Once upon a time I bought a laptop.
[I know that start is not as great as ‘Many many years ago, on a galaxy far far away..‘ but you can pretend those words appear on the line above if they mean that much to you.]
Anyway. A laptop. An HP dv2500t. Yes, the very same laptop that died on me a few days after my warranty expired.
We are getting ahead of ourselves. Let us return to the beginning of time when the laptop landed in my hands a second time. Yes, I know it is counter-intuitive to think of a ‘beginning of time’ and a ‘second time’ simultaneously, but still. In short, HP screwed up the order the first time it shipped to me. So begins the tale of them screwing up. With a screw up.
Flashback to last year. A year of heating problems and over-heating…and my graphics card is shot. I am in the middle of a conference. I need it fixed ASAP. HP charges me $300 (which I now realize I could have invested in a nice efficient little netbook), and ships it back to me pretty quickly. Everything seems fine. A month later, the edge of the panel facing me comes loose from its fastening. Repeat call to HP. They blame it on me. I think it may be possible. I don’t want to spend on it. I live with it. Over-heating still exists. Oh well. Jinxed laptop and all that.
On this trip to India, I find another good laptop engineer. Who is cheap. Amazing how everything in the US costs 10 times as much compared to India. Said engineer tries his best to open the laptop, because I think a cleaning of my laptop is overdue due to the overheating problem yada yada yada. Eventually he decides to try it in his lab. Back at the lab, and an hour later, I get a call.
[E] “Boss, they’ve applied super-glue.”
[Me] “What? HP Support? No..no..not possible. International organization, quality standards, etc etc.”
[E] “Boss, these panels are welded shut to the base. Super-glue. I’ve put in a solvent. Its coming unstuck. I’m telling you. Super-glue.”
[Me] “Ok.. great.. whatever. Open it up, clean and get it back to me. I’ll take care of it.”
So, let me get this straight. HP did not respond to my complaints (apparently, “high-end graphics cards can get pretty hot, sir”) when I said my laptop was over-heating until… my warranty expired and my video card blew. Then they replaced the entire f*cking motherboard (‘coz of their god-awesome architecture), couldn’t fix the panels back on correctly, and so used SUPERGLUE to fix it? (My engineer managed to do it just fine without superglue, btw). When it went back to overheating and the panel came loose.. somehow I am to blame. Now, why did the panel really come loose? Well, sometimes superglue doesn’t hold everything in place. Why does it still overheat? Lets see:
- One tiny laptop fan.
- One Core 2 Due CPU.
- One NVidia 8400M GS graphics card.
- One tiny f*ckin’ air vent on one corner.
Putting (2) & (3) results in a crapload of heat. Adding (1) to the mix means very little is being cooled down. Adding (4) to the mix means the heat goes nowhere. Bravo for neglecting every single rule about computer architecture and heat dissipation, HP. Now for the rhetoric. Why does HP suck so? Don’t get me started.
Never buy an HP laptop ever again. That’s what I tell everyone. Even the random guy in the store who I see taking a slight interest in HP products. Every salesman I meet at an electronics store in any country. Please don’t buy HP. For the love of manufacturers that make products that actually work.
Update (11 Dec 2009): The damn thing has pretty much died. Information gleaned from various sources tells me (1) this nVidia chipset sucks ass, (2) HP does not know shit about heat design for high-end laptops. Having ripped mine apart, I can tell you that the GPU has some kind of rubber between it and the heatsink – instead of thermal paste. I’m just shocked it didn’t die on me earlier. Since this post is hit up a lot:
- Service manual: http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c01035657.pdf
- Disassembly: http://forum.notebookreview.com/showthread.php?t=228268. Please note additional inputs from here as well. I will try to post an even more ‘for dummies’ version based on the notebookreview link (hey, I’m a dummy, I mucked up so many times on this thing too).
- Complaints, solutions, complaints: Link 1 (to be contd.)
I will attempt to find out more about the copper-mod, and see what I can do. Keep updating as and when I know more.