Have you tried to find any Dell refurbs?
Have you tried to find any Dell refurbs?
We have probably over 100 of these so far, mostly to replace RM Ones, and yes, we have had a couple of problems, but not really anything out of the ordinary. The odd dodgy stick of RAM, 1 faulty power supply, 1 dead motherboard and 1 dead hard drive so far, and all are currently out in heavy use. They aren't hugely noisy, and seem quieter than the old RMs that we have got rid of. The motherboards tend to be Asus or Gigabyte motherboards and the RAM is just generic value ram. Support wise, all seems to be fine, yes you do have to give them some diagnostics, and you do have to pay postage for sending stuff back, but they are willing to let you do things like change the power supply, RAM, Hard drives etc. For most networks, if you have a Windows site license, then for £170 for a base unit, there's not much wrong with that. Yes, the parts are entry level, but you aren't paying 3-400 for the same computer!
Another plus for Zoostorm is that they provide you with a keyboard and mouse with it too. On the otherhand, the cases aren't the most robust in the world, and the thumb screws can be a lot easier to get into than most schools would like. After a fair bit of discussion we have also replaced out workhorses to new Zoostorm units too, so if in a couple of months I start moaning then you know that they dont cope well with really heavy use. However under normal use, the oldest machines are now over a year old and still working nice and smoothly.
We have about 80 in use since the summer as staff machines in classrooms and so far so good. Yes they are cheaply built, the cases are lightweight metal but the facia is, IMHO, very nice and looks good and sturdy. The buttons are also solid enough, they only depress a millimetre or so to turn on so they cant get stuck etc...
Hardware is fine so far, we replace all of our own PSUs, HDDs, RAM etc... too much bother to send it off. If the CPU or mobo goes then we would call them up but so far we haven't had to replace anything. Usually we get 3 years before PSUs start dropping then it's a fiver a pop. Fans in our units are silent, no noise whatsoever. Machines are quick and work as you'd expect.
Only issue was the fact that the PXE ROM chips weren't flashed correctly so they all presented the same "unique" identifier to our imaging server and hence wouldn't image. They were really good over the phone and tracked down a firmware upgrade for us which we then did ourselves (pretty sure they offered to do it for us though).
We will be replacing our kid's machines probably this year at which point we need to decide Zoostorm or someone else... It's not a clear decision though, the Zoostorm machines are great but the build quality is lower than Stone etc.. but we will see how these current ones hold up.
Bottom line is if the machines are protected by desks/cupboards or if they are staff machines then yes, Zoostorm are great. If they are for kids and you think they will be treated roughly then perhaps get a demo unit in first if you can!
We had an issue creating an image for these after buying one for testing. Did anyone else have an issue or a work around to this?
ShadowX, we haven't had any problems PXE booting them, except from finding the right drivers for them. we use them in 2 ICT suites that get some fairly heavy use, and they don't seem to have had much in the way of damage, except kids have pushed bits into USB slots and microphone jacks, but that can happen to any other computer. I'd suggest putting them on the desk rather than underneath them though... I think one might have had someone trying to prise the front panel off, but it seems to still be intact though.
We have been buying Zoostorm computers for about 3 years. We currently have over 300 of them with varied specs (the latest ones have an i5 CPU and 8GB RAM with 500GB HDD for only £300 ex VAT!)
Only had a few failures but its usually just the power supply or the HDD and they failed before the warranty ran out so we just claimed for replacements.
The oldest ones are still going strong and I have to say I'm quite impressed with how rugged they are for the money. As others have said, you get a decent keyboard and mouse in the box too!
We've never had a problem imaging them with SCCM or WDS and they come with CDs with all the drivers on them, although if you are still running XP you may find it hard to get the correct drivers.
I would recommend them if your on a budget. Try Millgate or Millenium Computers for the best deals on them, we specify them without CD/DVD drives so they students have nothing to play with.
Last edited by Scottyboy99; 22nd January 2013 at 10:44 PM.
SO you got them to image with the drivers on the CD?
Try aria.co.uk we use them and get gigabyte motherboards, intel G series dual core 2.8ghz, 2gb ram and 500gb hard drive, coolermaster cases and with a DVD drive for £189 ish.
We have 8 i3 core pc from zoostorm last year,, still going strong and faster..
the spec is excellent too.. got 4 gb ram and 500 gb hard drive.. all ok.
Hope that helps you
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