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Computer Problems - Considering a Mac - Advice Needed

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posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 07:10 AM
When I turned on my computer this morning, EVERYTHING had changed. The fonts, the resolution, the colors, my desktop and even ATS and every Internet site I visit. ATS is WHITE and I can't see most avatars. I don't know what the problem is but it might be a video card or something.

I got this Dell about a year ago and have had more problems with it than any other computer I've ever had.

I am considering a Mac. I use the computer for browsing, music, pictures and videos.

Does anyone have any advice on:

1. What my video problem might be
2. What kind of mac I should get...

Thanks for ANY input. I feel totally lost and out of my element here.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 07:15 AM
first of all.
Dont get a MAC!
Your problem lies with the Dell, why buy a POS Dell in the first place?
You want to go Mac yet Dell are the same mass produced Pieces of crap.
Put a comp together yourself, save urself half the money and get a computer 3 times as good as a mac will ever be.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 07:29 AM
Get a Mac!! You won't be disappointed!

I've always been a Mac user! They are the best. Yes they are more but I've had two and never had a problem!

A 15in MacBook Pro would be great! They are known for video and music, the free programs that come with it are awesome! Apple customer service is tops too! I had an Acer, pos, which lasted a year! The motherboard went. I'm working on my new Mac.

I had to get a pc for school and it was a nightmare! I have a thread on here with what happened to my Mac and even after the "incident"
it still worked minus the screen issue.

Macs are great! I can't deal with windows! You can put windows on the new Macs if there are programs u need that are windows based however dont go online with windows use the apple side, safari is thei browser.

Good luck'

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 08:06 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

My Dell works fine. Of course, I'm running PCLinuxOS 2010 on it. Windows xp pro was eaten by a virus. Bought it used, no restore disc. Now have a dual boot, Linux and windows xp home for games.

Also have Defend Reloaded for DOS games on the windows partition.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 08:13 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Computers are like any other device. They break down from time to time.

Whatever the reason I suggest you find yourself a computer geek who can take a look at your current pc.

Now as for the Mac. I have a iMac at home. Good machine and looks really nice in the living room.
Of course your paying double for the honor of owning one. You could get a better machine for probably half the price. But if that doesn't bother you then go for the Mac. You won't be disappointed if you get one.

Dells are good machines. We have alot of them here at work. Hell we even have some dell P4 machines that are working just fine. So I wouldn't go putting Dell down.

Now make sure that whatever computer you do get that you get the best bang for your buck and try to buy most advanced pc you can so that you won't be obsolete in a year.

Try to buy a pc with the following.

Processor: Intel Core i7
Ram: 4gigs at minimum. 8gigs would be better and 16 if you can afford it.
Hard Drive: 1TB at min
Video Card: Nvidia. When comparing nvidia cards you want to get the highest in the series. If the card is in the 300 series you want something higher than 350.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 08:22 AM
Sorry to read about your computer problems BH.

Do you know if any update where installed on your computer before the restart? I have read on troubleshooting websites that these types of problems can occur after system updates. I have seen video cards fry before and that also could be the problem. You would really need a tech person to check it out or walk you through it.

As for Macs, I love them! They are great machines and I have found that a "standard" one will out pace a "standard" windows based computer any day. If you consider getting a Mac you biggest discussion will be desktop or laptop. That's really your preference. If you just want to use it for standard web browsing, music, photo and videos you should do just fine with any of the "base" models.

There are some cons to getting a Mac though. First off the standard video program, iMovie, is lacking. Even for editing short video clips, it just isn't user friendly (IMO). Second, off the shelf software for a Mac is usually more expensive. Then there are the companies that do not offer a Mac version of their software at all. So if you have programs that you will need on the Mac, research first it make sure you can get compatible programs.

As mblahnikluver said Apple support is pretty good. If you have an Apple store near you that you will make your purchase at they will even transfer your files from your current computer onto your new Apple. And they give free lessons at the store, one on one.

I have had many friends switch to Apple the past few years and I can tell you for some it isn't easy. There are many differences between the two OSs. Some find it hard to navigate at first. If you do decide to go with a Mac and have any questions, you can always U2U me and I will walk you through it. It would be my pleasure!

I feel the need to wish you good luck. Computer problems are a headache and trying to decide to fix the problem or just start over can be hard. So..... Good Luck!


posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 08:22 AM
Thanks for the comments so far.

I have had Dells in the past and never had any problems or when I did, the service was great. I just wondered if they (like most other things) are getting cheaper. I've had nothing but trouble with this machine. I guess it's possible I got a lemon...

I've never even used a Mac and I've gotta say, I'm intimidated having to learn another system. So, I'm torn. My husband is a software engineer, but neither of us are familiar with Macs.

Any comments welcome!

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 09:14 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Sorry to hear about your problems BH. I have to agree with Grey. Get that machine to a tech you trust, and find out whats wrong with it. Personally, I would steer clear of Best Buy and Staples. I'm constantly fixing their screwups.

As to buying a machine. Dell is probably the best retail Windows machine on the market right now. The mistake most folks make is buying the cheapest thing they can get their hands on. Order straight from Dell, and order something in their XPS Line. The XPS7100 with a 6 core processor, 8gigabytes of ram, ATI 5670 1 gigabyte video card, and 1 terrabyte hard drive, is a nice unit at a reasonable cost. Grey's intel suggestion is also good. That would be the XPS 8300 line.

Considering a laptop as a desktop replacement? XPS laptops are also nice machines. Consider a 17.3 model.

I have no problems with Windows. It runs great for me. But I'm a geek too.

Also, Macs are nice machines. I like them. It's all about personal preference there.

ETA: Mattrat's idea was good too, BTW. I have several people still using machines I built years ago.

ETA 2: I didn't mean that to come off sounding like a commercial for Dell. I promise, I don't get commission.
But in the many years I've been in this industry, I've had fewer hardware problems with Dell than any other brand. So that's what I recommend. But to each their own.
edit on 6/30/2011 by Klassified because: Corrections and ETA's

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 09:20 AM
I take care of 50 computers and 3 servers, an active domain and a SQL database for a manufacturing ERP system. I am actually a senior network engineer and this is my easy retirement job. I really have little computer partiality. My wife loves Macs but then she has me to support her. I have trouble with Macs in a shared environment and I have trouble troubleshooting them. When they work they are nice but if they dont work I find that there are few tools to use to help nudge them along on the right track (a problem when you try to over simplify the interface). I also have to add that apples have been in my life since 1980-- every model Apple ][ ][c Lisa Macintosh IPad. I actually bet that Apple starts to move away from computers and starts to concentrate on IOS for Ipads and cellphones.

I am becoming a fan of Windows 7 professional, it has actually been pretty solid, and I have seen in recover itself from some pretty catastrophic failures (I have also seen it fail miserably at recovering itself). Not a big fan of Dells and I have never liked their laptops -- they "feel" kludgey and clumsy..

I did just buy a dozen Lenovo desktops. Really like the way these computers are put together and the "special" software they include for recovery etc. is actually surprisingly useful. (Lenovo used to be the IBM design and manufacturing pc group and IBM has always made a reasonable laptop) Lenovo is a Chinese company the computers I bought were assembled in Mexico. I will probably standardize on the Lenovo, as the rest of the Dells die off.

My personal machine is a 5 year old HP laptop with 4 gig ram 64 bit windows 7 and a dual core processor -- it is about 5 years old and still going strong -- actually about the best computer I have ever owned, and in 30 years in the profession I have owned a metric buttload of computers.

Good luck -- if you get a laptop try to get one with a lighted keyboard -- I would love a lighted keyboard.
edit on 30-6-2011 by spyder550 because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 11:01 AM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

This sounds to me like a graphics driver problem. Windows loves to install their own Microsoft certified drivers for all of your hardware, but Dell has different ideas, and configures their computers to accept only Dell certified drivers. You can go to the Dell support site and download the drivers, or, as an alternative, Download an install
Device Doctor,
I have been using this little free program to install hardware drivers for about a years now, it rarely fails. If you are so inclined, you can go here and get yourself a DVD of drivers and utilities for Dell computers.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:05 PM
reply to post by Benevolent Heretic

Well OS X is a Unix 03 compliant operating system. So if you are familiar with Linux you can along with OS X.

And as far as learning a new system. Don't worry. My wife, who has always used a PC, is working with our iMac just fine. In fact I would say that the Mac is easier to use than a Windows based system.

I've recommended to several people that they switch to the mac. Everyone that has made the switch loves it. And this is the feedback I'm getting from non-tech savvy people.

I suggest that you head on over to a Mac store and take some time to actually use a Mac so that you can get a feel for the OS. I think you'll see that it's pretty cool.

Other than the OS X I suggest Windows 7. By far the best Windows OS. They learned from the Vista debacle and developed a great operating system.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:41 PM
Thanks for all your help! We have some ideas now to get us started.

The nearest mac store is 3 hours away.

This is what ATS looks like to me today:

edit on 6/30/2011 by Benevolent Heretic because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 12:58 PM
Have you logged in with a different PC just to make sure it wasn't some wacky ATS account setting. Did you accidentally turn on reading compatible mode for visual impaired? Do all web sites look like this or just ATS?

If it really is the video card and you don't want to change it out, then there's nothing wrong with getting another Dell if you like them. I'll be the first to tell you that a Mac is pretty cool but unless you're planning on doing something like graphic design or video editing there's no point in spending twice as much.

Compare these prices:

iMac (Starts at $1,199.00)

Dell all in one ($599, $699 for touch screen)

I bought two of the Dells for my kids (17 & 15) for Christmas. They're pretty cool machines and they both love them. Just pull them out of the box plug them in and turn them on. Nothing to hook up at all and so far they're awesome. These come with Windows 7 which has some pretty cool features. My pc is still on XP.

Opinions vary of course, but that's mine.
edit on 30-6-2011 by dbates because: (no reason given)

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 01:11 PM
reply to post by dbates

Thanks dbates.

ALL websites look different. My desktop looked different.

When I turned on my computer today, instead of doing the regular booting up and everything, there was a teeny-tiny dialog box saying it couldn't find my desktop folder... I called my husband in to have a look and he clicked OK and rebooted and the box didn't come up a second time, but my desktop did load, though it looked different.

I got the desktop to look right, but then when I opened ATS it looked like the screen shot above.

The text on my toolbars is all VERY TINY and different. I suppose I could try to get that back... It's just very weird.

This is a fairly new computer so if I can get it fixed, I would love to do that. It's a studio XPS and has lots of good audio and video features...

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 01:55 PM
Try right-clicking the desktop, then go to Properties in the menu, and adjust the Appearance tab. It could be an odd color scheme that it picked for some reason. If that doesn't work then run the restore wizard and see if you can set your computer back to the way it was earlier.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 02:48 PM

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
I am considering a Mac. I use the computer for browsing, music, pictures and videos.

For your needs.

I'd say definitely a Mac.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 02:55 PM

Originally posted by Benevolent Heretic
Thanks for the comments so far.

I have had Dells in the past and never had any problems or when I did, the service was great. I just wondered if they (like most other things) are getting cheaper. I've had nothing but trouble with this machine. I guess it's possible I got a lemon...

I've never even used a Mac and I've gotta say, I'm intimidated having to learn another system. So, I'm torn. My husband is a software engineer, but neither of us are familiar with Macs.

Any comments welcome!

There really isn't much difference between the PC and Mac system. I switch back and forth between the two all the time - - with no issues at all.

Dell has changed their policies over the years. Pretty much fazing out service for personal computers.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 03:05 PM
Have you considered a ubuntu OS? They're very easy to use... my 86 year-old father-in-law uses one with no problems, and he's not very computer-savvy. I personally prefer Windows, but mostly because they can do so much more.

Contrary to popular opinion, Mac's are not very trouble-free. I fix computers as a sideline, and I couldn't count the Mac users that are continuously hounding me to fix their computers. My main reason for turning them down is if I screw it up and I need to find a replacement, I'm looking at around $1500.00, where if I screw up this netbook I'm using right now, I can easily replace it for under $300.

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 03:05 PM
Quickest Fix: System restore to date before issue arose.

If still a problem - try this:

Firefox Website colors are wrong

If webpages' background and text colors are displaying wrong, try checking the following settings:
(Firefox) View -> Page Style should not be set to "No Style"

"Tools -> Options -> Content -> Colors" check "Allow pages to use their own colors, instead of my selections above"

(Windows users) Start Menu -> Control Panel -> Accessibility -> Display -> uncheck "Use High Contrast", restart the application

(Windows users) Right-click the Firefox shortcut -> Properties -> Compatibility -> uncheck "Run in 256 colors", restart the application

Did you say you had fixed the other issues on your desktop etc?

posted on Jun, 30 2011 @ 03:13 PM
Our closest Mac center is 3 hours away too.

You can contact them and see if they are planning on opening a center closer to you.

Just a thought.

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