OEM Rant

What is the point of having a support website for your product, if you cannot find drivers for it?

I recently purchased a Compaq laptop for my sister. It is a fairly nice deal, but it came with Windows Vista. I do not support Windows Vista.

Because of time constraints, I decided to just leave Vista on and tell her that she was on her own with any problems. Well, when I booted it up, the Vista installation was hosed, and I was treated to the Compaq recovery software screen. 30 seconds into the repair, it decided to crash and restart. Well, I decided not to deal with that, and popped in the XP SP2 cd that I slipstreamed.

Install went fine, actually it was quite speedy, but once I got to the desktop, I realised that I had no network driver. OK, no big deal, I’ll just go to Compaq’s website and download the drivers for this model, as all good OEMs have the correct drivers under each of their systems on the support website.

Not only where there not drivers for the basic stuff, such as chipset, video, ethernet, etc. the only drivers were for the touchpad. WTF DO I CARE ABOUT THE TOUCHPAD WHEN I CAN DO NOTHING ELSE WITH THE COMPUTER(btw, that’s an interrobang)

Ok, so why don’t I just look under specifications, and maybe I can find out what specific equipment is in the PC, so that I can go to the equipment manufacturer’s site and download the drivers directly. Well the particular model in question does not have “Product Specifications” under the “Product Information” link…o_0

So, I find a similar laptop, and I look under “Network Card” and they tell me the ever-so-helpful “Integrated 10/100 Ethernet LAN”. I don’t understand. What if a normal non-tech support guy was trying to re-load their PC?

And, of course, when I go straight to NVIDIA for drivers, the video card model does not exist. How could this get any worse?

After a little digging on Google, I came across this. Which helped wonderfully, but I still cannot find proper chipset drivers. So far, I have installed: video drivers & smbus drivers. I’ve been working at this for two hours now, and I’m really getting frustrated.

Finally I read the Newegg comments for myself and saw that someone else had much trouble http://downgrading to XP with this laptop. I followed their advice and came across this thread on the HP forums. Thank goodness!

I was able to get the chipset drivers installed finally, and I have UltraVNC setup and I’m able to go about my business today without having to slave over top of the hot AMD64 processor. Thank you “Cheryl G” whoever you are.