Dell Charges $49 to Remove Their Own Spyware

I recently purchased a new Dell computer. Previously I made a promise with myself to never purchase a Windows based computer again, but due to work-related complications I had no choice. The Dell arrived three days after I ordered it, which was great considering the shipping was free.

Fearing that my computer would become infected with a virus within 12 minutes, my first line of order was to purchase and install anti-virus software. Once that was finished, my next task was to delete the unnecessary programs that come pre-installed on the machine. Having purchased a Dell before, I was well aware that Dell computers ship full of bloat. I anticipated to find garbage such as AOL coach, Dell Picture Studio and Internet Explorer. What I was shocked to find, however, was My Way Search Assistant.

For those of you recently in a coma (or those of you that use a Mac or Linux), My Way is a spyware program that claims to block pop-ups and provide other nice features for users on the web. In reality, My Way spies on your browsing habits and reports this information to a central server so that customized ads can be delivered to your machine.

I’ve been a fan of Michael Dell for about ten years since I read an article about him in Reader’s Digest. Not wanting to believe that my friend Michael would allow this garbage to be installed on computers that bare his name, I assumed that somehow a virus had snuck its way onto my machine in the ten minute window where my computer was without anti-virus software. Sadly, Google search after Google search revealed that in fact Dell is being paid to pre-install this filth on their machines.

I felt like I had been punched in the stomach. Michael Dell, how could you allow this to happen? It really hurts to see a former hero *sarcasm* falter like this. Now I know how fans of Tom Cruise must be feeling. :-) Michael, I thought I knew thee so well!

After spending an hour in shock and mourning, I gathered myself off the floor to remove the program from my machine. I opened the control panel and selected “Add or Remove Programs.” After removing My Way, I was told that I would have to reboot my computer. A quick reboot later and I was back in the control panel. At this point I was ready to forget the entire ordeal and move on with my life.

Looking back on it, I should have known there would be more problems. If only I had paid more attention to the screeching violins that could be heard in the background. That’s right, My Way still appeared in the “Add or Remove Programs” window. However, this time around there was no uninstall button. My Way appeared to be permanently on my machine.

Having read that Adaware can remove My Way, I downloaded, installed and ran Adaware from Lavasoft. Perhaps because My Way had already partially removed itself, Adaware was unable to detect My Way on the machine. It was time to call Dell support.

After a 30 minute wait on hold, a man with an Indian accent who asked to be called Stewart answered the phone. Our (abbreviated) conversation went something like this:

Stewart: What seems to be the problem?
Me: I’d like to remove My Way Search Assistant from my computer. I tried to remove it through the Control Panel, but it still appears in “Add or Remove Programs.”
Stewart: What do you know about this program?
Me: I know that this is Spyware and I know that I want it off my machine.
Stewart: How did My Way get onto your computer in the first place?
Me: What do you mean? It came pre-installed when I bought my computer from Dell.
Stewart: I have trouble believing that this was on your computer when you purchased it.
Me: So do I Stewart, so do I.

Obviously Stewart is not very up to date with the sotware Dell pre-installs on their computers. If anybody doubts that Dell has a relationships with My Way, one only need visit http://www.dell4me.com/myway

Stewart then explained that he would no longer be able to assist me with my problem. He indicated that I would need to contact software support services for help removing the spyware that Dell installed on my machine. Oh yeah, and he indicated that they would charge my credit card for the call. $49, specifically.

What Dell is doing should be illegal. They are being paid to install spyware on new computers. They are making it difficult for customers to remove the spyware on their own. Then, they charge $49 to teach you how to remove it. This would be like a doctor being paid to infect you with a disease and then charging you for the antidote.

Dell claims that people like me are overreacting, but a lot of people seem to disagree.

If you feel comfortable messing with the Windows registry, here are some instructions on how to remove My Way. More information can also be found on the Dell forums.

I’m responsible for the purchase of eight Dell computers for myself, friends and family in the past few years. After this ordeal, I will never again purchase a Dell. I will never again recommend that anybody else purchase a Dell. In fact, from this point forward I will go out of my way to recommend that people looking to purchase a computer avoid Dell altogether. I doubt that I’m alone. With practices like these, Dell shouldn’t be surprised to hear its customers say, “Dude, you’re getting a boycott.”

248 Comments on "Dell Charges $49 to Remove Their Own Spyware"

  1. cybele says:

    This is really disturbing. I currently own two dells (one desktop, one laptop). I’m prepping to buy a new laptop in the next year or so and was planning on getting a dell again. Now I might think twice because this is a crappy way to treat your customers.

    I buy mine through the outlet, so they’re usually pretty free of the other software bloat for some reason (I think because they were configured for businesses).

    Just another example of a good company going to hell in a handbasket.

  2. Jeff says:

    Thank you for outlining this issue so well! I bought my Dell Dimension earlier this year and was surprised, shocked and really aggravated to have to deal with this MY WAY nonsense on my new PC! I have been a huge loyal Dell fan since 1999 when I bought my first Dell. I reccomended Dell PC’s to my family, planned to buy more Dells for my business, I even own DELL stock! The MY WAY thing is really turning me sour on Dell – it shows real disrespect for the customer if they are so arrogant as to override the customer’s ability to control what runs on their own PC.

  3. Tim says:

    I have purchased at least 6 Dell computers for personal and business use. Learning that Dell is pre-installing spyware is very disappointing. I thought an employee had done some unapproved browsing. I have a hard enough time keeping computers maintained. I don’t need Dell working aginst me also.

  4. James says:

    I bought my first dell notebook and found this My way search assistant program in my add/remove program and I’m supprised to find out Dell installed this. I uninstalled it by using regedit.exe to find “myway” couple times until I found the .msi file, it’s at c:\windows\installer\e822e.msi on my computer, it will be different base on model I think, anyway right click on the msi and choose uninstall, it goes away. I’ve been not satisfied with dell notebook since I bought it, after I used my friend’s Sony Vaio I feel even so, it’s brighter some “XBrite” technology, the keyboard is queiter, the notebook is cooler (less heat), the dvd-writer is very quite and so on, bye dell not more business from me.

  5. Retroactivism says:

    Nice article, got my brand new Dimension 2400. First order of business was to clear out add/remove programs. I can smell spyware a mile away having done technical support on the phone for about a year. My Way jumped right out at me. Lucky I caught it early and reformatted the entire drive right there and then. I’m shocked that Dell would pull a stunt like this. I hope this isn’t the start of a new trend among manufacturers. It’s the last Dell I’ll be buying for a very long time.

  6. Grimslade says:

    I’m a computer tech and my shop is recommending that no-one buy a Dell ever again. The Tech support is ABYSMAL, and now the pre-installed spyware? Not happening here. Dell forums HAD a section on this, but it’s DOWN for some reason… wonder why… too many complaints piling up maybe? I posted there myself and had my post deleted because I called Dell Support a ‘hellhole for customers.’. The forum monitor didn’t like it… there is a fix for that unremovable add/remove program entry. type this string into the start/run window…

    msiexec.exe /x{78d944d7-a97b-4004-ab0a-b5ad06839940}

    This will remove that entry. Do this AFTER Uninstalling MyWaySearch and cleaning up the traces with Ad-Aware and Spybot Search & Destroy. Best do it quick before Dell figures out a way to block that string. Then you’ll have to fork over your 49$ so they will clean your machine for you… of the SPYWARE that they loaded it with in the first place!

  7. Gmail.com says:

    This is a mess.
    I cannot belive that dell would sink this low!
    I’m making sure to tell everyone to not buy a dell. Their tech support knows nothing about anything anyway! Something that can easily be removed by S&D or HJT (google them) gets a “Reformat!” from tech support. >_> And now they’re preinstalling CRAPWARE!?! As of now, dell officially sucks.

  8. Becky, Florida says:

    Michael!!!! How true this all is, I have been going nuts trying to get rid of it this last couple of days. Although, I never resorted to calling Dell. I am very disturbed and actually quite disgusted over this. I was on the phone with my husband when I stumbled across your article. I read it to him as well, because I was so appalled. He was livid.
    He also brought up a good point, “Why is it that we are not getting together and putting a class action suite against Dell?” The reason this could happen is because they are under a contract with MyWay, and getting paid to install their software without the purchaser’s agreement. On top of that they are then charging the consumer to remove the software. This is not a legal business practice. You CANNOT charge the party asking you to install it, then turn around and ask the 3rd party to pay you to either uninstall it or tell you how to uninstall it.
    What makes me even more upset is that I recently started using a cable modem to connect to the internet. The company that I am using offers a great Virus/Spyware/Adware protection for free. Obviously, I pay an arm & a leg for this kind of service, so they least they could do is not make me pay for virus protection. Anyway, I installed it, then I couldn’t get online. At a later date I found out the reason was because MyWay was on my computer and the virus protection they offer does not remove anything, it only prevents it. Therefore, because I had spyware on my computer to begin with it wouldn’t let me online b/c I was already infected. Then to read your article and realize I can’t get protected because I was infected by the people I spent a lot of money with to begin with!!!!! I AM LIVID!
    I think it would be good to finally expose Dell for their bad business practices. Unfortunately, I don’t have the money to start a law suite against them. Maybe, someone who will read this does have that kind of money. But, never fear, I will do my part. I will be e-mailing this article to everyone I know. I will print it out and hand it to my neighbors, the person in front of me at the grocery store or mall. The people of all of Florida & Ohio will know if it’s the last thing I do!!!!!! Also, if you are able contact PIRG in your state. They are a consumer watchdog group and have attorney’s & lobbyists that can possibly assist in the mission. (I only know about them because I was a member years ago when I was in college, but they get stuff done!!!)
    Michael I want to take a moment and thank you. Thank you for your time and effort in letting everyone know the real story.

  9. dave says:

    Sadly, this latest move from Dell will add them to my list of Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo as companies that I will try and avoid their products.

    I have become more and more unhappy with Dell with each purchase. Lately, my battles with them last year over the overheating of my 5100c and their response. I had to read them a Forbes article where Dell admitted to the problem.

    Sadly, In 2 years or so I will need to find another company to buy a computer from. Maybe this will be enough motivation for me to build my first pc from scratch.

    You can read my weblog entry about this:
    http://daveinchina.com/archives/000269.html

  10. peggy says:

    i need to remove my way seach assistant in add/remove but it says rare cant remove how?
    i need help

  11. Sam says:

    Well, if I were you then I would wipe out my hard drive clean as soon as i got my computer and reinstall everything from the CDs from scratch. But then, I hate using branded computers. Don’t be lazy… assemble your own system.

  12. Sam said, “Don’t be lazy… assemble your own system.”

    Most of the computers I’ve owned I’ve built myself. In the past I’ve done this to save money, but it’s really no longer going to save you money considering the cost of shipping parts from multiple vendors vs. the low priced machines that Dell sells. Today I would only build my own computer from parts for the enjoyment of it.

    When a company needs to buy 100 new computers for their employees, you can’t expect them to build 100 computers from scratch. (It’s not cost effective for, say, a law firm to enter the computer assembly business.) That would be like saying that Fedex should build all of their delivery trucks from parts rather than buying them from a vehicle manufacturer. Fedex is in the package delivery business… they’re not a car company.

    One of the benefits of living in a consumer society is the ability to save time by using products that others have made. We no longer have to cut down trees and carve them into boats ourselves if we want to travel to a foreign land. As consumers, we put our faith in companies like Dell to make good products that are worth buying. It’s unfortunate that Dell is violating their consumers, but the solution shouldn’t be to go back to building computers by hand. The solution is to buy from a Dell competitor.

  13. theCaptain says:

    “that claims to block pop-ups and provide other nice features for users on the web. In reality, My Way spies on your browsing habits and reports this information to a central server so that customized ads can be delivered to your machine.”

    A couple of things here: the MyWay Search Assistant absolutely does not ‘spy’ on you and certainly doesn’t serve any advertisements. You probably have this confused with the 180Search Assistant which I hear does do something like that. MyWay SA redirects browser bar requests that come with back with a DNS error to search results provided by MyWay that are intended to help you find what you’re looking for instead of just getting a DNS error. It replaces Microsoft’s own equivalent functionality.

    As I understand it, if you only want Microsoft’s version, removing it with the Ad/Remove control panel works fine (for the most part).

  14. Realist says:

    “Build your own” is great if you at least sort of know what you’re doing. Otherwise, I’d advise against it.

    Usually it’s no big deal, but from time to time, you run into two (or more) components that just don’t like each other and refuse to work together no matter what you do. When you buy a brand-name computer, you’re buying stuff that has presumably been tested by an engineer to make sure all the pieces play nice with each other.

  15. I”m not the Dell or HP Tech, but you can very easily remove MyWay/ My Way Toolbar, and others that come preinstalled.
    It is not neccessary to use Add/Remove it will not get it all. You can use it but follow these steps afterwards.
    (1) Right click My Computer choose properties, the System Restore, and disable it.(You can re-enable it after a couple reboots)
    (2) Brouse to Programs, find the MyWay folder, right click it and delete. NO it will not delete because the Myway.dll is running in memory you’ll know this because windows will tell you that accvess is denied. Locate the named.dll drag it to the desktop, again try to delete the folder and continue dragging access denied dll’s to the desktop until you can delete the folder.
    (2) Shut down reboot into safe mode, and delete the items you placed on the desktop. reboot into windows Normal mode. Run Regedit and do a search for MY Way, MYway and delete the keys that reference the My Way tool bar.

    This also works for others That install into a folder that you can identify.
    return now to right clicking My Computer/Properties/ choose system Restore and re activate it to monitering, then reboot.

  16. karthik says:

    i reformat the disk whenever i buy a computer.

  17. ceejayoz says:

    theCaptain Says:
    September 21st, 2005 at 11:24 am

    “As I understand it, if you only want Microsoft’s version, removing it with the Ad/Remove control panel works fine (for the most part).”

    Yaaaaay astroturf!

    Apparently, you decided to skip over the bit where he posted a screenshot of it being unremovable.

  18. Ryan says:

    BUY LOCALLY!!!

    Find a quality local computer shop, with knowledgable staff, and ask them to build you a custom computer. Ask if these machines come with bloatware — they shouldn’t.

    Long story short.. not only are you getting a machine without spyware, but on top of that — YOU GET TO CHOOSE YOUR PARTS.

    This means YOU choose the manufacturer – not Dell.

    EG: Dell chooses Quanta to engineer (design) and manufacture most of their motherboards. Quanta doesn’t do the best job. ASUS does a much better job. You could choose an ASUS motherboard! WOW!

    Seriously though… EFF the big boxes. They don’t do anything anymore, except market and provide support. And they don’t succeed in the support department.

  19. Mark says:

    Michael,

    There is many people going through the same crap you are having. There is someone out there just like you who did something about it. Check out the Dell De-Crapifier.

    http://www.yorkspace.com/dell-de-crapifier/

    - Mark

  20. KJB says:

    Don’t ever buy OEM software from Dell. Instead purchase a clean copy of WinXP Pro OEM from Newegg.com (or another reputable online reseller) and install this when your system arrives. Not only does this save money and prevent situations such as this but it can be a very good learning experience for those with less computer experience. Later, when you have a problem with your system you are more inclined to search out a solution on your own (for FREE) rather than immediately resort to Dell’s extortion of $49 for so-called “support.” Better yet, don’t buy a Dell….ever. Build all your systems yourself piece-wise. The tools needed are your hands and a screwdriver. Honestly, I can’t believe that some people go to a vocational tech school to do when any 10-year-old can accomplish. Word.

  21. Graham says:

    I have bought 2 dells machines in the past, my first one about 4 years ago, and my newer one is about just over a year old. I’ve installed windows a few times over the years so I know what I am doing, so the first thing I do is make sure everything works, the 2nd is download any drivers for the items I have installed, which you can always backup to a USB drive or whatever, then 3rd Format C:, 4th install fresh copy of windows, no more Dell junk on machine, although be aware that Dell also installs a special 50 Mb Hidden Partition which has it’s “Backup” files, which has proved a bit hard to get rid of, but for 50Mb I’m not that bothered as it can’t access anything.

  22. Thaddeus says:

    I enjoy build-it-yourself machines and supporting local “mom & pop” type computer shops — I’ve never bought a “brand name” desktop machine after seeing all the grief my friends have gone through. I don’t know of a way to build a laptop from scratch, though — can you even buy one as an individual without paying the “Microsoft tax” (having Windows preinstalled)?

    I’d love to leave the likes of Dell in the dust and build my own laptop. There’re websites all over the place these days detailing horror stories about trying to get warranty repairs for Dell hardware or software setups. :-(

  23. Smelt says:

    Amazing…why do people bother with Dell?
    With all due respect, and I don’t mean to be a Mac kook…why bother with anything Dell/Windows? I just got my 78 yo father-in-law a Mac Mini after his old Dell machine croaked. He loves it-and I so do I..no more calls…It works. Simply, elegantly. My wife and kids all have iMacs. They work, and work, and work. Linux (Ubuntu) rocks as well.

  24. Boywander says:

    We all should get a class action lawsuit against Dell. Just need atleast 10 people.

  25. Thaddeus says:

    I can answer the “why Windows” question, as a follow-up to my interest in building my own laptop: people need Windows to be compatible with the workplace (or with school/university/others). Sometimes there’s no choice, unless you want to fumble around with some of the open source solutions which add their own quirks and complications. :P

  26. Ptero-4 says:

    I agree with you Smelt. Why bother with Wintels, when you can get a Mac. But I also give a word of warning. Buy PowerPC based Macs (The variety with the G3, G4 or G5 in their names, like iMac G5, PowerMac G4, etc) instead of the new Intel based ones (The Macbook Pro, the iMac Core Duo, the Mac mini Core Duo). The reason is that the Intel processors are now including the hardware equivalent of spyware built into them and that includes the processors in the Intel Macs.

  27. Dave says:

    Well, well, well…Dell shares get first `Sell’ rating since 1996 after Citigroup downgrades stock based on sales decreases and loss of marketshare to otheres including HP. Link:http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=10000103&sid=axZF_wSIw9G0&refer=us. Very well deserved and more coming…sell that stock now!

  28. Leonardo says:

    Why bother with a Dell…or a Mac, or any other corporate commodity? As the excellent advise above pointed out: build your own or have a custom shop build it exactly to your specifications. I’ve built 20 computers since 1999. I am not a genius and have never studied electronics. Install a Linux distro for FREE, or if like me, you actually like Windows, install it from a Windows CD (not corporate crapware), and add the following, high quality, affective freeware that is very low maintenance: 1) anti-virus — AVG, 2) office suite — OpenOffice, 3) anti-spyware — AdAware, SpyBot, and SpywareBlaster, and 4) Internet browser — Mozilla Firefox. I do NOT get viruses, I do NOT get malware/spyware, and I do NOT get blue screens. My machines will beat the snot out of darn near anything from a mass production factory, and I can upgrade them economically whenever I feel like it. I do not have to call India for technical support. I am not smarter than the rest of you, just more determined, perhaps. BTW, WinXP OEM is very affordable.

    Folks, you are not required to buy off the shelf Wintel garbage or overpriced, proprietary Apple CultWare! Liberate yourselves! :)

  29. Thaddeus says:

    Linux and open source software has always been dogged by a kind of University campus idealism that is brutally incompatible with the harsh realities of the commercial world.

    That idealism unfortunately manifests itself most often in online diatribes against Microsoft, in particular, and proprietary software, in general.

    Gartner analyst Brian Prentice said recently the “flaming Linux bigots” who were prone to hyperbole and religious debates to advance their cause actually impeded the growth of Linux and open source software.

    Iain Ferguson, News Editor, ZDNet Australia
    http://tinyurl.com/p4ynd

  30. Experienced says:

    Always after purchasing a new PC, wipe it clean and do a fresh install.

  31. Beoweolf says:

    I am not surprized. The addition of “bloat”, disguised as trailware, shareware and now spyware/adware has been part of the “Branded” hardware expereince for years.

    I have constantly fought with company accounting departments over the year for my insstance in ordering “WhiteBox” servers as well as workstations/PC for staff. I get a better price, custom configured and load…only with software and applcations I request. As a rule, the component quality is better, especially in choice of memory, M/B and processor. I am not a zealot trying to save the world from itself, just recounting an previously accepted perspective.

    If you know what you want and are particular enough to research it and insist on it…you can get it. You may not get a pretty box or develop a knack of understanding english thru an accent, but there are other perks. Most Notable…a machine that is built on modular components that can be replace at the local computer mega-store, instead of at inflated prices from one source, OEM. Never did like “customized” software or canned images.

  32. Erick says:

    Im glad people are making a stand now before things get out of hand like they have already for gas prices.
    Never settle for shit, never bend over to the corporate world! Keep up the good fight and encourage others to do so as well! The apathy needs to stop here!

  33. Beniam says:

    I used to like Dell before and I had recommended it to a couple of my friends. I wont do it again. A couple of months back my notebook screen went dead and I tried to have it fixed because i still had a warranty. I was told to ship my system to them, but it got lost in transit. It took me two months going back and forth with Dell tech support spending at least 30 mins everyday trying to get to the right person in India who pretends to have a name like Alex, Henry, and like mentioned above Stewart. They lost my notebook in transit and they were not going to replace it for me because they said I should contact DHL myself and track it down which i did and have DHL notify Dell that it was their fault that they lost my notebook and I finally got a new one.

    Here is the annoying part. Dell and its partner company lost my laptop but I was put under a flag in their database for not returning my laptop. So when my motherboard died on my replacement system a few months later, I asked for tech support because I still had a warranty but no one could process my claim because I showed up as not having returned my notebook when i got an exchange for it. Now tell me, how do I return a notebook that I dont have anymore which I remind you, it was Dell or DHL who lost it in transit?? I had to again go through the painful process of chasing people from department to department within Dell trying to get to the right person for several days and after having a long argument and finally proving that i was not at fault, i had the flag removed and I was able to get my motherboard replaced.
    I used to like Dell for their customer service and reliable machines but I have been shaken up by my experience and I doubt that I will ever get another system from them unless their price is extremely attractive over other systems which might lead me to reconsider. I certainly wont recommend it to other people though, thats for sure.

  34. inboxnews says:

    Dell does not support or endorse the use of spyware removal programs.

    NOTICE: Use of spyware removal software may conflict with user license agreements of other applications installed on your system. Please consult your user license agreements for further information. Dell does not endorse the use of spyware removal software and cannot provide support on these products.

    ~Dell.com

  35. Azza says:

    I am responsible for buying 500+ computers a year.. They ‘WERE’ dell, and if they persist with it, then its onto HP we go.

  36. monkeyboy says:

    Here’s an idea….Dell’s come with a green (sometimes blue) CD…it is the OEM Windows CD. Before you even boot into Windows for the first time, take that CD, stick it into the CD drive, and voila!!! No more spyware. Just reinstall BASIC Windows without any sort of Dell pre-installed software and you will be GOOD TO GO!

  37. Michael Paul says:

    All new Dell computer should be formated right out of the box. I like the computer once its cleaned out and a fresh OS is installed.

  38. Bjorn Nitmo says:

    The first thing I do when I get a new computer is reinstall the OS from scratch. I don’t like dealing with all the crap that manufacturers pollute new machines with and I’m rarely happy with the default setups. Stories like this one reenforce that my efforts aren’t in vain. Granted, I’m a big nerd and I accept that most people aren’t as anal as I am.

  39. Yvonne says:

    “…and add the following, high quality, affective freeware that is very low maintenance: 1) anti-virus — AVG, 2) office suite — OpenOffice, 3) anti-spyware — AdAware, SpyBot, and SpywareBlaster, and 4) Internet browser — Mozilla Firefox. I do NOT get viruses, I do NOT get malware/spyware, and I do NOT get blue screens.”
    I would like to add another to the list, ZoneAlarm has a free firewall.
    I bought a barebones system and installed some components and windows xp myself and I don’t have a problem with blue screens either. I also don’t get any viruses and there is no bloatware on my computer.

  40. sno says:

    i believe dell only install my web search on the ‘dimension’ series systems, the last optiplex i seen didn’t have it, maybe this is how dell can offer a lower priced entry level system..

  41. ACLS2001 says:

    A family member just purchased a DELL, I went over to set it up for them and had the same situation with the bloatware and crap on their computer. I have purchased may Dells in the past and have been quite happy with the machines. This is how Dell is keeping their prices sooo low, these spyware company’s are paying Dell to put this crap on their machines. Guess I’ll have to look elseware for my future computer purchases.

  42. ACLS2001 says:

    A family member just purchased a DELL, I went over to set it up for them and had the same situation with the bloatware and crap on their computer. I have purchased may Dells in the past and have been quite happy with the machines. This is how Dell is keeping their prices sooo low, these spyware company’s are paying Dell to put this crap on their machines. Guess I’ll have to look elseware for my future computer purchases.

    http://members.tripod.com/acls2001

  43. Relax says:

    Dell makes computers so cheap that they are hard to resist. Why don’t people reformat their computers after they buy from Dell to get rid of all the crap that Dell loads on them?

  44. Dell Sucks says:

    FOR GOD SAKES EVERYBODY, STOP BUYING THIS CRAP AND STOP LETTING COMPANIES LIKE THIS GET AWAY WITH IT!

  45. digitalintrigue says:

    That’s why setting up a Mac is so refreshing. No silly registration codes to enter. No adspyware pre-installed. Nothing to uninstall. And a nice suite of apps that would cost hundreds on a Wintel box. The only app I add when setting up a Mac is Firefox.

  46. Oren says:

    TO: Dell Sucks

    (1) Go to slickdeal, dealmein or FatWallet

    (2) Get 40% of $1000 coupon.

    (3) Buy computer for $600 (you can wrangle more savings if you are clever) that would cost >$800 from NewEgg or similar.

    (4) Reformat & Reinstall Windows

    (5) Profit

  47. ari says:

    i would still buy a dell, but do a fresh install of XP. They are good computers, but they do come with a ton of crap pre-installed.

  48. bigstarlet says:

    Everytime I bought a brand name computer, such as the Dell I have now, I reformatted the hard drive lickety split, then installed my copy of Windows XP Pro (or whatever build of Linux I have on hand). Never had a problem with Dell’s spyware.

  49. brandon says:

    I too have been responsible for the purchase of close to 10 Dell’s in the past several years directly or indirectly. After my second personal system I realized the only way to go was to completely wipe the system and perform a clean install of whatever operating system. While the last one bought for my sister in December did include My Way, it was just a quick laugh and confirmation of my ritual of clean installs on Dells. IMHO they are good machines for the price as far as hardware goes, but like with just about any other pre-installed systems, your best bet is always to order the backup OS disc and do a clean install. BTW, the number ONE reason I will not be buying another Dell is that I have seen the light that is AMD 64!

  50. Ed says:

    Buy an apple WE dont play like that.

    And now if you cant drop windows, you can install windows on the intel machines, the best or worse of both worlds. lol :-)

  51. ITO Lovell says:

    Dude, I have bought one dell in my life, I have never bought one since, I build my own. I prefer to build my own. and if I do happen to stumble upon a OEM computer, first thing I do, is install a Copy of SUSE, or Windows Tiny.

  52. cmd says:

    I spend the extra $10 on the Windows CD and reimage within 5 minutes of opening the box. A clean install of Windows is the first step in happy computing.

  53. Hanover says:

    I read a post on Digg a while ago that mentioned Dell De-Crapifier software:
    http://www.yorkspace.com/dell-de-crapifier/

  54. Taca says:

    Buy a Dell – Install Linux!

    Now that was easy……..

  55. Gizwiz1 says:

    I’m a computer technician and have recommended Dell in the past to newbie computer types.
    I mainly did this so that I wouldn’t get deluged with support calls which hasn’t worked out since their support is crap.
    I’m stunned by the amount of garbage they brick their machines with that kills performance.
    Now with this latest revalation of buried spyware that can’t be removed without hacking the registry is the last straw.

    No more Dell recommondations from me.

  56. themacmeister says:

    I had a similar problem with my Acer computer. I didn’t research the software to verify its nuisance value, although all this software remained on a hidden recovery partition as well, just waiting to be reinstalled in an emergency. Needless to say I deleted this partition.

  57. Bill says:

    Doesnt everyone know that the first thing you do when you get a prebuild computer is to format it?

  58. Aaron says:

    buy a dell and there are crucial first steps:

    -wipe hard drive (ideally, write all bytes 0, write all bites 1, write all bites randomly)
    -reformat/reinstall using a generic windows xp OEM disc (not hte included dell software discs) and the dell COA sticker on the dell for the product key
    -configure new machine, with latest windows update and a current antivirus, make a ghost image for quick and easy restoration for 6-12 months down the road.

  59. pwner says:

    Haha dell Ownage noobies!

    If you know how MyWay thn what are you doing buying a dell ?

  60. napster says:

    Your friend michael dell isnt CEO of Dell Computers anymore, just to let you know. He is on the board, some new dude is CEO.

  61. Justin says:

    to Aaron:

    Wipe hard drive and write all 0′s and then all 1′s and then again random? What the hell are you trying to accomplish besides wasting time?

    Do you think those spyware programs are going to come jumping out from your standard fresh (not quick) format?

    It’s all bollocks. You’re paranoid.

  62. Ryan says:

    Forget dell, get an intel mac!!!!!! and dual boot, you can still get virus’ but atleast its not a dell :)

  63. saus22 says:

    With Apple making starting to make a charge at Wintel, specifically Dell cpus, this type of behavior will not be taken well by mac/windows fence sitters…good luck dell. I’ll take a macbook pro anytime.

  64. xunil2 says:

    I agree partially with Aaron; do a complete reformat as part of an OS reinstallation.

    I don’t see a need to exercise the bits to the extent he recommends, though.

    Nick

  65. imerik says:

    Seriously though… I bought a dell laptop because they are dirt cheap. Normally I’d build my own system but I already have a desktop pc… I booted this beast up to find more crap than I knew what to do with. Of course I intended to format and I just was curious to see how bad dell had gotten… 5 minutes later I said goodbye to my c drive and my dell recovery partition.

    Spyware/Adware/Nod32(or other antivirus)/Windows Update/Firefox = Win. My anti adware progs don’t even come up with anything except for browser cookies. Loving my dell, but its a horrible purchase for anyone inexperienced with computers. Plus their tech support is garbage. Their home service guy came in, formatted my dad’s system (which had a faulty motherboard, took them like a month to replace the system) and then left it. Without reinstalling the OS. Go tech support, show up and leave people with a still unusable computer. Thats quality. Oh and their tech support had to have hung up on him over a dozen times and left him on hold for at least 24 hours total.

  66. Alan says:

    Buy Gateway computers instead, they are much better designed and don’t come with spyware.

  67. jr says:

    my .02

    I find that building computers is not as cost effective as it used to be. Some people are not as technically inclined as others, so that doesn’t work for everyone. Buying parts from different vendors, paying shipping, spec’ing stuff, not something that enjoy doing. So, I normally buy Dell computers. I realize that there are other brands, but over all I have had good experiences with tech support/customer service. I think that overall, all the pc makers provide around the same level of support, some are better than others, but most are about the same. Dell, IMO, provides a good performance for the cost. I order the installation cd, wipe the computer and install a clean copy of windows (btw, if you go this route, make sure you have or download all your drivers first). Yes, installation takes time, and it might be hard for some, but I see it as a part of maintenance, every 6-12 months, I re-install a fresh copy..Yes, I do hate the spy/bloatware, but I think they all do it.

  68. Andy R. says:

    Thats why if you are forced “shudder” you get yourself a version of windows pirated edition and get yourself a nice clean install of winblows and just get the drivers from dell’s website. Dude your getting crapware..

  69. foobario says:

    Why be a victim? When I buy a new computer the very first thing I do is erase the whole hard drive, then only install the things I want. It’s less work than the way you are doing it, and my machine runs better because (as you have found) merely deleting programs doesn’t return your machine to the pristine state it was in before… there are always DLLs and services and who knows what else sticking around slowing down your computer, or worse.

    Of course, once you realize that they’re selling you so much more and so much less than you thought you were getting, the next step is to not buy from those weasels at all.

    You’ve basically asked someone (Dell) to decide what should have on your machine, and then started complaining that they didn’t give you exactly what you wanted. But they *did* give you exactly what you asked for: a computer setup that you could use without thinking. Maybe this experience will teach you to be a little more specific and informed when you shop in the future.

  70. Me O My says:

    What I don’t understand is why one cannot buy a computer from dell with NOTHING on it. Nothing that is but zeros.

    When dell sent out my inspiron 6000 I did the same thing I had with my 5100, and my 1300. I erased it and reinstalled windows. I say screw pre-installs. It is easier to re-install everything rather than uninstall anything from the system.

    To say the least I’ve never had a problem with a dell system. They make a good computer, and by that I am talking strictly about hardware.

  71. Ross says:

    Thanks! Now I know what NOT to buy for a laptop (I happen to be in the market for 2 for my company this month) …

    Cheers,
    Ross in PDX

  72. TechTweaker says:

    My first order of business when I recieved my new dell laptop was to format and reinstall just the basics. The OS and Drivers.

  73. If you are not a total wipe kinda guy you might want to check out http://castlecops.com/

    This is a volunteer group of professional computer experts who advice you on how to remove stuff from your computer.

    I have gotten a few super viruses that they were able to get off when no one else could.

    THey have a spyware section at this direct link and it is all free of charge.

    http://castlecops.com/f67-Hijackthis_Spyware_Viruses_Worms_Trojans_Oh_My.html

    Just tell them your problem and i am sure you will find they can direct you in removing anything.

    Good luck

  74. kiloglobin says:

    omg first rule of ordering from dell: always install windows fresh from the cd when u get it

  75. alex says:

    and this is why my first line of business is to wipe the HD and install from the disc. Be careful though, if you purchased an antivirus subscription you may just wipe out your license code, so boot up and get all the info off of the computer first, then wipe. Always buy the disc if you do not have one, it is almost mandatory now a days with all the crap. Though I have to admit, I just bought an XPS 600 and I do not think that there was that much crap on it, quite shocking. Hard to beat the prices, but it costs in the long run…

  76. Jaydee says:

    I was close to buying another Dell but your story has changed my mind.

  77. Crimson says:

    I think someone should buy a dell computer and film it being delievered an d this whole process. Then they should set it up and everything do nothing except boot it. Before connecting it to the internet prove that My way was installed. Then install a packet sniffer (ethereal) and watch their internet activity be sent to the my way servers. This would be enough evidence to do some kind of damage to dell. And if you really wanted record phone conversations will tech support and everything. At least it would prove they are lying right here:

    ” “My Way is not a spyware product and it does not monitor user’s behaviour. It’s a toolbar that displays relevant search results in response to search queries,” she said. “You can disable the product using the options menu.” ”

    Personally I know to never buy a pc from any big name company like dell or HP they all come preloaded with some kind of spyware or bloatware. Thats why I stick to building the pc myself or recomending a company like ABS, etc…

  78. Alex says:

    That is not the only problem with dell. I have purchased dell Inspiron 9100 laptop, and the first thing they ship me a degraded version, and on top of that they dont want to exchange it, only credit or reimbursement. Secondly dell printer that i got with my laptop, was dead en arrival, with the wrong cartriges, then later on the dvd-reader + cd burner, went flying apart inside it self few months after I bought dell, then my hard drive died on me, then the wireless card died on me, then the ram malfunctionned on me, then I could not play games, they were too slow, so I sent the laptop to depot and they send it back saying “no problems”, so I have called again and bitched at them and they said, since I replaced everething other than the motherboard on my laptop they will send a tech to my house to take the laptop apart then replace my motherboard, after which I was able to play games on it again, Not too long after my laptop started freezing when I close the lid,( I just set my laptop to be on and turn off lcd when I close the lid), I have called dell again told them the problem, And their usual answer ” I mean the first thing they allways say when I call about the problem is DID YOU REINSTALL YOUR WINDOWS, if I say I didnt then they tell me please do ser. so that we could help you, so I bitched at them and asked for the manager, then the manager tells me well try using a different video card drived, something that is not provided with dell, and then he sais use the catalyst from ati, so when I got the driver, their installer didnt let me install it since it did not detect my videocard, so I tweaked it a bit and installed that and that fixed my problem. But the major issue I had with dell what when I bought my dell, I didnt like the crap that comes on it so I reformat and installed my windows xp pro, since dell had home, and then I tryed to install “Dell Notebook System Software” and it told me that I had to install it on dell certified Windows Xp, I was going crazy that time, so I called dell, they said they dont know anything its about drivers departement, so once i mentionned that I will return the laptop and ask for refund , they have shipped me a copy of winxp pro, But then few month after thay have fixed that software”Dell Notebook System Software” in the new release that was able to be installed on any mashines.

  79. Apple says:

    to avoid spyware…Apple, Apple, Apple, Mac. Apple Apple Apple, Mac. Apple Mac. Apple Mac. Apple, Apple, Apple, Apple. Mac, Mac, Mac.

  80. Wurscht says:

    I purchased my first Dell in 1997 and was amazed about the level of efficiency, quality and service of them. Computer could be opened without scredrivers and layout of hardware inside was very well done. Amazing all you had to do is enter your serial number into a small box directly at the homepage (impossible to miss) and it would directly get you to a page that contained everything you ever needed (downloads for your specific make and model, manuals,…), just perfect. They even had a wonderful customer service – when I sent an e-mail asking for Linux support they gave me the only sensitive answer you could think of – that they are using exlusively industry standard components so that there was no reason to expect it will not work. But things have gone south since then. The box to enter your serial number has long gone, now I remember you have to wade through series of cluttered and meaningless menues (home user / business user / …), the quality of the hardware has decreased and now this. Bye Dell!

  81. Cyrus says:

    I use to be a big dell fan until I experienced something like this. The best solution (my apologies if I’m repeating) is to build your own computers or go to custom computer shops. Unfortunately, this isn’t the most practical solution (by any stretch), but it should serve to snap Dell into action.

  82. ERiQ says:

    I will never buy DELL again!!

  83. Tharglet says:

    Such a shame to hear the s/w isn’t like the h/w. If there was enough bloat, I would probably reformat and start again (or go some version of Linux anyway)

  84. Legacy23X says:

    It’s no wonder smart poeple have given up on buying “namebrand” computers.

  85. Richard Hein says:

    I have been responsible for the purchase of thousands of Dell computers through the years as a computer consultant. Dell has recently been raising its prices where, with tech support for three years, their systems are prohibitively expensive.
    The final straw was when I went onto BuyBlue.org and found that they gave nearly 1/3 of a million dollars in political donations, 88% of which went to the Republican party. I have bought about 3 Dells since then.
    Gateways give 100% to the Democrats, but their computers and their tech support have left me gasping for years.
    I’m working with HP now (59% to the Repubs, but not nearly as much in donations total). Better computers, better prices. Tata, Dell.

  86. Keith says:

    Spywares, such that MyWay Search Assistant, is just a variant of several (hidden) files in the system. I have to admit spywares are becoming “smarter” these days! (I put the quote, because they aren’t smarter than I am)

    The truth is that, besides having a file, there are several variants of MyWays existing in the system. In another word, if you delete the file, it won’t be fully removed. Because, there is a resident (not in the memory this time), somewhere in the shutdown script, such that it will “copy” back the startup script to the system32 folder again. So, the next moment your system boots up, that file exists again!

    In order to get rid of such spywares, require some knowledge of registry editing (or hacking) plus some common sense of how Windows systems works in terms booting up the scripts. I will not say how to do it because it is going to take a long while “hacking” and “trying” in your own systems.

    Anyway, in conclusion, DELL isn’t a bad computer manufacturer, in terms of HARDWARE. However, they do put garbage software applications in it. For me, I just reformatted the HD and install my own preferred applications.

    Drop me an email, if you have problem with removing spywares. No 100% guarantee, though.

  87. Carolus Holman says:

    I purchased a DELL Dimension 5150 XP Media Center Edition, and I thought having Google Desktop preinstalled was bad! I tried in vain to remove all the Bloatware. I reinstalled Windows XP and tried for hours to get Media Center Running. Did you know that Media Center doesn\’t have it\’s own MPEG-2 drivers? I looked at all of my DELL Bloatware disks and could not find the basic software to get WMCE2005 running. I tried to contact DELL I couldn\’t access any of their Help services because my Service Tag was not valid! Ahhhhh! Turns out DELL does not send you the reinstall disks for the SONIC-CRAPWARE that contained the CODEC to run Media-Center\’s record from TV feature. I ended up installing Cyberlink-DVD and paying $58. I too recommended DELL to all of my firends and family. I too will no longer recommend them. I was saddened to see this happen with what was once a great company. Maybe they can turn it back around? Quit the Coupon-game, quit installing spy/bloat and crapware on your machines. I consider myself a computer expert, I have no idea how the regular Joe could have dealt with this NIGHTMARE!

  88. Michael Chermside says:

    Dear Dell:

    Yes, I know you’re reading this article (particularly since it got featured on Digg). I just wanted to let you know that I read this, and I listened. I have been unhappy with some of my previous computer purchases and had decided that since my workplace uses Dells, that I would probably try to purchase from Dell for my next computer. Well, this article changed my mind.

    But that’s all right. If you make a significant effort to change your reputation, perhaps you can win me back as a customer after about 5 years. Unless whoever else I find offers good hardware, great service and acceptable prices.

    – Michael Chermside

  89. John Brandes says:

    Dell has had a bad reputation for many years. They and all other “store bought computers are known to install useless software. This is how they can get prices down. They are paid to install this software. They are also known for lesser quality parts and propriatary parts. For all you computer fans you need to see your local white box dealer. One such dealer is http://www.truetechsystems.com

  90. Michael Thompson says:

    If you’re so tech-savvy, why didn’t you just build your own PC? It would’ve been WAY cheaper, you would’ve had more control of software installed, and you probably would’ve gotten higher-quality components.

    All you’d have to do is plug-in a few PCI(e) or AGP card(s), drop in some system memory, seat a CPU, run a few power and SCSI/(E)IDE/SATA cables and VOILA! New computer, free of spyware.

    It’s your fault for purchasing a Dell. Think of the $49 as a life-lesson fee. Don’t buy Dell or Gateway PCs if you don’t want a bunch of software entrenched on your harddrive.

    As usual, the only way to stop these companies from plugging 3rd party or proprietary software on their machines is to STOP BUYING them. Speak through your purchasing actions.

    I’m tired of hearing these “horror” stories. Great, you’re on Digg. Now you look like an idiot to an even bigger audience.

  91. PAStheLoD says:

    What the fuck is wrong with you guys overt that big-big blue body of water (you now, the atlantic ocean) ?! Why can’t you just “assemble” a box for yourself? Buy a computer house, a cpu, a motherboard, some ram, a vga card, a psu if the house doesn’t contain one, and a harddrive. And if you’re not tech-savvy enough, ask the local geek, pay him if you can.. but don’t, and I mean it, don’t buy preassembled-preinstalled shit.. ever. Dumb americans (or maybe it’s a global disease?), one might say…

  92. matcat says:

    This is my first time replying to ANY blog. I WAS about to purchase a Dell laptop as my old HP is starting to grow grey hair!!!
    This completely changes my position on that purchasing decision. These companies have got to pull together their creative minds and come up with a better way to make money on advertising. I know it is a lucritive plan for any business, but spyware designed to unload on you is not the way to go. They know people do not like spyware yet they continue to work on finding new methods to get you instead of new ways to tastfully advertise.

  93. Zo says:

    When you buy a pc from Dell, format it, re-install all programs that YOU WANT. It saves alot of time and frustration like the story above. :)

  94. Se[BBB]e says:

    I have a 3 year old Dell which didn’t come with very much bloat at all. A couple of DVD editing apps, that’s about it. It’s been pretty good for a PC, but the quality leaves some to be desired, though it hasn’t had much problems. The graphics card burned twice, but I got new ones instantly.

    I wont buy a Dell again even though I have been happy with this on. I’m not happy with PCs you see. The next computer I buy will be an iMac.

  95. Hector says:

    The only thing I have a HUGE problem understanding most is why you are going out of your way to remove this piece of spyware. Return the computer for a refund. That will hurt them most.

  96. Michael says:

    I was as disturbed as you to see Dell start to sell out like this. I have been an avid supporter of Dell computers for 5 years and to have them turn on me kind of hurt.

    As an update I have to note that Dell’s I have been setting up for people over the last month have been spyware free. Not sure why or how but it seems like Dell is listening to the complaints and removing the spyware from the pre-installed systems.

  97. douny says:

    I work for Dell. Them putting spyware on the computers is exactly so that people will call in and have to pay for software support.

  98. colbert says:

    dell has cheap hardware but charges more for software. Doesn’t that sound very “Microsofty” ?

  99. jon says:

    i have never bought dell because i found out they charge 20 % more just to put the dam label that says dell on the box plus there computers suck its much simpler to by all of the parts and build your own and then install what every OS you want to run

  100. Patrick says:

    Dell has solved the problem of people wiping systems and reloading fresh. They no longer include windows or recovery cd’s. Now you get to press ctrl-F11 at first boot and it will ghost a copy of their factory install back. If you want to reload windows your way you have to go buy it again. Because we know you can’t borrow a cd. An HP windows cd won’t work with a dell code and vise versa. Nor can you use a corp cd or a retail CD with an OEM license code or vise versa there.

  101. sathish says:

    The solution is to do a wipe of the system and install the OS again. As the previous commenter said, they no longer include the OS cd along with the machines. A simple chat with tech support solved that, and I got the OS cd, along with a CD containing drivers (and a third containing all the spyware and bloating software).

    I formatted my hard disk, and installed the OS again.

  102. I can understand your fustration with DELL. I sell computers for a living with Milwaukee PC and I can tell you first hand the custom parts and software installs of DELL. If you are looking for a company that puts no spyware or extra junk on their machines, and is completly open for all hardware components check out the website. Thanks for your time, Jeff

  103. Tinlizzie says:

    I work for Dell, and the reason for all the software loaded or unloaded or whatever you want to call it, is because the majority of our customers (when this company was first started) was consumers, people who used their computers from home. Alot of those people aren’t as
    “techy” as some people (think they are) replying to this site. Alot of gramdma’s, buying computers out there, need antivirus and all the junk loaded to help them use their computer more effiectively. On the flip side, Dell is more than aware of our business customers needs and we value them. We want to try and accomadate everyone. With that said, if you actually call into Dell, and request no software preloaded on your system it can be built that way. But alot people don’t know that, because they uninformed, so consider yourself in the know..

  104. zepper says:

    Dell along with a few other big box pushers is largely responsible for the M$ monopoly. Any company that limits its own options like Dell does with M$ and Intel has NEVER been interested in the needs of its buyers. It’s all about the short-term $$$s. Dell has been on my scheiss list for a loooong time.

    .bh.

  105. Jim says:

    So who’s the genius who bought the Dell?
    I bought one for my daughter about five years ago. But never again.

    Since you bought more than one, its your own fault.

  106. Jesse A says:

    Dell has sucked hard now for over 2-3 years. I have switched to good ole HP; the major plus is AMD!

  107. Jed says:

    Doesn’t surprise me at all. I have no idea why Dell is so popular anyway. With this and the poor quality of their PC’s, I don’t know why anyone buys Dell.

  108. Kyle says:

    I don’t think I’ve purchased a Dell since they started putting My Way on it, but I knew of the hell it could cause, simply because I used to work at a call center that held a Dell account. It’s easy for customers to get angry at the phone techs but what you don’t realize is most of the phone techs are rolling their eyes as well, because they realize just how ridiculous it is. American phone techs anyway, I doubt most of the subcontracted overseas techs give a damn about our problems, heh.

    We were once told after a training course that we could not refer to ANYTHING as spyware if it showed up in your startup list, even if the program was well-known as spyware, simply because Dell was worried that some no-name third party company that makes malicious software may become offended by a Dell phone technician referring to their software as spyware and then sue Dell. Ridiculous, I know.

  109. Phil says:

    We have probably 4000+ of the Dell Precision line at our company. The first thing we do when we get them is wipe the drive and install our own image free of the bloat that normally comes. They have offered to use our image at the factory but I prefer we do it ourselves.

  110. Kevin says:

    Tinlizzie,
    That’s wrong. People should have the right to choose.

    “Alot of those people aren’t as
    “techy” as some people (think they are) replying to this site.”—- So, Dell can take advantage to make profit without their conscience? Don’t try to use the phrase “a lot of people” to prove you are on the majority. Most people don’t know what is a spyware.

    I have two Dells, and on the market for a new one. I have been told that the quality of the Dell machines as well as the tech. support has been down. Now, I start to realize that Dell is trying to make money in this kind of dirty trick.

  111. George says:

    I really like Dell PCs. Too bad they load a ton of crap on them. I always wipe out the harddrives and load Linux.

  112. John says:

    Get a Mac!!

    Good Lord, I can’t believe people still worry about viruses/spwares, etc..

    Get a Mac!

  113. Tinlizzie says:

    Kevin

    If your tech savy enough to reload an OS and to know you don’t want preloaded sofware, that is an option. Don’t bash Dell because you had incorrect information.

    Dell is not tricking anyone, we cater to a huge market place, and we have to consider that home users don’t have a lot of experience with computers and that very software helps them become more aclimated with their computer.

  114. Will says:

    It’s funny as hell to listen to most of the blogs here. Especially the MAC guy (there’s always one) and oh, by the way, I wouldn’t get cocky about viruses if I were you. I believe your O/S has been under attack recently. Oh well, at least it won’t spread very far.

    I just bought a Dell XPS 600 with a nice 24″ wide format Ultrasharp LCD Panel. Nice PC. I used to build mine all the time. But, you know what? I’ve been a tech now for ten years – I’m tired of doing it now so I caved and bought one.

    Everyone knows Dell comes with bloatware – Everyone! The smartest thing to do is assemble it and boot it right away with you O/S CD it came with and blow out the partitions and rebuild it. They all come with the driver resource CD so you’re good to go. I think the only thing I put back on my XPS was the Dell-branded Cyberlink DVD player. Hey, I need movies all right!

    Runs like a champ and I’ve been very impressed with it. Nice design all around and the LCD panel is really a nice panel. No ghosting either in action games. All I had to do was reinstall the O/S which took like 40 minutes after the driver install and Windows Updates. So, stop whining! NOT A BIG DEAL FOLKS!

  115. Erick says:

    Practices such as this from Dell is one reason why we reload every computer purchased from Dell for our company. Between the spyware and annoying little “extra” programs we found that the machine was so cluttered coming from Dell that it was doomed to have problems. I’m sure they would love to make a few extra dollars by having each customer spend another $49 to call and fix a “problem”. And the India tech support? Oy, don’t get me started!

  116. Steve says:

    DELL used to be a decent place to get a computer a few years ago but now there is not a single aspect of them that doesn’t suck. The Product, customer service. Don’t look for an email adress to complain to on their site, there isn’t one. They completely and thoroughly suck and more and more people are catching on and going elsewhere.
    I won’t get into my story of how they lost me forever as a customer. Get a Sony Viao, or an HP instead.

  117. Bryan says:

    I recently began purchasing all of the computers for my company from a vendor out of Washington called Northwest Computer. Their Blue Mountain desktops & notebooks. They are superior quality with Dell like pricing & no bloatware. I had them add Computer Associates Security Suite to each of my machines before shipping. Theey were very reasonable and support is based in the same building as the computers are built in. You can find them at http://www.nwcomputer.us or call (360) 734-3400.

  118. 0101101 says:

    Dell is another word for AOL.

  119. GOD says:

    Dell isnt, nor ever has been a good company. They’re a joke, like Compaq and similar other GARBAGE DISTRIBUTORS.
    If you don’t agree with me, you’re simply wrong and I’m right.
    End of discussion.
    Now run along, sheep.

  120. IT Nurd says:

    My company recently had to remove a ton of this crap from 31 DELL laptops that one of our clients insisted on buying.

    Here in the UK DELL pre-install 4 Internet signup packs that load at startup, the ‘LearnToPlayer’ which is also spyware, McAffee Antivirus which requires a degree in comp science to remove and some crippled shareware products from Corel.

    On average it takes 40 minutes for a skilled tech to remove all of this crap.

    What a f**king joke DELL have become. I would never recommend them to anyone.

  121. Gregory says:

    Hi,

    When I got my Dell Laptop, I found the same nasty. I called Dell and of course got India and was transfrfed to Spyware support and was asked to pay the $40+. I explained that you put it there you get it off, he would not budge unless I gave him a number, I hung up, went through the whole thing again. This went onf or about 2 hours, soon I have logged about 40 calles, I was ransfered to U.S> support and it was removed free of charge with apoligies, Now I work for Dell as a tech, go fig.

  122. Jack says:

    Ya know…what’s dumber, the guy who hires a repairman to change his dead lightbulb or the guy who figures out how to screw the damn thing in himself. God what a bunch of morons you guys are. Mr Michael, if you weren’t such a dipshit you might actually learn something.

  123. Kyle says:

    I have a Dell Dimension 9150, I’ve had it for four or five months now and am still tracking down preloaded wares and removing them. I’m wishing I had reloaded the OS when I bought it but I was a tad bit lazy. I’ll stick to the VAIO line from Sony from now on if I want a Windows pre-built.

  124. pc-cito says:

    http://www.pc-cito.com/modules/wfdownloads/singlefile.php?cid=11&lid=71

    Or search “Dell De-Crapifier” to clean the Dell’s garbage.

  125. Raymond says:

    I guess I am posting here to let you all know that harping on newbs who buy Dells in a negative manner won’t help at all.

    I’m in the IT Industry at a rather large Fortune 500 company and I can personally assure you that I won’t be buying Dell anymore… hell I haven’t been buying them for ages.

    To those of you assholes who proclaim you get what you deserve and what not you are dickwads. Many new computer users have no idea what is good/bad, what Linux is or the joys of a Mac. Putting them down all of the time won’t help the situation either. Yes… I am annoyed by the AOL newbs who flood on to the internet… but if you had your way the Net would be closed up today for only those “that understand” and that would be a terrible shame.

    Before you post something along the lines of “Only idiots buy Dell”, or “Linux p0wns and Windoze users are dumb” think… everyone has to get a start somewhere. Including those newbs.

    Back on topic… what Dell is doing is disgusting and I can’t even begin to think of how many of my friend’s Dells I’ve had to fix. They just bloat the things with so much crapola and they use cheaper and cheaper parts.

  126. Will says:

    I’ve been saying this for years. Dell is not the only one who does it. Shit, they all do! Ever last one of these damn OEMs. Wallmart included. ;)

  127. Harlz says:

    I recall reading the article on Michael Dell in the Reader’s Digest in the mid 90s – it gave him the his company a positive image. Shortly after I started work in the IT industry. Over the past 10 years I’ve come to know most corporations are just plain greedy, no questions about that, particularly Dell, HP, IBM, Apple, Microsoft etc. It’s all about market share, profit and share price. Dell have a reputation for playing dirty, being cheap and one of the greediest in my opinion. When I help my family members buy a PC, I choose the lesser of the evils: HP. Even then, they don’t get to use it until I “fix it”. Then it’s all good. Dad’s onto his second HP and my sister just started uni and got her first :) Of course I build my own as name-brand PCs suck to play games on.

  128. Michael Dell says:

    You guys are overreacted over these issues.
    I assure you that these leigt softwares were installed for the good of mankind.

    If you have felt offended, then please purchase our computers with $100 Ad-Free option.

    Michael Dell

  129. Steve Jobs says:

    Buy a Mac.

  130. Milio says:

    Still can’t believe they would try to charge 40 dollars to remove it. That’s just pushing it a step too far…

  131. Matt says:

    I would never buy a Dell in a million years. This is another reason not to! I build all my computers the only brand name computers I would trust are those from Sun and Apple Macs.You should be able to boot Windows in safe mode and delete the My Way registry files. I could be totally wrong though. I only use Windows for gaming and do everything else on Linux.

  132. JoeBob says:

    Not to mention all the proprietary hardware which Dell tosses in to their systems. Power supplies, motherboard connections, simple screws and mounting hole patterns, etc., etc., all included so that you HAVE to buy from Dell to upgrade or repair a Dell system. Anyone buying a Dell, or any other item costing hundreds of dollars truly does deserve what they get, if they don’t research the product beforehand.

  133. What is everyone complaining about? This was obviously a smart business move by DELL who make money including this software on their systems and make money removing this software from their systems. This is what makes for a successful company.

  134. Micheal says:

    Don’t buy Dell or Compaq unless you’re able to afford a high-end model. Because of the cheap hardware components they use in the low-end models, unwanted spyware, etc., will be the least of your problems.

  135. Robert Poole says:

    “Not wanting to believe that my friend Michael would allow this garbage to be installed on computers that bare his name…”

    Sorry to seem pedantic, but I believe your editor fell asleep on this one. It should be “bear” (i.e., to have as a visible characteristic), not “bare” (i.e., to uncover or reveal). On the other hand, the typo is what caused me to surf over here and read the full article; your article was quoted, misspelling and all, over on Macintouch.com.

  136. marco says:

    I recently bought a 9400 Inspiron Laptop, and there were no preinstalled spywares.
    The pc works fine, as the other three (all inspirons, different models) we bought. The shipping was extra fast.
    I will certainly buy dell again.

  137. Hak Foo says:

    Why can’t an OEM make systems with a halfway flexible recovery disc?

    If you take the advice of “just wipe it and start again”, you’ll still have an evening or more of assembling the drivers and apps you wanted.

    There’s no reason they couldn’t make a recovery disc which would give you options. “Full reinstall”, “windows only”, “windows plus factory drivers”, and then options for each individual app.

  138. Cawtinaweb says:

    First let me say that 99.5 percent of the population that owns a PC is not even close to being tech savy! Everyone wanted a low computer price and Dell delivered, $299.00 which includes a flat panel monitor. You can\’t have your cake and eat it too. The majority of PC buyers, whether they be HP, Dell, Gateway or IBM are people whom simply want to read/send email and surf the web. All this talk about wiping hard drives and reinstalling is way out of the typical buyers confort zone, nor do I imagine they even want to know how to wipe a hard drive and re-install. If you don\’t want all the \

  139. Billy says:

    Go with a Gateway…Im on my second in ten years. They are free of spyware and tough as nails and reliable.
    Excellent tech support.

  140. Lionel says:

    My Way Search Assistant is not spyware.

    Search Assistant does not collect personal information upon startup or at any time as a requirement of use, does not monitor the sites a user visits, does not monitor a user’s behavior on the Internet, does not log or track keystrokes, does not service or facility ads, and is completely spyware-free and adware-free.

    For more details, or for information on how to remove it, please visit the Dell Community Forum at: http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=si_virus&message.id=42328&c=us&l=en&cs=&s=gen

    Sincerely,

    Lionel
    Dell Customer Advocate

  141. Dortz says:

    I recently purchased a Dimension desktop system, and yeah, i found myway on there… I know how to get rid of it easily, but wow. and to be imbedded in thier utilities is just wrong. I gave up totally cleaning it all, and wiped the drive. I have been a faithful dell customer since my first computer, and now I don’t think i want to anymore… but I am more worried about all the other dell owners out there. the ones who are oblivious to this, and don’t know anything about what dell is doing to them.

  142. Dortz says:

    by the way: YOU KNOW DAMN WELL THAT IS A LIE LIONEL.

  143. Corby Town FC says:

    Although I agree that a fresh install of Windows, or even better, installing a Linux distro, is the best option when purchasing a PC; computers are fast becoming a non – technical consumer device. Not all customers will have the technical knowledge to install an operating system, or the inclination to do so, and why should they? After all, I wouldn’t purchase a car and then expect to spend hours setting it up correctly.

    What Dell is doing is terrible. Consumers beware. Go to a reputable local computer shop, and maybe pay an extra few pounds (or Dollars) and ask them to install your favorite operating system for you.

    Just as a side note, Dell have just bought into Alienware, so all you gamers be warned! Look out for My Way when purchasing an alienware PC next time.

  144. Lee Richardson says:

    In response to Dell charging $49. to remove software, that is not the only thing they try to charge you for. I bought a new Dell Dimendion 8300 in 2004 and immeadiately found that in shutting it down, in the normal way, I got the dreaded blue screen. I called Dell (Delhi) and got a raghead who did not know what to do so he transferred me to another raghead who tried but could not tell me either and suggested I call a tech helpline number. He, then, proceeded to tell me thet there would be a $49. charge for the call.Well, I guess you know what I told him. I had to format the HD to stop the problem. No more Dells for me. This was my first and last.

  145. Lauri says:

    In May, 2005 I purchased a Dell Dimension 4700, and just got through doing a search in the registry and also add/remove programs and My Way is nowhere to be found on here. I must say I did have a go-round with Dell initially. First the mouse stopped working, then the keyboard, of course called tech support. Then other weird messages on the screen, shut down to prevent further damage, etc. Long story short they finally sent a tech here to replace everything inside the tower.. as soon as he plugged it up, everything went again. Decided the power supply was shorting everything out, so a week later he came back and RE replaced the MB, processor, vido cards, memory and power supply and whatever else goes in there. It\’s been working fine ever since. ONE thing I\’d like to mention, they first claimed my time was up on their warranty, but I told them I made my purchase on a major credit care which DOUBLED the warranty so they were stuck with me! Keep this in mind whenever you make a major purchase if using a credit card! First check with your credit card company to see if they do offer a double warranty, most are \’up to a year\’.. so if 6 months is offered, you\’ve got 12 months! I didn\’t format and do a fresh install like most of you have suggested, but now I\’ve got so much STUFF on here, I hesitate to do that, although I can copy all my important stuff to the 3 gig external HD so I don\’t lose all that.

  146. Lipwah Louie says:

    You might try emailing Consumerwatch@pcworld.com they might be able to help convince Dell to help remove the problem

  147. Reginald says:

    I picked up a Dell from Dell Financial, a system that was returned to Dell from someone. Before it touched the net, I went through it and removed a couple things, but didn’t do the wipe and reinstall as I didn’t get a Windows XP Home disk with it. Downloaded several spyware checkers and used them along with McAfee for virus checking, turned on the firewall, etc. I downloaded a pile of XP updaters the http://www.grc.com utilities to tighten Windows security and burnt them to a CD to install them onto the Dell before I connected it to the net to get the remaining Windows updates.

    I prefer Macs for what I do and have used a variety of computers for almost 30 years. My first computer was an Apple II+ back in 1979 and I’ve used Apple’s, IBM PC’s/PC Clones, Commodore’s and other machines. Dabbled a bit in Linux, but my needs are better met with Mac’s at present. I was a computer tech for about 15 years working for 3 dealers, 4 schools/school boards and myself for a few years.

    Only bought the Dell as an accounting machine and the price for it was less than me going out and building one. Including shipping it to me, it was under CAD $400.00 and included 512MB RAM, 160GB HD, DVD Reader/CD Writer, DVD Writer but no floppy. To buy the parts to build one locally would have cost me more, and one from the store would have cost at least 50% more. Was easier and cheaper to buy than to build it.

    I should be getting a used Dell in the next week or so and I’ll install the Windows XP (Pro) that it comes with on it and xfer the accounting stuff on the current Dell machine and then reformat the current machine for other purposes to use the larger 160GB HD. Might move one of the DVD’s to the new machine, but will have to wait to see what it comes with. I know it will come with a Windows install CD and the Windows sticker on the side as it is an older P4 under 2GHz being replaced with newer machines at a larger company. :-)

    The current Dell will be getting an Asterisk installation put on it so I’ll actually have a useful Linux system to play with. :-) And learn more about.

    Thanks for the info on how much crud is on the Dell.

    Reginald

  148. Matt says:

    How long have they been installing this Spyware? Are they going to continue installing it? This really upsets me, as a Dell customer! I think I’ll have to find a new manufacturer for my future purchases. They let you choose how to equip (limited to their selection) your computer with hardware, they need to let people choose what software does and doesn’t get installed.

  149. patrick says:

    How easy is it to get a dell with no O/S? I remember reading MS saying that people only do that to use a pirate copy of Windows, but I would do it to use a legal copy of windows and avoid all the bloat. The problem of course, is drivers. Dell ships with all the right drivers for their systems, so you’d want to get all the drivers off. Perhaps there is as market for a tool that automates stripping out the most important drivers/ installers and licenses from a preinstalled system, then formatting and reinstalling with only the programs you want on your system.
    of course, a boycott can get Dell to provide such a solution themselves.

  150. switch says:

    Hey, MICROSOFT!!! THIS IS WHY PEOPLE ARE SWITCHING TO MACS IN DROVES!!!!

  151. John says:

    I can belive this, I bought a new XPS system from DELL back in the winter of 2004, biggest mistake I ever made. The video card was junk and DELL pulled it from sales after only 6 weeks, but they didnt inform us who already bought one. Dell is turning out to be the Wal Marts of the PC industry.That XPS was my first and last DELL, I wont even go into the lies from tech support. Trust me, you dont want to buy a DELL.

  152. John says:

    I should also say that with a year I had to replace my 2 hard drives, the video card, the floppy drive the cpu fan and the cpu. I bought all the parts myself except the cpu and cpu fans from a local business because DELL uses inferior hardware, I did get the cpu and fans replaced by DELL\\\’s warranty, that was like pulling teeth on a shark.

  153. Michael McGovern says:

    Oh what jerks…..what a terrible thing to do to a customer that spends thier hard earned cash on a computer that they hope is free of problems…they should just install hotbar as well and really stuff the customers computers…..

  154. wastinghope says:

    If you’re such a paranoid, just reload the operating system… that’s what I do when I get a new PC anyway.

  155. Poncho West says:

    THANK YOU FOR THE HEADS UP…

    heritage-media dot com and texaswhitedeer dot com will no longer invest its money in a computer company who loads it computers up with known spy ware. This is as bad as having to pay for the friggin system OS CD. I have 3 Dell computers, all laptops but mine are refurbished Dell computers so I did not get any of the stuff you did BUT the 2 e machines I just got did in fact have a bunch of the 30 day trials and you just know that someone in the software department made it to where when you try to remove the “FREE” stuff that the computer goes all hay-wire because as soon as I took McAfee off the uninstall did what yours did. It hung up half way into the uninstall and then when I rebooted to get the computer un hung, it still had the McAfee software still in the list so I click on it again and get the error about windows not being able to find the software so do you want to remove this from the list, well dahaa and then you still have to go to “Program Files” and trace down any and all McAfee folders. It took me 2 hours to clean up the “FREE” stuff. At least e Machine gave me a system CD. And to think I was about to buy a Dell PC since their prices had fallen, well now I know why, they make up the difference in cutting deals with known spy ware people take a look at www,glop.org/starforce/ and if your not red in the face with steam coming out both ears then you will be when you read about this Starforce scam in most FPS type games.

    Poncho West
    Amarillo, Texas

  156. I was incredulous about this at first. But I looked at my newly purchased laptop and it does have the software.

    But I just uninstalled it and that went pretty smoothly.

  157. SparcMan says:

    I don’t know if anyone has mentioned this yet, but recently Dell added an option when purchasing online to have a ‘minimal’ software install (ie sans junkware). I can’t say I’ve tried it, but it’s supposed to eliminate these types of complaints.

  158. tom says:

    I had the same problem with a recent Dell laptop purchase, but the uninstall DOES in fact work, it just leaves a bogus entry in Add/Remove programs. To fix that all you need is the Microsoft Installer Cleanup Utility, available here:

    http://support.microsoft.com/?scid=kb;en-us;290301

    Just find Myway in the list and remove it. No big deal. The uninstall does actually remove the program it just doesn’t remove it from A/R Programs.

    But I do agree with you that there’s no excuse for it being on there in the first place. My usual practice is to format before even starting up the computer, but in this case since it’s a laptop I decided against that.

    Even worse the fact that there was a hidden 4GB partition on my hard drive that is used just to restore my computer to the way it came from the factory (including the bloatware! — NO THANKS). And to top it all off the 4GB partition was only HALF FULL. So they’re COMPLETELY wasting about 2GB of my hard drive, and effectively wasting an additional 2GB. Luckily Partition Magic could delete it and expand my main partition to fill the space. I understand the little 32MB utility partition with Dell’s diagnostics, that’s fine, but 4GB just to put Windows and their garbage software back on? Why would I even want that?

  159. Greg says:

    I should have discovered this thread before spending hours manually removing all the dell stuff, but I have my dell m140 laptop config just how I want it with additional programs installed.
    Now I would like to ghost an image to either a usb external drive or to some dvds (or both).
    Is that 4GB partition or the utility partition going to be a problem with ghost (I don’t have partition magic to remove them) ?
    I purchased norton systemworks 2006 premier (free AR) that has ghost 10 on it, but I don’t see ghost 2003 (ghost.exe) on the CD. I don’t want any symantec stuff running on the laptop, I only want to image the hd drive once, and I don’t think ghost 10 does this.
    I did pay extra $10 for the dell install cd, but would rather not have to manually reinstall all the apps again.

  160. Larry says:

    Just remove it from your registry. If you do not know how to do this there are a lot of automatic registry programs out there.WinXP manager has a software removal program that will anylize your registry and remove ALL related registry entries and files from your computer a lot cheaper and less aggrevating .

  161. Alex says:

    I *ALWAYS* reinstall windows when I buy a new computer

  162. Jason says:

    I just bought a Dell TODAY. Any recommendations on what I could do to get them not to install all that useless software…..

  163. Mike says:

    My perception so far was that DELL has a very good reputation for building excellent computers, and my next PC was destined to be a DELL. But after reading this and verifying it with searching “myway” on the DELL website ( http://search.dell.com/results.aspx?c=us&l=en&s=gen&cat=sup&cs=&k=myway&img=True&sum=True&ssum=False&qmp=10&p=1&eh=NoEvent&rrr=False&subcat=&sort=K&snpsd=A&ddate=False&ddays=&nf=&dt=&navla=&fm=&ss=&ira=False&cp1=-1&cp2=-1&si= ), I changed my mind.

    I don’t understand how a company can waste its excellent reputation with pre-installing crappy spyware.

  164. Gene says:

    Thanks for unvailing this secret. Just bought a new Dell Denmension a few months ago. Someone sent me an article about My Way on Dell comupters so I checked my computer, and sure enough, there it was.

    This is sad, disturbing, and stinks, it figures. And what is a really scary question, is what else are they pre-installing on these machines that we don’t know about? Big brother paying Dell too – to spy on us?

    There doesn’t seem to be any privacy any more.

    For those wanting to remove this spy where, with this type, and as far as I know, you will need to use add\remove programs, delete all files ussing the search mode, then go into the registry and use the search function for to seak out and delte the remaining files. If done correctly (don’t miss any of the files), this should do it.

    I am going to do this right now, and I expect to be successful, and if I am, I will post her instructions on how I did it.

    Thanks again for exsposing the secret of Dell.

  165. Arochone says:

    Dude, it’s been several years since Dell has been any good. We got one about two years ago, and guess what? two days (not even kidding) after the warranty expired, the hard drive suddenly got fried. Gee, wonder how that happened?
    Since then I generally recommend people get Gateways. The parts are kinda cheap, but we had one a few years ago and they gave us a new motherboard, for free, about 2 YEARS after the warranty expired.
    HP/Compaq is ok too, but they set their computers up really weird, both software and hardware.

  166. Geoff says:

    I wanted to post this information again as a follow up to Lionel’s earlier post.

    The My Way Search Assistant is not spyware.

    The My Way Search Assistant does not collect personal information upon startup or at any time as a requirement of use, nor does it monitor the sites a user visits. It does not monitor a user’s behavior on the Internet, and does not log or track keystrokes. It does not service or facilitate ads, and is completely spyware-free and adware-free.

    For more information, or for instructions on how to remove the My Way Search Assistant, please visit the Dell Community Forum at: http://forums.us.dell.com/supportforums/board/message?board.id=si_virus&message.id=42328&c=us&l=en&cs=&s=gen

    If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact me at Customer_Advocate@Dell.com

    Sincerely,

    Geoff
    Dell Customer Advocate
    email: Customer_Advocate@Dell.com

  167. fish says:

    Dang that sucks, then again, Dell isn’t exactly known for awesome customer support. This really sucks…

  168. StayFrosty says:

    I work in the IT department of a company that has purchaced over 150 DELL’s (inspirons and optiplex’s) in the last two years and guess what: They’re CRAP! Their performance is horrible compared to other machines with similar specs and the hardware is CHEAP! We have found that it is faster to install windoze from scratch and pull an image than it is to remove all of the shit that they pre-install. I have never reccomended DELL to anybody and will continue to do so. This just adds another argument to dissuade the idiots who think dells are cool/good cause of their retarded commercials.

  169. StayFrosty says:

    Oh, Geoff…cut the crap and admit it.

  170. AC says:

    My friend, it is time for Bootcamp.

  171. David says:

    Simply amazing….

    can you imagine buying a car and before going for your first drive, disassembling and reassembling the motor, rotating the tires, changing the oil several times and god knows what else?

    This is just scary. People buy a computer and before they can have any fun with them, before they can do anything worthwhile, they spend time and more money “fixing it.” Sheesh. It’s almost as bad as the Boy in the Bubble.

    why do people torture themselves like this? I don’t understand. Get a Mac and smile, smile, smile.

    And to the person who called Apple proprietary…. Please be a bit more accurate. Some of OS X is propietary, some is not. But it is much more open than Windows.

  172. Greg says:

    Why do people put up with this crap in the first place? The first thing I want to do with a computer is USE IT, not reinstall everything on it. Maybe that’s why I use a Mac…

  173. Gene says:

    Unfortunately, as a Dell-owner, your problems are only beginning. When you have an actual hardware problem, you will spend hours on hold with Dell-Hell (their Customer No-service Group), be cut-off at least twice, speak to many interesting people in many countries — none them speaking intelligible English! You will be led through boiler-plate troubleshooting scripts which don’t relate to your problem. (Imagine calling with a new, constantly rebooting server and being asked “Is electrical cord inserted into socket in wall?”) If you need a part, you will be shipped the wrong one and have to go through Dell-Hell again to get the correct part. Never again for me or anyone I speak or write to!

  174. Stepehn says:

    This is reason 198 why to not buy dell. I have not liked Dell for years and luckly have never been inclined to buy a PC from them. This is just another reason why you build you own equipment,that way you know what you are getting.

  175. Sunrise Dancer says:

    I bought a Dell eight years ago and was very happy with it. My three month old XPS 600 arrived defective. They shipped a refurbished unit in sloppy condition. I\’ve spent more time trying to keep the system going than it\’s worth. I\’ll never buy Dell again.

  176. Bigshotguy says:

    So if this is true of Dell computers does it also apply to Alienware now that Dell bought them out?

  177. v. says:

    Sure it’s not realistic to expect a lawyer office to build 100 computers from parts. Still, the office can comission the work at a local computer shop, bundle the deal with support from these guys (including a visit to fix it when it breaks), get exactly the software they want preinstalled, have the hardware ideally tailored to their needs, and generally come out of the deal with much better service and products for similar price. None of the “branded” bullshit and none of the effort of “rolling your own”.

  178. Chris says:

    Thanks for this. I have a Dell XPS M140 that I bought a few months ago. I didn’t even boot into Windows at all and installed Ubuntu Linux, so I didn’t have to go through the ordeal of uninstalling Dell installed spyware or other Windows problems. Even if I did absolutely have to use Windows (for my job, which I don’t have to, thank god) I would never use the OEM Windows version. I would do a fresh install, that way I know what’s on there. Anyway, I still think it is really bad what Dell is doing by installing SPYWARE and I will never again buy a Dell for that reason, even though it doesn’t matter to me being a Linux user, I still don’t want to deal with any company that does that crap just so they can make more profit for themselves. It’s just wrong.

  179. Jayne B says:

    Add me to the list of EX Dell customers. I have 6 boxes running here, and several notebooks.

    I’ve just spent the best part of half a day cleaning them to get rid of this (I used Spybot to do it, eventually). I ought to send Dell the bill for my time.

    Yes, I’m bloody angry. As far as I am concerned Dell now rank alongside spammers, as part of the low life of IT.

    No Dell will ever be purchased by us again.

  180. big_chris_fool says:

    its a dell dude…..lmao….if u all have my way and want to remove it without paying the 50 dollar hostage fee by dell….go to ewido.net and download the FREE MALWARE/SPYWARE PROGRAM….IT IS THE BEST ON THE MARKET…HP ALSO HAS SOMETHING LIKE THAT..IT CALLED WILD TANGENT..IT IS CONSIDERED SPYWARE ALSO…..EWIDO.NET……..SPYBOT OR ADAWARE IS NOT GOOD ENOUGH NO MORE

  181. big_chris_fool says:

    ANTI VIRUS…AVG FREE…AVG.COM
    FIREWALL…USE WINDOWS FIREWALL…OR..USE ZONE ALARM FREE FIREWALL..IT IS THE BEST.
    SPYWARE…WEBROOT SPYSWEEPER..IS TOP DOG
    MALWARE…EWIDO.NET
    ALSO, A FEW OTHER SUGGESTION ARE SPYWARE BLASTER AND SPYWARE GUARD..THEY WILL PROTECT U FROM ANY PROGRAMS TRYING TO HIJACK UR HOMEPAGE OR INSTALL ACTIVE X…ONE OTHER THING IS IESPYAD..IT WILL ADD A LIST OF RESTRICTED WEB SITES INTO UR RESTRICTED ZONE…OH YEAH…MCAFEE SIGHT ADVISOR IS GREAT ALSO AND IT IS FREE
    IF THAT FAILS…IM ME AT BIG_CHRIS_FOOL@YAHOO.COM..ILL CHARGE U HALF OF WHAT DELL IS CHARGING…LOL…ITS A DELL DUDE

  182. Renee says:

    Dell is personally the worst compant for computers I have ever seen. My mother was helping her friend with their Dell computer. My mom had called Tech Support and described the problem. They sent someone over within a few days. The idiot Tech Support guy took out crucial components on the computer then realized it was just a broke fan clip. My grandmother has a Dell computer and she hates it. It runs so slow and it bugged up with all sorts of crap from Dell. I am NEVER purchasing from Dell again.

  183. BILL MacGregor says:

    ITS Not Just DELL!!
    ALL Of them Do It. Try Uninstalling the New McCrappy and AOL on a new Box. Lost of luck. I can be done with a few utilities and OH about 4 hrs.
    I own a small Security business. I ran an add that Stated ” Do you want to have Control over you “NEW” Computer”
    Well in the last year I have dual booted 379 computers with win200 Pro and the OEM xp from hell.
    I set all to boot to win2000.
    The reason I do not just clean off xp is if anything breaks on this “NEW” Computers the warranty is void if winXp Is not installed.
    win2000 Pro will have support many years after xp is at end of life. OH, Thats this Christmas when Vista will be on the Shelves.
    win2000 Pro sells for $78 to $299 online. The sellers that Know are raising the Price.
    Get a Copy before win2000 is $500
    Have Fun All
    BILL MacGregor K.I.S.S. Security LLC.

  184. big_chris_fool says:

    well bill macgregor…maybe u need to find new tools to remove the mcrappy and aol….it takes me about 45 minutes..maybe…..maybe u need to look at reg cleaner and ccleaner…they are fast and easy

  185. Arie says:

    Hey Jack,

    Is Jack short for Jackass?
    procpuarie@aim.com

  186. nimare2 says:

    right on brother

  187. Jeff Wallach says:

    I used to own a Dell and had nothing but problems with it. My stepfather bought a Dell and after 2 weeks of owning it, the hard drive crashed. He had on site support with the purchase yet they tried every possible way of avoiding that. After hearing this and after hearing your review, I will not buy another Dell. I am in the market now for another computer as the one I have crashed. I am fixing it and selling it. Any suggestions on a brand?

  188. Catlett says:

    I hate all the computer “giants”. Microsoft, Dell, AOL etc. They believe computer users are there slaves. That we have no other choice but to use them. They were right years ago but users like myself are getting smarted.
    Before I knew about computers, I loved Dell. They financed me and pre-installed my system with sofware (I thought) I needed.
    I eventually became so disgusted I turned to linux. Now I build my own boxes and run linux. It takes a while to get used to using it but the freedom is worth it. Open source software and linux operating systems are where the future is.
    Down with Dell, Microsoft…etc

    Thank you Michael for sharing your experience.

  189. Steven says:

    first off. dell puts alot more than mysearch or myway on your system. There\’s several keyloggers.. And they are associated with hitbox.com. Hitbox is where all advertisement goes online. I ran my own program on a dell last week and reported spyware,greyware,adware and alot of bloatware. I have a big business and will recommend any other machine besides dell. Ever since I shown people several articles about dell they decided to buy my custom systems. I sold about 2000 computers this month because of that article. And last month I sold a thousand.. Looks to me that they are finding out slowing..

  190. Sean says:

    I was finally able to get the My Way Search Assistant to vanish from the Add/Remove Programs menu. After going so far as editing the registry to clean EVERY key that contained the text “my way”, but to no avail…it always showed up in Add/Remove programs with no option to remove.

    I came across a reference to MS Windows Installer Cleanup utility, which is available off microsoft’s download website. Once I ran this, I was presented with a list of every application on my PC and the ability to remove it from the list. It actually worked, unlike every other fix posted on the internet!

  191. Rob says:

    Ive purchased hundreds of dells. And the first thing we do when they come is wipe them clean of all the garbage with a complete wipe and re-install. All you need is a copy of the WindowsXP CD. Your computer came with a license so feel free to download a copy of the software from somewhere if you don’t have the CD, you own it. And simply format and wipe the drive clean and re-install windows..problem solved. (make sure to get all your drivers if you didnt keep the cd Dell sent with your PC)

  192. Krunchpow says:

    Wrong. Once you uninstall MyWay with add/remove, it is in fact uninstalled, but the installer itself is “misconfigured”~ http://www.pcsympathy.com/article1041.html

    The spyware program youre thinking of has a similar name, and is produced by the same company, but MyWay itself is not spyware.

  193. Mr. India says:

    Why does it matter that the Dell rep you spoke to had an Indian accent? How do you know if he was Indian? Why is it worth mentioning? Do you always state that a person has an accent when you’re referring to them?

    “Gee, I was talking to this guy (he had a White accent…you know, the really bad one)…Thx david duke.

  194. . This is just another reason why one build his/her own equipment,that way you know what you are getting.

  195. Maj Tom says:

    Having built or purchased many computers in the past 20 years I find it hard to believe people are still afraid of the idea that you the user are in charge of what programs you want to run. Manufactures assemble the hardware and then add programs that may appeal to the first time purchaser. If you are a season veteran, then it may seem annoying to have to “Add/Remove” whatever software you do not want. Most manufactures publish a phone number for tech support. Their primary responsibility is ensure your hardware is working. Third party software issues are handled by another branch of the OEM. Some OEM’rs choose to charge for “how to instructions”. They want their techs to diagnose and dispatch a repair solution as per the terms of the warranty. Most OEM’rs have a support web site that may publish software issues and the correct way to resolve the issue. For example, some systems running Windows XP with minumum memory run slower when running Windows Internet Explorer 7.0. By removing this upgrade, the computer will revert back to the previous version.
    I’m not one that likes to complain, I just get to work and find the answers. All OS’s and OEM’rs have they concerns. The trick is to learn how control the process.

  196. Eric says:

    First off I work For Dell on call. second My way and my web search is absolutley spyware!!!!! I remove this from peoples systems on a regular basis. I have never owned a Dell system, before I started working hear. how ever since Ive started working here (about 2 years) IVe bought three Lattitude systems and they did not have spy ware preloaded. but, this isnt the first time ive herad of it. we also ship with wild tangent , which comes up as spy ware in spybot and hijackthis. oh well…. I just work here i don configure systems.

  197. AJ says:

    On the road to success, Dell tried hard to provide a good product…..now near the top it, they forget what made them so good. Like most big companies, eventually greed takes over and it’s all about the bottom line.

  198. Name says:

    It’s not spyware you freakin idiot

  199. Dell Owner says:

    I bought a Dell computer with MCE installed on it. I did a clean install because I had to remove all the bloatware Dell provides us with and re-installed GENUINE XP pro. I contacted Dell about some problem I was having and was told that by installing any other operating system, it would VOID the damn warranty. B*llSh*t! I should just post some of the chat logs I had with them and people will start to believe how much Dell’s customer service has degraded over just the past 2 years! Dell, you certainly don’t have the best products and most people I know buy your computers because of the customer service YOU HAD. No more.

  200. PAM says:

    i JUST WENT THROUGH HELL WITH AN xps 210 i PURCHASED. fOR 7 WEEKS i CALLED dELL TO INFORM THEM OF THE DEFECTIVE AUDIO AND VISUAL TO THIS COMPUTER. tHEN THEY TRIED TO TELL ME I COULD NOT RETURN THE COMPUITER BECAUSE IT WAS A SOFTWARE ISSU. tHE xps TECHS STATED IT WAS A HARDWARE ISSUE AND ENCOURAGED ME TO BE ASSERTIVE WITH CUSTOMER CARE. mY NEW hp IS COMING SOON. i WILL NEVER BUY ANOTHER dELL, i HAVE BEEN A CUSTOMER FOR 14 YEARS AND OWN 4 OF THEIR SYSTEMS. dELL WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO YOUR CUSTOMERS!!!!!!

  201. kyle says:

    i`ve had the same problem well THATS IT I AM SWITCHING TO HP!

  202. Larry Smith says:

    I think it’s been pretty obvious the whole time though that all Dell cares about is getting you to buy their computers with how much money they spend in marketing compared to the quality of computer you get.

  203. Dell says:

    This is very surprising news to me. Dell really doesn\\\’t the need the extra money they\\\’re getting from this deal, so why sell out like that? It\\\’s amazing really.

  204. Ching Blang says:

    I don’t know why you guys have so many problems with Dell/Windows. I have no firewall/anti-malware related software installed on my Dell lappy and it works fine.

    Things like this are not very hard to fix.

  205. Magus says:

    I don’t mean to disrespect or anything, but you don’t like Windows and buy a Windows computer, you don’t like Dell and buy a Dell computer.

    Perhaps you brought this upon yourself.

  206. J Musters says:

    SOLUTION – FREE

    Run DeCrapifier !! It is free for personal use and it remvoves the pre-installed junk. Made just for this job.

    http://www.pcdecrapifier.com/

  207. SirOJ says:

    This happens to you because you believe in evolution theory.Creatonists never have these kind of problems. Ever!

  208. ven says:

    just format the harddisk and reinstall yr OS using the serial-key of the pre-loaded OS.

  209. Neil says:

    Dell is not so bad guys.i have been using it for the past 5 years.with no problem.

  210. Robert says:

    Dell is the worst company on the face of the planet. I’ve partnered with a friend to open up a computer repair show in ’01. In the last week after a painful yet agressive phone call with dell’s tech support we have decided to tally up the number of dell’s we’ve had to repair hardware wise only. That total came out to be 12,372 computers ranging in notebooks and desktops. With the stress and aggravation it led to the creation of dellsux.org and i strongly advise any1 with half a brain to not buy anything from dell.

  211. Namea Tatabla says:

    Dell was always my favourite…. after reading about the My Way-”the spy”,i started to research and guess wat i found out “Dell is now pre-installing spy”….

    After reading this amazing article and searching and researching about Dell…Dell is now on my “JUNK list”…

  212. Lucas says:

    Dell is sad, I’ll never buy from them again.

    “Dude, you not gertting a Dell”

  213. mel says:

    I am thinking about getting a dell, you have just changed my mind.

  214. midnight sculler says:

    I agree that pe-installed software is a nuisance, however your terrible ordeal is laughable. When I bought a new car it came with floormats displaying the dealships name. I probably should have blogged about it, but instead I removed them. Recently I bought a pinapple, it came pre-installed with a tough outer shell, or “Peel” for you fruit techies out there. My first attempts to remove it failed and I damage one of my toe nails. I actually had to obtain a special piece of fruitware, a “Kinfe”, to remove this demon husk before I could eat the fruit.
    “Fearing that my computer would become infected with a virus within 12 minutes” I would like to suggest that you use a firewall, like the one that ships with windows and is enabled by default. I run a Mac, linux and a couple of windows boxes, my windows boxes are open to the wild with nothing but windows firewall and a freeware virus app. In the last 3 years I have been infected exactly 0 times with my antivir catching maybe 1 or two viruses. I don’t want to hear about the fallibility of windows firewall either, I am well aware of its holes, I’m just saying 3 years is a bit longer than 12 seconds.Then again my web habits may be a bit less prurient than some and I don’t open “enlargement” emails unless I’m having a particularly bad hair day.
    The fact that the application still appeared in add remove programs doesn’t mean that it was still installed, it just means that the registry was not updated properly.
    The bottom (business) line is these inconveniences add to the computer sellers bottom line which allows them to knock a couple sheckles off the price of a new computer. 15 minutes on my end is worth a couple hundred dollar savings.

  215. enrique says:

    Im sorry to say that I bought a dell ..the computer will brake down in time ….. dell dose not give out recovery cd with the computers they sell …so dont buy one …everyone I know owns a dell and everyone has the same problem…ps dont buy one …I fix computers for a living dont buy one

  216. John says:

    What a whinny bunch of bitches on here. So what just get rid of it. Dell offers cheap computers and part of the reason is that they put crap ware on it. DUH !!
    It amazes me that people want a great computer and pay 300 or 400 bucks for it.
    I fine it funny that that people use the words like rage and livid etc. What would you clowns do if something really bad happened ? *LOL*

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