HP laptop fail

Well, so my personal laptop appears to be fairly junked at this point. The battery now has 0% capacity (more likely something broke in the hardware such that the battery no longer supplies power, given that it still had plenty of battery power as recently as early July) so pulling the plug on it is a hard power off.
Besides that, it currently is unable to access the internet (through either a wired connection or the built-in wireless), is massively prone to overheating (and will hard power off when it does so) even when raised up on cups to let air circulate, and will often hard power off for no apparent reason (not due to overheating). Also, yes, the fan is working… it’s loud as hell and also comes on at random times when the computer isn’t doing anything.

All that and the laptop is only about 2 years old. Meh.

Don’t ever buy HP… they’re reasonably cheap and aesthetically pleasing, but they’re crap.

They also don’t come with install disks but instead a recovery partition… so you can either clean install from your own OS disk and lose all the applications (and have to manually find drivers online–the main reason I didn’t just install Ubuntu on it when I first got it) or use the partition to restore to factory specs (no other option). Also the preinstalled OS is horribly bloated with HP junk so restoring to factory specs isn’t going to give you the clean install you want.

I really should buy a desktop computer soon to replace this (the Inspiron 530 looks interesting) so I have something to use besides my work computer. I’m tempted to wipe it and install Ubuntu if/when I get it… and use VMWare or similar to run Windows XP in it for Photoshop and stuff (because wine seems like a huge pain to get working right). Someone who’s used VMWare before: How exactly does it work? Do I install it and then tell it to install XP from a disk I have or something?

But meh, I feel bad spending money on a new computer no matter how much I may need/want it. (Sticker shock, I suppose… not used to spending large amounts of money at once.) I feel like I get more stingy with each passing day.

4 thoughts on “HP laptop fail

  1. So, here’s my two cents:

    If you want to do something that requires some intense performance (gaming, photoshop, video editing, etc.), get a desktop. If you just wanna have a pimpin’ machine, get a desktop. But build your own. Otherwise, just get a nice thinkpad or a MBP or something. Desktops just aren’t that useful unless you have a specific purpose in mind.

  2. Yes, that’s pretty much exactly how VMWare works. You install it, then tell it to boot off of the physical CD-ROM drive and it does its thing just like a real machine.

    winehq seems to think that Photoshop CS3 does not work under wine, but CS2 and downward work very well; YMMV. You could also use Gimp?

  3. I nominally have VMWare on my laptop, even though I never really got around to getting an OS to run under it, but the initial set up was remarkably easy. About 40 minutes from “I’m about to download it” to “Configured properly” — and that’s me to boot.

    Wine seems to have made some significant upgrades recently: they’ve finally made it out of the zeroes and to version 1.0.something. iTunes (with 0.53, I think) mostly worked, but was way too slow to actually play music. Photoshop Elements 2.0 worked right out of the box.

    Gimp would probably frustrate you to no end: it has basically the same functionality as early versions of Photoshop (as far as I can tell), but it’s all arranged differently and of course none of the keyboard shortcuts are consistent. But it would get the job done in a pinch, and it’s free.

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