Tuesday, August 18, 2015

HP 'Stream 13' Laptop - "Something Happened"

If you are thinking of buying the HP Stream ultraportable notebook with Microsoft Windows 10, please reconsider. And if you have already purchased one, please accept my heartfelt sympathies.

I suffer, therefore I empathise.

The HP Stream's biggest strength (price, portability) comes with a a major liability - a 32 GB SSD. It is, no doubt, quite fast but the limited space ensures that you will soon suffer death by a thousand MS updates.

You cannot really afford to block the updates because it could be a security risk, and if you do enable them, the space available is so little that the machine just gives up. Over the past few days I have been struggling to install the free Windows 10 updates, in vain.

Today, I called the helpline (18001021100) and they suggested that I download the "ISO files" (3.11GB) from here. So I first downloaded a "Media Creation Toolx64" (19MB). Then, after burning a couple of hours and 4GB worth of data, all I got was a cryptic messge - "Something Happened - 0x80070070 - 0xC19001DF". 

Something happened?? WTF?? I had followed all the instructions given to me and downloaded the ISO files on to an external HDD which had more than 450 GB of free space. Now, after 'something happened' there is nothing to show on the HDD that anything was ever downloaded. 4GB worth of files has just disappeared into thin air - for the third time!!

So there you are: HP sells you a machine that has a C-Drive with 32 GB of space, of which Win-8.1 takes about 25 GB. Microsoft and HP have a deal for free upgrade of Win-8.1 to Win-10, but they never tell you while buying the machine that Win-10 requires at least 20GB of additional free-space for installation, which the HP machine is just not capable of handling. What a great way to fool customers!

If you are in the same boat, here are some links you might find useful -

UPDATE - 8 Dec., 2016 .............................................

Purchasing an HP laptop ("Stream 13"s.no.-5CD5120TJ3) will now go down as one of my worst gadget decisions so far.

Almost exactly a year after my purchase, in Aug., 2016, my HP Stream 13 laptop refused to boot-up.  The nearest service center listed on HP website - "Progressive Infotech PL" refused to handle the servicing saying that they no longer partner with HP. Why, then, is this company listed on the HP website?? No answer.

The next option was carry my laptop to JABIL at Sector-18 Noida. I handed over my laptop on 3 Aug., 2016, showed them the original invoice and warranty papers, and was assured of a response 'within three days'. After five days, when I called back for a status update, it was clear that no action had been taken. Instead, I was asked the same questions I answered earlier.

JABIL got back to me two weeks later and told me the mother-board would have to be replaced. A few days - and reminders - later, I finally got back my HP Stream-1 laptop with a new mother-board. I re-loaded all my applications and got back to work.

A couple of months later, in Oct., 2016, HP laptop started acting up again. It show "601 battery error" and work only when plugged in to the mains. Oddly, this error occurred only intermittently. One day it would show "601 error" and, on the next, the laptop would working perfectly fine with 100% battery, and 4-5 hours of back-up.

I took it back to HP's JABIL service centre and this time I was told with a smug smile that the warranty does not cover battery performance. When I told them the battery seemed perfectly fine on alternate weeks, and insisted on an expert opinion, the laptop was taken in.

The service centre had promised to give me a feedback before 12:00 the next day. Nobody called; neither did I receive any email updates as in the previous case. So I drove across, once again, to JABIL. I was told a "UEFI Test" had been done, and that it had confirmed that the battery circuits were faulty. Since it was an integrated battery not covered under warranty, a replacement would cost me about INR 10,000.

The laptop cost me INR 22,000, and I was being told to buy battery that cost me almost half that amount!

Will I buy anything from HP again?




Revew in PC Mag - http://in.pcmag.com/hp-stream-13-13-c020nr/46801/review/hp-stream-13-13-c020nr

Wiki on Windows - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Microsoft_Windows

1 comment:

Roberto A said...

So sorry my dear blogger
I have something similar with Windows 10 ...just problems!!!