Dell Inspiron 1720, High on BSODs and Random Fail

Will Apple come to rescue my productivity?

I purchased a Dell Inspiron 1720 about 11-12 months ago.  It has been a perfectly awesome laptop until about 2-3 months ago.  The specs on the machine are decent, 2+ghz proc, dual core, 4 GB RAM, 160 GB HD, Decent Video, etc.

Lately though the machine has done two things that really concerns me.  The blue screen of death, something that I haven’t seen from regular computer operation on any of the last 4 machines I’ve purchased (Fujitsu Laptop, Custom Built PC, Dell Laptop, and a no-name cheap machine).  All of these machines have been TOP NOTCH without a single blue screen of death on any of these machines.  The Inspiron 1720 though has given me blue screens for a number of scenarios. 

Mind you, one thing the other machines did not have in common with the Inspiron is Vista.  Vista differentiates this machine in a massive way and I’ve seriously started considering going back to XP for the third time.  I’m not sure if it is all Vista issues, but hardware that worked find with XP now causes blue screens with Vista.  Programs that I’ve installed have also caused all sorts of issues with some actually causing blue screens also.  Overall, the only thing I can trace this increase of blue screens to is Vista.

The hardware itself in the Inspiron 1720 could also be to blame.  I’ve run diagnostics at the BIOS level and from the recovery partition on every piece of hardware the machine has.  Nothing comes back as a problem.  I did the long tests and the short tests, I did one or two at a time and reviewed each of the results thoroughly.  I’ve always liked Dell so I’m still giving them the benifit of the doubt.  Dell has also always backed up their hardware and products in a very solid way, even when I have to speak with India, so that I can continue working on a day to day basis.

So I’m back to square one with Vista.  What is the problem here?  What changed so drastically that I get this level of BSODs.  Since Windows ME this OS has by far been the most unstable mess I’ve had to deal with.  I’ve really become discouraged, and with the encouragement from the trend toward MACs that I’ve seen lately I’m wondering, and becoming strongly encouraged, to take the leap.

If I do, and the transition works, Apple will have gained another user for another solid 4-8 years.  There are fears I have about making the leap, namely games and certain productivity software that Apple doesn’t have, but those are starting to seem minor in comparison about the ability to continue working with Vista.

The ads Apple puts out are absolutely retarded, albeit entertaining in a weird way, they are however starting to seem more and more relevant.