Once again my decision to stay away from Compaq (now owned by HP) is confirmed as a good one. Sunday, I picked up a Compaq CQ50-130US computer from a family friend. The kid that owns it has been having problems with it. I've been told that it's been sent back twice. I got the call the check it out Sunday.
The problem it turns out is the hard drive. I confirmed that the computer itself is okay by booting Ubuntu 9.10 alpha 3 from a usb key. It worked fine. It recognized the wireless and the X display was excellent. Ubuntu could not see the hard drive.
When I ran the hard drive diagnostic it says "Hard Drive Not Exist". That's a pretty good sign that the drive is bad. To verify that it wasn't just the drive not being seated properly, I removed the drive and put it back in. It didn't fix the problem.
To verify that the drive controller wasn't bad, I removed the drive from the caddy and put it in my machine. (It's easy to do this since I have a 2.5" drive carrier that I can slip the drive into.) I booted my F10 box and immediately I see that there is a SMART error. The hard drive is definitely bad.
Tonight I go to the hp site and try chatting with a service rep. I thought that I would get a new drive on the way this evening. Unfortunately, I failed. Below is the transcript of the chat session.
I would recommend that you stay away from Compaq systems.
Trever Shelton : HI James, how are you doing today?
James Hubbard : Fine. How are you?
Trever Shelton : I am fine, thank you for asking.
Trever Shelton : As, per the above description your notebook hard disk shows failed, am I correct?
James Hubbard : Yes.
Trever Shelton : Let me see how best I can help you with this issue and make the day better for you. Your satisfaction is our primary goal.
Trever Shelton : I would require few details about your product before troubleshooting.
James Hubbard : Presario CQ50 S/N: xxxxxxxx P/N: xxxxxx
Trever Shelton : Thank you for the information.
Trever Shelton : Did you make any software or hardware changes to the computer recently?
James Hubbard : No
Trever Shelton : Could you stay online for 5 minutes, while I retrieve the System information from our database?
James Hubbard : Yes
Trever Shelton : Thank you for being online, I appreciate your patience.
Trever Shelton : May I know are you chatting with me from the same notebook?
James Hubbard : No from a different machine.
Trever Shelton : okay
Trever Shelton : May I know did you perform any hard drive self test?
James Hubbard : I tried, but the error messages says hard drive not found.
Trever Shelton : Okay, in this case you need to reseat the hard drive.
James Hubbard : Actually it says "Hard disk not exist"
Trever Shelton : You need to remove the hard drive and insert it.
James Hubbard : I've already done that. Didn't help. I even placed the drive in my computer and it can't do anything with it. I tried to format it and it won't work the hard drive is dead. Trever Shelton : Thank you for performed the steps, I appreciate your efforts.
James Hubbard : You're welcome
Trever Shelton : I would like to suggest you, could you please enter into the BIOS?
James Hubbard : I'm in the bios now.
Trever Shelton : May I know which options do you able to see in BIOS
James Hubbard : I pressed ESC to get the startup menu and then pressed F10.
Trever Shelton : Okay!
Trever Shelton : Now do you able to see the BIOS screen in your notebook?
James Hubbard : Yes I see the BIOS screen.
Trever Shelton : May I know which options do you able to see in BIOS?
James Hubbard : There is Main Security Diagnostics System Configuration Exit.
Trever Shelton : Could you please go to the Diagnostics system and try the hard drive self test?
James Hubbard : I get "Hard Drive Not Exist" same as the previous message.
Trever Shelton : I appreciate your efforts.
Trever Shelton : I have to create a service ticket for replace the hard drive, is that fine with you?
James Hubbard : Yes.
Trever Shelton : First, I would like to register your notebook in our system data base.
Trever Shelton : May I know your mailing address, telephone number and email id?
James Hubbard : It should already be registered. The kid that owns it has called tech support before.
Trever Shelton : Could you please reconfirm the mailing address, telephone number, email id , product number and serial number?
James Hubbard : The owner's name is abcd efghi
James Hubbard : send the ticket information to
Trever Shelton : Let me explain you, your notebook has not registered in our data base.
James Hubbard : okay.
Trever Shelton : We have limited access for users, so I dont have to send the ticket information at your email id.
James Hubbard : okay.
Trever Shelton : May I know the owner of the notebook?
James Hubbard : abcd efghi
Trever Shelton : Okay! could you please stay for a while.
James Hubbard : Yes
Trever Shelton : May I know do you have abcd efghi email id?
James Hubbard : I don't know his email id.
James Hubbard : Use mine for now. He doesn't have a computer at home that works.
James Hubbard : Mine is email@example.com
Trever Shelton : May I know the alternate number of the owner for this notebook?
James Hubbard : I don't know of an alternate number for the owner.
Trever Shelton : I would require the owner of the notebook to register the notebook.
James Hubbard : I've given you all of the information that you need to register the notebook.
Trever Shelton : I understand your concern, for authentication purpose its necessary the owner of the notebook to chat with us. Or else you need tell to Johnny to call back and register the information in our system.
Trever Shelton : I would like to give the alternate option, you need to visit our neareset authorized service center.
James Hubbard : Where is the nearest authorized service center?
Trever Shelton : You need to follow the below link, where you can find the service center.
Trever Shelton : The link: http://h20465.www2.hp.com/GPL/search.aspx?language_code=en&country_code=us&SearchType=SSP
Trever Shelton : I hope I answered your query.
James Hubbard : No not really. My query was to get the hard drive replaced.
Trever Shelton : I knew that, you will get the hard drive in service center.