Owners of Dell Inspiron notebooks have reported that Microsoft's Windows Service Pack 2 is cutting their system speeds dramatically -- in some cases by a factor of almost ten, from 2.6GHz to 300MHz.
According to postings on Dell's support forums this week, owners of the notebooks experienced the slowdown after installing the update for Windows XP Home Edition. One owner reported similar problems at work. "I tested SP2 for a week or two before it came out and before I deployed it on my network," wrote a correspondent identified as Blane. "I was prepared for [almost] anything except this issue," said Blane, who found that deleting and reinstalling printer drivers helped.
Blane added that scanners should be removed and reinstalled as well, noting: "it seems that SP2 moves or removes some of the required dll files for these peripherals. Reinstalling them replaces the missing dlls and everything seems to run fine."
Dell did not immediately respond to requests for comment for this article, but one correspondent, Ron Colverson, posted the response that Dell sent him: "Dell does not validate any externally loaded software and can therefore make no representations as to their effectiveness, stability, appropriateness, or safety," it said. "Any problems encountered with this kind of software should be addressed to the respective manufacturer."
This response appeared to spark incredulity among other forum users.
Covlerson later posted a fix apparently provided by US-based PC seller Campustech, which involves rolling back the processor driver. But many owners were left asking why Dell doesn't support Microsoft patches.