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  1. #1
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    Warning: Do NOT Buy low-end Dell Inspiron laptop

    The solid-state hard drives on these low-end Dell laptops are so small (32 GB) that Windows 10 cannot do its updates. (One place says my model is a Dell Inspiron 14-3452, another place Inspiron 11 3000. It sold for less than $300.) At first Windows Updater tells you that you can use a USB thumb drive with at least 10 GB free. I did that once, and the update was successful, although not without some trouble. For the next update, it asked for a USB drive with even more free space. I went out and bought one. But then it said it still needed over 3 GB of free space on the main hard drive of the laptop. There seems to be no way to enable Windows 10 to do its updates any more.

    I had put very little on this machine, no Microsoft Word, only a few apps fully installed plus several other pretty small ones that I would run as portable (no-install) apps. I took off everything that seemed unnecessary and still couldn't free up the +3GB. It comes from the factory with a pitiful amount of free HD space.

    Yes, I know I bought a low-end laptop, but I bought it mainly for my wife to Skype with her family, and I thought I might do a little web surfing, checking my email, etc. I didn't need a powerful computer.) How can they sell a product that can`t do Windows updates? Eventually, the system is going to fall behind in terms of security. I`ve prepared a USB stick with bootable Linux on it, so one day I can use the machine with Linux instead of Windows, but I'd much rather throw this piece of junk in a recycling bin, if I could afford it.

    Stay away from low-end Dell Inspiron laptops. Personally, I'm now leery of buying anything from Dell.

    (I won`t even start on the trouble I had when after 4-5 months the computer refused to turn off, the hours I wasted with telephone staff who really had little idea how to troubleshoot, and the 3 weeks it took to get it repaired, which was only a re-imaging, so I hope the problem originated in the software and not the hardware.)

  2. #2
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    Actually, a friend recently got a low cost Inspiron from Staples and it came with a 1 TB hard drive. So, it's more about the drive size than make and model. Why anyone would buy a computer with a 32GB HDD, I don't know.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    The thing is... it should be able to be used for Skype, surfing, email, etc. I would guess that many other owners of these devices have similar very legitimate complaints. I also guess that this 'update issue' has come as a nasty surprise to Dell too. If you think about it, what manufacturer willingly leaves themselves open to widespread criticism and the possibility of legal action as a marketing strategy? I'm sure Dell's reputation is invaluable to it and, like you, the company probably feels it's been blind-sided.

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    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by gsmith-plm
    Why anyone would buy a computer with a 32GB HDD, I don't know.
    People who were led to believe it would do what they wanted?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Corbett View Post
    People who were led to believe it would do what they wanted?
    I've used Dell computers for more years than I can recall and never had an issue. I checked on line and this looks like an Inspiron 11 3000 which comes with an 11" non-touch screen and a 32BG drive or an 11" touch screen with a 32 or 500GB drive.

    I'm guessing that 32GB seemed to be enough, particularly if you mainly use Universal apps. But the method MS is using now for upgrades is creating a problem. I think that model comes with an SD card slot so it would make sense to get a 32GB or 64GB card to keep in there and use for expansion storage. Not sure how to use that for upgrades but I think it's possible.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    Super Moderator BATcher's Avatar
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    I have an HP Stream 11 'laptop' 2 GB 64-bit with just a nominal 32 GB of disk storage.

    Some time ago, I upgraded it from Windows 7 to Windows 10 without any problems that I can recall..

    Quite recently I updated it with Anniversary Update, after a lot of faffing around - removing hiberfil.sys and all restore points, running disk cleanup, and so on, temporarily. It took much of a day.

    Complaining simply about the cheaper Dell Inspirons is, in my view, very unfair. There are a number of makes of these low-end laptops, just as there were many makes of the truly awful 'net-books', since consigned to the dustbin of history.
    BATcher

    Time prevents everything happening all at once...

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    Did you have a choice of what size HDD it came with and did it come with Win 10 pre-installed ?

    If it was as is, then in the UK you could have returned it as not being fit for purpose because off the size of Win 10's updates.

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    The problem is not the specific model, but it is the fact that the disk is 32 GB.

    I helped someone upgrading one to Windows 10 and using a SD flash drive allowed the upgrade to proceed without any issues. So, in order to upgrade, better be sure what space you have and, as batcher suggested, if not enough space is available, make it so. Using Disk Cleanup can help. It did in the case of the upgrade I helped with.
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    It was an impulse purchase. I didn't spend much time thinking about it, or looking at the specs, really, since my needs were very basic. I trusted the Dell name, thinking they would never sell something so crappy. Live and learn.

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    Oh, to live in a civilized country like the U.K.

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    I'm being unfair to Dell by complaining about a product that you suggest might be awful and consignable to the dust-bin? Meanwhile I wasted $300? I don't think I'll apologize to Dell.

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    This was not an upgrade (Win 7 to Win 10). It was just regular updates to the pre-installed Windows 10. I did my best to clear away as much space as was asked for. Deleting more would leave me with a computer of very little use to me.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DavidToronto View Post
    I'm being unfair to Dell by complaining about a product that you suggest might be awful and consignable to the dust-bin? Meanwhile I wasted $300? I don't think I'll apologize to Dell.
    A brand, per se, doesn't ensure anything. If a PC is offered by $300, you really need to look at the specs, because there are no miracles. When my friend bought the 32 GB tablet I did warn that 32 GB was on the barely acceptable limit to run Windows. I must confess I would hardly buy one myself.

    Also, from your description, this seems a Windows 10 upgrade, that now will occur through Windows Upgrade, so it's not surprising that some space is required. I think free disk requirements are between 10 GB and 12 GB, so it's not surprising that a 32 GB model can barely make it.

    Sorry if this looks blunt, and I understand your disappointment, but it was a risky purchase, regardless of brand. I understand that Microsoft had to make an effort to even make sure that 32GB devices were upgradable. Probably Microsoft is more to blame than Dell, but you do need to be aware of what you are buying...

    My opinion is that even a 64GB device, with around 20GB or so devoted to Windows, may not be adequate, depending on the use you want to make of it. So, I would probably say any device with a disk with less than 64GB should be bought only with an understanding that hoping it will behave like a regular device with a regular disk may be a bit too much. So, it's not a matter of apologizing to Dell, which you obviously don't have to, but it's more of having realistic expectations on what $300 of hardware to run Windows can get you.
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    As it came with Win 10 pre-installed then see what a complaint might bring - they won't want to damage their rep and you could come to some arrangement whereby they supply you with a preloaded larger SSD or HDD - you never know your luck.

    I think I'd be pissed off if I bought something in good faith and it wasn't up to it.

    Someone less savvy could find themselves in the same predicament - so just plead ignorant that you weren't aware a SSD of that size was unsuitable for a Win 10 machine and I'm sure we'll all keep our fingers crossed that you come out smelling of roses
    Last edited by Sudo15; 2016-08-13 at 19:36.

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