i found this in notebook reviews thanks to spliner for posting this.
if you ever wonder about status this mite help.
Dell Laptop Order Stages Wiki
Thought I'd put together a few definitions for us all. This stuff comes from around the net, either here on this site, or others where those of us who have ordered Dell laptops hang out. Hopefully we can all add to these and produce a wiki of sorts for people to use. Please feel free to make your own additions or corrections, I am once again just bored withtout my new laptop and needed something to do! Maybe once the wiki has been corrected to near perfection we can get it made into a sticky.
Here they are:
Order Processing: This stage is generally Dell procuring payment. For instance, the first day my order stayed in Order Processing because I forgot to up my limit on my credit card for this order (it has a daily limit for saftey). Once I received their e-mail letting me know my card did not go through, I called them and the next day my order immediately went into the "In Production" stage.
Pre-Production: This stage has been confirmed to be before Kitting/Build Stages. It's likely this is a design stage or the stage in which parts are verified to be in stock. It's rare this option shows up, but if it does it's likely that your laptop is short some parts for the "Kitting" stage.
In Production: This stage is pretty much all that the web site shows you until your system ships. In order to get details about the "In Production" stage, you will need to call the Dell Order Status Line at 1-800-433-9014 (US). It is unknown by me if that number works in Canada or other countries.
In Production Stages (Must call the 800 number to get these sub-categories):
Kitting: This is when Dell picks your parts, throws them in a toter (square padded bucket) and sends it down the assembly line to be assembled.
Build: This is when Dell actually puts together your laptop. Some customers have been stuck in the build stage for months. If all of the parts were not available in the "Kitting" stage, then you might end up in a time warp with this stage. You'd think your laptop would stay in the "Kitting" stage if all of the parts were not there, but this doesn't always seem to be the case.
Testing: This stage is where the system undergoes rigorous testing. This is also the stage all the software are loaded on the system. <Added by monocapt 8/15/07> Assuming everything goes well, testing is reported to take no more than an hour or so before you will progress to the "boxing" stage. If the first round of testing fails (loading your software/etc fails) then your laptop will go to the EMR bay <added by surfasb 8/15/07> where troubleshooting may begin with other laptops and systems. It is unknown if this stage will be noted with a different stage result than "testing" at this time.
Boxing: This stage is misleading. The automated support line will tell you this is when you are being prepared to ship. In reality, more is happening. Usually your laptop was built outside of the US in Malaysia or somewhere similar. In the boxing stage, your completed laptop is boxed up in a smaller box, then taken to an airport where it is shipped to the US where it can then be boxed up with your accessories and shipped. Generally this stage takes AT LEAST 3 days. Reports lately have said four days is normal, mine actually shipped in 3.5 days of "boxing". Some customers have reported being stuck in the boxing stage for weeks. Other customers have called dell, asked a rep, and found out that their laptops weren't even in the "boxing" stage at all even though the automated line says they were (see note). It has been suggested as well <by surfasb 8/15/07> that your laptop could be sitting on a pallet waiting for enough pallets to be filled to justify a plane ride to the USA. With the recent shortage in parts, this may be the very thing that is delaying your shipment. It is obvious that this stage is the most vague of them all. How long you will be in the "boxing" stage seems to be undeterminable at this point. If your luck holds, it won't be more than 3-4 days. Even though this stage seems the longest, it usually means that your laptop is built, and in a box on a pallet somewhere. You can breathe easier that all your parts are installed at this point and it is only travel time that is ahead of you.
Note: It has been mentioned (and confirmed by at least one person on this board) that people who have called the Dell reps have been told that their laptop wasn't in boxing at all, and that it was still being built. My guess is that they (meaning the non-english speaking reps) are confusing "build" with "In Production" (because the "build" stage is a sub-category of "In Production") and that your laptop is in fact in the boxing stage as the website told you. These reps likely don't speak the greatest amount of english anyway, so watch the website (seems to be the most accurate, even if it is delayed a few hours), and call the 800 number (1-800-433-9014, only works in the US I am told) for more detailed updates of the order status page on the web.
Shipping: The stage in which we all want to be! It's pretty much self explanitory, your laptop is being shipped via Dell's carrier of choice. There is still room here for your order to be delayed, but it's not usually likely unless Dell gets your shipping method incorrect. It is also evident that it takes a day or two to get your tracking number. The Dell order status page won't update with the tracking number right away. Even though Dell "ships" it on a specific date, that is the date they sent it to the carrier. The actual "ship" date from the carrier can be the next day if it's late in the day, but just keep your fingers crossed that your shipping date is accurate.
Boxing Stage (YAY!)
Boxing Stage (Hurry Up!)
Boxing Stage (STILL??)
SHIPPED @ CST! (WOOT!)