HP peddling faulty Core i7 desktops?

By on September 30, 2009, 6:29 PM
Update (10/1): We received a brief response from HP indicating they are aware of the issues and that they are looking into the problem -- that's it. Best of luck to all affected customers, hopefully HP will step up and solve this appropriately.

It would appear that HP's Pavilion Elite desktop series might be suffering from a major design flaw, as users flock to the company's support forum with complaints. A thread pertaining to Pavilion Elite issues currently spans 112 pages, and has accumulated over a thousand posts. Owners of systems within the Elite line report excessive lock ups, freezing, and BSODs.

While HP's message board shows a scattered selection of models, someone who has experienced issues with three specific configurations contacted us a short while ago. That reader reports constant freezing and blue screens with both a Core i7 920 and 950-equipped e9150t, as well as the e9180t with an i7 975. HP's corporate offices have given the reader a cold shoulder despite several attempts to call, email and fax, and the company's technical support denies knowledge of any broad problem with the Elite range.

Some have speculated that the issues stem from a motherboard defect -- quite possible -- but after contacting Pegatron (Asus' OEM manufacturing unit), the reader received no answers and was passed back to HP. One fact is clear: HP has a lot of angry customers with faulty systems. We are trying to get in touch with HP and will update the story if we hear back.

User Comments: 30

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Adhmuz Adhmuz, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Glad I don't own anything HP, also glad I build my own systems. Feel bad for the people stuck in that situation, I can see this leading to lawsuit possibly which would be a good way to get HP to open their eyes.

Guest said:

HP's Pavillion Elite desktop microATX tower comes with a whopping 460W power supply. For those of you who don't know anything 460W isn't %@&$ when it comes to powering a Core i7 computer. Weak sauce, no wonder their computers are blue-screening.

It's not the motherboard's fault, it's the weak PSU. Also, for those of you who even know what a PSU *is* ... don't forget that capacitors lose their efficiency over time! 1 year old power supply running 24/7 can lose up to 35% of it's capacity.

HP &%$#-ed up ... no ASUS

Guest said:

Good Luck to all. I have a top of the line home office HP all-in-one printer and I've had to deal with their support on 4 separate issues dating back over 2 years. HP has given me workarounds and excuses. I've yet to see an update to the drivers or software for my printer. I regret buying the thing.

I've seen enough complaints and quirks about HP to cause me to think of them as too risky to spend money on.

Guest said:

Sounds like a repeat of the attitude they took with the nvidia /laptop and vid card problems of not long ago. I certainly hope they treat customers better this time around. I wish there were a way to really have it bit them in the sales pocket if it doesn't but everything is so price driven that unless a product / company totally fails a lot, and I do mean a lot of their customers they are really immune to the negative effects of people reporting their negative experiences with a product.

Guest said:

This issue with all models of HP Core i7 systems is not caused by the power supply, some customers have already swapped out their 460W PSU for an 850W and it made no difference. The common factor in all models is the Pegatron IPMTB-TK motherboard.

Guest said:

460W inadequate for Core i7? Depends on what's in the rest of the system. Plenty of i7 systems running fine on 350W PSU's (just ask Dell). Check your facts. Lack of wattage is not the problem here, especially the way that HP's non-overclocking systems are configured.

spydercanopus spydercanopus said:

HP computers are all a bunch of crap. No surprise here.

Guest said:

I have owned two of the 9180 series HP i750 pcs and I returned them both for a refund. I was completely disappointed with the after-sale 'support' or more appropriately 3rd-world, 4th-class support. Case managers were clueless and non-sympathetic. While many users are suggesting possible class action, the only winners in this mess will be people who are fortunate enough to dodge the HP bullet and obtain equipment elsewhere.

It's hard to imagine a company the size and scope of HP ignoring a problem this serious. They won't even acknowledge it IS a problem publicly - why do they ignore the thousand plus posts on their own HP FORUM? Why not post a message from the president or some other high-ranking official offering 100% refunds or exchange to those folks who got burned by this?

It's a case of corporate denial. They get farther and make more revenue if they never 'blink'. It will take media pressure and/or legal methods most probably to get them off the dime on this one.

Guest said:

My dad got a bad AMD quad core chip in a HP PC he purchased a while ago. After getting no good response from HP, he gave me the computer and bought an Apple PC instead. I know it was a bad CPU, because when I replaced it with an upgraded CPU, everything was fine.

Given their track record, I'm staying away from HP. they just won't stand behind their products.

SNGX1275 SNGX1275, TS Forces Special, said:

The highest TDP of any of the i7s is 130W Max (the ones HP uses are prob 95W), so as long as you aren't putting in multiple high end video cards (or maybe just 1 high end with several other things) a good quality 460W PSU should be ok. Whether HP uses good quality ones or not I don't know..

Route44 Route44, TechSpot Ambassador, said:

If I am not mistaking HP had issues with the Pegatron mobos in some of their latest high-end laptops as well.

Guest said:

Users who have replaced the power supply with high quality RAM & PSU report that it does not correct the problem. Others have tried swapping video cards. Others have tried every available driver, and alternate Operating Systems. The bottom line, the Core i7 HP line still freezes up or BSOD after a cold start.

Guest said:

Check out this video:


Guest said:

You bet we are all complaining, the worst part is the cold shoulder. Almost everyone in there is an HP fan and why they would take such an approach is shocking. Please folks keep hammering its the only way when they won't listen.

Guest said:

HP Pavilion Elite e9150t PC

* Genuine Windows Vista Home Premium with Service Pack 1 (64-bit)

* Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-950 processor (3.00GHz, 1MB L2 + 8MB shared L3 cache with QPI Technology)

* 12GB DDR3-1066MHz SDRAM [6 DIMMs]

* 640GB RAID 0 (2 x 320GB SATA HDDs) - performance

* 1GB ATI Radeon HD 4650 [DVI, HDMI, VGA]

* LightScribe 16X max. DVD+/-R/RW SuperMulti drive

* Wireless-N LAN card

* 15-in-1 memory card reader, 1 USB, 1394, audio

* No TV Tuner w/remote control

* Integrated 7.1 channel sound with front audio ports

* No speakers

* HP multimedia keyboard and HP optical mouse

* Microsoft(R) Works 9.0

* FREE UPGRADE! Norton Internet Security(TM) 2009 - 3 year from 2 year

My computer has crashed 20 times in 1 week you bet this is going back in a box to hp.

I bought it for music production and recording and it cant even burn a cd without crashing!

internet explorer locks up and freezes

Adobe audition crashes and BSOD.

System recovery twice with no problems

Hardware diagnostic passes with flying colors

BUT the computer cannot do everyday tasks without catastrophic crashing around every turn.

i never thought i'd say it but DUDE i'm gettin a dell!

T77 T77 said:

its good to build your own pc if one has the knowledge.

going for these branded stuffs and facing problems is annoying.in the above case u solve ur problems yourself because u know everything about ur rig.

Guest said:

I bought this Pegatron IPMBT-TK mother board. It is the same one in all tha bad HP units... So I am told. I have never had a problem with it. But then I always build my own machines. The board is in the high end HP's but maybe they have the wrong stuff in them. And even if the puchasers send them back they will never know if HP's techs ever even looked at the machines before the send them back to them. Bad for HP and bad for those who buy there machines ready made. With all the complaints I got the board at a steal of a price and this machine is a unstoppable beast. No bios updates and no returns... right out of the bubble wrap she hit the ground running. I've never seen the BSOD on this machine ever. Though it handles everything and smiles back at me with a hungry grin I'm going to over clock it just for kicks. Good luck to you guys with the troubles... I sorry to hear about your mess with HP.

billhemingway said:

I have one of these faulty models (e9150t) and it freezes or locks up on me periodically. My only solution has been to unplug the machine and start anew, losing whatever I was working on, up to the point of my last save. I wasn't expecting this from a new machine. Are there any fixes?

Guest said:

I own the m9600t and have these same problems. It got so bad after months of repeatedly having to rebuild that the motherboard completely died. Finally after 2 days on the phone HP agrees there is a problem (yes, seriously it took that long).

HP replaced it. Same problems with the new one.

It's not the power supply. The very first thing I did when I got the PC new was to put in a high quality power supply.

It's not the operating system. I put in a brand new hard drive and installed windows 7 clean install about 5 days ago. It worked great until today - and then the same exact freezing - can't recognize any keyboard mouse - can't shutdown - can't boot corruption problem happened last night.

I'm so fed up I'm thinking of just buying a replacement and tossing my $1000 out the window in this piece of junk. I've definitely wasted more than $1000 of my time.

Guest said:

I own the m9600t and have these same problems. It got so bad after months of repeatedly rebuilding that the motherboard completely died.

HP replaced it. Same problems with the new one.

It's not the power supply. The very first thing I did when I got the PC new was to put in a high quality power supply.

It's not the operating system. I put in a brand new hard drive and installed windows 7 clean install about 5 days ago. It worked great until today - and then the same exact freezing - can't recognize any keyboard mouse - can't shutdown - can't boot corruption problem happened last night.

Guest said:

Another disgruntled customer here with a DOA HP e9150t. Blue screen, non-working usb ports. Never worked out of the box. I am returning mine for repair. I filed a complaint with the FTC. Knowingly selling defective products is against the law. Shame on you HP!! Seems like the complaints started pouring in around July 2009. Bought mine in August.

Guest said:

Just in case people read this thread and think it's old news...

I bought my HP Pavillion Elite m9600t in April and I'm still having problems. I've spent at least 20 hours on the phone with 'HP Total Care', talked to 15 different 'tech support' people, been assigned 3 case Managers for the 3 different times I've sent it in for repair and all I want is my money back. They have replaced the motherboard and Blu-ray disc player twice, but if they keep replacing it with the same defective parts - it really doesn't help me any.

My last Case Manager said I could get a replacement model or pro-rated return since I've had the computer for so long! I reported my first problem 6 weeks after owning this very expensive computer and I've been troubleshooting issues ever since. I think HP owes me money.

There is still not root cause and they keep renaming their models so people can't Google the existing threads. If you go to the HP Support Forum under Lockups, Freezes, & Hangs you can see a 345 page post (3,443 posts) started by Cee-Cee in July 2009. http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Lockups-Freezes-Hangs/Elite-e91

Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Thanks for the update Guest! Let us know how things turn out.

Archean Archean, TechSpot Paladin, said:

It is not just their pc's but also the notebooks the quality of materials* used to build is considerably less now than ever before; and having gone through various posts here I think it will be prudent to conclude that one can't advise anyone to buy HP any more.

*case in point my HP DV5-1125 its chassis flexes a lot for my liking; the dvd-rw is crappy and make lots of funny noises when working ...... battery well it was giving problem when it came out of the box.

Vicenarian said:

Woe unto HP and their terrible post-sales support!

Guest said:

HP is a shares holders company. theres no such thing as quality anymore. they will cut corners put cheap parts in computers,your tech support goes to india to someone reading a script off a screen. i feel bad for anyone buying HP product, the company made its $ now it dosnt care. i bought a HP laptop it burnt out in 3 months they did nothing for me. quality is non-exsistant

boycott HP and never buy their products again

Guest said:

DON"T BUY HP!!!! have brand new! desktop pavillion and had nothing but trouble with since,now is just 2 months old and has hard disk failure imminent and unusable, still waiting for tech to replace hard drive, i figured being so new i may get replacement, hp have done nothing to help so i wait here still for repair.

signed ****** off beyond belief!!!!

Tina. cottonslivestock@bigpond.com.au

Guest said:

I have an hp laptop with the corei7 that was garbage out of the box and I sent it in for repair and it came back worse than before I sent it in so I requested a refund and now hp will not return calls. Has been escalated 3 times with the promise of a callback in 24-48 hours but its been a month...still no calls from HP. I will be writing a letter to HP, better business bureau(I know, futile) my states attorney generals office and anyone else I can think of. I just want a machine that will work better than my old toshiba celeronM 1.47 ghz! Its a shame I have to keep using that old $300 laptop when I paid over $1000 for the new HP!!!

JohnP1 said:

I've been dealing with a bad HP Pavilion e9180t since fall of 2009. Right out of the box it crashed with a BSOD part way through the first boot into Windows Vista. It then continued to blue screen every half hour or so until I shut down all power management that I could in Vista. That reduced the blue screens to one every couple of hours or so. The Bios is useless and has no power management ACPI options at all. I tried sending it to HP for service. HP's repair amounted to only formating the drive to the original image and returning it with the same problems, so I decided to explore fixing it myself by going to Windows 7 in case it was a Vista issue. I upgraded it to Windows 7. This helped a little and the BSOD frequency reduced to once a day, unless my wife goes on Facebook in which case it crashes every half hour again. With this said...I've noticed that frequent variation in processor load from idle to moderate (as happens with Facebook) makes things worse.

The most common Blue-screen error is "A clock interupt was not received on a secondary processor within allocated time interval". Windows just memory dumps to protect itself. I suspect that maybe the Motherboard has trouble with power regulation during high speed load rep-rates or trouble speedsteping the cores on and off due to load variation. I'v invested hundreds of hours troubleshooting... everything points to the MB. After removing most of the HP fluff software things did improve a bit, but I still get a BSOD every few hours of use.

HP tech support never acknowledges the possibility of a hardware issue since the machine passes all of their hardware diagnostics. They've asked me to return the machine again in order to re-format it back to Vista. It's still under warranty, but I hesitate returning it again to just repeat the same path and have to spend more time getting the software back to how I had it. Even if HP does replace the MB, I'm worried that they'll just replace it with a refurbished "Truckee 1.04" that has the same problem or worse.

Another box arrived today from HP to return this nightmare back for service, but I've lost all trust in them. Maybe I should just replace the MB myself with a good hobbyist brand and forget HP. After this experience HP just leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

JohnP1 said:

I have some good news for any folks still struggling with Blue Sceen crashes with their HP I7 machines that us the Pegatron IPMTB-TK (alias Truckee-UL8E 1.04) motherboards. I've live with these constant crashes since day one as stated in my previous post. HP refuses to change the motherboard, stating that the machine passes their diagnostics. All I can say is that their diagnostics are poor and don't do CPU load testing. I believe that the problem is due to a poor motherboard power management design and/or motherboard PC layout. The motherboard can't handle any CPU load variation that forces core parking. I was able to prove this by turning off core parking. It eliminated all crashes and finally make the machine stable. All that I had to do was make a simple registry edit that prevents core parking.

With 100% core parking allowed (the Windows 7 default) my HP Pavilion Elite e9180t machine crashed ( with BSOD) whenever anything caused any significant CPU load variation (also know as high rep. rate). Something as simple as going on Facebook with IE and playing one of their mindless games would cause a certain crash within a half-hour or so. Turning core parking to 0% in the registry eliminated all crashes. My machine has been crash free since I made the registry edit. Many BIOS's settings allow turning off Speedstep and Turbo which should have the same effect, but the Truckee-UL8E has no power management settings at all. Fortunately, a Win 7 regestry Key edit does the same thing.

Check out the following link: http://forum.cakewalk.com/tm.aspx?m=1861804


Above link provides the following simple instructions on turning-off Win 7 Core Parking:

"In short, here is the better method from sky60234:-

- Go to Regedit

- Find this key:- " 0cc5b647-c1df-4637-891a-dec35c318583 "

- Within this key, there is a value called: " ValueMax "

- This value represents the % number of cores the system will park - the default 100% ie: all Cores are potentially park-able

- Change the value from 64 to 0 so the " ValueMin " and " ValueMax " are both zero

- You will have to find the key a few times and repeat the process for each time it is found - the number of instances will depend on the number of power profiles in your system [ in my DAW it was only found twice ]

- Do a full shutdown and power-off and cold-re-start


Now my machine is stable... no thanks to HP. The extra heating from turning-off the core parking is insigificant. The core temperatures stay around 40C. It just sucks up a little more power...not green as HP advertizes. I hope this works for others and proves to HP that it is a motherboard issue...

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