HP Computers & Setup Drama

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by Inspector Clouseau, Aug 29, 2007.

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  1. Inspector Clouseau

    Inspector Clouseau AV Expert

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    After a long time i had to deal yesterday for the first time with a HP Laptop. Reason is being scheduled security/antivirus conferences, speeches and traveling were it is/was very uncomfortable to travel with a 17 inch dell/mac laptop (also because of battery life time) So a HP 12" Tablet PC is the "magic" gadget. HOWEVER...

    No Setup CD's for XP Tablet PC included. All preinstalled and you are forced to create so called Recovery CD's. This wouldn't be a problem but just imagine the following drama:

    1. It took almost 3 (!!!) hours to create several (!) DVD's (!) for this purpose. I consider this as most annoying if you buy a laptop and you have to waste already 3 hours before you can even use it or let's say before it is "safe" to use it. A normal windows installation (even a tablet pc edition) from a normal cd takes much less time!

    2. I got shocked after seeing what crap is all preinstalled and bundled. I wouldn't mind if they just upload setup files which you can manually install then by clicking on it. Instead of this all crap was already HALF INSTALLED. That means every crap-program was active and 8 different online updaters were complaining that there is no internet connection.

    3. Norton Antivirus running! Please excuse me but how can they FORCE ME to work with a ALREADY INSTALLED norton antivirus? There was nothing mentioned on the package that this is already running! Pressed uninstall under software packages ... guess what? Since this time the tablet pc didn't start windows anymore and hangs (for hours!) on the windows login.

    4. "Good that you created the recovery dvd's" came to mind. Guess what? It "recovered" the machine again with full of this crap!

    5. After finally managing the drama (by *NOT* uninstalling Norton but disabeling it) i was for the first time able to access the Windows Explorer. The next shock: The recovery created a partition HALF OF THE SIZE OF THE WHOLE HARD DISK with all setup files there which you CANNOT DELETE. (It doesn't even give u access to it with normal ways) Because it integrates itself in the Bios Boot for a so called "Emergency recovery"

    FFS!!!!! Half of the Hard Disk Space wasted with such crap as Norten Internet Security Setup which i'm anyway not going to use? 30 Gigabytes on another partition also "DEAD" for recovery / setup sake? That was the moment when i was seriously considering throwing the whole crap out of the window. Wouldn't make big sense since ground floor. So i didn't do that.

    For a laptop machine the battery time is important. At least for people during traveling. How do they expect to lower battery drain with 2000 preinstalled crap running directly always after windows logon even if you don't finish the install (because you simply dont want to use it) ?

    6. Called HP. They told me they don't include CD's to "save the world" I said "Huh? when i throw this laptop out of the window and it hit's someone you have failed this mission" the guy then tried to explain that it has to do with preventing non-recycle dvd's. HUH?! I've never thrown away a setup cd/dvd. So i told him instead of that they should have saved a few trees for the completely useless manual of the recovery dvd builder. There was in 52 different languages written that you can read online how to use it. 52 Pages !!!! The trademark book was bigger than a harry potter roman. The computer manual itself less than 25 pages containing 18 pages how to connect the power supply and to insert the battery. BUT NOT EVEN ONE PAGE TELLING YOU HOW TO INSTALL JUST WINDOWS WITHOUT ALL THAT CRAP!

    7. After getting really pissed a backup'd all files remotely to a external HDD just in case to have them (drivers etc) came across a few "interesting" things which i disassembled with IDA. And oh heck, full of security flaws. Possible Buffer Overflows etc. in the HP Setup / Managing console. Conclusion: They do not only force me to use this crap they also represent a serious security risk with that crap!

    8. Calling HP again. Another guy. Doesn't understand what IDA is and doesn't know anything about exploidable code. Cannot recommend anybody to speak with. Dang! Disconnected. Looking at the laptop, looking out of the window... it rains and nobody is walking outside...

    9. Dumping the MBR and disassembling that to see how this recovery **** integrates into the boot progress. And heck, there it is - it loads upon function key press from the bios screen. To get rid of that you have to manually patch that and write remotely back this. WTF?!

    ...next morning (today)...

    1. called HP again in the hope not to have same same guy again on the phone. worked - a woman picked up in the technical support department. First question: "How may i help you?" ... "By providing me a CLEAN Operating System Setup CD." ... "We can offer you to restore your machine via backup image" ... Dang! this time i disconnected. Not sure if i should mention that but i have to replace the phone today after that "disconnect"...

    2. Searched the office for MSDN Tablet PC Windows XP. Found it with valid license code. Tried to burn it (they are stored as images...) FAILED! Failed several times.

    3. Found out that you can burn those images on a Dell (!) Computer

    4. FFS!!!

    5. Called HP again. Disconnected before someone picks up. Tried again - same result. Used Number hiding - they picked up. i said very loud "AHA!" Disconnected.

    6. Writing complain letter to HP Head Quaters

    7. Fax always busy there

    8. Considering calling them again to ask where to send a complain letter... dropped that idea....

    9. If i dont find any suitable solution today that crap goes back

    10. ARE THEY NUTS?
     
  2. EraserHW

    EraserHW Malware Expert

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    Ok, you simply did raise a nice argument to talk about.

    I bought an HP laptop at the end of July. Windows Vista was preinstalled. Ok, I did recovery DVDs (it took a life and an half to do them and, btw, even here Norton Antivirus preinstalled).

    Then I tried to downgrade to Windows XP, even because I had to work with XP. I found drivers for Windows XP from HP homepage, on the laptop model I have. (Note that they give drivers for Windows XP, XP 64 bit, Windows 2000 too).

    After format, Windows XP can't install because SATA hard drive is not found. Wonderful! On the website there aren't drivers available for SATA. (note that other models have them on their drivers page).

    Lose an afternoon looking for drivers compatible with my laptop. At the end I found them and installed Windows XP. Now comes the funny part.

    Audio drivers (taken from HP drivers page) don't work. Simply they say 'device not found'.

    Ok, reading from HP english website there's a little note where they said that before installing audio drivers I should install Microsoft UAA patch. Ok, they could at least link this package on drivers webpage. NO, they didn't. You've to find that by yourself. And, if you are lucky enough, you can even find updated version of this HP package (but only if you are so lucky and you've enough time to loose).

    After found, I went installing the patch and after audio drivers. Result? Device not found.

    What the hell! Tried lot of times. Friends suggested me to take drivers of HP compatible models of my laptop that are born with Windows XP native support, so maybe drivers would have worked. Tried several days, nothing.

    Moreover, just to add an interesting info, you don't have ANY info on which hardware is this laptop built on. No hardware technical specs on the web, you have to get them by yourself using some sw like Everest.

    Ok, sent e-mail to technical support and called them by phone.

    In the meanwhile I receive reply from HP e-mail support team that link me to english HP website.

    So I replied: "Well, maybe you and phone support should talk today at lunch, because you are saying me to go on english website while phone support just told me to not"

    At the end: using not their drivers, but HP models drivers compatible with mine and working thru them I was able to force insdtallation and now everything works. It's absolutely incredible HP does:

    - not give any tech specs webapge on their laptop models (only on some)
    - publish an incomplete drivers webpage for other OS previous Windows Vista
    - italian website and english website give different informations and they neither check it

    Inspector, totally agree with you.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2007
  3. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Actually, they may be.

    This past weekend I was traveling to visit my mother and drop an older PC off to a nephew. My brother was having some difficulty with a PC as well, so I squeezed in a look at that.

    It was a reasonably new HP desktop that wouldn't boot. I didn't have a lot of time, but what I saw was:
    • A machine that booted fine with a Bart PE XP Pro CD. The base system was fine.
    • A set of recovery CD's that he had burned and were somehow corrupted. The surfaces looked fine, so it may have been a bad burn. Whatever, they wouldn't work.
    • The HP installed recovery partition was corrupted as well. It crashed very early on in the recovery process with a message that not all required files or information was available (or something along those lines)
    In some respects it looked to be wholesale HDD failure, but even if they now picked up a new HDD, that machine was dead in the water without some sort of XP install CD, which they simply did not have since HP hadn't supplied them and it hadn't occurred to them to ask (actually, I left them my Knoppix Live CD and DVD so they could at least surf with the machine if desired). Since time was tight, I told them to get on the phone with HP support and get a set of those install CD's, but customers really shouldn't have to jump through these hoops after the fact when they're sitting there with a useless box.

    Blue
     
  4. Mrkvonic

    Mrkvonic Linux Systems Expert

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    Hello,

    I see a slight masochist inclination to suffer...
    No reason to buy a preinstalled computer of any kind EVER.
    Side note, I agree and pain with you every moment.

    That's why I only ever buy hardware and software completely separate.

    Mrk
     
  5. stapp

    stapp Global Moderator

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    Thank you Inspector and Eraser for helping me to realise my day is nowhere near as bad as yours, I only have an HP printer to contend with.:)
     
  6. Inspector Clouseau

    Inspector Clouseau AV Expert

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    Ok. problem "solved".

    Repacked the damn HP machine and returned it after trying several times to get a normal installation cd/image. As business (premium!) customer that is just too much drama. We cannot waste here days with installing one damn laptop because HP is completely unhelpful.

    IBM X61 Tablet PC now. To be fair enough i mention that they ALSO sell that as preloaded crap BUT (and that makes the difference!) for a small amount i get at least the original Windows Vista Tablet PC CD's. Please also note that HP didn't even know there is a Vista Tablet PC Edition! And to make it even worse: The brand new IBM (including Dockingstation & external BlueRay DVDR !) is CHEAPER than this freaking HP crap. Not to mention better technical details! 1 GB more memory, UltraWide 12" inch SWGA screen (not only a crappy 1024 resolution like the HP has) with even touch screen support so that you dont have to use the pen all the time. Now that's what i call a deal. Especially because IBM called *me* back and asked if they should deliver that directly into the office. Just as a joke i said "sure, if you also make a coffee for me downstairs" guess what... The guy promised to do even that!!! He just called and confirmed his departure otw to over here. Now that's service!
     
  7. BlueZannetti

    BlueZannetti Administrator

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    Sweet...

    I really don't quite know why this type of platform hasn't taken off more than it has. As someone who travels to internal and external customer sites for technical training presentations, technical problem debugging/solving, voice of customer interviews, and the like, it really does look to be the preferred style of dynamic platform. I just wish the IT group had to do some of this and weren't locked away in their caverns all day..., they finally might understand the sentiment. On the other hand, if they really understood that they were a service group, that would help as well :)

    Blue
     
  8. Inspector Clouseau

    Inspector Clouseau AV Expert

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    Well the thing is that i can understand that they have users who just want to press the continue button and don't care about the setup as long as they can run their email client/browser. But they cannot *ASSUME* that simply everyone is willing to accept that! I mean just think about the fact that your machine (especially a laptop where HDD space is anyway somehow limited!) wastes PERMANENTLY almost half of its entire hard disk space? Thats especially a serious matter for so called tablet pc's which you have to hold in one hand like a book! You cannot connect 5 external USB disks so easily without putting them into your pockets. And having 20 GB free on a brand new machine is just insane. That reminds me to the PC10 with 10 MB Harddisk. Difference at this time was that 10 MB was even sufficient :D So you're doomed to run out of space soon with that damn preloaded crap which u cannot even get rid of easily. Alone the fact that it takes aprox. 20 times LONGER (!) to get rid of that after a recovery in contrast to a completely fresh OS installation makes me wonder how stupid this damn bundle setup really is.
     
  9. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi IC

    I also got the IBM Tablet X60. It's sweet. I didn't even notice if you can make a recovery DVD. I just installed FDISR, and immediately made an off disk archive, as well as Shadow Protect images of both partitions.

    Only thing I uninstalled is the Symantec stuff, and it went fairly well. Left a lot of the IBM stuff as some of it is actually useful to the tablet.

    Sweet machine and yeah getting it with Tablet XP was a selling point.

    Pete
     
  10. Ocky

    Ocky Registered Member

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    Wife has a HP nx6110 notebook which fortunately came with a XP SP2
    installation CD. However the Bios is HP and for some reason I can't image
    with Acronis TI 8 or TI 9.
    I don't think imaging these models is possible. (I have created only a C:\ active, and a D:\ for data partition.
    There are no hidden partitions and most of the bundled HP stuff was not installed by me. Notebook works great -except the imaging prob.)
     
  11. iceni60

    iceni60 ( ^o^)

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    i got a compaq vista laptop and it didn't come with a window's dvd either and has all the extra junk pre-installed - norton, HP/compaq stuff etc. my solution is to just not use it, i still haven't finished installing all the software i need.

    i mentioned it here a couple of days ago -
    https://www.wilderssecurity.com/showpost.php?p=1066301&postcount=8
     
  12. Woody777

    Woody777 Registered Member

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    I can only imagine what I would have done. My reaction would have dwarfed the inspectors. I have only tried a couple of HP Printers neither of which installed. When the store suggested I pay them to do it I returned the item. I then swore off all HP products for good. My wife just doesn't understand why. I myself tried to get an XP setup CD for my E machine computer I sort of succeeded . I believe if you buy a computer you need to get an install disc. You paid for it after all. No one in the business besides internet technicans etc seems to agree.
     
  13. eniqmah

    eniqmah Registered Member

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    I am grateful for crappy tech supports and shitty warranties... They've set me on the path to mastering my computer inside and out...thus achieving my freedom from ...again...crappy tech supports and shitty warranties... I KNOW that you know that you shouldn't count on these companies to workout a sensible set up or find you a sensible solution when said setup does not materialize. I suppose I've given up on "fighting to change the world". I am resigned to the fact that if I buy a laptop, I pay only for the hardware. I expect to wipe it all clean and start on my own terms...I expect no tech support because the kid sitting on the other side of the phone line is 20 years old with less than a clue about my problems, speaks horrible Indian-English, and is occupying a job that should be in the hands of my fellow countrymen. By "giving up" I save my self the frustration and the wasting of my time...complaining.
     
  14. ccsito

    ccsito Registered Member

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    Wow. No wonder HP is number 1 on the PC market. They must be doing something right. :D ;)
     
  15. acr1965

    acr1965 Registered Member

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  16. Inspector Clouseau

    Inspector Clouseau AV Expert

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    Ok the drama continues with IBM. Guess what? All software works brilliant and i really liked the machine but after finishing the install and booting for the first time (in a black screen) i noticed lot's of dead pixels. Well actually they are not dead. Dead pixels are supposed to be black. They are light green, light red and white. VERY annoying especially because you see ALWAYS those pixels now no matter what background you use (except a textured background) but if you use a flat/plan one color background (such as white in notepad) you see them. At least a few of them which are red. The green ones are harder to see at white background, but you see them shining at the black background. all directly in the center.

    Now comes the bummer: i've counted 15 "wrong" pixels. Yes right, not 1 not 2 not 3 not even 5 --- 15 !!! Guess what? According to their policy here (http://www-307.ibm.com/pc/support/site.wss/document.do?lndocid=MIGR-4U9P53)
    That's just "pretty" fine one guy told me. HUH?! So i'm supposed to work with 15 "dead" pixels on a public presentation laptop which i have to show other people? Great deal. I will mention that to everyone who sees the laptop that i'm very sorry about the flickering points but that the policy of that company in question thinks that's just "normal". I'm really loosing patience with this crap. That's the 3rd day now trying to get a laptop ready for presentations. I even told them that it is a laptop for presentations and not for only checking emails! Vendor said that if they would have "less dead pixel chances" then the laptop would be more expensive. Huh?! Other companies are even cheaper and exchanging that if you have more than ONE dead pixel. Not to mention 15!!! In Signapore is a 0 dead pixel rule - but they export dead pixels to europe/us?

    I still can't believe it: 15 dead pixels and they say it's "fine". Directly in the center of the screen...
     
  17. 19monty64

    19monty64 Registered Member

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    I hear three's a charm! What will your next option be? I can't wait to hear more! I'm not making light of your situation, I've just never heard this many horror stories since The Twilight Zone...
     
  18. Mele20

    Mele20 Former Poster

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    Send it back and make them send another. I wouldn't accept 15 dead pixels ...especially in the center of the screen. It took Dell FOUR tries to get a flat panel LCD monitor to me that worked properly. The first one came with my new system and was DOA, the next one had the power cord fall off constantly, the third immediately went into self check and would not emerge. The fourth one was lost by DHL for OVER TWO WEEKS while it wandered around Canada and the Mainland USA. When DHL finally located it, I was sure it would be damaged badly after all that wandering about but, to my surprise, it worked fine and when I tested it had NO dead pixels. It's a fine monitor and Dell told me it was rare to get one with no dead pixels...my reward I suppose for having to go through all that just to get a working monitor. Anyhow, that Tablet should go back immediately.
     
  19. ronjor

    ronjor Global Moderator

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    That's one reason I still use a mini-heater CRT. :)
     
  20. Perman

    Perman Registered Member

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    Hi, folks: Any brand new product, especially electronic ones, are bound to have some defects once in a while. Customer satisfaction is entirely up to the after sale policy and product warranty. In Canada, if you buy computers from places such as Staples, Best Buy or Future Shop, buyer has 14 days return policy, that means you can virtually return it w/o any hassles, for full refund or exchange . Few years ago, I bought a Toshiba Laptop, and found its motherboard dead after 5 days. I returned it for another new one. Therefore please do not blame the machine, which can not be perfect all the times when it is even days old. After all it is assembled by either human being or robot, and they are not perfect either. I would have a good talk with vendor who sold you the machine. Good luck.
     
  21. Peter2150

    Peter2150 Global Moderator

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    Hi IC

    If a support person told you that I'd ask to speak to their supervisor. I find it hard to believe Lenovo/IBM would want that out in the business world. Push on them.

    Pete
     
  22. The_Duality

    The_Duality Registered Member

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    Oh dear... reading all of this makes me very worried. I am about to order a new Acer notebook for university, and a friend with the same model says its full of crapware - with a restore partition... and no install CDs.

    Lovely.

    Sounds like im going to be looking around for a different laptop...
     
  23. Perman

    Perman Registered Member

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    Hi, folks: A restore partition? Do not worry. I just bought a SONY VAIO laptop and it comes with the same set up. I make a DVD copies right away. Then proceed with other functions. Those DVDs are my S.O.S. recovery media. When I bought TOSHIBA laptop three years ago, it came with a recovery CD. Perhaps different PC makers have their own arrangements, but the ultimate purposes are the same--to rescue you and me in the event of---. They (brand new PCs ) all come with a lot of junks, you just have to bear with them, delete those you do not need, IMO there is no easy out.) Good luck.
     
  24. Inspector Clouseau

    Inspector Clouseau AV Expert

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    Ok update. Im writing this from the HP Tablet :D Only advise i can give is stay away from lenovo. I called today IBM and they told me that they have daily so many complaining customers about the lenovo laptops that its not funny anymore. Lenovo is NOT a part of IBM. Lenovo is a chinese company via a holding group. Since they took over the laptop production the quality of those laptops went down the drain. Thats at least the thing what the higher management from IBM told me. And discussing with a customer that you have to have one more dead pixel - 16 then - that is insulting and just rude to any paying customer. The funny thing is i found today a weblog from them where customers complaining also exactly about that. After reading that the damn lenovo went straight back to hell (lenovo).

    Got the HP, exchanged HDD myself (160 Gig instead of 80 Gig) and installed Vista Ultimate with Tablet PC Support from our MSDN Company Volume License. Works like a charm now. Is a bit more heavy than the machine from hell but i accept that with pleasure since it doesnt have any dead pixel and ridiculous exchange / replace conditions.
     
  25. ashishtx

    ashishtx Registered Member

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    Even after such a huge improvement in technology and paying hefty money, we can't get a computer that is 100% to our liking.
     
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