Dell XPS M1330 Wireless Problems

I recently purchased a Dell XPS M1330 laptop. Great machine. Really no issues. Other than one huge one. The wireless connection will suddenly drop at random times. Sometimes it will come back. Sometimes it will come back after manually resetting the connection. Sometimes it will come back only after a full reboot. Sometimes it will come back after holding a seance. Sometimes it just won’t come back.

Searching the internet has helped me understand that I’m not the only one with this issue. It seems to be a a fairly common (or all-too common, at least) issue that users of these laptops experience. It may or may not be related to running Vista. Who knows. I do have one other Dell laptop running Vista Ultimate that has no issues whatsoever. And a ThinkPad. And an iMac. So the router is just fine. In fact, I even bought a new router not too long ago, thinking that this would help with the issue.

So I spent over an hour on the phone/connected with Dell’s tech support in India. They were going through the motions of removing and then reinstalling the drivers, which I told them I had already done. They changed a few other configuration things, which didn’t help at all. The end result of the conversation was that I would need to *pay* someone to help me further, since it is a “software issue” and “not related to the hardware.”

Me: “So you guys send me a laptop that has had this problem since I pulled it out of the box, and now you’re telling me that I need to pay someone to come have a look at it.”
Dell: “Yes. We only warranty the hardware.”
Me: “I didn’t put any of this other software on here. It came to me this way from the factory.”
Dell: “It is not a hardware issue, sir. I cannot help you. But you can call and schedule an appointment with . . .”

If there’s one thing that I’ve learned from dealing with Dell’s “customer service” folks, it’s that they only read from a script, and cannot help you beyond that. It’s almost like they use the cultural differences between Americans and Indians to their advantage, so they can slyly imply that I am rude, and they are trying to help me. So I just said thank you and hung up.

Hopefully Dell can get their act together with not only this particular issue, but their glaring lack of customer service. I love this machine. But I do not have the patience to deal with this incompetence. Do any of my 1.3 readers have any suggestions?

Update: So I did a bit more research on this, and the problem appears to be associated with the Dell wireless card. Specifically, the Dell Wireless 1505 Draft 802.11n WLAN Mini-Card. So I went to eBay and ordered Intel’s 4965 card. Hopefully this will help to solve my issue. And hopefully I am smart enough to pop out the old one and put in the new one. Dell’s support is still horrible. All they wanted was to have me pay for someone to come out and probably uninstall/install the same drivers again. They just need to come out and say that this card is a piece of junk.