Dell puts too much crap on their computers

Over the weekend I replaced my wife’s aging computer with a new Dell system. I continue to be impressed with Dell’s online store, and delivery was even sooner than expected. But when I booted up the computer, I was stunned by the amount of unnecessary crap on it. I had to spend quite a while getting rid of all the useless startup applications and advertisements masquerading as desktop icons.

Do other computer makers do the same thing? I don’t recall having to waste time cleaning up the VoodooPC I bought a couple of years ago.

22 thoughts on “Dell puts too much crap on their computers

  1. I recently bought a Dell XPS machine and immediately purchased XP Pro x64 over the counter, then wiped the entire Dell boot load in favor of the new OS. I got what I wanted, configured how I wanted, and any issues are issues that I am familiar with. Yeah, I spent another hundred dollars for the OEM OS, but compared to fighting with all those preinstalled apps, I think it was worth it.

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  2. I’ve found this to be true with lots of companies — Compaq, HP, and Dell.. All of them needed a serious set of housecleaning.. I’ve started to assume all PC’s come that way.. Another reason that I prefer my unbloated Apple!

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  3. VoodooPC is a custom builder so they’re only going to put on what they really need. Dell and the others are subsidising part of the purchase price by making advertising agreements. Really, that’s what it amounts to.

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  4. Yep – sure do. This past weekend I wound up having to fdisk my wife’s new HP and reload it. Forget the cleaned-up desktop – just look at how much smaller the Start Menu is! Granted, she doesn’t need as many apps as I do, but still – that was ridiculous!

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  5. I love Dell. I have over 120 Dell servers and over 600 Dell Workstations at work as well has 1 desktop and 1 laptop at home and they are all superb. However I do agree that they come with too much crap on them. The first thing I do with a new Dell is image (using Ghost) then blow it away and install Windows myself.
    All that crap makes Dell a lot of money though so I understand why they do it.
    Do yourself a favour though and wipe it with a clean Windows install. Getting all the drivers from the Dell website is simple also which is nice.
    Out of interest what model/spec did you buy her? heh.

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  6. Yuk. Many sympathies, remving software is horrid, especially as you have that nagging doubt that some registery setting is, perhaps, not quite fully tidied away and maybe it’ll affect something one day.
    I suppose it’s the wafer thin margins Dell et al work with; I can see it now, some software (shovelware) agreement is offered, it earns them 0.5%, that represents a 25% increase in bottom line profit and the business case is made. Ok, I made up these figures, but my guess is they are not orders of magnitude wrong and thererin lies the problem.
    In the same way we should all, perhaps, pay more for flying (to counter greenhouse and pay for more security), perhaps we should pay more for computers so they are ‘beautiful’ when the arrive?

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  7. Funny enough, Apple’s new ad campaign riffs on this exact problem:
    http://www.apple.com/getamac/awesome.html
    “Unpack your new PC and you’ll be amazed at what it offers. A bundle of mismatched software and that nagging feeling that your desktop has just been sold to the highest bidder. Of course, it does have that cool calculator. Oh, and a clock. That’ll come in handy when you’re ticking off the hours it takes you to uninstall all the software you don’t want and buy all the software you do.”

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  8. I bought 25 Micron units for the office and they came with nothing installed except XP, Office and Acrobat Reader. They even include the Windows and Office discs so reinstalls or adding features is easy. (And no that wasn’t a special request because we were buying many of them.)

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  9. Sounds like you bought a Dimension – get the optiplex – much less crap. The Optiplex is more of a “semi-pro” machine.
    Henry

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  10. Try using the Dell Decrapifier (free):
    http://www.yorkspace.com/dell-de-crapifier/
    I recently purchased a Dell… and so did 3 of my friends. I used this program to remove all of the trial software and saved a lot of time.
    I’ve also read that if you order by phone you can request that the computer not have anything additional installed on it besides the OS, but I read that after I purchased.

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  11. Like others here, I’ve found that this isn’t unique to Dell. Everyone (all the major players, at least) seems to ship with bloat. My first effort when receiving a new system is to immediately repartition the drive and install the OS clean.
    It’s a shame that it has to be done that way, but I’m admittedly anal retentive about these things and hate garbage.

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  12. Linkfest: Dell, Microsoft, Corel, oh my!

    Many news items whizzing by that I’ve not had time to catch, so I’ll play catch-up with some quickies: Some folks are complaining that Dell is placing spyware on its computers. Here’s another possible instance. Meanwhile, Michael Dell defends…

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  13. the HP I got for the kids certainly had a ton of junk on it… in addtion to all the trial games (that you’d have to buy after you play for X time), there were a ton of signup icons all over for various ISPs and online services. Come on, one set is surely enough! I don’t need them on the desktop and 4 or 5 different places in the start menus…
    I haven’t even gone through all the other “stuff that came with the PC” to see what I want to keep… for now I moved the icons under a start menu subfolder until I can check it… sigh.

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  14. You know, I thought the same thing when I got a few low-end laptops for the office just to drag around or hand out to clients wanting to check their email…
    My God, the CRAP that Dell has installed on it already. I couldn’t believe it! Google Toolbar, Google Desktop (which started indexing everything all by itself), virus scanning, Dell Support that had annoying nag alerts (with PAGES even), Real Player, Quicken (with another nag screen), Word Perfect (does anyone still use this anymore??)… the list went on and on.
    It took me a bloody hour each to clean it up, and I was doing 4 at a time.
    But here was the canny thing about Google and Dell. Google’s angry about IE7 having Live Search as the default (and MS has every right to make it that, it is a business after all and Google is a competitor). They complain to the DoJ and the EU. They say the stupidest quote I’ve ever heard from a corporation: “users want an ‘open choice’ in search options” — not a default choice…
    Whoa whoa whoa, hold on. Didn’t they pay Dell $1 billion to pre-install Google Toolbar and Google Desktop on ALL their new computers without an option to skip it in the configuration process? That’s not cool, Google.
    Or Dell for that matter, for pre-installing crap all over MY computers.

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