zt PC screams; ditch Samsung
Posted: 2011-10-29. Categories: Big Ticket, Costco, Holiday shopping

Costco offers an incredible deal on zt Systems intel Core i7, sporting 12GB of memory and a 2.0 TB hard drive. The system is dual monitor capable, out of the box. On the surface, the system appears to deliver on all levels:

The ZT Affinity 7625Mi Desktop PC features the 2nd generation Intel® Core™ i7-2600 processor delivering best-in-class performance for the most demanding applications.  Also features 12GB of fast DDR3 memory for extreme multitasking capability, and a vast 2TB hard drive to store massive quantities of music and high definition video.  Industry-leading support and maximum multimedia
capabilities make this system an ideal choice for the PC power user.

ZT Affinity PCs are engineered for excellence and assembled in the USA using the highest quality components. Over 16 years of experience and proprietary quality control processes, backed by lifetime 24/7 toll free technical support, mean unmatched performance and dependability you can trust.

I actually purchased the system package, which included 16GB of memory; both the 12GB & 16GB packages are a nice deal. I was thrilled to receive free shipping as well. Even at $24.95, the price for shipping is very reasonable.

Of the five systems we at 12 Point Design recommended to both friends and business clients, all five had hard drive issues. Most customers who purchase this system will be unaware of the hard drive issues, and many could even still be in use and operating at subpar levels even after the warranty expires. A hard drive diagnostic test is easy to perform and should be completed on every new computer purchase (not just ZT Systems).

Every ZT Systems computer we ordered came with a 2.0TB Samsung Hard Drive. As far as we know, the entire batch of hard drives are defective, and ZT Systems and Costco are both aware of the problem. If you call, they will gladly ship out a replacement hard drive and Costco will happily refund your money or exchange your system – no questions asked.

My issue is that they know the hard drives are defective and instead of replacing them before they ship, the company is banking on you, the consumer, not finding out, or discovering the problem only after the warranty has expired.

You see, the Samsung hard drive can run (with errors) for a long period of time — most computer owners don’t discover an issue with the slowing drives until they have used them for many months or even years. Data will be randomly lost due to the drive failing, but the user will tend to blame Windows or the application they were using instead of the true source of the problem: the faulty drive.

I am still using the original drive, which came with my ZT Systems machine. I’ve been using it for 6-months now and there have been over 21 million drive errors and yes, I am having issues. So far, they are very minor and the casual user probably wouldn’t even notice.

However, if you wait too long to replace the drive, you put all of your data at risk. So, be sure to order a replacement drive a soon as possible (request a Western Digital drive, they are the most reliable drive on the market at the time of this writing). Even with the hard drive issue, this is still a sweet system that will meet and far exceed your growing computer needs for many years to come.

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3 Comments to "zt PC screams; ditch Samsung"

  1. Stan says:

    Thanks for the heads up! I have a new ZT from Costco and want to check my drive for errors, but when I clicked the link to the drive diagnostic software you linked above, it appears that the software is for 32 bit windows (my ZT came with 64 bit windows) and also uses a command that can actually CAUSE problems with Samsung drives – Could this diagnostic software be the source of the drive corruption you’re seeing? I’m afraid to try the software you linked, but am looking for a different diagnostic tool (made for 64 bit win) to see if I can find any errors on my drive…

  2. annie says:

    I’ll check with my husband (Shawn K. Hall of 12pointdesign.com) and make sure he provides a 64-bit link as well. He uses other software that he has purchased to test our drives. I asked him for a link to post with the article.

    I’ll have him comment as soon as he has a chance. I’m not the techie in the house, he keeps me around because I follow directions really well — most of the time. 🙂 Thanks for commenting.

  3. Retail Bandit says:

    Hi, Stan,

    The win32 package of SmartMonTools is compatible with 64-bit Windows. It runs in 32-bit mode, but that does not mean that it’s incompatible.

    There are some considerations to any diagnostic software, but if you run only the simplest command, as below, it is non-invasive and just displays the SMART data as reported by the hard drive (under Windows you need to run this within a command prompt with administrator rights):

    smartctl -a sda

    This specific method is compatible with all SATA drives. If you are using a drive model that is listed as broken, then you probably shouldn’t risk it anyway. And, if you don’t consider yourself very technical, it’s probably best if you let someone that is more experienced help you.