Dell Hell

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by Let'sgoflying!, Sep 3, 2019.

  1. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Does a computer manufacturer‘s responsibility extend to the OS (ie MS)?

    I bought a business Dell laptop a month ago.
    Last week the cursor would freeze for 30 seconds.
    So I chatted with Dell support, I gave them control and s/he downloaded updates & drivers and soon the laptop is repeatedly shutting down, restarting uncommanded, then BSoDing, now it is bricked.
    Their hardware all passes their tests.
    The tool they recommend to reinstall the OS fails.
    So they are kicking me over to “out of warranty repairs” who say I must pay $200 to fix the problem they caused because “it’s not our hardware”.
    I say
    -they have culpability because it was working 99% ok til they downloaded software.
    -when you buy a computer, it is a package deal including software (the specs include an OS) so the warranty covers that too, not just circuitboards.

    my warranty says “Complete Care” including onsite tech next day
     
  2. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Dell's warranty terms specifically exclude the OS. I guess that unless you can make a lot of noise, they're going to ignore you.

    Sorry, but your available options are going to cost money. If you can find a Dell certified tech nearby, if he/she can state that Dell's tech support screwed your laptop, maybe (maybe!) that would help.

    FYI, I always install Linux on my stuff, including a Dell Latitude that the company just provided for my work. I've gotten better support from the online open source forums than I've ever gotten from a commercial product.

    This most recent one took some work -- that Dell requires USB 3 (won't even see USB 2), and the install media must be burned UEFI/GPT.
     
  3. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They are obligated to provide OS support, but not a warranty on the OS.

    You should be able to reinstall Windows using a Windows ISO image downloaded from Dell or from Microsoft and burned to a flash drive. If using the Microsoft image, you'll also need the Product Key. Either way, you'll need to download the drivers from Dell.

    Rich
     
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  4. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    Right. And if the OS won't reinstall, I'd say Dell SHOULD fix that.
     
  5. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I agree that they should, but Dell consumer-level support sucks.

    A call to MS might (or might not) result in a fire being lit under Dell's ass because the lower price OEM's pay for Windows comes with the obligation to provide support. But the easier way to get the computer working, which is what OP seems to want, is to reinstall the OS from either of the available ISO's.

    Rich
     
  6. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Pattern Altitude

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    Completely totally not helpful but here it comes. Shoulda bought a Mac
    775B6757-3B38-4E6B-9571-054D57DFF3A6.gif

    But seriously. That sucks. It wasn’t working great then their tech support bricked ya. I left the Microsoft based pc world for the dark side a few years ago because I just got so upset with how MS was working and constantly getting slower and slower. Seems that the useful
    Life of a laptop was a few short years
     
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  7. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I even bought their Accidental Damage insurance
     
  8. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    My cheapo Dell has been rock steady reliable and until last week, I had no problems with Windoze 10. I run a developer version of Win10, so the updates come pretty regular. Lately, all the updates have failed and none of the recommended (extremely tedious) fixes worked.

    I ended up nuking the Windows partitions and now it won't install from scratch. I'm not scared, though. I've been through this a gozillion times...

    I don't blame Dell or Micro$oft for this, in fact, I expected it...
     
    Last edited: Sep 4, 2019
  9. iflyatiger

    iflyatiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ask / insist that dell do an in house (their house )repair and return it to you in working order.. This is an option..
     
  10. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've had mixed bags with Dell over the years as to reliability, but the fundamental truth is, if you're going to need their service, you're screwed. It's difficult and incompetent. I had a laptop come back from them more damaged than it went in (note Apple service isn't any better).

    All our office machines were Dell, and I've got several Dell laptops that have been problem free. My XPS ONE all in one had a defective hard drive (that they knew about because many other customers were also complaining about) but they refused to replace.

    Oh yes, and Microsoft's window 10's bios update will brick some Dell computers. That's what finally killed mine. Fortunately, I yanked out the hard drive and got my data back.
     
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  11. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you get my drift.
     
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  12. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Is this a classic example of ‘a good business that got too big’?
    I seem to recall we could call tech help and get their (friendly, non-ESL) geeks in Austin to help (really help).
    Anyway, MS is trying to help me right now.
     
  13. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The descent of Dell's support was the reason I stopped recommending their computers, especially on the consumer end. They were among the first of the manufacturers to go downhill in terms of support. Their support on business-class machines (basically the same machines with a higher price tag and less crapware) still occasionally bordered on decent the last time I had to call them, but that was about 10 years ago.

    Nowadays, I tend to recommend Micro Center's "PowerSpec" store brand if people live near near one of their stores. The computers were made by Asus the last time I checked, and the phone support was still decent. They also have walk-in support, and at least at the Westbury and Yonkers stores, I've never heard of anyone who schlepped a PowerSpec computer into the store walking out unhappy.

    I even know one guy who was having a bear of a time installing some third-party software on a PowerSpec laptop he'd bought at the Westbury store a few years prior, and the store staff helped him out at no charge other than the cost of the additional RAM needed to install and run the software. I know the manager there, and he's no fool. He knows that happy customers tend to stay customers for a long time. He'd rather go above and beyond than lose a customer.

    Hardware-wise, most PC's contain mostly the same parts, made by the same handful of primary manufacturers. I'm not aware of any fundamental change in hardware quality of Dell computers within a given class. But I do know that their support, at least on the consumer end, sucks long, loud, and hard. It's not that their support is out of India. There are excellent support techs in India. It's that Dell's techs all seem to be idiots nowadays.

    That's why my recommendations nowadays are based on the quality of support. Right now, I find Micro Center's support (especially for their own machines) is among the best you'll find at the consumer level. That's why I recommend them. The computers are pretty much the same as any others within a given class. But the support experience is better.

    Rich
     
  14. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I do. What you're going through is unacceptable.
     
  15. deonb

    deonb Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    He said it's a business laptop (Precision?) so he should be on Dell Pro support, which is a totally different ballgame.
     
  16. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dell Pro support was sometimes passable the last time I used it, but that was about ten years ago. Nowadays, I have no idea.

    The only time I ever called them was for clients' computers that were still under warranty and had hardware issues. At first, getting them to send someone was easy. I explained the problem, and they dispatched a tech, usually the next day. By the time I sold the business, it was like pulling teeth.

    I also didn't like the way Dell handled the fiasco with the Seagate 7200.11 drives that were failing. They would ship a replacement drive with the same faulty firmware, with instructions to the customer to upgrade the firmware before installing the drive. That involved creating a bootable floppy or CD with software downloaded from Dell's Website, so it was no big deal for a tech. But I thought that was beyond what they should expect end-users to be able to do.

    Rich
     
  17. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    When I was in charge of 22 Dell workstations and a Sun server, I learned the business model of commodity PC sales: Sell them at any price, make the profit and let the warranty support deal with the post-sale failures...

    We had all but one of the Toshiba Deathstar drives fail and all were replaced under warranty by Dell. The drives they sent as replacements cost them three times as much as the junk that was in the machines from the factory. That didn't matter because they had already made their money on the initial sale.

    The odds of a customer replacing a bad drive versus just getting new computers is very low, so they make out like bandits. Those drives were all factory seconds and were known to fail, so their super low price kept the initial purchase price low.

    We went with HP after that...
     
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  18. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    They just sent me a Dell customer support survey request, this should be fun.
     
  19. Bell206

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    I bought over 16 Dells since 1993. Most commercial level. Never had issues with support. I hope they have not gone the path of others.
     
  20. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    They make me feel like I am dangling in the breeze.
     
  21. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Microsoft spent probably 6 hours with me (1:31 on phone right now) and has reinstalled the O.S. (Several additional hours of my own) None of the data appears to be lost (sort of amazingly). Still lots of issues; I'm having to dl about 23 drivers or other updates (hours). They say the Dell guy should only have updated the BIOS to fix the sticky mouse but somehow bricked it with all the other updates. (I think Dell should have said, "contact MS") Well, look back here in a week to see if I am still battling that problem or maybe some other joy.
     
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  22. Let'sgoflying!

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    Yay, it worked for 10 minutes.
    Back to constantly crashing, restarting then BSOD and error msg "Bad Pool Caller" all without me even touching the thing.
     
  23. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:33:29 PM): testing processor
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:33:38 PM): Okay.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:33:48 PM): This is the short test of 5-7 minutes.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:34:07 PM): 4:19 rem
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:34:11 PM): If it shows any error, please let me know.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:34:27 PM): testing memory
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:34:50 PM): Please note that, if the ePSA test does not show any error, it means there is not any issue with any of the hardware component.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:35:51 PM): Critical Error message one or more errors detected
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:36:03 PM): First time its said that
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:36:26 PM): So its a hardware issue; pls send someone out. I have paid for on-site business computer repair.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:36:51 PM): can I send a photo of the screen?
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:37:06 PM): What is the error code?
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:37:12 PM): May I know?
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:37:29 PM): No number shown. Only "OK" -want a photo?
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:37:30 PM): "Critical Error message one or more errors detected" is not an error.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:38:02 PM): I would like to start the return process
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:38:08 PM): No, if there is any error, only then we can get that, there is an error with hardware component.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:38:46 PM): It says there IS AN ERROR right there! I have a photo of it! When is An Error NOT an error???
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:39:09 PM): Yes, I agree.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:39:25 PM): What would you do at this point that other 8 techs have not done?
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:39:59 PM): But if there is any error, then it'd have specific error code.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:40:10 PM): I clicked the ?, let me see....
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:40:25 PM): nothing.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:40:34 PM): I can only click OK at this point.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:40:57 PM): As I informed you that, this issue is out of scope for us and we asks our client to contact the dedicates support as per above number I've mentioned.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:41:15 PM): I have to pay to have my new computer fixed?
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:41:20 PM): Please contact them to get further support on this issue.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:41:29 PM): I am pretty sure its under warranty
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:41:35 PM): That will be decided over that support line.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:41:37 PM): what do they charge?
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:41:55 PM): Yes, though it is under warranty, it is not an issue with the hardware component.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:41:58 PM): unbelievable!
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:42:29 PM): When I purchased it, one line-item was "Win10Pro OS" which I paid _DELL_ for.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:42:47 PM): This is absolutely horrible customer service!
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:43:12 PM): Dave, the issue is out of scope for us and we have a technical support.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:43:26 PM): As the issue is out of scope, we are unable to assist you.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:43:47 PM): I bought a new computer from you, with warranty. Please help me!
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:43:51 PM): We can assist you when there is any hardware component failure.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:44:19 PM): Yes, I do understand, but there is a dedicates support and I'm requesting you to contact them to get support.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:44:59 PM): which number
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:45:12 PM): Dell Solution Station (DSS) 877-409-3272.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:47:10 PM): Is there anything else that I may assist you with?
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:47:25 PM): Promise you will share this issue with your team. Most reasonable people will see how incredible this situation is and how a normal customer experiencing this will be beyond livid. Tell them your customer said, "Thanks for the $1100.00 brick, Dell"
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:48:24 PM): Dave, usually blue screen issue resolves with the OS reinstallation.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:48:44 PM): I request you to try the OS reinstallation with Dell OS image which you can download from the Dell support site.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:49:16 PM): If you still face the same issue, further you can go for the Dell Solution Station (DSS) 877-409-3272 support.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:49:38 PM): If you are not telling your team or your supervisor, all I can presume is you deal with such Dell failures each day and this is nothing new to you.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:49:52 PM): Because, the ePSA test is main test to find the hardware defect.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:50:07 PM): I will surely inform to the senior team, there is not any issue.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:50:37 PM): But whatever the resolution I've informed you, is the main resolution for such issues.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:50:57 PM): You can always get support for your PC including System & Warranty info, Diagnostics, Drivers & Downloads, Dispatch status, etc. at www.Dell.com/Support.
    Sagar K (9/5/2019, 11:50:58 PM): Thank you for choosing Dell. Have a wonderful day.
    Dave (9/5/2019, 11:51:09 PM): off to get my blood pressure meds
     
  24. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I am currently living in Win10 update hell...

    I ended up re-imaging the laptop from the factory image stored in the hidden DELL partition. That worked great and left my Linux partitions alone!

    Now I am getting constant notifications that update did not work. I have submitted a bug report to the developer community, so I'll probably hear the same suggestions I got last week when this all started... Fun!

    Throughout all this, the Linux system installed works fine.
     
  25. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If installing a different OS would work (and not disable any functions or software I need) I would do it.
     
  26. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    barely 5 days out of the 30-day return window.

    looking at disputing the charge with amex (failure to honor the warranty; I believe I could make a case)
    then there is the accidental damage insurance I bought.
     
  27. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It's probably bad RAM or a faulty or overheating chipset.

    I'd download some bootable RAM test (pretty much any Linux live distro will have one built in as a start option) and let it run a full test. "Bad Pool Caller" on a stock computer is almost always a RAM or chipset problem. If it's RAM, the solution is new RAM. If it's the chipset, then the motherboard would have to be replaced.

    Rich
     
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  28. Skyrys62

    Skyrys62 En-Route PoA Supporter

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    smash the crap out of it, and get a new one ;)

    [​IMG]


    or... you could get some RAM and swap it out to test.
    Not near as much fun.
     
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  29. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Ahhh I remember those days *coughMACcough* On a somewhat helpful note I had a similar issue at one point in time on a Dell Workstation that turned out to be bad memory.
     
  30. Bell206

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    Curious. How would it pass the hardware tests if the RAM or m-board had a fault? Or do those tests not "follow" the same "paths" the OS would take to run the machine?

    A quick side question: Does Micro Center's web store offer the same type deals as their brick/motor stores? The closest MC store is 4 hours away.
     
  31. Jeff Oslick

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    Awesome. Would be a shame if a big glass of water were to spill on it now.
     
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  32. chartbundle

    chartbundle Cleared for Takeoff

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    I've had plenty of hardware faults over the years that have only been detected under high load. Often tests run sequentially "check this byte, check the next byte" and slowly compared to the system bouncing around, accessing lots of stuff, heating up and generally behaving unlike anything a test would do.

    That being said, there are some high performance abuse tests like Prime95 that manage to bring out faults that other tests won't find.
     
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  33. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    From the transcript that OP attached, it appeared that it did spit out a non-specific "critical" error message. That's why I suggested an actual RAM test rather than Dell's cryptic hardware utility. I also recommended the "Full" test because some flaws are heat-related, and the prolonged test is more likely to bring them out.

    The problem is that most RAM tests can't differentiate between a RAM error and a chipset error affecting the memory bus. So if it shows an error, a field tech usually will install new RAM and run the test again. Diagnostics of on-board components isn't practical in a field environment, but most techs carry extra RAM with them.

    Many Micro Center deals are in-store only. They use the deals as a loss- or break-even leader to get you into the store, and make it up on accessories, doodads, three-year ESET subscriptions, accidental damage warranties, a couple of cans of Bawls and a PEBKAC tee-shirt on the way out, etc. I don't see it as a problem. Their prices on all those things are competitive; so if I need a case for my new laptop, I may as well buy it there.

    The nearest Micro Center to me is 2 1/2 hours away. I look forward to their marketing emails so I have excuses to make the trip. I've taken a few friends along for the ride, and now they're hooked, too. While the rest of brick-and-mortar retail is dying, Micro Center is growing and thriving. There are good reasons for that.

    Rich
     
  34. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

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  35. Stephen Poole

    Stephen Poole Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    OK, this is crazy and unacceptable. What's the model? Do you mind sharing the service tag number? PM if you'd rather not post it here.

    What @RJM62 and @chartbundle suggested is spot on. Dell's test may not be rigorous enough. You need to make that RAM moan to uncover a problem like this.

    One other odd-sounding thing to try: can't be sure if I don't know the model, but most laptops will cut the clock speed if it's unplugged (edit: from AC). Try booting on battery, see if you get a different result.
     
  36. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    you don’t know how glad I am to hear someone else see it my way!

    about have it memorized!
    Latitude 5300 J863LT2
    ESC 418 528 397 18



    will try battery-boot.
    not sure how to find Rich’s memory test.
     
  37. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    its cycling on & off - no change!
     
  38. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    LNXGUY
    It was soooo easy to find several photos like this one:

    bullets-390x285.png
     
  39. RJM62

    RJM62 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2007
    Messages:
    12,799
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Geek On The Hill
    This one should work:

    https://www.memtest86.com/downloads/memtest86-usb.zip

    Download the above file to a working Windows computer that will be creating the bootable drive.

    Extract the ZIP file and read the README.

    Insert a blank flash drive (at least 1GB capacity) into a USB port on the same computer.

    Run imageUSB.exe and select the flash drive.

    Safely remove the flash drive and insert into the computer being tested while that computer is turned off.

    Boot to the flash drive and follow the instructions.​

    More information can be found here.

    Rich
     
    Stephen Poole likes this.
  40. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2005
    Messages:
    17,129
    Location:
    west Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dave Taylor
    A lengthy report is available but here are the last few lines
    Thanks Rich.

    2019-09-08 17:01:23 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:01:28 - RunHammerTest - Running hammer test on 4 CPUs (128MB each) [0x1C0000000 - 0x1E0000000]
    2019-09-08 17:01:32 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:01:38 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:01:43 - RunHammerTest - Running hammer test on 4 CPUs (128MB each) [0x1E0000000 - 0x200000000]
    2019-09-08 17:01:47 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:01:53 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:01:58 - RunHammerTest - Running hammer test on 4 CPUs (128MB each) [0x200000000 - 0x220000000]
    2019-09-08 17:02:02 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:02:08 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:02:13 - RunHammerTest - Running hammer test on 4 CPUs (128MB each) [0x220000000 - 0x240000000]
    2019-09-08 17:02:17 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:02:23 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:02:28 - RunHammerTest - Running hammer test on 4 CPUs (128MB each) [0x240000000 - 0x260000000]
    2019-09-08 17:02:31 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:02:38 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:02:43 - RunHammerTest - Running hammer test on 3 CPUs (151MB each) [0x260000000 - 0x27C700000]
    2019-09-08 17:02:45 - Memory range 0x0 - 0x9E000 was not locked. Ignoring...
    2019-09-08 17:02:51 - Cleanup - Unlocking all memory ranges...
    2019-09-08 17:02:51 - MtSupportRunAllTests - Test execution time: 243.013 (Test 13 cumulative error count: 0)
    2019-09-08 17:02:51 - Finished pass #4 (of 4) (Cumulative error count: 0)