HP still sucks

My laptop’s about to die. Well, the hard drive, at least. It’s making grinding noises, and it takes forever for files to load up, and the computer blue screens if I leave it on for more than a couple hours. So I might not be blogging much for the next few days, while I sort this out.

I finally got on the phone with HP last Wednesday evening. I spent 30 minutes on the phone with some completely useless person in front-line support before giving up. I actually sprung for the extended warranty when I bought this computer two years ago, so it’s still under warranty, and they even acknowledged that fact, but insisted on making me jump through a bunch of hoops before they did anything, and I was too tired to deal with it during the week.

So I called them back last night. It took me an hour and a half on the phone to get them to send me a new hard drive. They’d lost my ticket from my first call, so I had to repeat all of the information I’d already told them the first time. Yes, HP’s information system still sucks.

Then they made me jump through the hoops.
“We need you to update the BIOS.”
“Um, why? It’s a problem with the hard drive.”
“There’s a more recent BIOS update, so that could solve the problem.”
“A BIOS update is going to fix the grinding noises from my hard drive? I find that hard to believe.”
“Please go to this website and install the BIOS update.”
Wait, wait, wait as it takes approximately 22 minutes to actually download the update and install it as my computer is in its death throes.
“Did the new BIOS update fix the problem?”
“No, the hard drive is still grinding. Can you hear it? I’m holding my phone up to the hard drive compartment.”
“Yes, I can hear it. Have you tried defragmenting the disk?”


After a bit over an hour with the front line guy, I finally get him to admit that it’s a hardware problem, and get sent to a hardware specialist Philip. Philip agrees that it’s probably a hardware problem, and says that I need to send the whole laptop in.
“Um, why? Just send me a new hard drive.”
“Well, we need to do a full system checkup, because it could be the motherboard.”
“You think the motherboard is causing the hard disk to grind?”
“A full system checkup is necessary!”
“Look, I’m leaving on vacation next week. Send me a new hard drive.”

Eventually I convince him to send me a new hard drive. It should get here on Wednesday or Thursday, which should leave me time to restore the files I care about to the new one before I get on a plane Saturday. I’ll also have to install the operating system, and reinstall all my applications, of course. Guess I know what I’m doing for Christmas…

If I hadn’t bought the extended warranty a couple years ago, I’d just throw it all in and get a MacBook. But since the new hard drive is free, I’m going to try to make this laptop work another year. Oh, the excitement.

P.S. The fun part of all this was that the problems first appeared on the night before my master’s project proposal was due. My computer blue screened twice that evening, and it was taking five minutes to save a file, and I was freaking out because I had a bunch of work to do and my computer was broken. I eventually just shut the laptop down for a couple hours, and then it at least made it the few hours I needed to finish my work up. But that was pretty annoying.

2 thoughts on “HP still sucks

  1. Don’t feel alone. Dealt with email support for a replacement keyboard. Bought my laptop dv2047 from Sam’s Dec 8,2006. Contacted support in Jan about the spacebar. The only way it would actuate was if you hit it dead center. A couple mm off and no joy. Asked to ship a replacement (billing software and client’s files a bit sensitive, and have some software that has limited number of keys. No way I could go without.

    They sent me the instructions for replacing it, but wouldn’t send the keyboard (5 back-and-forths later). By this time I’m using a bluetooth keyboard, so isn’t a pressing issue. (Did I mention that I was an electronics calibration and repair tech and ran two labs in the AF?)

    Flash forward to Nov 07, less than a month left on warranty, and I don’t have the keys loaded, and figure that I can get along without the billings for a week. Contact them and state a preference for self-install. They came up with the same mantra (India–mantra—ah, what’s the use) and tossed in a new twist: They say that the laptop waranty expired in Aug.

    So, I have to email a copy of the receipt, plus fill out forms–will supposedly hear from them immediately about the update waranty date. Nada. Nothing. No communication what so ever.

    So, the warranty is out, I will have to pay about $80 for a keyboard, and I’m pissed.

    Will I recommend HP or Compaq to customers (I do VAR medical systems and teach part-time)? Probably not. They can stop sending me business system catalogs.

    I’ll probably still support their printers, since I can second-source the parts, and they are workhorses. But I’ve got three (two HPs and one Compaq) laptops in, and I’ve basically told the owners to replace them with Dells. Three more customers have been advised to go with Dell servers. All for a freaking keyboard. Original support #KMM14560722V43597L0KM.

    (During the last segment of tech support conversation, I replaced a screen, partial case, and DVD drive in a Compaq r3000 for a client (her daughter’s friend sat on it)).

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