Dell Vista Upgrade Program Update

I wanted to try to address some of the issues that customers have raised on Direct2Dell and Dell Community Forum regarding the Dell Vista Upgrade Program. Many users often comment about why is it so difficult to get answers. Part of the reason is that we have to work with other companies to fulfill upgrade orders.

In accordance with Microsoft program guidelines, March 15, 2007 was the last day for purchasing an eligible system to qualify for the Vista Upgrade. March 31, 2007 was the last day to redeem the Express Upgrade to Windows Vista. That said, we will continue to support customers who tried to get their orders processed by March 31 but are still running into issues. We apologize for any inconvenience and will work to correct them.

We plan to ship the remaining Vista upgrade DVDs over the next few weeks. However, shipment of the upgrade kits for systems that utilize an NVIDIA disk controller driver—the OptiPlex 740, Dimension C521, E521 and the XPS 710—will be delayed until first part of May. So what’s causing that delay? Basically, getting the updated version of the disk controller driver incorporated into the DVD media we need to ship for those platforms. Ensuring a smooth upgrade process requires additional time for development and testing.

Here’s the background. In late February, before the upgrade kits for those systems shipped, we discovered an issue with the NVIDIA disk controller driver. The previous version of the driver could result in a No O/S found error message. We worked with NVIDIA to get an updated version of their MediaShield driver to fix the issue and made the updated driver (V.5.10.2600.692) available on on 2/26. Soon after, we pushed it through in Dell Support 3.x. It’s also available via Windows Update as a critical update.

We regret the delay and apologize for any inconvenience. I can assure you that we have been working to correct the issues. We will continue to do so.

Several readers have asked why we don’t just ship the retail version, or offer various Vista versions for download. The reason is that, in both cases, Microsoft provides technical support in both cases. We ship and support Dell OEM versions of Vista for the upgrade or when we either build a system from the factory. Customers who receive Vista from the Dell Vista Upgrade Program also get the Dell Upgrade Assistant DVD. It contains drivers specific to your system and was designed to make the upgrade process as seamless as possible.

We mirrored a first in, first out process as much as possible, but as many readers have commented, there were several instances where this did not happen. To deal with the the variety of each kit (language and various versions of Vista like Home Basic, Business, Premium, etc.), these kits were built and shipped in batches. While that process was more efficient, in some instances, it impacted the shipping order of the upgrade kits. I apologize for any frustration this has caused.

Several Direct2Dell readers have asked about shipping schedules in other countries outside the United States. While we continue to fulfill international orders, the reality is that we expect to have all orders shipped by end of May.

Though the registration deadline has passed, the site is still operational to allow users to:

  • Check their order status
  • Update credit card information
  • Update or change the shipping address for order

If your order is listed as "In Process," that means your order is being processed. From there, you should receive an e-mail notification when your order ships. Last month, due to confusion regarding order status, Dell changed the word “pending” to “in process.”

Customers who have tried to submit their order before the March 31, 2007 deadline but are still running into problems getting their orders processed can submit a comment with your e-mail address field completed. I can have someone from the Customer Care team follow up with you. Additionally, you can call 866-634-7426 or 866-409-9542. If you prefer e-mail, the Contact Us page on the Dell Vista Upgrade site lists additional e-mail addresses.

About the Author: Lionel Menchaca