Author Topic: Samsung's brilliant support  (Read 8541 times)

reaver

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Samsung's brilliant support
« on: October 20, 2014, 06:55:37 AM »
Just a bit of a rant.
I have a Samsung laptop with preinstalled windows 8, so I was fed up with it and wanted to at least dual-boot it to Linux Mint. After checking online, I realized that apparently you can brick some Samsung laptops when trying to install Linux, because of a bug in their UEFI firmware (http://www.geek.com/microsoft/not-good-samsung-uefi-laptops-can-brick-when-booting-ubuntu-1537900/). Linux got patched to avoid triggering the bug as Samsung wouldn't recongnise it officially as a bug.

So I thought that they might have fixed this under the hood, and I wanted to be 1000% that I wouldn't trigger it. So, naturally, I tried to find out what all the bios updates I've been installing have been for. Well, guess what, you cannot find the changelogs for BIOS updates for Samsung laptops. And you know what else? A Samsung official, officially told me that they do not keep any change logs for BIOS updates.

Just keep that in mind that level of professionalism (in bullshitting or conduct) next time you buy a Samsung device.

Krice

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #1 on: October 20, 2014, 10:54:24 AM »
You need to be careful these days when you buy a laptop, because there are some special stuff going on in them often. I also have bad experiences from a Samsung mini laptop, but I guess they are all flawed, because the lack of memory (and CPU power). I replaced 1Gb to 2Gb, but Windows 7 Starter is still eating the memory. You need at least 4Gb for Windows anyway and even that is not enough with some software.

I'm never going to buy a laptop again, because I got two of them and both are crap. I just had bad luck and also didn't read reviews and user experiences.

Bear

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #2 on: October 20, 2014, 06:12:11 PM »
I have a titanium-cased Toshiba laptop I got secondhand - who the hell puts laptops inside titanium cases, anyway?  This thing weighs twelve pounds, and you could probably drive a car over it when it's closed.  But anyway, it has a decent 64-bit CPU, a pretty good battery life, there was room for 8 Gbytes of memory (only had 2 when I got it), and it was cheap because the screen is a semi-weird size and smaller than 1080p - it's 1024 x 1200 pixels. So I nabbed it, got the extra memory installed, (I had to buy a special Torx screwdriver with a hole in the middle of the bit to get the turtleshell off and back on) and took it home. 

I had to literally remove the internal hard drive and replace it with a blank one before it would allow me to install Linux.  The thing has a BIOS setting that makes it flatly refuse to commit writes to the first disk partition  (where lay the boot sector and OS, in the original) unless they are signed by some trusted authority whose key I don't have (possibly the same people who put it inside the  titanium turtle shell, possibly Microsoft, I dunno) and you cannot turn that BIOS setting off, even with hardware access, as long as there is a drive capable of booting up.  That setting isn't even writable except after a failed boot which did not fail because you interrupted it via power cycle or keyboard.

I don't know if that's a feature of the regular Toshiba BIOS these days -- obviously the machine was built by some kind of paranoid organization, so it might have a custom BIOS installed -- but it was the first time I had run across anything like it.

chooseusername

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #3 on: October 20, 2014, 08:37:14 PM »
Don't buy a Dell.  I have almost paid as much for extra power cord/packs as I have for the laptop.  They have this special lead in it which verifies the power pack is "compatible" with the laptop.  Unfortunately, this lead appears to be really poor quality and it detaches inside the cord.  What happens then is the laptop won't charge up.  So then you need to quickly order another one if you want to keep using your computer.  Dell likely no longer sells the exact power cord/pack for your laptop, so you need to buy another at a premium from a second party seller.

Low quality shit.

AgingMinotaur

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #4 on: October 20, 2014, 09:53:11 PM »
I got a Thinkpad about a year ago. It was on the expensive side, but I must say I'm quite happy about the machine in every way. If you're reinstalling the OS, of course you're bound to run into humps in the road, no matter what hardware you have, but apart from small stuff like fixing some flickering desktop animations, this one has been playing nice with Linux. I was happily spared from hacking the BIOS to pieces, for instance. And the keyboard is fantastic – my repetitive strain injury disappeared like dewdrops in the sun. So now I'm a total lenovo fanboi :P

As always,
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This matir, as laborintus, Dedalus hous, hath many halkes and hurnes ... wyndynges and wrynkelynges.

Zireael

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2014, 07:10:03 AM »
Choose, I've had my Dell Vostro 3450 for 2,5 years. No problems, light & small enough for me to carry around in my backpack and 2h battery life.

I've been using the charger nearly all the time to save the battery, unless I'm in classes, and never had problems with compat detection.

Krice

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2014, 11:43:42 AM »
There can be big differences in series of same manufacturer. It seems like sometimes laptops are designed by other than people who know something about computers.

My brother has Lenovo Thinkpad. It appears to be a no-nonsense computer and it sure has a nice keyboard.

chooseusername

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2014, 07:50:46 PM »
Choose, I've had my Dell Vostro 3450 for 2,5 years. No problems, light & small enough for me to carry around in my backpack and 2h battery life.

I've been using the charger nearly all the time to save the battery, unless I'm in classes, and never had problems with compat detection.
It might be related to the model.  Mine is an inspiron.  This is a common problem, people even open up the cables and repair it themselves.

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2014, 09:52:52 PM »
My Dell laptop horror story was when I bought a Studio 17 a couple of years ago.  It developed a crack on the hinge which I ignored because I assumed it was purely cosmetic.  Then, one day, my whole screen dropped off.  Turns out the only thing actually connecting the screen to the body of the laptop was a thin crappy bit of plastic casing, there was no internal pin.  So, once the crack reached a certain point there was no longer enough material there to support its own weight and both hinges failed at once.

That said, I now have a Dell Alienware laptop because I don't learn and I like flashy lights (plus I get a big discount buying Dells through work), which seems to be a lot better designed and more robust.  It weighs as much as a small car, though, so it should be.

chooseusername

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2014, 11:56:15 PM »
My Dell laptop horror story was when I bought a Studio 17 a couple of years ago.  It developed a crack on the hinge which I ignored because I assumed it was purely cosmetic.  Then, one day, my whole screen dropped off.  Turns out the only thing actually connecting the screen to the body of the laptop was a thin crappy bit of plastic casing, there was no internal pin.  So, once the crack reached a certain point there was no longer enough material there to support its own weight and both hinges failed at once.
Yes, the hinges on this are deteriorating.  I periodically dose them with superglue.

You also reminded me that the LCD panel on this laptop started dying at most six months after purchasing it.  I lived in China at the time, so took it to an electronics mall and paid some dude who couldn't speak English to replace it in front of me.  The LCD has worked perfectly since.

Bear

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Re: Samsung's brilliant support
« Reply #10 on: October 22, 2014, 01:45:51 AM »
Turns out the only thing actually connecting the screen to the body of the laptop was a thin crappy bit of plastic casing, there was no internal pin.  So, once the crack reached a certain point there was no longer enough material there to support its own weight and both hinges failed at once.
Yes, the hinges on this are deteriorating.  I periodically dose them with superglue.

Usually I curse the extra weight of the turtleshell my laptop came in, but you guys are making me appreciate it...