Posts Tagged ‘hardware’


Update 15.10.2012

Looks like I made a mistake here also / mainly ?  as it was an Asus laptop that was on sale and I got an Acer Aspire. The situation started by me, also confused the sales staff, that did not see my mistake. The issue has now been resolved

Welcome to Pakenham TheGoodGuys

 

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Buyers Beware, a warranty is not all it seems.

Like a lot of self- proclaimed ‘technology evangelists’, I buy a considerable amount of computer hardware. Some of this is for work, some on behalf of colleagues, friends and some (or most) for self-gratification.  Also some is loaned for testing by the manufacturers and returned or purchased.

  • However I have never bumped into a unit that failed where the warranty the unit is covered under is so blatantly miss represented (and by such a normally great company with great customer service).
  • So is the case with Netgear and my Netgear Stora . I recently bumped into a hardware issue, where the device would not allow on a regular basis local files to be dragged and dropped to the hardware (no software involved). The error can easily be duplicated.
  • I thought I would do the proper geek thing and update all software and firmware to make sure problem experienced was not easily fixed myself. Unfortunately, on attempting to update the firmware, I then received an error message saying the software could not be updated.
  • On calling Netgear technical support (for the first time for the device), I was told that my ‘software’ warranty had expired and was directed to ‘their other department’ but they could help me on the hardware and software.

Note: On the Netgear Stora there is a software element that allows various users to be granted various access levels via the cloud, and there are other apps and features as well.

  • In my case the software was not needed to drag and drop files as it sees the Stora as just another hard drive (part of the charm of this device).
  • On calling the ‘other department’ the call immediately went to on hold music, with no mention of anything (no thanks for waiting, nothing) on answering the phone, I was greeted with thank you for holding do you have a reference number (given by the other department), which I did. A few moments later I was greeted with I believe you have a software problem.
  • I then corrected the technician saying I have a hardware problem for sure but maybe a software problem as well, but did not need the software for the hardware problem to exist. The hardware problem being the problem that I could not correct by updating firmware. I was then reminded that my warranty for software had expired after 90 days but they were happy to help.
  • This help involved no hardware diagnostics (I have a 3 year hardware warranty remember), but instead they would help with the software first to see if solved the problem before they could agree for me to send back the hardware. Unfortunately this support would cost me $136.. ouch. A new Stora currently costs $141 at good suppliers like Harris Technology. So if it did turn out to be hardware then I would be out of pocket anyhow.
  • I then queried if it was not software but was indeed hardware, would they credit me the $136 for diagnosing a problem that was covered under warranty. Again I was told no.
  • This amazed me as I recently had a bad modem and Netgear offered to swap it out after a few minutes diagnostic. Now there was no diagnostic just a charge for $136 to then confirm it was hardware (and covered).
  • It then turns out this ‘other department’ is a 3rd party supplier to Netgear called Gearhead and they of course are selling customer service and had nothing to do ownership wise with Netgear.
  • I queried why I needed software support for the hardware only aspect of my problem and they insisted they needed to follow process which was ‘software first’. On complaining that the only way I could exercise my 3 year warranty for hardware was to pay for software support, I was directed back to Netgear that again told me they offer no in house support for the Stora at all.

Amazing ..

  • Netgear really was ahead of the curve on the Stora , there was nothing like it for ease of use and value. The closest alternative was other Netgear products. Times have changed; I have referred dozens of folks to Netgear that I am aware of, (likely more) but will likely be looking to for alternatives in the future as there are many more now than a few months ago and the list is growing almost daily.
  • Note: When sked to speak to a supervisor at Netgear or for a complaint procedure in both cases none was offered, again I am very surprised and disappointed by this. Netgear deferred me to Gearhead that had already deferred me back to Netgear.. etc.
  • Further checking online shows the 3 year warranty is still being offered but no clear definitions or terms and conditions could easily be found that covered any devices.
  • I still believe that the device is a great device (call me a fanboy) but to charge exactly 100% of the cost of the device to diagnose the warranty is just wrong. Netgear should just do away with the warranty.


Updated 13 December 2012

Here is the link to this ignore the rest  

http://goo.gl/plG8L

 

Windows 8 on a little older Quadcore PC also kills the power output on the USB 2.0 Port. This software fixes it regardless of motherboard

Let me know if it worked for you also

Mr Internet
tech-news.tv

Updated 14 January 2011

This proved to be a popular blog when I ran it 8 months ago. It addressed a new driver from motherboard manufacturer gigabyte, that allowed you to charge you iPad on your PC (not something possible before). This updated free driver, also allows you to charge other devices that worked before even faster and this update adds a few updates to all of that, and it makes that pesky ‘this device is not charging nag screen go away.

By pure coincidence, I went to reinstall this driver and found an update released today ok I am a bit psychic (& psychotic) , but the driver solves some other problems as well such as clearing your USB trash, caused when you remove USB devices all the time. Here is the link, it goes to Chinese first but should offer to translate to your native language depending on your browser. You are looking for on/off charger driver but here it is

Installation Update
I note on download and installation it is a bit different than the original driver .
it took 1 minute to download, extract and install.

  • The driver is 1.61 mb (very small takes a few seconds to download)
  • It is a compressed exe file so you will need to extract it to a folder on your desktop etc.
  • When extracted, it creates 1 folder called ‘on/off charge’ and creates 2 files inside setup.exe and setup.iss
  • Run the set-up, reboot your pc and you are done

How to Tell it is Working

  • When you installed the driver it would have asked you to re-boot your PC if properly installed.
  • It is very discreet there are no whistles, or bells.
  • If you have an iPad you would notice on the iPad it would have said it was not charging before now it is charging
  • If you start to re-run the set-up.exe it will ask you if you want to modify or reinstall the software.
  • It is a driver so there is no anti-virus software issues
  • Anything more technical speak to gigabyte, I am just a blogger not the manufacturer
  • If in a corporate environment consider speaking to your system administrator, he might enjoy using this across the company it is pretty sweet.
  • Tell your freinds
  • Enjoy

Motherboard manufacturer Gigabyte are Gods.
They have introduced a tweakdown-loadable  , that allows iPads to now be charged from PC’s and laptops, via the USB port . An issue many were not aware they had and plague others that were aware of this.
I will use gigabyte motherboards for ever more because of this, it is a BIG deal.

On the site is a list of the motherboards it works for but mine is older and it worked just fine.
The additional upside is it charges iPhones and iPods faster as well.
Update

Judging by the coverage of this page Gigabyte was getting slammed so moved the link of the driver (nice). I have updated it.Worth noting that though this driver is specfic to gigabyte, I have heard from dozens of folks it works on motherboards other than gigabyte.

Happy for you to share the story please be nice and give a shout out to news-knut/mrinternet  when you do. Mac bloggers (you know who you are)