The data was gathered from a survey of more than 2,900 computer users.Defective computer hardware was responsible for 37 percent of the problems, followed by faulty programs called drivers, which control hardware functions and other hardware-software conflicts. Application and operating system software accounted for almost 60 percent of the problems encountered.
When trying to reach technical support, users spent an average of 10 minutes on hold waiting to get an answer, after making an average of 2.7 calls. It took users an average of 3.6 days to resolve their computer problems.
Of the major brands tested, the three most reliable PCs were made by Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Gateway. Ninety-two percent of the HP computers, and 91 percent of Gateway and Dell machines worked properly right out of the box. Packard Bell and Toshiba, brought up the rear in reliability, quality of technical support and the time taken to resolve a computer problem.
Davis J. Report slams PC reliability. News.com (www.news.com), September 24, 1998.