Monday, October 04, 2010

HP Fail

My FIL (father-in-law) has been having problems with an HP laptop that he bought about 3 years ago.  He uses it only for travel.  Every Sunday he fires it up, checks for Windows updates and runs a virus scan. 

Not too long ago his screen started giving him fits.  We thought it was probably dead and found a nice little ASUS to replace it but first he took it to the computer shop.  I warned him that he shouldn’t invest a lot of money into fixing it as it wasn’t worth it.  He ended up getting it repaired against my advice.  He even said he was excited to buy the new machine but instead opted to get the old one fixed.

A few weeks later he told me that it wouldn’t start up.  After a lengthy conversation I determined that there were probably some updates that hadn’t completed installing and that he should fire it up again and give it some time to finish doing its thing.  Sure enough the laptop made it back into the world of the living…. until…. 

Until he called me again saying his machine was acting squirrelly.  He wasn’t wrong.  There was definitely something wrong with it.  When Windows 7 came out I bought him a copy to upgrade the laptop.  He opted for an in place upgrade instead of a completely fresh install (my preferred option).  Somehow something managed to get totally messed up. 

I suggested that we do a completely new install of the OS and hope that fixes his problems.  I picked the machine up from him and spent a few hours getting the new installation up and running.  Everything was working fine until I got a frantic call from him yesterday saying it wasn’t booting up. 

He was finally resigned to replacing it since he was going out of town in a week and really wanted a laptop to take with him.  Luckily there was a nice deal on a 14” Toshiba at Amazon.  I ordered it with my Amazon Prime account with free 2-day shipping.  You know what I’ll be doing come Tuesday afternoon.

I really enjoy shopping for computers.  But you knew that already, didn’t you????

A neighbor told me she was in the market for a netbook so I recommended a Toshiba T215d that I had been eyeballing for myself.  After I trashed my netbook’s LCD I seriously considered buying one the Toshibas to replace it.  There was even a killer deal running on the red one.  I got to play with hers for a bit and I was impressed.  Toshiba has one of the best reliability records for laptop computers as opposed to HP who has one of the worst reliability records for laptops (1 in 4 machines is expected to fail within the first 3 years). 

I have owned several HPs and have been disappointed in all of them. My Toshiba has been an excellent machine and I wouldn’t hesitate to buy another one (we have two now) and recommend them to my friends.  My experience with HP has not been good and I have had several friends that have had machines fail as well. 

I can’t wait to get my hands on my FIL’s new Toshiba.  I’m sure he will be delighted with it and I expect it to give him many years of trouble free service.  I’m still lusting after that Toshiba netbook.  Who knows, maybe I’ll find a killer deal that I can’t pass up.  Or I’ll get a real job and be able to afford new toys.  Nah, that’ll never happen.

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