MPC: Going, going, gone

Heads-up if you own an MPC or Gateway Professional computer!

"Our firm was an MPC customer," writes Earl, "and a Gateway customer for 15 years before MPC took over. We purchased exclusively Gateway equipment, including workstations, laptops, and servers. Everything was great until MPC took over, and I have a lot of Gateway equipment in a production environment. Now all of the warranties are worthless, and there is no support. At some point, I'm going to need parts to fix a broken desktop, laptop, or server. How can I find out what manufacturers MPC was using and do those manufacturers still have parts available (for sale) if I were to need a part?"

As you all probably know by now, MPC purchased Gateway's Professional division and then went belly up, leaving customers stranded. So, as a customer of a company that no longer exists, Earl -- like many of us -- is on his own for repairs for that Gateway or MPC computer, even if it has an MPC-backed warranty. I've already covered this several times, but I'm bringing it up one more time because, as Rudy, wrote to point out, "The following message now appears on the MPC website":

PLEASE NOTE:

The www.mpccorp.com and http://support.mpccorp.com sites will no longer be available as of March 31, 2009.

There are -- for the moment -- links to drivers and manuals at that site, as well as some other useful tools for anyone self-servicing their equipment. But the site is going down shortly, so if you can anticipate any drivers or manuals you might want, get them while they are still there. You can look up parts, drivers, and manuals for the machines you have with the serial number lookup tool that is currently live on the site.

[ For the full rundown on customers struggling with MPC, see the earlier Gripe Line posts: "When vendors go bust," "More on that MPC mess," "Where Gateway and MPC collide," and "A memo from MPC Corporation" ]

It would be great to see someone else (maybe Gateway?)," suggests Rudy, "mirror or otherwise host the MPC site to allow former customers to download drivers, manuals, etc. into the future. If I were Gateway, I'd at least host all the drivers and information that pertains to the Gateway machines that many of us bought before MPC bought their 'professional' division."

Unfortunately, it doesn't look as if Gateway consumer products will be doing that. MPC Corporation purchased Gateway Professional -- and all its assets and liabilities -- at the same time that the consumer business was purchased by Acer, so according to an Acer spokesperson, "We don't have much insight into the Gateway professional products or parts."

There are companies selling parts for Gateway Professional and MPC computers, though. Mundo Corporation is one. I called and was assured that the company carries many parts for orphaned MPC machines. If you have Gateway machines (as Earl does) that were then taken over in the MPC buyout, try Skyline Engineering. Scott Matheson at Skyline tells me it is "the source" for the Gateway Professional machines but doesn't carry a lot of parts for MPC computers.

If you know of any other resources, please let us know.

Got gripes? Send them to christina_tynan-wood@infoworld.com.

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