HP Computer Warning

I bought a new HP Pavilion computer just over six weeks ago. I have spent many hours online searching for fixes to problems, and over six hours on the phone with tech support. Today I got to the top level of support, and basically got a “read the fine print” reminder from them. They obvious don’t put this stuff in their marketing literature.

  • Your PC is only guaranteed to run with the programs it comes with. Anything that you install may not work. If not, too bad. (Almost none of my older games will run on this machine. One of the newer graphics programs that I use all the time has quit working since the latest Windows upgrade.)
  • The CD burner that comes with your PC is only guaranteed to write discs that can be read by your computer, and only using the program that comes with your computer. Should music discs not work on your audio CD player, too bad. This is even if you know that your audio player plays CDs made on your much older, but working computer.
  • Windows is pre-installed. Yeah, obviously. But it turns out that some Windows programs that are supplied with the OS will only work if the Windows CD is available. Oops, no CD. Too bad. They can’t supply a disk.

Unfortunately, the program that won’t run is one of the Windows recovery programs, SFC (system file check). SFC was my last hope for getting this POS PC to work right. The severe problems started after running Windows Update; it blue screened and required starting in Safe Mode and doing a System Restore. I got it mostly working, but when problems started again later, System Restore would no longer work. Because SFC won’t work without a CD, I can’t use Windows’ built in repair utility. What are we left with? Support has to give the one answer we all know and fear (and apparently, the only answer they know): “Format the disc and reinstall the OS.”

Remember that what broke the system beyond repair was doing a standard Windows Update. This makes it is very likely that if I follow their instructions, I will once again have a broken PC.

Okay, what’s the big deal about doing a reinstall? And why did it take six weeks to get to this point? That’s how long I’ve been moving programs from my old system, reconfiguring, updating, etc. Now I get to lose all that work because tech support can only say, (everyone this time): “Format the disc and reinstall the OS.” Of course, before I do it I’ll have to move everything back to the old PC with the hope that most of the data doesn’t get lost.

This isn’t really just an HP computer warning. It really applies to any PC where you don’t get the Widows disc, which unfortunately is most. Just a reminder that even though you think your PC should work with standard programs, your computer’s manufacturer may not feel the same way.