HP Pavillion Sucks

  By Shamus   Mar 22, 2006   59 comments

The following is a long diatribe on my former computer. There is no need for you to read it. It’s boring. Just don’t buy an HP and none of this will apply to you.

I warned you.

Back in 2004:

I get myself an HP Pavillion. My company buys me the machine for use out of my home office. The goal is to have a reliable and affordable machine. I don’t need to play games on it or do anything fancy, I just need it to work.

I bring it home and plug ‘er in. Here is how HP greets me:


Click for biggie view

A challenge: How would you go about closing that goofy window right in the middle of the screen? You can’t move it. There is no close button. Right-clicking does nothing. The answer? Click in the white area to launch the wizard, then tell it you don’t want any.

Then hope the window doesn’t re-appear next time you boot up.

I should add that when this sales pitch for internet providers popped up, my cable modem was already connected and working properly.

Anyway, what a mess of icons. Before I go installing any of my software, I need to clean this stuff off.

Before I can do that, yet another popup appears letting me know I need to create my restore discs. It turns out that HP did not provide the restore disks. I have to go out and buy blank disks and burn them all myself. All ten of them. I really should make the restore discs before I go on my un-installing binge, in case I remove something important, or one of these nagware programs makes a mess of the system during un-install.

So I run the restore disc creation program. The process is tedious and tiresome, with an long-winded wizard that chews through a lot of time before getting around to asking for the first blank disc. I put it in. The program reports that the disc is bad. It aborts the process. I throw the disc away and try another. Run through the wizard again. This disc is also bad. Abort. Two bad blank discs in a row? What are the odds?

Hmmmm….

So I insert a regular music CD into the burner. Nothing. I mess around with it for a while, always assuming that I was doing something wrong. I have to reboot several times. Every time I reboot, the system pummels me with various “offers” and other useless windows. Windows open up, unbidden. My “favorite”:


Click for biggie view

This is HP organize. The thing is just a huge confusing container for a bunch of sales icons. Note that these are different from the sales icons that litter the desktop. In that center window a little movie begins to play, welcoming me to HP and telling me abut HP Organize, a ridiculous contraption made to replace the familiar windows interface with something more gimmicky and convoluted. It does this every single time I reboot, until I give up and hunt around in the options and find the one to shuts it off for good.

Remember, I’m just trying to install my software. Before I can do that, I have to clean all this junk off the machine. Before I can do that, I have to create restore discs. Before I can do that, I have to figure out what’s wrong with the CD burner. Before I can do that, I have to figure out how to disable this HP Organize monster before it drives me mad.

But it doesn’t end there.

Windows with nonstandard layouts (read: the close button isn’t where you expect) appear regularly. They fade in, slide up, and otherwise animate in a distracting manner. HP organize. Updates from HP. Some picture viewer thingee. Configure your new ISP. Join the HP club. Each one is totally different. They eat up system resources, greatly slowing the machine. Boot-up takes ages.

These programs seem to wait until I try to accomplish something and then leap into view. It’s madness. If I were to go to the mirror universe, Steve Jobs would have an evil goatee and all of his computers would act just like this.

I finally get that stuff shut off and out of my face so I can get back to finding out why I can’t burn or play CD’s. Eventually I realize: This CD burner doesn’t work. It’s busted, right out of the box.

I get on the phone with them. It is, as you’d expect, a long process of assuring them that yes my computer is plugged in and no, I don’t have it submerged in water and I have not set it on fire. I’m in a hurry. I don’t care about the CD burner. I don’t need it. This machine is for work, and I don’t need to burn CD’s. I just need the restore discs. They agree to send some in the mail. Fine. Bye.

I’m happy I don’t have to spend an hour swapping discs to burn these things, and they’re glad I’m not demanding they do anything expensive like make sure their computer actually works.

I spend some time un-installing all the crap. It’s a long and thankless task. I’m not even installing my own stuff yet: I’m just trying to clean off the machine so it will leave me alone. There is a lot of useless stuff tucked into the various corners of the OS. I clean out the system tray. I clean off the desktop. I clean out program files….

(Let’s skip ahead here,. This took a while and you get the idea.)

…finally done.

I put in a music CD. Because the CD drive is rubbish, I put it in the DVD drive. It doesn’t play. Instead, a new popup appears, prompting me to register (pay for) MusicMatch, some sort of music provider. But I don’t need to buy music. I have some, and I just put it in the drive. All you have to do is play it! I can make this thing go away, but I can’t get windows to make with the music-playing. Musicmatch comes up whenever an audio CD is inserted.

One of the windows that was jumping in my face a while ago was a link to the HP Help Center. I imagine my current problem is a common one. Rather than fight with it myself, I sign on and see what the help center has to say. I fire it up. Instead of just some FAQ or webpages, the help center is yet another fancy-pants application. It’s sluggish. It prompts me to create my account. Create an account? Are you kidding? I just want help with my HP computer! Are you afraid non-HP users are going to leech help from you or something? I go through the motions and the help center locks up. I can’t believe this. I try a few more times, but that’s all the help center can do.

I give up on help center and deal with this Musicmatch program myself. It’s tricky because the program itself doesn’t offer any way to deal with it. I uninstall it, but then windows doesn’t know what to do with audio CD’s. I have to go into file associations and re-assign audio CD’s to Media Player. I know that a very small percentage of the people out there know how to do this. As far as I can tell, this is the only way to get my computer to play audio CD’s without paying for MusicMatch.

I’m enraged on behalf of all the people out there (the proverbial moms and grandpas) who buy one of these as a first computer. Just imagine if this was your first experience with a personal computer. This experience almost turned me into a luddite.

Eventually I get the thing fixed up and working right. The annoyware is gone. My software is installed. I’m getting work done. Then I decide to watch a movie. The DVD player is an annoyware demo. Figures.

In any case: The DVD player doesn’t work right. Movies stutter and pause at regular intervals. It sucks.

Again, DVD playing wasn’t on the list of stuff we needed the computer to do, so from a business perspective there was just no point in making a big deal out of this. It would just eat up a bunch of time and in the end I doubt they would get it right anyway.

Two years later:

Amazing. My standards for this computer were quite low, and yet it ended up disappointing me anyway. Even if the hardware worked like it was supposed to, this was a miserable machine. It was crippled by horrible software that was so unhelpful that its actions bordered on sabotage. I weep for the poor people who bought this machine. I had the knowledge required to clean off the machine and make it perform as it should, but I’m far from the average user. I’ll bet there are still hundreds or perhaps thousands of people out there right now who have simply accepted that part of the boot-up process is closing HP Organize, and the picture viewer. They are used to seeing a half-dozen blinking icons in their system tray. Icons about which they know nothing, which they have never used, and which have been needlessly clogging up the works since day one.

I don’t have any sort of denouement for this tale. I don’t have anything witty to add at this point. After two years with the machine my opinion of it has not improved. I admit my tale isn’t as bitter or frustrating as Jeff Jarvis in his adventures in Dell Hell. I’m only putting it here so that maybe someone in the market for a computer will read this and think twice before buying HP.

I’m also putting this here as a way of shaking my fist at the loathsome people at HP who put this thing on the market. You guys are scum. You could see how the machine performed and what it did, but you put it into boxes and sent them to stores anyway. Every dollar you made from this model was stolen, as far as I’m concerned. You cannot concieve of the misery you spread and the endless hours of your customer’s time you wasted with this terrible, irritating, useless, nagging, slow, and piggish software.

Deep breath.

Okay, I’m done. I don’t know what posessed you to read this, but thanks for your indulgence.

20201959 comments. It's getting crowded in here.


  1. Zenja says:

    Seeing that it’s a work PC (probably financed by your cheap employer), then you are forgiven. Ever since HP went through the Carly Fiona saga, no self respecting geek-engineer wants anything to do with HP/Compaq. I feel sorry for the employees, but that company has to go down in flames for idiotic managerial decisions in the late 90’s / early 00’s. I love your Jobs comment :)

    Seeing that I am an alternative OS nut (BeOS of all weird platforms), after reading your story, having a platform with very little software is actually a good thing – since that means that you dont have to deal with the crap software installed by default. Instead of having 20 crippled DVD players with poor performance, we’ve only got one (VideoLan). Fortunately, this is the best video player on the planet (cross platform too).

  2. Dale Faught says:

    I bought a hp pavilion ze5000. Nothing but trouble, I have reformatted at least 5 times in the first two years. Today its still sluggish and I would not recommend it to anyone. The proprietary programs must be removed out of the box that means reformatting. The last computer I bought was a Sony. Great computer

    Dale I

  3. […] Update:: Shamus relates his own experience with an HP Pavilion, and displays the patience of Job. I’d have reached for a baseball bat — or the O/S disk for a reinstall. He chose to storm Cemetary Ridge and make the damn thing work instead. […]

  4. Ames says:

    I bought HP Pavilion zv5000 series for a grand. After four months, a big fat line from top to bottom of the display. Spend hours w/tech support, finally sent it for repair. Returned to me, open the box and boot it up, and there’s a blue pixel. Call again, go through hours of diagnostics, and return it for a second time. Now the display is OK, but they SWAPPED OUT MY HARD DRIVE TO FIX A PIXEL for absolutely no reason. I couldn’t do Windows update, or Norton update, PC Pitstop said HD at 30%. Call India again, now they insist it’s out of mfg warranty even though I’ve owned less than a year. I had to fax my sales doc’s and they would respond.

    I gave up and stuck it under my desk till yesterday, now it is out of warranty (why would I DREAM of buying extended?). Take it to Best Buy (2 hours RT drive), pay $70 for them to tell me HD is toast and will cost $287 more to fix. Now we are approaching 50% of original price, so I say forget it.

    BTW, I bought a new HP printer at the same time, that had to be sent back within first month.

    NEVER, NEVER BUY HP!!

    When I pick it up from Best Buy I will drop it out my second story window, with pleasure.

    Thanks for listening.

  5. James says:

    I read your story and died laughing. Give yoursef a break and don’
    t buy hp any more and by the way all the systems do just about the same thing.

  6. Jim says:

    After years of using Compaq/HP products(the latest was a ZV5000t) I bit the bullet and went the extra dough for a Lenovo. HP refuses to give up on that poorly designed power connection on the motherboard. Dealing with their service department has been a horror. If you buy a computer and an extended service contract from their website, why on earth do they need a proof of purchase? I had to fax the bills of sale to them to before they would honor their warranty. Don’t they keep some type of records? 90% of my problems occurred when the jack loosened up on the motherboard and prevented that battery from getting a charge. They refuse to change so I must. I am done with HP for life. I don’t know if the Lenovo will hold up any better but HP will never get my business again.

  7. Pete Zaitcev says:

    I can’t commiserate with Windows trouble, because, naturally, the first thing I do to a new computer is an OS install. Sorry, Shamus. I think the only computer in this household which runs its pre-installed OS is my daughter’s Dell laptop. I just gave her the shipping box and said never bother me again…

    Speaking of Dell, among us we have 5: my wife’s desktop and a laptop, daughter’s laptop, my work laptop and the SC430 workstation for 64-bit tests. I also have a decommissioned ME 633, which I do not count because it sits in a box. I can’t say I was perfectly happy with them (my D610 has a defective trackpad), but Jeff Jarvis surely amused me with his suggestion to sell Dell stock.

  8. Adventures in Linux, Paradox of Choice Edition…

    In which I expand, at length, on how the paradox of choice relates to Linux. Is it possible to create a Linux distro that is extremely easy to use while retaining the openness and freedom that makes it so wonderful? I don’t know, but it would certai…

  9. Katy says:

    My first college computer was an HP. Oh God, was that a mistake. One year later and I was begging my mom to get me something else. She’s still trying to use the thing at home and can only manage to check email or play Mahjong because anything else brings the computer to a dead crawl.

    My awesome geek(ier) friends ended up making a computer from scratch, and it worked wonderfully for several years.

    Then I bought a Dell laptop and was crying with happiness over how well it ran. Even three years later, I’m only replacing it because HD space has become a problem and because the processor and memory can no longer keep up with current applications. It’s otherwise in perfect working order.

    My new Dell desktop is waiting at home and I’m forever in love with their machines. Now… the next worry is whether or not I want to upgrade from XP to Vista while the computer is fresh, or avoid Vista entirely.

  10. Brian says:

    i had this same problem too on my hp pavilion however there was one thing i did like. mine came with the drive partitioned with the restore files already setup. i remember how i fixed my hp organize problems though. its a boot file and i went to run put in ms config and disabled it from the startup tab.

  11. No says:

    Dell’s are EXCELLENT computers. HPs are just plain trailer trash

  12. Joshua says:

    Yep, had my unpleasantness with the HPs too, but I’m surprised there hasn’t been more stated about how completely unhelpful their Tech Support from India is. I had bought some RAM off Ebay, and found it to be the wrong size(DOH! Stupid me). So, I decide to make sure I do things correctly by finding out the correct size and type of my memory. I spend over half an hour on the phone, some time on hold, some time talking to different Indian reps VERY slowly spelling out my name, only to be told that my computer wasn’t in their standard list, and they can’t really help me, but they would like to transf…… *CLICK*

  13. Fieari says:

    Hey, you might be interested in reading this article: http://news.com.com/PC+makers+walk+fine+line+with+crapware/2100-1041_3-6177050.html?tag=nefd.lede

    It discusses the “Crapware” new PCs get bundled with these days. Honestly, it’s the reason that the first thing I do with a new computer now is reformat and start from scratch with a fresh install of just plain windows, tracking down drivers one-by-one, by hand, no install disk at all, since said disks almost always come with the crapware.

  14. TeamNutmeg says:

    HP’s higher-end workstations (like the xw series machines) are actually very good: solid hardware, basically no junk software whatsoever (aside, IIRC, from a trialware install of Norton AV), with big, full-featured cases. We’ve been using them for any client willing to shell out the couple hundred extra, and we’ve gotten nothing but rave reviews from the end users. They even end up making some of that extra cost back, because they don’t have to pay me to remove all the junk before I can begin setting it up for their use.

  15. Lut says:

    I have a HP pavilion ze5000 with the power jack broken and even before that I was so unhappy with it. Extremely noisy, a laptop getting so hot that you can not keep on your lap unless you are ready to have second degree burns. I will never ever buy an HP again. By the way, how can I get the hard drive out to format before I donate it?
    Lut

  16. gedece says:

    I’m from Argentina, and one of the clients I offer tech support to bought a HP laptop. Little lovely looking machine. When it boots up it informs it has Windows XP Home edition, cool for this people. 256 MB ram (a little too little) and a 40 GB HD (Small by today standars)

    I verify the same you did, there’s something installed in the machine that appears to be the drivers, but it’s completely inaccesible by normal means. It only eats up space.

    The person using it doesn’t mind, so I don’t touch it anymore, but she isn’t trained for computer use, so the touchpad confuses her a lot. I suggest they get a mouse, as the machine won’t be moving (I think they only bought a laptop because it was preety).

    Her nephew comes to the home while I’m gone and installs the bought mouse and some thinks like Norton Antivirus (bad idea for a 256 MB RAM Laptop with onboard video eating up it’s memory, hell, bad idea when the free AVG does a better job with far less resources).

    Now for the surprise, the system boots up, begins working, and after 30 seconds it informs an incopatible state with the OS and reboots, and after 30 seconds does the same. As it’s imposible to search up the internet in that short time on that machine, I hand copy the error and go to my home to do a search. Surprise Surprise, it’s not Windows XP Home, it’s Windows XP Starter edition. That’s why the machine only had 256 MB RAM and 40 GB HD, it doens’t accept more.

    It seems that when plugging in the mouse, the OS decided it was too much to have two active pointing devices (as there no BIOS option to turn off the touchpad)and reported too many resources, thus concluding it was too much for Starter Edition (the only OS that I know that requires a machine worst than a limit to work).

    Not only they used up space on a small HD for the restore disks, but they used a extremelly cheap OS that doesn’t allow the user to use the machine the way he wants, and downgraded the hardware to be at the acceptable limit.

  17. Sewerman says:

    I agree with Pete Zaitcev: the first thing I do for ANY computer I buy is a full rewrite of the OS.

    I’ve bought from HP, Dell, Gateway, RadioShack, Alienware, and they have ALL screwed up on first start, usually from software problems. A simple redo with the OS disks does wonders.

    Incidentally, you might want to try that to fix the CD problem. I had one on the Alienware: it wouldn’t write. Rather than send them the machine back, I bought a flashdrive and got around it. After the last OS cleanup, I tried again, and found the CD writing properly.

    So to summarize: when buying a new PC, go find yourself a college student and also invest in the cheap version of the OS you want :)

  18. sean says:

    ive had a compaq presareo since 98 and it still works fine. i dont know about hp

  19. akimine says:

    Apologies in advance for the looooong post, but this is the story of my ongoing battle with HP’s poor customer support.
    It began June 2006, was (supposedly) resolved in August and is now reoccurring as of 2 days ago.
    In June 06, I was forced to contact HP’s technical support when the hard drive in my laptop died. As my computer was less than 1 year old at the time, it still fell under the warranty. I thought this would be a simple thing to resolve, but what followed was perhaps one of the most excruciating tech service phone calls in history.
    I spoke with the technician for at least an hour and a half while he sprinkled me with misinformation (telling me that HP could transfer the data from my defective drive to a new one for $199), put me on hold probably half a dozen times, and just flat out didn’t understand the issue. As I’d just lost an extensive amount of data, an uninformed service technician was a headache I did not need. He finally transferred me to another technician who told me that the original technician’s information was incorrect and scheduled me an appointment at the service center (sent me a box and everything).
    But the story doesn’t end, as I made the mistake of calling again to try and get some information regarding my warranty. I just wanted to *see* the warranty, as in, read the actual text. Here I was greeted with another technician named “Charles,” who played the same game — give random information not related to the customer’s question, put the customer on hold, repeat random information, put the customer on hold again. I really got the feeling that he wasn’t just be uncooperative; he just didn’t understand English. I finally asked for Charles’ supervisor, and then did a dance to try and prevent me from speaking with his supervisor. “Is there a reason why you wish to speak with him? He won’t be available for a long time. I’ll have to put you on hold, and I don’t know when he’ll pick up.” Etc. I sat on hold for 5 minutes, before “Charles” picked up again, and asked if there was any more information he could give me. I told him he could give me the information to reach his supervisor. He put me back on hold. I think “Charles” was just waiting for me to hang up. A “supervisor” picked up (I’m still a bit suspicious) and told me that he couldn’t provide my warranty information and that I would have to call another number (which I am about to call). I explained to him the hoops I had to jump through just to speak with him, he offered a weak apology for it, and the call ended.
    I mean, every time I go to their site, I see the little J.D. Power’s Award, and the claim that HP has the best customer service care on the planet, so I was expecting something stellar. But with two calls in just a few days, I just don’t see it, unless I somehow managed to find the two lumps of coal in the sea of diamonds that is HP’s Total Care service group.
    Maybe the problem is that the award was issued in 2005. So too bad my computer broke down in *2006.*

    Fast-forward to 2007…
    In August 2006, after repeated phone calls and clicking on that little “Send an Email to our CEO” button on their website, I was finally referred to their Senior Case Manager line. This line is actually headquartered in the US (thank God), and my case rep Michelle(?), who was considerably more useful, provided me the information to *finally* get my RMA number for a repair.

    I *eventually* got my hard drive repaired through HP in a dazzling two-month ordeal.
    But lo and behold, almost *exactly* 1 year later, the hard drive dies again. Since I already had their HP Case Manager Escalation line and didn’t feel like getting the runaround by outsourced customer service reps in India, I of coursed used it. After leaving a few messages, I got Jason on the line.
    Jason had a ~lovely~ argumentative demeanor and droll monotone voice, and his commentary was riddled with frequent sighs and scoffing. He wasn’t interested in helping so much as he was interested in how I got their senior Case Manager number.
    When the ~lovely~ Jason asked why I was calling, I replied that since my hard drive had died recently, I wanted to give HP a call and see if I could get this resolved without having to deal with their (bumbling) technical support group. “Recently??” he exclaimed. “It was almost a year ago!”
    I replied, “Yes, I consider that to be fairly recent.”
    (Honestly, should consumers expect to have to replace major system components because of failure every single year? Is that how their company does business?)
    He scoffed audibly.
    I’m seriously beginning to think that HP doesn’t give these folks any training whatsoever. They certainly have no concept of service, making it a point to sound as annoyed as possible while filling out your case report.

    It was fairly clear that Jason’s entire purpose seemed to be to get me off the line any way he could. He told me I needed to call their Tech Support line so they could walk me through the issue. I told him (politely) I knew what the issue was because it was the exact same issue I’d had before. He told me I needed to call the laptop division of HP service, but when I asked the number, he didn’t know what it was. He told me I could either call India and allow them to enter a case report, or (and he *really* sounded like he didn’t want to do this), he could enter a report for me, but then I’d have to “wait 4 maybe 5 days before I’d hear back.” I asked if he’d please get started on entering the case report and that’s when he got really annoyed.
    I listened to Jason mumble under his breath for the next 10 minutes while he typed away at his computer. Trust me, he had absolutely nothing nice to say, and I left the call feeling that precisely nothing is going to be done about this problem.
    Figures.

    I’m not really certain why HP feels its Customer Service is so stellar. They’re sadly mistaken.

    Incidentally, just call 1-877-917-4380 ext. 79 to talk to Jason.

  20. Wow, this computer sounds like an excellent ad for the iMacs.

    – chrish

  21. Viktor says:

    Sadly, I just got a HP laptop. In 6 months I have gone through 2 power cables (both replaced free, but losing a comp for a week really makes essays hard) and had to restore after malware struck. Never again.

    Also, iMacs are worse, but I won’t even get into that.

  22. DIediego says:

    I H A T E H P

  23. I have a Pavilion laptop that I bought secondhand in Jan. ’07 when it was 3 months old, so practically new. The only things that are really annoying are the heat-sensitive QuickPlay and DVD buttons. It’s super annoying to be launched into this weird fullscreen media menu whenever I accidentally *brush* my hand over the area. Not to mention that I have a cat… I can’t get around it by putting tape on the offending buttons because that renders all the heat-sensitive media buttons unresponsive, including the play/pause/FF/RW and volume controls which are actually useful. Anybody got a better solution?

    Customer support has always been ok for me. They don’t argue with you for two weeks about whether your computer is actually broken or not before they let you send it back to be fixed, like Gateway did. In fact, the last time I had to deal with them they sent me the tracking number for the packing box to mail it back in after my first email.

    Turnaround time on repairs was good (12 hours by FedEx tracking, once!) and they LEFT THE HARD DRIVE ALONE, which was amazing. I was expecting to have to spend several days de-crapifying and restoring backups, but everything was there. (1st time an audio cable broke, which was my fault for accidentally pressing down hard on a plug but partly due to the crappy design of having jacks on the front, 2nd time monitor, 3rd time power button (yes, button).)

    Oh, and I hate talking to strangers on the phone so I always contact them by email…you guys should try that instead, the email customer support staff is much nicer.

  24. UnhappyHPCustomer says:

    I was a loyal HP customer for years, but over recent years I’ve noticed the quality and service has not so much as lowered, but disappeared.

    We bought HP HDTV to learn that none of the local tv repair places will provide services for HP HDTVs, because HP won’t provide the parts and fail too frequently. The unfortunate case for us is we spent months thinking the problem was with the cable provider and we didn’t realize root cause was the tv until the 1 year HP HDTV warranty expired!!!

    For our HP Pavilion PC we’ve had on-going problems from date of purchase (e.g. slow performance, blue screen of death, noisy CD/DVD drive, lock ups, etc.). But HP support has never been able to help us. I view I wasted $1,300 for this PC. While it is less than six months old I’m already shopping for a non-HP PC to replace it.

    Sadly, the issues with HP AiOs and their costly ink certainly have me looking at replacing with a non-HP printer.

    I agree…don’t buy HP!

  25. John Lloyd says:

    Warrany service sucks! But wow, charge service is diferent!

  26. i purchased an HP pavillion tx, it is by far the worst machine ever…..

    since i purchased it about 7 months ago, i have returned it atleast 6 times, all for different reasons…

    and not to mention, the customer service is no good either..

    i hate, hate, hate HP
    !

  27. Obertron says:

    I’m not a technophile, I’m just an average PC user. But I bought an HP Pavilion dv5000 in ’06 and it has to be the worst machine I’ve ever used, much less bought. I’ve owned three, and, sadly, my Aptiva from ’95 with the 66MHZ processor was probably the best of the lot. The other was a HP Compaq, which had issues, particularly with the printer and improper shutdowns. But from the beginning, the Pavilion’s lightscribe function didn’t work properly; the keyboard randomly locks in the CAPS function, and there is no way to get it unstuck until it decides it wants to be; after creating the backup discs that HP was too cheap to provide, following their instructions, every time I start up my machine I get a message telling me that I don’t have much space left; the scratch pad does weird, hangup things; and now the DVD carriage pops open at random times, just for the heck of it. There’s probably other things I’m unaware of, but I will never do business with HP or with Best Buy again.

  28. Sabri says:

    I am Soooo pissed off with HP I bought a dv2636tx just because it looked cool. I absolutley hate VISTA its so like windows ME. Thinking I would just reformat and install XP as you do. Well no go, Looks like I bought a MICROSOFT product rather than a HP computer. If you try to load XP most of the hardware doesn’t work! I’m stuck with the BLOATED VISTA OS. Im annoyed that HP took away my choice to decide what OS to use! what makes it worse is that with 1 gig ram it cam with it takes at least 4 minutes to load the OS. Talk about SUCK! The Tech support in india are NO help, just an all around bad experience which I paid for….Damn! I have always bought DELL in the past thought I’d give HP a try what a mistake!!!! Say NO to HP……they suck!

  29. Kel'Thuzad says:

    Er… I have a Compaq Vista. I don’t know a lot about how any of that stuff works, but I have done something to stop windows from auto-starting programs at the boot-up of the comupter. I can’t really remember how I did it though.
    I have had some problems with it, but most are about my games. I only bought pre-packed stuff though, I just want to play my RTS and RPG games. I don’t even know if it’s a good computer… I will now laugh at my own plight. HAHAHAH. *sigh*

  30. Tony says:

    Just bought a pavilion. The computer seems to work fine so far. The problem is HP sells you a computer and won’t support a simple task like moving your old outlook express files to windows mail. When you ask for help they try to refer you back to your internet service provider, if that does not work they try and transfer you to a fee base HP help center. If that does not work they send you to a fee based microsoft call center.

    The HP help site says the file and contacts automatically transfer from outlook to windows mail. Obviously that didn’t happen. There seems to be a process for exporting and importing files between the two programs. Do you think HP support could walk you through the process? Hell No!

  31. Hunter says:

    hey how do i get Hp Organize? It look cool

  32. Hunter says:

    How do i get that? It looks useful to me…

    Please reply ASAP

  33. I was recently at an HP dealer convention and they claim they are hearing their customers feedback. They dedicated an entire session to mapping out the future direction with focus on quality and customer support.

    I’ve seen big improvements in the recent models. I hope it continues.

    Regards,

    Keith

  34. Steve says:

    I also had a very bad experience with HP. they have the worst customer service i have ever seen in my 50 years of living!I had a printer that i could not get a cable for that printer through HP so they talked me into an upgrade exchange for my old printer. i chargeed the 200.00 for the new printer.They sent me the printer with no lable to sent the old one back.I called them numerous times and finaly had a lable emailed to me. I sent the printer back. A month later i had a second charge on my charge card bill for 480.00 After hours and hours of talking to there poor customer service reps, including the superviser, They told me everything was taking care of. Next bill comes in with 480.00 still on it.Again hours of calling and being transfered a dozen times,they say there is nothing they can do, so it cost me 680.00 for a printer that sells everywhere for less than 200.00.I will never in my life, ever by another HP product.

    P.S. And it all started with them not having the upgrade cable to go from ther’ye printer to a new computer’s usb port. I would have been very happy keeping the old printer.

  35. marzL says:

    all i can say is that HP IS NOT A GOOD PRODUCT.. IT TOTALLY SUCKS.. THEIR SERVICES, CSR, TECH SUPPORT,… EVERYTHING SUCKS.I BOUGHT MY PAVILION LAPTOP BRAND NEW LAST YEAR OF OCTOBER AND ITS NOT EVER A YEAR YET IT SHOWS A LOT OF PROBLEMS. SO LAST MONTH THEY WANT MY LAPTOP TO BE SENT BACK COZ IT NEEDS SOME FIXING. THE CUSTOMER SERVICE REP TOLD ME THAT ITS GONNA BE A WEEK TO FIX IT. THEY KEPT ON PROMISING ME THATS IT WILL BE SHIPPED BEFORE THE END OF LAST MONTH. AND UNTIL NOW I HAVE NOT BEEN RECEIVING IT. THEY NEVER EVEN CHANGED THE STATUS OF MY LAPTOP. I KEPT ON CALLING THEM BUT NO ONE ANSWERED. SO I AM VERY VERY PISSED OFF WITH THEM. IF ONLY I COULD HAVE MY MONEY BACK. I WISH I NEVER BOUGHT MY PAVILION NOTEBOOK..
    IS THERE ANY WAY I CAN SUE THEM? THEY FOOL CUSTOMERS…

  36. Dr E Ross says:

    Could someone from HP please contact me? I was not informed about the limitations of the DVD-player on my HP PAVILION ENTERTAINMENT PC. I would not have bought the thing if I knew. I write to this column, to make future buyers beware of this product and its reluctant custormer service. My email is elmaross2007@yahoo.com. I will inform this page if someone from HP actually does contact me – please just do not hold your breath.

  37. Dr E Ross says:

    HP did contact me. I have to go through extensive reconfigurations, in order to play original DVD’s from different regions. Clearly, HP is not for travellers or the jetset who see programmes from all-over, and want to try them out. The MINDSET of HP would fit into the 1920’s if not prior to that, when people did not move around. Definitely not a computer to buy if you are part of the era of globalisation.

  38. pattyc says:

    ohhh I hate hate hate hp now, I dont know what happend to them buy buyer beware!! I had a laptop break on me the screen went and they said it was customer damage, sent it back and now the keybord is broke sent back to them to fix that issue,, they refused to do partial repairs.. so out 600 bucks ok.. order a desktop, get it home dont like it call and they say sure we will switch it just will cost 48 dollars more,, ship computer back to them on same day I called to do switch,, they cancel the order same day for the switched computer ,, out of stock lol ok,, but then 2 days later charge me the 48. dollars.. keeping fingers crossed all will be credited to my bank act. i’m sure I will have to call about the 48 dollars they charged for a computer they cancelled on me 2 days prior,,Will never ever buy from them again,, good luck trying to talk to supervisor.. I even went as far as to call corporate she was no help what so ever,, but she did say she could give me the number for hp home to speak to them,, Like I havent done so several times before..Guess they consider customers idiots now :(

  39. PhoenixUltima says:

    I’ve owned both a HP Pavilion and a Compaq Presario in my day. Both were pieces of shit. The pavilion had hardware issue after hardware issue, and after it somehow torched the registry I ended up just buying a new computer. The Presario, meanwhile… I tried to upgrade the GFX card on it a few years back, only to find out that the power supply couldn’t handle the new card. So I got out to buy a new power supply, only to find that it won’t connect to the mobo and also doesn’t fit the case. In researching this, it turns out that Presarios (or at least my model of presario) uses its own proprietary pinout for power supply connections, so even if I had gotten a power supply that fit it likely would have either not worked or fried the mobo. I ended up giving the card to my cousin. At least the card came with a code to get a bunch of free games on Steam, though I couldn’t actually play HL2 at the time because I was stuck with my shitty GeForce 2 MX.

    The old girl finally died on me, likely owing to the fact that I couldn’t upgrade it at all for 6 years. I bought a Dell to replace it. Compaq/HP is never seeing a dime from me again.

  40. Dan says:

    I called technical support a few times to get a recovery cd that would be a backup for my operating system that I bought with my computer. They told me that the application was not working and to call back several hours later. It was not what I expected during my day off, to get more complication involving my os but because I need the disk in order to have a working computer I called back. I finally was told that the order could be placed and was informed that it would cost 15-30 dollars to ship it to me. I spoke with the supervisor who identified himself as brad. The supervisor brad sarcastically blamed me for the situation that I was in and I was basically an idiot for not making a recovery disk. The supervisor brad was belittling and arrogant and continued to be insulting. It was the worst customer service that I have ever seen. The supervisor brad informed me that I would need to purchase the cd and if I got one from the store it would cost me 300 dollars so I was actually getting a deal. The supervisor brad then accused me of trying to get something for free but wait didn’t I pay for the computer that includes the os. That’s what the documentation says that it includes the os. I tried to comprehend why I was being charged for something that I purchased already and asked for his manager. The supervisor brad said that his manager’s name was Shelly. The supervisor brad said that she is never available and doesn’t take calls. All I want is a back up disk that contains the os that I purchased with my computer. I have a warrantee why does it not cover the os. If the shipping price was realistic I wouldn’t have a problem even though I shouldn’t really have to pay for shipping but 15 bucks to ship through regular mail. That doesn’t make sense. I’m sure not going to give good reviews on every blog I see and every person I speak with and I’m in the technical field so that could be a lot of coverage when I comes to bringing awareness and caution to those that consider hp products and services.

  41. joe says:

    Those Horse Piss computers or some of you call it HP computers are of low quality and low service value. I have had many computers before, and Horse Piss or HP is the only brand that screwed me hard, no one likes to get screwed over in life, so my word of advice is don’t buy HP unless you are rich and simply just want to buy a computer for decoration… and HP computer don’t even look all that great.

  42. Lhendup says:

    I bought a HP Pavilion DV6244US notebook in January. During it’s warranty period they had to replace the motherboard 3 times due to a faulty motherboard which wouldn’t charge the battery. (Yeah, it was with HP for 3-4 months during all that replacement period combined).

    Then the warranty expired, and the problem cropped up again. I got the notebook to a PC shop and got it repaird, and then it went on fine for about 4 months.
    Now most keys on the keyboard doesn’t work, the mic doesnt function anymore, the DVD Writer( HP puts in the cheapest of all DVD drives/writers) won’t read most DVD/CDs, the HDD has starting hissing, and am waiting for something shit to go off.
    I am writing this on the same notebook with an external keyboard.

    You can avoid all this by not buying HP. HP sure sucks and has made my life miserable upto some point.

  43. hp sux says:

    omfg, hp sucks, i have a hp pavillion dv 5000 and ill just post the probs
    -QuickPlay went down since 2007 (had since 2006, its 09 now)
    -paint is chipping off
    -will not drop files into folders
    -it hates music
    -sound died twice
    -battery lasts 5 min
    -LOUD fan
    -overheats
    -shuts down unexpectedly
    -says “Sorry we cannot help you” when i install a mouse
    -hates printers
    -hates internet
    -hates me
    -hates internet explorer
    -screen died once

    (By the way, HP first made electronic toilets before computers, so i piss on them everyday :P)

  44. hp hell says:

    whoever has a hp will surely experience hp hell

  45. HP Trash says:

    Whilst I haven’t had as much trouble as you, which idiotic programmer decided to create a trashy looking window without a close button? I’ve had my pavilion randomnly restart on me, it overheats because of the poor placement of the exhaust, the hardware touch buttons for the volume don’t work half the time, the led’s sometimes stop working, it can heat up so much that it melts the glue off the rubbber stoppers, its great ‘recovery’ process doesn’t recover; losing 32GB of important data, the right mouse button decided to jam itself in one day, one of the usb ports stopped working, and the bottom heated so much that it burnt off the windows validation sticker.

    An all-round great HP experience.

  46. TM Scopel says:

    Wasn’t sure if you had this link or not. It is for the current hp class action on the ZD800 models. I had a ZD7000 with the graphic lines problem. 1st lawsuit fixed it for a month. Then it happened again and when I called HP I was hung up on. Needless to say that I won’t even buy hp paper now, let alone anything else. Unfortunately, my model is not included and was considered settled at the 1st lawsuit. What a joke that was. However, I feel for everyone else and am posting this link everywhere. Call it a vendetta but, I’m getting my 2 grand back from them one way or another. Please help me get the word out.

    Thanks,
    TM Scopel

    http://www.sfmslaw.com/pages/cases.php?id=300

  47. HP Killa says:

    Hp sux!!!!!!!!! badly, I myself have reformatted my pavillion pc over 3 times in the past 2 years.

  48. Heyzs!@$ says:

    lol, good comments. I’ve always had problems with my hp pavillion zv5000. I got a great deal on it 2nd hand but I still regret buying the POS

  49. Scott says:

    Yep, HP sucks big time.
    I bought a Pavillion dv4 for my wife one year ago. After only one year the left mouse click is broken, multiple keys stick, and the fan is extremely loud whenever the computer actually has to work and use more than 10% cpu load. I contacted HP via online chat and found out my warranty expired 3 days ago.
    Isn’t that convenient ….. their product is engineered to last just as long as the warranty !
    And the HP ‘technician’ gave me website links that were unrelated and kept saying things that made no sense or were unrelated to the issue. What a joke.

    And yes, I wasted a day uninstalling all the HP bloatware that they force on you.

    1 year warranty … way to stand behind your product HP !

  50. Ashish says:

    Story was same for my hp pavalion dv1003ax laoptop. I got it from India and it started giving blue screen while starting and not even the recovery option was working. Then i tried to contact hp Netherlands here for help and found that they are equally clueless about what to do! no service provided, instead told me to get it seen in your local computer shop if you are in hurry, we will take our own time. and then they finally said send it back to India, as we need 8 wks time to arrange for spares involved….I got the lesson…never ever buy a hp product, they are extremely irresponsible company

  51. HP employee says:

    Hi,
    I bought 8 unit of HP Pavillion laptop through my employee scheme, which is much cheaper than the market price,but after a week or two, i saw the same staff price on the market.
    The laptop has giving me headache,within 3 months, the dvd broke down. It take me 1 day to walk-in their customer service, 3 days for part replacement and another 1 day to get it fix. I have reformatted it for more than I can count with my fingers. We experience the same issue with the 8 laptop we bought and I have personally talk to the engineer in HP,well we worked under the same roof, and nothing can be done to fix it.
    HP does not seem to be a technology company, but more like a marketing company these day, make cheap product or service and sell good price by using their brand name.

  52. HP Must Die says:

    My experience with the HP pavilion dv 5000:
    – DVD player stopped working with unidentifiable click of death noise. No DVD is acknowledged in the drive.
    – Stupid dedicated DVD player buttons are not worth the R&D they required
    – Backup partition did dick when my system failed. Wipe and start over
    – Clueless newb chat support from India is effing worthless

    Friend taked me into going with HP again for a 2nd laptop.
    – Dedicated DVD buttons are gone, but the entire interface is now glossy plastic that picks up finger oils and looks like ass constantly
    – DVD drive has failed after two months. No DVD is acknowledged in the drive (again).

    Never again HP. Never again.

  53. Scimitar says:

    Heh, this is an old topic but I can’t help but share my most memorable experience with HP computers.

    When I was ten, my computer once literally blew up one of my game discs (Majesty, for the curious). As in, what was once one disc had become fifteen fragments. I had to open up the tower and shake the fragments out.

  54. Brenda says:

    So if we don’t buy HP what do you recommend and don’t say Dell, I won’t buy Dell I hate their customer service, even at the corporate level it sucks. I have the infamous HP Pavillian a6752fPC with the Q8200 Intel Core 2 Quad, and it has been a lemon since day one. I replaced the grapic card under the recall, but it still sucks. Now if I happen to play any kind of video it just blinks off the monitors so they are black and makes a high pitched squealing sound, the only way out of it is for me to do the one finger salute. I hate this machine so much, yet my last HP is still going strong, so I thought HP was OK. Anyway I have Vista on this pig too and thinking of moving to 7 with a new power supply and a much better video card, and I need dual head I like two monitors, and would actually like to go three. Any advice form the techie world out there? Should I closet this thing and just go brand new?

  55. […] laptop, one of the worst purchases I ever made back in 2008. This computer is the piece of hqiz from hell (it was nice to see similar things from Shamus over at Twenty Sided, I felt totally vindicated in […]

  56. Scerro says:

    You linked this, you’re bound to have someone comment.

    If it makes you any happier, HP was in trouble a few years ago and had to go through some restructuring. We got an HP around 2005 and it had junkware too, but it wasn’t near as invasive as this stuff.

    Anyways, their laptops are ten times worse. They overheat AND die after a year or two at most. They’re sluggish, and I’ve seen or heard of too many that die. That’s why I’m going to build every desktop I or a family member gets if at all possible. Partially just because the components they use in these things are quite poor and are difficult to replace unless you get it directly from them.

    I’m not fond of the Dells at work, but my work pays enough money to at least not get the junkware. They are the business models, after all.

    • Humanoid says:

      With the exception of 2011, there’s now been at least one comment in this post for every year since it’s been up.

      Did HP have a good year in 2011 or something? :o

  57. Matty says:

    I wanted to add my two cents to this post after you linked it in another one.

    I would be as annoyed as you if I got a machine with this amount of useless software on it.

    In contrast I have to mention that my family had none of these issues with our HP notebooks which we had over the years. I had two of them in the last eight years or so and they brought me through university(computer sciences and game engineering) – i think this is college in the US (I am always a bit fuzzy on the equivalency of those). Maybe this is caused by the blatant disregard for pre-installed software. My procedure for a new machine has always been: boot it up to check for something wonky – install a new version of Win or other OS and all needed software.

    Maybe this stuff with additional software is an US specific design thing. I do not know.

    PS for funnsiss: I wrote my master’s thesis on procedural level generation on a HP laptop (at least partially). And yes Shamus has been quoted.

3 Trackbacks

  1. […] Update:: Shamus relates his own experience with an HP Pavilion, and displays the patience of Job. I’d have reached for a baseball bat — or the O/S disk for a reinstall. He chose to storm Cemetary Ridge and make the damn thing work instead. […]

  2. By Kaedrin Weblog on October 29, 2006 at 10:38 pm

    Adventures in Linux, Paradox of Choice Edition…

    In which I expand, at length, on how the paradox of choice relates to Linux. Is it possible to create a Linux distro that is extremely easy to use while retaining the openness and freedom that makes it so wonderful? I don’t know, but it would certai…

  3. […] laptop, one of the worst purchases I ever made back in 2008. This computer is the piece of hqiz from hell (it was nice to see similar things from Shamus over at Twenty Sided, I felt totally vindicated in […]

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