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Nov 062010

Having waiting nearly 3 months for delivery of a new corporate laptop, I finally got it on Friday morning.  I booted it up, and it nicely installed the corporate image, well you know, finished off it’s bits and pieces.

Couldn’t login to the thing afterwards though, even when plugged in to the network.  And of course there were no instructions with it saying what (for example) a local username and password might be.

The laptop is a HP Elitebook 8440p, with 2 Gb RAM and a nice enough 1366 x 768 screen.  The problem on this laptop is the screen.  It jumps every 30 seconds or so, sometimes more often, sometimes less.  After getting IT to add the machine to the domain, and give me admin access (which only took them nearly 4 hours!) the flicker is the first thing I noticed (as well as the odd keyboard layout ;-)).

I spent around an hour on Friday afternoon chatting online in an instant messenger type chat with a HP Support representative who had me turn off the ambient light sensor (not sure what that does), update the video card drivers from HP (only 229 MB to download! and made no difference), had me check in safe mode (where at first I thought I wasn’t getting any jumping, but then I was), had me wait in the BIOS screen (where at first I thought I wasn’t getting any jumping, but I was, though it is less frequent) and a multitude of other bits and pieces.   Net result is I’ve a repair chap meant to be making contact with me on Monday, for an onsite on Monday.  Personally I’m sure it’ll get dragged out to Tuesday.

In the 18 years I’ve been in IT I’ve never had this experience, it’s almost like it’s D.O.A… but not quite.  And I’ve not had a DOA either!

Interestingly, from a rather brief test on Friday afternoon, the screen doesn’t seem to flicker, or jump when an external monitor is plugged in, even when the display is set to show the laptop screen and the external screen.

For now, I’ve not progressed to installing the rest of the junk that I need to make the laptop usuable, just in case the HP man takes it all away.

One thing I did do on Friday evening was a bit more testing, and after making a “spare” 100 Gb partition on the disk, I installed another copy of Windows 7 x86.  Still the jumping !  It’s gotta be hardare..  I’m hoping it can be fixed, and sorted.

More to come on this one, I fear….

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