Here's MY Packard Hell story...
It started back in Febuary '96. A friend of mine bought a PB Legend 102CD-P75 with 8MB RAM, Windows '95, and the standard set of PB pack-in software. At the time, I was still using an old 8088 IBM clone, and a Commodore 64. I had bought the shareware Doom for the computer where I work, so I went to my friend's place to check out his new computer, and to install Doom. When we went to play it, there was only music, no sound effects. After trying various settings, We finally decided to call the Packard Bell helpline. They insisted that it was the software, and advised us to call the game's publisher. I had trouble believing it was the software, since Doom was a blockbuster game, and I seriously doubted it would have such bugs. We called ID Software anyway, and they told us they never heard of this problem, and that the sound card probably wasn't 100% Sound Blaster compatible. Eventually we figured out that we could get sound effects by loading the game, exiting, and then immediatly loading it again. So the problem was sort-of solved.
I then installed a golf game for Windows on his computer. As soon as the golf club struck the ball, an error window popped up saying "The Aztec sound card is not responding". After screwing with the game's setup, the only way we could get it to work was using "Adlib" sound effects. Not that great, but at least there was some sound...
A few weeks later, I was at a Wal-Mart, with a credit card itching in my wallet. I was looking at their computers, which were mostly Packard Bells. I didn't want to spend too much, so I had my eyes on a PB 1700CDW 486DX4/75 with 8MB RAM, and the same set of pack-in software that my friend's computer came with. I started thinking about the sound card problems my friend had with his computer, and finally decided "what the heck, having to load Doom twice isn't THAT bad; And hell, this one might not even have that problem!"
Well, I got it home... Same problem. Oh well, at least I was kind of expecting it. But then, I started noticing other problems. The moniter's picture wasn't centered, and there was no adjustments on the front. I found 2 knobs on the back, which were a real pain in the ass to turn. They would adjust the picture somewhat, but still not enough to fill the screen. I then found something upsetting. On certain forms in some of the pre-installed software, someone else's name was there! I figured out that Wal-Mart had given me a used computer. I took it back and exchanged it. This time, it had a decent moniter (with adjustment knobs on the front even!), but still had the same freaky sound card problems. After I got connected to the 'net, I started writing Packard Bell about the sound card bugs. They were still claiming they never heard of this problem before, but did offer some solutions; Unfortunatly, none of them worked.
After numerous aggravations involving the sound card and various games, I finally bought a genuine Sound Blaster 16 and a Logicode 28.8 modem, completly eliminating the menacing Aztec, a.k.a. "Sound 144 AM", combination sound card-modem. Later, I upgraded to 16MB RAM. Other things I have done is remove the "Navigator" program, which freed up 90MB hard drive space, and various other useless pack-in software programs. The machine runs fairly well now. The next upgrade will be a Pentium motherboard with CPU. Packard Bell will still haunt me through this, as I will need to get a different case(thanks to PB's non-standard case sizes), a new video card(thanks to PB integrating my original one into the motherboard), and more memory if I want to maintain 16MB(thanks to PB soldering 4MB of my 16MB onto the motherboard).
So, to anyone looking to buy a new computer...
The only way to make a Packard Bell purchase a good one would be to buy an alternate sound card, and an extra 8MB's of RAM(if the PB only has 8MB), and this is crazy, needing to do this to a brand-new computer!
If you currently have a newer Packard Bell computer, purchase the above items, and your computer may last. The reason for upgrading to 16MB RAM is to decrease Win95's use of Virtual Memory, saving a lot of wear and tear on the hard drive, which, from what I've seen on other "PB Sucks!" pages, is a whole 'nother can of worms!
Oh, by the way... My friend's PB computer I mentioned... He recently had to get the CD drive replaced, and also his Aztec sound card completly died!
I no longer use the PB computer. I purchased parts, and built my own P166!
I hear that Packard Bell/NEC have downgraded their marketing to sell computers only over the Internet. It just goes to show you what can happen to a business when it continually cheats customers, and even more so what can happen when a bunch of these screwed over customers make their dealings with the said company public, in a very big way!
Other Packard Bell haters!
Yup, there's more of us PB haters out there, and our numbers seem to be
Be sure to check out these links,especially if you're a Packard Bell owner... You will find even more helpful information!
Packard Bell: The Truth -This was a site set up by an employee of Packard Bell, detaling what really goes on behind the scenes at PB. When I was first sent the link, I knew it wouldn't last long, since it was on GeoCities, so I saved all the pages. Now, here they are, restored on my site. Enjoy!
I Hate Packard Bell!
I REALLY hate Packard Bell
Packard Bell is an Evil Institution
Another Packard Bell hater
Yet another Packard Bell hater!
Sneaker's Packard Bell Hell
Join the fight against defective computers
Boycott Packard Bell
Stacy J. Dunkle
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