back to article HP silent on glitch with Core i7-based Elite Pavilion PCs

Hewlett-Packard customers are up in arms about a major glitch affecting the company's Core i7-based PCs. A HP forum containing a shedload of gripes about the technical cockup - that some suggest may have been caused by a defective motherboard - runs to over 100 pages. A Reg reader told us that HP's line of Intel Core i7 CPU- …

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  1. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Who's surprised?

    HP quality control is woeful, their support services worse and what they laughingly think of as "professional" services are hopeless.

    Components are supplied by the lowest bidder and they produce nothing that Id want to have nowadays (even their printers are shockingly bad with drivers that don't work properly)

    Mark Turd loses again.

    Come on Pratt Bryant - let's see you defend this one.......

  2. martyn 3
    FAIL

    i5 boards are dodgy too

    I bought an i5 motherboard kit recently which suffered the same effects, bsod's, usb problems etc. The replacement is ok but it seems they've screwed up somewhere.

  3. grizzled

    HP

    I bought an HP because they were, surprisingly, more flexible than Dell in configuration, their pre-sales staff was superior (see a recent story on Dell) and the price was better. A google search turned up nothing on the 9180. I did not find the thread on the 9150. I've been in the business over 35 years and am not naive. I know there are issues with hardware and software. I expect that businesses understand that it is in their interest to provide at least minimally decent support for their product and their support was ranked only a little below Dell in Consumer Reports. And I've had a number of great HP printers over the years.

    I had not realized how truly customer hostile HP is. All it would have taken for me to feel good about my purchase was to have one reasonably technical (3rd? 4th?) level support person on the over 100 page thread who said "we're looking at the problem so many are having" and the vast majority of us would have been thrilled. Instead, we're told to reload windows from scratch ignoring that we don't have days to reload all the applications some of us have loaded etc and to perform other futile actions.

    Some of us have been told by what is called 'first level support" that there is absolutely a Vista issue that HP is working with Microsoft on. We've been told that it's a known hardware problem with a fix expected soon. And we've been told that there is no generic problem.

    Some of us have emails to that effect as well as emails from Pegatron before they clammed up about the problem. Which motherboards have the known Pegatron problem is something else.

    So all I can say is do youselves a favor and don't buy HP products if you care about quality or support.

  4. Inachu
    FAIL

    years ago same thing happened with the Dell Inspiron line.

    Hardware builders need to learn not to put crappy low quality parts on motherboards PERIOD!

    We are tired of seeing blown caps.

    Tired of seeing caps sitting close to the CPU so they are always in a cooked state.

    Tired of seeing the network interface upside down so close to the case only a needle nose

    can pry the plug out. Or you may have to call your 7 year old over and let their agile finger take it out.

    Also tired of PC case vendors who never make the right holes for high quality power packs. instead only make holes for low quality power packs and we must drill or tape the power pack to the case to keep it still.

    I am still in love with the Antec 900 case but want to fire the guys who designed the part for the hard drive on the same Antec 900 case... Guys.... were yo usmoking crack or loved the idea of blood dripping on motherboards?

    The Dell Inspiron laptop I had was the 5100 and it was the first laptop to use a regular

    desktop CPU which meant way too much overheating. IT BENT MY MEMORY CHIP!

    Grrrr.

  5. mcd

    HP's experienced

    Most likely HP will take the same approach they used with the crappy NVidia chips in the Pavilions: Denial. I am still wondering how long a company can survive with this tactics because they must be aware that anybody affected by such a failure or even hearing about it will keep his hands off ANY of their products.

    I can only rephrase grizzled: Do yourselves a favour and don't buy HP if you want/need a products that works reliably.

  6. Sly
    Flame

    HP has support?

    last time I dealt with HP support, I was getting a laptop touchpad fixed (left button stopped working). I also needed the admin bios password cleared. I got the laptop back with a working touchpad and a reformatted hard drive. The guy on the phone had assured me that the hard drive would not be touched. bunch of lying bastards they are. Needless to say I have refused to buy anything with HP/Compaq stamped on it even if it is the best deal at the time.

    HP would do well actually allowing users to keep the hard drive and just send in the laptop (but no, it's against their policy to actually work on something that isn't complete). I would have backed it up in the first place if the support grunt on the phone hadn't assured me (more than a few times mind you) that there would be no formatting. HP can rot in Hell for all I care.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    HP issues - or should I say ANY quad core CPU issues

    Their are two fixes to this problem, neither of which HP is fessing up to.

    1) A quad core processor cannot run correctly in a system with only 1 hard drive, the CPU, memory, and subsystem is just to fast, which results in lockups and slow downs all the time.

    The system was shipped with a Raid controller, use it, purchase another hard drive (or 2) of the same size or larger, set up a RAID, Raid 1 is preferred as it is about 50% faster in access time.

    However, Raid 0 will work OK and eliminate the lockups. The on board controller will not support Raid 5, so if you want to use this you will have to purchase an aftermarket controller.

    Regular backups are still REQUIRED, so purchase an external hard drive or make backup DVD's on a regular basis.

    The 1st hard drive should be on SATA port 1, the second on SATA port 2, the third hard drive on port 3, DVD/CD should be on ports 5 and 6 - no exceptions.

    2) Cabling appears to be incorrect in these systems. The first 3 sata channels on the system board were designed for a RAID array, since you only have one hard drive, the system get's confused.

    Fix: Requires are reload of the system in ALL cases

    a) go into the BIOS and change the Sata controller settings, to IDE NOT RAID (this is default), or simply use any setting other than RAID - be sure this is saved.

    b) move the DVD/CD rom drive connectors to sata channel 5 and./or 6

    c) disable sata (S-IDE) channel 2 and 3 (and any other one you are not using) in the bios.

    Also disable P - IDE channels if you are not using them.

    d) Reload the machine using the restore CD's

    e) Immediately after reloading - load ALL Microsoft and HP updates for your machine, this is MANDATORY, and not an option.

    f) Load anti-virus and Anti-spyware software (Norton and McAfee are NOT recommended for Vista - they simply do not work well in a 64 bit O/S).

    I would suggest Kaspersky's or AVG for anti-virus, these seem to have the least problems

    For Anti-spyware, use Spybot Search and Destroy, Spysweeper, Malwarebytes anti-malware or other recognized known programs.

    3) Their are timing issues with Seagate SATA hard drives in these systems. Either get the flash upgrade for these hard drives (version 7200.11 or lower), replace the drive a newer model, or with a different brand of hard drive. Seagate is fessing up to this issue in forums.

    This appears to affect faster machines more often than slower ones. The faster the system is the worse it is on the hard drive.

    WD Cheetah drives also have timing issues, and require a reboot every 49 days. This is a known issue. So be aware of this. WD blue/green hard drives are significantly slower than Seagate drives in the same systems are NOT recommended due to high failure rates.

    Fujitsu, does not appear to have any hard drive issues.

    Samsung does not appear to have any issues with hard drives - these tend to be slow but reliable.

    Hitachi/IBM have some timing issues also related to firmware - this is dependent on system speed and controller used.

  8. BBall

    Professor

    I have a new HP HDX18 using Windows Ultimate. This machine ran perfectly for one week. Then Microsoft sent out an upgrade for Windows Ultimate. I was already using an HP Pavilion dv9000, and both got the same upgrade for Windows Ultimate the same day. The older dv9000 took the upgrade easily. The HDX18 gave a blue screen every time I tried to boot it. I opened it in safe mode, with web, and went to Microsoft upgrade to see if the problem existed there. It did. Microsoft admitted it had sent an upgrade that did not work with the quad chip. They told me exactly the file in the upgrade that was causing the problem. I went to upgrade files, eliminated the one Microsoft said to get rid of, and the computer has worked perfectly since. The dv9000 does not like changing for a projector, and often gives a blue screen when connected. A second boot works well. The HDX18 shows no sign of this instability. Both give me great service.

  9. Goat Jam
    Linux

    I have to ask

    but has anyone tried running Linux on one of these?

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Stop

    @HP issues - or should I say ANY quad core CPU issues

    "1) A quad core processor cannot run correctly in a system with only 1 hard drive, the CPU, memory, and subsystem is just to fast, which results in lockups and slow downs all the time."

    Bollocks. Are you seriously saying that the system locks up when accessing the drive interface?? Your completely inaccurate statement is typical of PC-weanies who obviously don't understand performance problems.

    "The system was shipped with a Raid controller, use it, purchase another hard drive (or 2) of the same size or larger, set up a RAID, Raid 1 is preferred as it is about 50% faster in access time."

    Again, complete and utter bollocks. RAID1 can theoretically provide higher bandwidth but latency is increased due to multilple head settling times - particularly on SATA drives which don't do head-settling as well as SAS or SCSI disks (and even IDE!) so access time is increased. Perhaps you're getting confused with service time and access time. Even service time is not guaranteed to increase unless you're using large sequential IO and if you're running Windows, NTFS precludes that due to it's incredibly inefficient block allocation "algorithms".

    Can't comment on the cabling as I wouldn't touch HP kit with yours!

  11. Shaun Hunter
    Flame

    @AC#2 - You are high

    Where do you get this super secret information and why doesn't it apply to me?

    I have a Quad and one Hitachi HD and i rarely reboot. I'm using Kubuntu 9.04 with kslpice since May so I don't even have to reboot after kernel updates. No problems here for the last couple years.

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