What do you do if a new computer goes bad?

Question

Disclaimer---this should be simple, but has a lot of details!

I received a brand new HP dv5030 laptop 2 days ago, and have only turned it on 3 times (once on battery). I followed HP's setup instructions to the letter, which included making sure I downloaded all available updates for the system. This system also has Norton Internet Security 2005 (which as I hear you guys say on your show may be part of my problem as well). The problems started innocently enough, a few icons would not display in the start menu, then some DLL errors, wireless was difficult to configure, then the system notifies me that it does not have enough available memory to even open the My Documents window (this will nothing else running but the Norton and preinstalled defaults). I also have yet to get a DVD to play in the drive, yet a CD will. Yesterday it suddenly halted "to protect the system" and I cannot start normally since. I have tried using system restore, uninstalling the updates, and all I can get to boot is Safe Mode. I have already called the retailer about excahnging the unit, and they are arranging to have a new unit available for exchange. Did I do something wrong, or did I just get a lemon? Is it worth going through the exchange process? The machine is brand new, and I would think that it should be configured (aside of personal settings and updates) right out of the box. Is there something I'm missing? Right now I have a very expensive paperweight! Any insight into this situation would really be appreciated--this was a gift, and I am really disappointed that it isn't working.

Answer

This question was answered on February 15, 2006. Much of the information contained herein may have changed since posting.

Sad to inform you of this but now a days most companies only test a few out of thousands upon thousands of computers that they build The overhead costs to test every computer are more then the few returns they have to deal with so they choose to only test a few a batch As for the "Not enough abailable memory" with the 1 gig of ram or more that the laptop ships with, this should not be an issue, you might have a bad Ram stick or bad hardrive based on the .DLL and memory errors If the Ram is an issue this would also explain the not being able to play DvD's bit as well.

I would suggest just going through the exchange process, especially since its so new, it probably was just a lemon, and since you stated that you followed the instructions for the setup and have done pretty much nothing else, I doubt the fault lies in what you have done in the 3 times you have turned your computer on.

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Author

Posted by Darren of Chandler-Gilbert Community College on February 15, 2006