released the updated BIOS A04 to their support.euro.dell.com website this
week but following installation there are still problems.
start with the installation process itself - nice and easy, double
click on the installer within Windows. System then reboots. The Dell
logo appears and the BIOS progress bar moves across the screen. So far so good. That screen is then replaced by a screen warning that:
The amount of system memory has changed.
If you did not change your memory...
To resolve this issue, try to reseat the memory.
Not the most
helpful error meesages I've ever seen, especially since I haven't
actually done anything physically to the memory at all.
significantly though there's no way of getting rid of this and
proceeding with the boot. Try hitting the Function keys. Nothing.
What about Insert. Still nothing happening. Maybe Escape will do
something. Nothing. Return must work. Nope. Hmmmmm.....
Whilst pondering my next steps the system beeps at me. Underneath the previous text is now added:
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility
Press F5 to run onboard diagnostics.
Well, finally. It
transpires this message is delayed by 30 seconds. Some information
about that delay would be good. Oh well. At least I've got options now.
Let's press F2 and go and see what the new memory allcoation is like. Under the Memory Info tab in the BIOS the system still recognises that 4096MB is installed. Unfortuntely the Memory Available
field only shows 3327MB. Booting into Windows confirms it - the system
is only making 3.3GB available to the OS. That's better than the
previous 3072MB but still nowhere near the 4GB we've paid for.
The changelog that comes with the BIOS file reports a couple of Fixes and Enhancements, one of which is "Increased amount of memory available for use when 4 GB of memory is
installed". That may well be true, but nowhere do Dell mention that you're still not going to get the full 4GB experience. Either this update hasn't been fully tested (unlikely since the BIOS build date is the 13/10/06 which has given them nearly 10 days to find this out) or Dell have assumed that users won't mind getting 75% of the RAM they've paid for. It's an interesting marketing ploy if that is the case.
A further call to Dell tech support ensues and, to cut a long story
short, this isn't something they've seen before. To Dell's credit the call is promptly answered by a human who skips all the stupid questions and gets straight on to speaking to his colleagues to see if they've had this issue raised before. I've heard bad stories about their tech support in the past, and have been unfortunte enough to experience it myself on occasion too, but this time I can't fault it.
Anyway, I've been promised a
call from a senior techies later on today. Needless to say I'll update as soon as I hear anything. In the meantime if anyone has seen this same problem and knows how to resolve it then please post a comment below and let me know.
Part 2 of this saga is here.
Part 1 of this post can be found here.