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The amazing Hewlett-Packard Compaq 6510b is back up and running after its sixth or seventh Fedex trip back the manufacturer for service. I wish I’d kept better track of its medical history because it’s all starting to blur at this point. I do know this: I’m on my third hard drive, my third adapter, my second CPU, my second battery, and my second disk drive. It’s really only the same computer I originally bought 18 months ago in the sense that it’s got the same serial number and will almost certainly start fucking up again in a couple of weeks. I’ve still got another year left on the warranty, so I guess I’ll just keep sending it back for rehab on Hewlett-Packard’s dime as needed until the clock runs out. Whereafter I will never, ever buy anything from Hewlett-Packard again. I’m not even gonna buy HP Sauce, even though it’s made by Heinz and I like it on fried eggs.

Damned if I can fathom the business model behind all of this.

In the picture above, you see the computer, its battery, plus a large plastic dingus that’s probably a battery for a Hewlett-Packard device other than the Compaq 6510b. You will note that said dingus is about four inches longer and five inches wider than the battery that fits the computer. Whatever it is, it was sent to me as a replacement battery, and since batteries aren’t covered by the warranty, I had to pay Hewlett-Packard a pretty penny for it. The day it arrived, I called Hewlett-Packard and asked for a prepaid label to ship it back, and I was assured that one would be sent out forthwith. That was like six weeks ago. I called back about it every week after that for 4 weeks: still no label, no info on where to send whatever it is. Of course every time I called it was at least a 30 minute investment of time, and I had to tell the whole story from the beginning to three different people, and nobody would believe me that the thing wouldn’t fit my computer. No one could even tell me what it is: I kept reading them the various numbers on the various stickers on it, none of which illuminated the issue for anyone. At one point I emailed a cellphone pic of the thing to the guy I was talking to. He was unable to identify it, but promised that yes, yes, a shipping label would reach me within five business days. That was weeks ago. Prior to that, I’d already called American Express and told them to suspend the charge to my card, which they obligingly did. I sort of reckoned that would get Hewlett-Packard’s attention, but nope. Not a peep out of them about it. They’re not even functioning racketeers at that firm. If you’ve got Hewlett-Packard stock in your portfolio, sell it ASAP, because nobody is minding the store over there.

But-but-but! I’ve also got some Wonderful News to share with you: This actually fucking works. The same week that my Hewlett-Packard Compaq 6510b threw up its most recent blue screen of death, my backup drive, a Toshiba 250 GB USB 2.0 Portable External Hard Drive HDDR250E03X, also crashed. So I was pretty sure that I’d lost all of my data, including 99% of all photos and videos I’d ever taken of my kid. And this was severely darking me out, because after all I BACKED THAT SHIT UP THE WAY I WAS SUPPOSED TO.
Anyway, long story short: I put the Toshiba in the freezer overnight per these instructions and recovered my data. And I’ve since learned that this freezer trick is used all the time by your expert data recovery specialists, who in other words are a bunch of shameless pirates, which I already knew, but holy shit am I glad I didn’t give them a chance to shake me down for all of those baby pix, which I probably would have gone four figures for.

One Comment

  1. what a tortured relationship


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