In February I purchased from Dell a new Studio XPS 16 preloaded with Windows 7 Ultimate (64-bit), Microsoft Office and a few other, unwanted apps like McAfee (I much prefer Webroot over McAfee, but Dell didn't give me the choice).
From Day One my system has locked-up at least once a day (average is around six lockups/day). This state of affairs has now deteriorated to the point where the system allows me to log in, but that is all. And it's only the 24th of March. Today I cannot get the system to the point where it will actually run applications, even built-in ones like Windows Explorer. If I make any attempt to run an application -- any application at all -- the system locks-up and must be powered-down by holding down the power button. Occasionally I've had to physically remove the battery to force the system to turn off. All is not lost, however, as the system shuts off my WiFi -- whether I want it to or not -- without requiring me to remove the notebook's battery.
My system came bundled with another, rather unique feature worthy of mention: the software is self-mutilating. The Dell Dock, for example, just went away for no particular reason. Perhaps it had taken offense at being required to run every time I booted the machine. Or maybe a few bits rebelled at being ones and are now zeros or something in-between. Maybe the system stack fell over. Maybe, just maybe, Windows 7 has a built-in Death Wish function. Think about it: Programs are executed, are they not? At some point they'll die, but did it have to happen so soon? This machine was BOA (Broke On Arrival). Stillborn. Unfortunately, I am past Dell's paltry twenty-one-day limit for returns of defective merchandise. My guess is they don't want their junk back any more than anyone else wants to keep it for them. But I would like my money back, even so. My money, at least, is still useful, even in Dell's hands.
I strongly suspect the hardware is not the problem, that behind all this nastiness is the world's largest (in the sense of being morbidly obese), latest (as in late, as ever) and most popular (not that it offers any technical advantages. It is merely the current de facto standard) computer virus: Windows 7. It does all the things a virus does and more, save one: it does not infect other computers with copies of itself. Microsoft, it would seem, still maintains a sense of social responsibility in this regard, however modest. If you want Windows 7 to infect other computers, you still have to pay for each copy and infect the computers yourself, manually. And speaking of paying for something, I'm considering applying a free countermeasure to Windows 7. A cure, as it were, to the problem of Windows 7: Linux.
This is what I would like to try: To expunge all things Microsoft from this otherwise potentially useful machine and resurrect it as a full-fledged Linux Box. Has anyone here done this? I've heard great things about Ubuntu, Debian, Suse, and to a lesser extent, Red Hat (albeit Red Hat seems a bit pricey for a supposedly free OS, although it's Fedora core is free).
And finally, judging from my experiences thus far, I am convinced that Windows 7 will turn out to be the best thing to ever happen to Linux. Meanwhile, I would like to thank Microsoft -- and Dell -- for pointing me in the right direction.
I know this is old, but I thought I would post anyway ... I have the same machine and have happily & successfully installed both Linux Mint & Ubuntu. Both work great, I am currently running Ubuntu 11.10 and have Win7 setup via virtualbox to run windows apps that I just cant get for Linux
You probably already figured it out ... so anyway, Enjoy!