soft Menu III (jumperless designs were new back then). The full specs are in the manual on Abit's site. You should also be able to readily tell if you still have this mobo (or one like it) by the huge name silk-screened on the bottom front of the mobo!

    In order to enable the jumperless config (ie adjust the CPU settings in BIOS), the DIP switch block must have all DIP switches set to OFF. Let us know if this is true.

    First of all, yes, it's possible to get a CPU to report at 233MHz on this mobo. Lowest supported multiplier is 2x, lowest supported FSB is 66MHz, do the math. Next up is my main concern - PIII's were multiplier locked! This means that your PIII 850 is locked at 8.5x, so the slowest speed it should run at on a 66MHz FSB is 566MHz. Celerons, however, were not multiplier locked back then. Hmmm... Now it's possible that the Soft Menu III could override the internal multiplier, but I'm not sure about that (the manual suggests no POST in this case but I've heard rumors to the contrary). So what now?

    Before you open it up again and mess around and possibly hurt your legal case, there's an easier way. According to your mobo's manual and my rusty memory, PIII's had a unique feature - spitting out their serial number to the BIOS. Not all mobo's take advantage of this, so thank your lucky stars that yours does! It's a BIOS setting in the "Advanced BIOS Features" menu, called "Processor Number Feature". Enable that and, if you still have a PIII, you should be able to write down the number that shows up next to the CPU ID during the POST routine. No number, no PIII. Yes number, post it here.

    I know you may not want to go thru the hassle of getting a lawyer and/or taking legal action, but I'm telling you right now that you have enough of a case to at least get your money back! Depending on what they charged you for (check the receipt), you could even get MS itself breathing down their necks! If you didn't get a receipt, you can do some serious damage right there! At least look into it - most lawyer places offer some kind of free consultation (at least here in the US).

  21. #21
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    Look up the telephone number of your local "Trading Standards" department, phone them, tell them your story and they will advise you of the best course of action.
    If the shop does not voluntarily put this right, you can take out a "Small Claims Action" in the local Sheriff Court [that's Scotland - I don't know about England] to "pursue" the shop for the cost of putting it right.
    Usually the threat of forcing them to stand up in court and "defend" the action is enough to make them do the absolute minimum. Getting more than the bare minimum would probably take legal knowledge and skill.
    Court costs are about 30 for small claims.
    If your pursue them for 200 or more, then expenses may be awarded to the winner, otherwise expenses are not awarded.
    You might pay another shop 125 [125 + 80 = 205] to fix the problem and then "pursue" the "defender" for 205 [the original shop] and get an award of expenses on top.
    You need to decide at what point you begin to communicate with the shop in letters sent by recorded delivery.
    In Scotland the forms for a small claim can be filled in online, then downloaded to a PC. I write protected mine [so they could only be read or printed, but not changed] and sent them to my local Sheriff Court attached to an e-mail. The court then serves the second of these two sets of forms by sending them to the defender, giving a date by which he must respond. The Sheriff Court staff were very helpful and gave useful advice quite freely. I still got my case [against Comet Stores] slightly wrong [I failed to detail the costs involved in my claim] and the Sheriff gave us both a hard time, but comet paid 160 [out-of-court settlement in the witness room as urged by the Sheriff] for the repair of my washing machine. They had refused to pay until taken into court.
    Last edited by Sylvander; 03-03-2004 at 03:58 AM.

  22. #22
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    My local friendly Trading Standards Officer, named Dawn, comes from the North of England and she was telling me that in England they have an even better system than in Scotland.
    You do not need to go to court.
    There is an alternative system of "Mediation", where you sit in an ordinary room around a table and the Mediator finds a middle way acceptable to both parties.

  23. #23
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    Hello again folks
    Just thought I'd let ya'll know that my problem is still persisting as I haven't been back in touch with the repair shop yet (I'm still awaiting feedback from citizens advice and trading standards). The news is I put my old card (nvidia geforce2mx 64mb) back in my pc and the card seems to work fine. I was told that due to the fan on the card running slowly it was causing the entire board to overheat and constantly reboot. It was also said that the card was damaged and would have problems handling graphics but I've tried it using the direct x direct draw acceleration and direct 3d acceleration and it flew through those tests (I aint sure if these are strenuous tests on the card so some info. on this would be greatly appreciated). Unfortunately the only game that could really test the graphics I have installed on my pc at the moment is call of duty but that wont run due to the processor being set at 233mhz. I don't think the shop has replaced the chip as it still reads as a P3, and even though it is set in the bios as 233mhz, when the pc first boots up it displays the chip running at 566mhz, also in the direct x diagnostic it displays the chip as running at 560mhz.
    So to summarise, the pc will run no probs with my old video card, what the shop did was simply turn down my processor speed and sell me a card I didn't need, and charge me for it.
    I was just wondering if anyone had any other ideas as to what the prob may be with the processor? Does overheating happen immediately as soon as power is put through the processor if set at higher speeds?
    I've read up on processors and most info. points to the fact that heat damage very rarely occurs, so could it be that the fan isn't aligned correctly?
    Also the hard drive is hooked up to the ide and not the Ultra ata/66 and the cables are missing (all the shops work) which basically nullifies one of the advantages of using the abit board as the Ultra ata/66, and I quote from the manual "increases both performance and data integrity, this ata/66 interface triples the ata/33 burst data transfer rates to 100/M.bytes a second." Total Cowboys

    Btw the card the shop replaced my old card with was an nvidia riva tnt2, a total load of rubbish which cost me 30.00, I decide to look up some prices for it and it usually retails in England for around 15.00 so the shop doubled their money on that too.

    Once again cheers for the advice and any help forthcoming...

  24. #24
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    CPUs heat up immediately when you turn on the machine and can overheat within seconds. I don't know about that chip, but a lot of Pentiums have a safety feature built in to shut it down if it is overheating to keep from burning it up. If that is the problem, underclocking and swapping the video card is not the solution. You can upgrade the cooling and remount the heatsink which will cost very little and probably prevent overheating....
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  25. #25
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    I don't know about that chip, but a lot of Pentiums have a safety feature built in to shut it down if it is overheating to keep from burning it up.
    No, only Pentium4's have this.

    veston pants - that looks like a typo in the manual (ATA/66 can't burst at ATA/100 speeds ) but yes, the IDE RAID connectors are ATA/100 while the regular IDE connectors are only ATA/33. The reason for this is because the i440BX chipset wasn't meant to be used so long!

    Ok, so you still have your PIII 850. Have you tried resetting the CPU speed in the BIOS? I know 850 won't work, but if you set the FSB to 66MHz, you can at least get up to 566MHz (and stay there).

    That info the shop gave you about your GF2 MX overheating is total crap! First of all, if was the vid card's fault, it's still under warranty! You could get a free replacement with just a phone call and a trip to the post office! Secondly, since the vid card's fan is fine, the overheating is a system problem like people here on the forums have been saying, which requires better system cooling, not video card cooling.

    Do these shop people know anything!?

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