My Compaq CQ62

15 Jan

I have a Compaq CQ62.  I bought it from Walmart, a forced purchase after lightning took out our computers in 2010, within days of moving to Mississippi.  As anyone who has just relocated knows…money was tight, and computer shopping was not something we could really afford.  Still, with the amount of work we do for Exogeny Network, radio programs, and everything else…if we didn’t buy one, our sanity was going to shortly run out.

We bought it and the extended warranty that included accidental damage.  Now I don’t know how well coverage works if you need to use it, but…it’s certainly among the least expensive coverage packages available for a new laptop.  We also calculate it in as part of the initial cost of the laptop, where ever we were going to buy it, because it was so essential for us.  We couldn’t afford another disaster any time soon.

I’ve been a fan of HP products for some time.  They may not manufacture and market computers that have all of the latest bells and whistles, but they seemed to create and market very usable machines with a minimum of problems for reasonable prices.  I like that.

I have to say, after my recent experience, my “like” level has dropped considerably.

The fan went out on my laptop, which is roughly 18 months old.  I can accept that–those things happen, and we have a lot of pet dander floating around to gum up works.  It’s a continually moving part, and they do wear out.  Not a big deal.

Until I went to get a new one.

Logical place to start?  HP’s own website.  That’s where the nightmare starts.

I have never tried to navigate a website so irritatingly wrong and difficult before.  I have never encountered so many sets of directions that were utterly and completely wrong, not only for my laptop, but also for the second Compaq laptop we have.

You see, to find out what parts you need, you first of all need to get a series of numbers, which the website insisted would be on a “service sticker” located on the back of the laptop.  Wrong.  Not there, not on mine and not on the other one either.  It took several times of navigating through this to find a location that gave potential instructions that it might be printed directly on the laptop under the battery.  Why not list this method right alongside the service sticker directions????  No, we have to practically hide this part, increasing my frustration tenfold.

Next, we tried their parts section.  Now I realize that most manufacturers discourage customers from servicing their own equipment, for a variety of reasons.  But…if you are going to sell parts without requiring the buyer to be a “qualified service department” then don’t make it impossible to FIND the danged things!

In an attempt to bypass excessive aggravation, I spread the attempts over four days.  On day 4, I concluded that it really wasn’t me, that I had learned long ago how to search for parts and supplies via Google, to navigate numerous websites to buy various items, and I had never encountered one that was so incredibly difficult before.  Believe me, if I can figure out how to buy a gizmo for an old Evinrude outboard motor…I surely can figure out how to get a part number for a cooling fan for a specific laptop!  (I at least knew what this was CALLED, where it went, what it did, and it was a current model.)

I used the HP “chat” function.  I soon had a part number.  Before, I probably would have just bought it from HP, sure that it would be the right fan to do the job, even though I knew I could probably buy it cheaper elsewhere.  After that experience…oh hell no, I didn’t want to figure out how to navigate their shopping cart and check out system.  I had visions of Tassimo nightmares dancing in my head all over again.  HP might do well at designing computers, but they sure as hell didn’t do very well at designing websites.  I wasn’t going to take my chances with them–I’d be better off on Ebay than there, in my opinion.

So, Greg and I are still sharing his computer, with neither of us particularly thrilled with that.  I miss my files.  I find his computer sluggish and slow to respond to my demands, as it’s overloaded with software and stressed to it’s very core with the stuff HE normally does.  I think he has too many icons and too much “stuff” on here.  He thinks he’d like me to be quiet about it, and let him get on with his stuff.  I miss my laptop–I could do my thing, play games on Facebook, look at pictures on my harddrive, and life was good.  Now, I feel guilty when I commandeer his.  Besides, the groove in the space bar isn’t exactly right for my smaller thumb!

Hopefully, the new fan, ordered from a seller on Ebay, will arrive shortly.  Hopefully, he’ll get it installed without any problems.  Getting into a laptop isn’t as easy as tearing into a desk top.  There’s very little room, and the screws attaching everything together are much sneakier.  It all has to be disassembled in order, flipping it from front to back over and over, removing the screen and generally turning it into a stack of tiny screws and plastic bits…all to get to the fan.

If you have one that you need to disassemble, here’s some things we used to figure it out:

EHow

Service Manual

YouTube Video (Part 1 of 4)

Generic replacement video

As part of the whole experience, neither Greg nor I was thrilled with the idea of tearing into a laptop, for a long list of reasons NOT to.  So, we had priced the computer repair/evaluation through OfficeMax.  They led us to believe that they had in-house techs, but when I got home and realized the can of compressed air wasn’t going to do one iota of good for my wheezing fan…I called back to inquire about the turn around time to have a fan replaced.  It was then that I found out that their repairs were not done in-house, but the machines were all shipped out elsewhere.  They informed me it would be “several weeks.”  That was NOT going to work–I was not sending out my laptop, which contained a lot of personal information, via mail to who-knew-where to be worked on for “several weeks.”  Since funds were tight, we had this dilemma, we (meaning Greg, of course) would have to do the work ourselves.

Lucky Greg, right?  He not only has his wife jonesing for her computer, he has an axe poised over his neck…if he screws it up, that same wife may like…freak out!

So, cross your fingers that the fan arrives, that the helpful HP chat person at the other end of the screen (and probably in some foreign country) actually got the right part number for me, that the guy on Ebay has his part with the right part number, and it all works…and that Greg manages to quickly install it to restore domestic peace and tranquility.

That’s a lot of fingers to cross, by the way.

 

 

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2 Responses to “My Compaq CQ62”

  1. exogenynetwork January 15, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

    there is no groove in my space bar…

    • giascott January 16, 2012 at 1:16 am #

      Denial when there is physical evidence is useless!

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