HP Is Not The Company They Used To Be

This morning my HP DV9000 series notebook failed, again. This is the third time in three months. In each case it has been the same failure, no video. I bought this unit new 3 years ago next week. It’s worked fine until three months ago with the first failure.

The first failure was a massive one, like this most recent failure, no video at all. After the HP repair center fixed it and sent it back, it worked for about an hour, before failing again. With the second failure it would work for a few minutes, but the warmer it got from being on, the less time it would stay on. When I got it back the second time it seemed to work fine, for a few weeks, but then this morning, while installing some software it went black and hasn’t shown BIOS or anything else since.

Years ago IT Services St. Louis was a great company in the test and measurement industry; they perfected inkjet printing. Then, about the time they shortened their name to HP and began treating ink cartridges like dairy products with a limited shelf life, they changed both their product engineering and product support, and not for the better.

HP has a class action suit against them for several of the dv9xxx series of notebook computers and a few of their Compaq line of notebooks for design shortcomings in the heat exchange subsystem. With the dv9000 series the CPU and graphics chip are adjacent to each other on the mother board and share the same inadequate heat pipe. This causes the machines to run to hot and subsequently the solder holding the graphics chip to the mother board gets soft and the graphics chip effectively desolders itself.

Apparently HP does not use thermal grease between the heat pipe and the CPU or graphics chip. Thermal grease greatly increases the heat transfer between the chips that are generating the heat and the heat pipe that vents the heat out the back of the unit. This is an industry standard that HP can’t be trifled with, apparently.

You can see a list HP’s products in the class action suit and a detailed video of the problem and its repair by a third party repair organization in this
YouTube video. Even though I got this link off of an HP forum, it seems that HP won’t use the fix shown in the video themselves.

Now I’m waiting for Fedex to deliver me an empty box that I can send my dead notebook back to HP for another repair. Maybe the third time will be the charm and they will actually repair the problem, but, since it’s really a design issue I’m not holding much hope.

Once I get the laptop back from HP and I’ve stress tested it thoroughly I’ll make another post to let you know how it comes out.