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New HP Pavilion DV5-1003nr Notebook: Bad CPU & Excessive Heat

PRODUCT: HP Pavilion DV5-1003nr Entertainment Notebook PC -- PN: FE764UAR#ABA; 15.4'' WXGA display; 2.0-GHz AMD Turion X2 RM-70; 4-GB DDR2 667-MHz RAM; 160-GB, 5400-RPM, SATA-II hard drive; 256-MB ATI/AMD video card; Dual-layer, and Blu-Ray DVD-RW, and CD-RW, optical drive


I was given a new HP Pavilion DV5-1003nr Entertainment Notebook with a dual-core Turion X2 mobile processor (a defective AMD CPU installed by HP), a 256-MB ATI/AMD video card that ''shares'' system RAM, a 5400-RPM SATA drive, 4-GB of RAM, a dual-layer Blu-ray read/write drive (and Blu-ray is a feature I'll never use and slows down the drive's write speed), a retail Vista Ultimate upgrade (which I cannot install or I will void the warranty), preloaded with 32-bit Vista Home Premium SP1.

Best Buy's extended protection plan and ''no lemons'' policy has proven to be a waste of money: The Geek Squad at the store of purchase diagnosed the defective CPU, but the service center simply reinstalled Vista (which I have done hundreds of times, because Vista overwrites in-use sectors with log files).

The bottom of the notebook is so hot that I use a USB-powered cooler all of the time, which means the notebook is NOT portable. HP Support ignored me for 3 months until I sent a message to CEO Mark Hurd: I soon got a call from ''Oscar,'' my case manager who seems determined not to help me and whom I have stopped calling, because he subjects me to outbursts of anger and verbal abuse. He laughed when I told him the bottom of the notebook severely burned me when I placed it in my lap briefly to adjust the cooling mat, stating ''they do get very hot, don't they,'' and then, when I asked that HP fix this issue, blamed me for the burns, because ''HP distinguishes between a notebook and a laptop, and you put a notebook in your lap.''

As the local Geek Squad predicted, the defective CPU is actually declining, as if it were suffering from degenerative disease. I have been polite but firm, but the new DV5-1003nr that failed to load Windows when I first turned it on on 01 August 2008 is a useless nightmare.

What does it take to get HP to honor its warranty or Best Buy to honor a two-year plan that supposedly covers power surges, wear and tear, and even accidental damage? (No, I will not drop and shatter the notebook in order to get a replacement via unethical means.)

Four ''valid'' repairs are required by Best Buy will replace the unit, but the hardware issue is simply being ignored and no diagnostic software to which I have access can prove conclusively that the CPU is defective. I have tested the RAM and hard drive repeatedly.

This gift is an ongoing nightmare and my health is suffering. I would appreciate any suggestions. Thank you!



P.S. - Microsoft has been the only entity to show genuine concern, offering free, total support of Vista, which HP should provide as the OEM.

After receiving this generous offer, I learned the AMD Turion X2 mobile processor had failed the CPU diagnostic at the local Best Buy. I thanked the Microsoft representative for his extraordinary offer, and my case is on hold until the hardware issues are resolved -- which apparently will be when a very hot place freezes over -- but I made certain Microsoft knew how grateful I am, because someone cared and offered expert help.

In addition, I emphasized that I blame HP and Best Buy (and HP has shocked me, especially by the extent of its indifference and the verbal abuse and outbursts by Oscar, my HP case manager).

Although I was honest with Microsoft and admitted that I stopped using Windows (XP Pro) four years ago, switching entirely to Debian GNU/Linux, I made it clear that I realize that Vista is NOT the problem.

I am amazed that Vista can last even 36 hours (an interval now at just over 24 hours) before Vista fails and its time for yet another reinstall (and the recovery partition is corrupted by the bad CPU. so I use the repair media for my system, which HP did mail to me at no cost).

Of course, every executable is run by the defective CPU, so each reinstalled incarnation adds unique problems.

I let Microsoft know that I am eager to experience Vista on uncorrupted hardware -- although Windows 7 may be out before I get to do so. I have until the end of 31 July before the warranty expires, but my health and sanity needed a resolution last year. (Best Buy is proving to be very elusive: I grow weary of taking the system to the store of purchase, having it shipped off, only to be returned with a technician's report that ''one system file was missing and one was corrupted, so Vista was reinstalled and now all is well.''

I cannot establish four ''valid'' repairs, the requirement for a replacement, under such circumstances -- and I would gladly accept a fully repaired notebook that works as it should and does not cause burns or a fire risk (and allows me the freedom that a notebook should provide).

Posted by on

  • David Dickerson
    David Dickerson Apr 20, 2009

    Hello, Geekman.

    Thank you for taking the time to respond to my plight. :-)

    The only OEM computers I have owned before receiving this HP DV5-1003nr notebook (which HP has discontinued, incidentally), were Macintosh computers. (Actually, the first computer I bought was a Commodore-64 in 1984. It was more reliable than this piece of dreck from HP, and it still works!)

    The analogue board in my Macintosh SE died, but I used that computer 16-18 hours per day to volunteer for and, most of the time to access SunOS (UNIX) servers via 'telnet' to do administrative work via the shell and Perl 4. I expect that I kept the computer in use so much that I exceeded the MTBF for the analogue board, which my local Apple dealer repaired without charging me for labor.

    I upgraded the SE to an SE/30, and soon added a color video card (the last still made for the SE/30) and a 14-inch Apple/Trinitron monitor -- just in time to switch from creating Gopher servers for nonprofits (using 'vi' and the UNIX shell) to hand-coding W3C-valid HTML to create Web sites with color and images just before NCSA's Mosaic browser was first released. The SE/30 still works and looks new.

    I bought a second-generation Power Macintosh and spent almost as much on a G3 processor upgrade as I did on the computer. My "stealth G3" is still working, but I purchased a "Graphite" G4 Power Mac tower in 2001, the last Macintosh shipped with Mac OS 9.2.

    I bought Mac OS X the day it was released but had disconvered a random popping noise whenever I tried to use iTunes and Roxio Toast on my new G4 to back up my rare and out-of-print classical music CDs (so that I could play the copies in my car's CD player).

    It was the first problem I'd had with a Macintosh since wearing out the analogue board on the SE. Reinstalling Mac OS 9.2 and trying multiple variations did not resolve the problem. My local Apple dealer's technicians were also baffled.

    On the Sunday before I was going to call Apple Support on Monday, I received e-mail from Apple, asking me to select the URL in the message and to fill out a customer survey about my experience with my new Mac. I mentioned the random pops, the hours I'd spent on the problem, and that my local Apple service technicians were unable to diagnose or repair the problem.

    I received a phone call at work from a high-level customer care manager at Apple, who was very upset and apologetic. The next day my new Mac and the original CDs and the copies were picked up at my office by FedEx.

    The representative at Apple called me at least twice each day with updates, after ensuring I could accept personal calls at work and had time. He had assigned 3 or 4 Apple engineers to do nothing but work on my Power Mac, but he decided that four days without results was too long to keep me waiting.

    He asked my permission to keep the Mac so that the engineers -- who also had never encountered this issue -- could diagnose the problem to ensure that "another Apple customer does not have this problem, even if we discover a design flaw."

    The new "Silverlight" G4 Power Mac towers were out and I was asked if I would accept one of these new -- and much faster -- models as a replacement, configured with the extra features I had added to the "Graphite" G4 (including the 10,000-RPM UltraSCSI-160 hard drive, because I had gotten used to the speedy, reliable SCSI drives that were standard in every Macintosh until the G4 line...although I learned that professional video editors were using the standard IDE drives with no problems).

    I gratefully agreed, was told all new Power Macs shipped with Mac OS X (and Mac OS 9.2), and my customized new Power Mac received a second inspection by senior Apple engineers. In addition, my original RAM configuration was doubled as "a gift of apologize and appreciation for your patinence."

    Although I abandoned Windows (XP Pro) almost four years ago for Linux, I built all of my "Wintel" computers myself, starting with the first one I bought on which I decided to install Windows NT 4 (which had at least 6 service packs) instead of the more popular Windows 98, which I usually saw crashing. WinNT had no hardware detection whatsoever and resolving IRQ conflicts was my biggest challenge. Once I had the IRQs assigned properly, however, Windows NT proved to be very stable. I do not recall a "Blue Screen of Death."

    The gift of this HP Pavillion DV5-1003nr Entertainment PC in August 2008 proved to me that building my own PCs since 1998 (for Windows and Linux) had been worth the time. My first experience owning OEM hardware preloaded with Windows has proven to be a horrible nightmare -- although I have never heard of anyone building a laptop or notebook PC from scratch. ;-)

    In the United States, Geekman, our counterpart to Australia's Consumer Affairs Department is the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). I have already been gathering together my notes and working on the draft of the text for the formal complaint I do plan to file with the FTC.

    I have had successful resolutions after filing previous formal complaints with the FTC. In those cases, the vendors who failed to provide an item for which I paid or sent the wrong item -- and had ignored my efforts to reach a resolution -- quickly resolved the issues after receiving letters from the FTC (which apparently frighten at least small businesses).

    If this notebook does not fail before I can back up my data (yet again), mail written complaints to the FTC about HP and Best Buy -- because the convenient on-line form is not set up to handle a complaint against two entities and it will be easier for the FTC to process a single complaint with all documentation in a single envelope -- plus, I have the postal addresses for the consumer relations offices at HP and Best Buy, and I have found that sending a copy a complaint to the FTC to the responsible parties is effective (although HP and Best Buy obviously will not be intimidated and have armies of attorneys, so perhaps I will not use the tactic in this instance). :-)

    Given the fact that HP has discontinued this model of notebook, I am going to demand a new model (not a repair of this notebook or a refurbished replacement). Given the totally inexcusable duration of this nightmare -- and the psychologicaly and physical suffering for which HP and Best Buy are directly responsible .

    I am debating asking for a a replacement notebook with a WSXGA+ display instead of the WXGA+ that has, in itself, made using this notebook for serious work impossible: I do not have an IDE that leaves me any space for source code on a screen that is only 800 pixels high! I hate wide-screen displays because I find them useless, for writing source code, SGML, XHTML, or using Photoshop or The GIMP on Linux (although I cannot replace Vista with Linux on this notebook until the warranty expires).

    The optical drive in this notebook is intolerably slow for creating data DVDs. Either the Blu-Ray feature (which added $159 US to the cost of the PC, and I will never watch ANY DVDs with it) does something to reduce the write speed to data DVDs or the the notebook's hardware issues affect the optical drive, or the drive is bad. I have a first-generation Sony dual-layer DVD-RW optical drive (which was Sony's patented technology, just as Blu-Ray is) that I got on sale in 2002 for over $200 US, but I was using SuSE Linux Pro at the time (before Novell and Microsoft ruined SuSE) and paid for the two, dual-layer DVD set (mainly because it included a large printed administration guide and a nice user's guide). That drive on a 2.2-GHz Pentium-4 system without hyper-threading and 1-GB of PC2100 RAM can burn a data DVD much, much faster than this "modern" Blu-Ray drive.

    Thank you, again, Geekman. I apologize for my rambling narrative, but if I can afford a notebook computer in the future, I will buy one made by Apple, even if it is refurbished -- unless "DIY" notebook/laptop computer parts become available as they are for building desktop and server computers, which I seriously doubt will happen, especially since people seem to want ultra-tiny, ultra-portable computers. (Perhaps smartphones and notebook computers will eventually converge.)





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To fix this problem take out the harddrive when you bring it to bestbuy. I always do this and say the harddrive has confidential information and must not leave my site. that way they put in a test hd and install windows and run their test program.

Posted on Jul 17, 2010

  • Donald Jul 17, 2010

    Also, I have had 1 board go out on me with this laptop, Once again took out my hd and let them work on it> One thing about bestbuys geeksquad is talk slow to them and be angry if you dont get your way, remember to let them know the customer is always right.


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I have a hp dv51003nr i only bought it because i have bluray but believe me didn't work the price first you have to always use a cooler table 6 month ago have a weird sound in the speaker like a short circuit and just 3 days ago i upgrade to win 7 and the video card just start to fail and probably the days are counted for fails complete so now i have a screen that looks red and the last time i use hp i hope somebudy gie me some money for this

Posted on Jul 16, 2010

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We had the exact problem, but rather than using the 'BestBuy' (hardly best) troubleshooting method we called HP support directly, after about 10 calls of them upgrading drivers and testing hard drives etc they finally figured out we needed to send them the laptop. Within one week we had our 'repaired' laptop back. It is SOOO much cooler now we can't believe it was ever so hot.

Posted on Jul 21, 2009

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In Australia there is a Consumer Affairs department where we can lodge complaints against manufacturers to resolve issues and or get refunds on defective products.
I can only suggest that if you have such options in your country to take advantage of such services.
Sorry I can't be of further help.

Posted on Apr 19, 2009

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