Have you ever heard of a particular HP notebook series that was a released about 5 years ago that resulted in a large-scale downturn for the whole HP Pavilion DV6000 series? If you haven’t, you most probably did not have the pleasure of purchasing one of those DV 6000 series, as most of my friends did. I suppose you might not know what happened next, so read on.
Here’s the story. It happened five years ago, but there is a lot that we can learn here, both the manufacturers and the clients. I would even mention computer repair companies – they too had a lesson, and it was a very profitable one.
HP company released their DV 6000 laptop series and wholesalers as well as retailers grabbed the novelty without much consideration. It was really a product one would love to lay hands on. Shiny, attractive black lid, cool imprint design, smooth keyboard and blue activity lights surely made it distinguishable amongst other models. Technical features were outstanding, moreover – the considerably small price made you think it’s a life’s mistake to pass on this one.
I don’t know why I didn’t buy it; maybe I just had enough trouble with my rather old Acer 14 inch laptop (a true headache with flashing screen and broken speakers). Anyway, at least 4 of my friends bought the HP DV series laptops, and I figure, the nationwide sales were significant, to say the least.
Within a year after the huge sales the DV 6000 model laptops started crashing. The screens would flicker with the occasional blue screen of death messages and often laptops wouldn’t even start. What’s worse – it was not a one notebook problem. People in my town started bringing damaged HP laptops one after another and the computer diagnostics and repair companies had the same diagnosis for most of them – damaged motherboard.
The real problem was the integrated graphics card. As you may know, they emit heat and in order to cool those down manufacturers usually attach to them copper radiators. DV series laptops had video cards with insufficient cooling system that resulted in overheating and consequently video card connectors bouncing off the motherboard. A small copper coin sweated on the top of the video card might have solved the problem, yet how many of us, folks, can even unscrew the laptop or identify the integrated card?
Hence, the unhappy clients were headed to the warranty services only to find out that their warranty was valid for 1 year, which meant that a large part of customers had to pay for the repair services and the price was pretty high. The cost for motherboard repairs or should I say replacement was between 100 – 250 dollars. Considering the price of the laptop (around 700 dollars) it was a lot. A number of wealthier customers just bought a new laptop (not HP). The ones who couldn’t afford that had no choice, but to spend a couple of hundred dollars for the repairs.
Now the stupid part – even after the repairs most of those laptops started malfunctioning within a couple of months. The reason was ridiculous – the replaced motherboards were of the same discarded model and it was just a matter of time when they would start bouncing off again.
Finally, a lot of computer repair companies made a nice profit from this model alone. Some of them didn’t even bother to replace motherboards – their just used heating devices to solder back the graphics card and the laptop would function for a month or two. The client would pay 200 bucks for the job that consisted of unscrewing the laptop and heating here and there. Of course, he was warned about the replaced motherboard and the possibility of malfunction.
What conclusion can I draw from this peculiar story? First – even small and unimportant details of just one model can threaten a tech business. Second – be smart, think twice before spending your money and read the warranty. Third – don’t trust every word a computer technician say. They are people – just like you.
==== About the author ====
Thomas Grec is a computer technician and network administrator working in this kind of field for almost 10 years. Besides fixing and tweaking pc, network and server systems he finds some time to write how to articles in http://computerdiagnostics4u.com