A few months ago, Acer issued a safety recall to fix a microphone wire that was apparently sitting a little too close to the hard drive. I sent my machine back and it returned within a week. The customer service experience was top notch and I was really hoping some other warranty-valid issue would crop up before the Aspire Timeline’s one year birthday was up.
Last week, icons started disappearing in Ubuntu quite randomly. Within about 10 minutes of turning on the computer, Gnome started complaining about not being able to find resources for icons. Once that message popped up, the system locked. Only a hard reset would save it. One time I managed to jump down into a terminal, and I saw a host of ext4-fs I/O errors. This pattern repeated itself like clockwork, rendering the machine quite useless.
I called Acer tech support just now and voiced my concern that it was a hardware issue which was throwing GNU/Linux versions of the Micro$oft BSOD. As is the case with most vendors who bundle proprietary software with their machines, I was absolutely forced to do a system recover of W!ndow$. Guess what. The same errors cropped up: icons going missing, W!ndow$ missing random files, the system locking up. After going through the motions, which in W!ndow$ looks like the electronic equivalent of the effects of bad refried beans, it provided a BSOD, gratis. Fairly convinced by now that this was a hardware issue, I had no problems convincing the tech support fellow, who, by today’s standards, was a rather nice chap. I was about to negotiate for Acer to pay for shipping BOTH ways (they only pay for shipping back to the customer in the case of a voluntary warranty send-in) until I saw that the service centre is local, and situated within 10 minutes from my house.
How convenient. Tomorrow I drop it off, and sincerely hope that a replacement of some hardware is in order.
I managed to keep the machine active in Ubuntu long enough to wipe my private GPG key and back up necessary documents, since Acer tech support is apparently going to wipe everything (and reinstall W!ndow$, although I’ve issued a request that they leave the hard drive blank instead). It also surprisingly stayed alive while I removed the .purple and .evolution folders (.purple is where Pidgin stores its settings, and likewise for Evolution, in the .evolution folder).
I’ve removed W!ndow$ and am currently running memtest86+. It’s been running for about 10 minutes with nary an error. I think I can eliminate bad RAM as an issue.
Sigh…should’ve taken a picture of the ext4-fs and BSOD screens…
This work, unless otherwise expressly stated, is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.5 Canada License.