I jumped at the prospect of a computer this nice for $199. I needed an XP; Pro was a plus. The specs were right where I would want them. A large hdd, but not unmanageable. Plenty of CPU power and RAM, and a nice optical drive.
It arrived a day early, so I took my time customizing it. I added a DVD writer, which wasn't included by default, and installed a fax modem. The inside is extremely customizable, and was very clean. I booted it up with the new hardware installed.
Everything ran as expected through the Windows Registration and first run. You have to use the refurbished pc code that this comes with. It checked out to be a genuine copy of windows. I began the process of installing programs, transferring files, and repartitioning and checking the hard drive for errors. That's when I found the problem.
A desktop hard disk should run at a temperature of a little less than 45 C. After two hours of very light r/w operations, the hard drive S.M.A.R.T. data reported a temp of 59 C. I also noted a power-on count of 50, and a power-on time of 2186 days, 5 (+/- a few) hours. That is almost six years of continuous use, resulting in a hardware overheat.
I tried calling Dell, who claim they cannot refund or replace the drive. I'm contacting the refurbishing company, Joy Systems, to see what their excuse for installing this drive is.
Everthing else about this computer is top-notch. You couldn't ask for a computer of its size to be quieter or more compatible.
I found the 1.5 Gb/s SATA interface to be really cool, with a signal connector and easy-install bay for another HDD. There are two easy-install bays for DVD/CD drives, one for the floppy disk drive, and three pci ports. A fourth pci-like port is open on the back, but I'm not sure what it is called.
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