If you remember from this post, I mentioned putting my laptop into the shop the day after I got back home from the Big E.
A few days after dropping my poor baby off, I called the box store I use for computer repairs (and incidentally purchases) and asked for an update. The person I spoke to was a little evasive, but repeated the standard spiel of 10 days to 2 week turnaround. On day 10, not having heard anything else, I again contacted the techs. This time I was told there was an 'issue' and that paper work had been sent from HP for a replacement to be given to me because of problems either with getting the part, or that there was more to the hardware problem than just the DVD drive--no one seemed sure which. I always insure my laptops for the full 3 years against both damage and repair problems for just this reason. I asked when I would know for sure and was told that it would be resolved sometime between Tuesday and Thursday of the following week. Why not immediately? Well, there was still a chance HP would change their mind/get the correct part and I would get my laptop back..... Hmmmph! I don't think they were actually out of DVD drives. That's a popular model of laptop and just barely over a year old, so obviously there was more wrong and they figured it would cost more to fix the computer than to replace it. Still, there was nothing I could do until the paperwork went somewhere.
On Tuesday I happened to be an the Big Box Store for something else and approached the techs. Now, remember I had called 3 times during the last 14 days and physically visited the store and talked to a tech once. When I gave the guy my repair slip he looked at my repair order on the computer at his station, looked at me, and then asked me to wait a second. Now, officially they could make me wait until Thursday for the final decision, but instead the very nice tech spoke with his supervisor and came back to tell me that they would be replacing my laptop. Although it was nice that I would be getting something brand spanking new, I had reservations because I had been avoiding Vista, I liked my old laptop, and I had everything set up just the way I liked it!!
With just a little trepidation in my heart, I followed the tech over to the computer department where he handed me over to a really nice guy who began the process of helping me find my replacement.
For anyone who hasn't gone thru this, here is how it goes: They pull up the specs of your old computer (and if it is more than a few months old, everything on the floor is now faster and better LOL!) and figure out which model they will offer you as a replacement. I then made it clear that the feature I was most concerned about was my 17" screen. I did this last time to. I do this because usually the 17" screen models are the higher end of most manufacturers lines, and since I edit pictures the larger screen makes it easier to work..... Now he looks and finds the comparable model and shows it to you. This establishes the price they are going to give you. You then have the option of taking what they offer you, or picking out something else and they subtract the cost of the computer they offered you.
Luckily, having been forearmed and forewarned with the news they were probably going to replace my laptop, I had done my homework and new the model I wanted. Long story short, I only had to pay $500 for a $1300 laptop (that happened to be on sale this week $100 off). I then added virus/firewall software (for a 64bit machine--there are still only a few companies making it) which was regularly $79, but on sale for $49, a new all in one Epson printer that was $99, but because I bought it along with a computer instantly marked down to $49 because of an ongoing promotion for bundling computers and printers this week, and then, because I was feeling lazy and they had a special on, I had the Geeks optimize my laptop, make the recovery disks, and dump all the crapware for a total of $59(also on special). I also added 3 years of extended warranty covering accident and repair....Grand Total with tax: $2105.21.... Of which, after they subtracted the amount for my replacement and all of the other sales prices, I only had to pay: $1073.08. Oh, and I have one of their frequent buyer cards where you get the gift certificates every time your purchases add up to a certain amount.... and the guy swiped that card before he took off the amount for replacing the computer. So, I should be getting about $100 in gift certificates in the mail soon!! Not too bad and almost makes up for the annoyance of having to find and reload everything onto the new machine.
This sweetheart has an Intel core 2 duo chip, 4g of Ram, 512mg of -dedicated- video ram, a 320g harddrive, a 17" screen that has a screen resolution of 1680 X 1050, and Vista Home Premium 64bit (which you need if your Ram goes over 3G), a built in webcam (I've never had a webcam LOL) This baby HUMS! Oh.... and Vista?? I actually LIKE it so far!
It's taken a few days, but I finally have everything about the way I like it. There are a few things in Vista I had to hunt a little bit for, but mostly it was pretty intuitive.
AND, it's Shiny!