purplehpMotherboard replacements are usually straightforward repairs. Pull the cables, CPU, and memory. Swap the boards. Reinstall and reconnect. Re-activate Windows with Microsoft, and you’re done. At worst I’ve occasionally had to call Microsoft because the online activation didn’t go through – but it’s always a simple process and the MS folks are very helpful.

But recently, I encountered a business practice that blew me away and soured me on a company I’ve always thought highly of and frequently recommend to my clients.

A customer brought in a HP Pavilion desktop (p6110y w/Vista) with a dead motherboard. They had purchased a new laptop and we grabbed the data off the old computer. But they still wanted the desktop operational and wiped clean, so we ordered a refurbished motherboard for it, installed it, and ran the factory install from the recovery partition on the HD. When it finished, the system rebooted and I saw this:

HP Code Purple Error

Puzzled, I tried the recovery reinstall again. Same result. Before I was sitting in a call queue to HP, I did a little research, and found that HP was not playing fair…