Rebel EFI: Send your Computer to Psystar for Compatibility?

We already had the news about Psystar’s Rebel EFI possibly including open source code, but now we have another story which doesn’t really seem to bode well for the small Florida clone maker. Gizmodo has a story on an interesting customer experience.

The customer in question tried the trial version of the Rebel EFI package, and found out that Mac OS X would indeed install just fine on his non-Apple labelled Core 2 Duo machine. After the installation of Mac OS X, he installed the trial Rebel EFI utility, and realised that the hardware compatibility check was only available in the full version.

This check, eh, checks your hardware to see if Psystar has compatible drivers available, and will install them for you if they do. Nothing surprising so far, this was all in the press release and on the product page. Consequently, the customer bought the full version, and performed the hardware compatibility check. It told him that he needed drivers for his video card, audio card, and USB 2.0 (chip?).

However, he could not send in the results of the test. This is kind of odd, because I simply assumed that the test would gather hardware information, and compare it to a compatibility database, and then send the drivers over the ‘net for the utility to install.

The customer contacted Psystar via the built-in support tool, and he was told to fill out a “DCR” form. It wasn’t explained what that was, so he asked what it was and where he could get it. He didn’t receive a reply for a week. He called Psystar, but the phone support system told him all customer support would not go through email. He emailed, and as a response, he received the DCR form as a PDF.

This form details how to send your computer to Psystar for them to figure out if your machine is compatible with Rebel EFI. “At no point during the purchase was I told I may have to send them my computer,” the customer said, “I am now in the process of trying to get my money back.”

Well, that last bit is not entirely true. The press release clearly states that in the case of unsupported hardware, you can send your machine to Psystar for them to get everything working. The product page, however, mentions no such thing. From the press release:

In conjunction with this software release, Psystar will begin the Psystar Labs approval program. Users who are having difficulties getting a specific device to work correctly on their machines would send in their component to have it certified.

It’s all rather odd. I mean, I surely would not send any of my hardware to a company like Psystar, or any other small company who I’ve never dealt with in person (other than the company that sold you the parts). What’s even weirder is the part about not being able to send in the results from the check – that sure seems like the sole purpose of the tool. Maybe the results were sent in, and the listed devices were simply incompatible, and as a result, the send-in-to-get-it-to-work thing kicked in?

Any experiences from OSNews readers on this one?


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