I have been repairing and service computer systems PC and Macintosh since I was 12 years old. I have encountered almost every single problem there is with all brands of computers. I have been flashing ROM BIOS', Zero Filling, Low Level Formatted Hard Disk Drives, swapping Logic Boards, PCB's, Power Supply Units, everything and much more. I also have run an honest professional computer service company. I am not the type of person that likes to bash other companies but I will be honest to protect consumers. I have to say that Compaq's Presario (Home User) systems are the absolute worst I have seen right along with Hewlett-Packard's (HP's) Pavillion (Home User) models. ABSOLUTEY HORRIBLE. Now the mass technilogical garbage producers may merge which I find disgusting.
Compaq is a rip-off monopoly much like Hewlett Packard. DELL corporation is in no means perfect but they are so much better than Compaq and Hewlett Packard, I hope Micheal Dell put's them out of business for these corporate giants that rip-off consumers should not be tolorated.
First, Compaq and Hewlett Packard usually use low wattage, cheaply made power supply units that often have weak cooling fans. When the AMD/INTEL Approved standard has been and still is like 250-300 Watts, these guys use 56 Watt (Proprietary) (Older Highly Proprietary Compaq Presario Systems), 100 Watt MicroATX(HP Pavilion INTEL Celeron 700MHz System, recently serviced), 230 Watt for AMD Athlon 900MHz+ systems, which really should have 250 Watt units. These power supplies fail prematurely typically right after the factory 1 year warranty expries due to low wattage, poor cooling or design. It's like this stuff is built to fail.
They use Western Digital, Quantum, Maxtor and Seagate hard disk drives that are purchased OEM with no warranty over one year because Compaq and Hewlett Packard specifically request and induce pressure on hard disk manufacture's for the cheapest drives at the lowest possible cost. That's why they typically fail right after the factory warranty expires as if they were built only good enough to last right past the factory warranty.
Some of Compaq's older Presario Cyrix, AMD K6 and INTEL Pentium II 166-450MHz systems were absolutely horrible in terms of processor cooling. The company was too cheap to follow industry standards or dish out an extra couple of dollars per system to install processor cooling fans onto the processor heatsinks. Instead they are mounted near the power supply so the power supply unit's exhaust fan can pull the hot air off of the processor. I have litterly been burned badly by some of the INTEL Pentium II processor heatsinks that had no processor cooling fan or nearby fan to keep the processors cool. Processors that run this hot will only make the system perform worse and be more likely to fail or create a fire hazard.
Newer Compaq Presario 900MHz system. After cleaning, system wipe and reload system only works properly about 90%. Everything was started clean from scratch, we tried other memory, another processor, Flash BIOS Update, factory level hard disk drive erase and diagnostics. The motherboard seems to already be bad, just after warranty period expired.
The LG (Lucky Goldstar), Samsung and LITEON CDROM Drives both companies use are just like the OEM Hard Disk Drives. I've never seen such crappy CDROM Drives that fail or work like crap so quickly.
Most of Compaq and HP's monitors are generic crap with their name slapped on them. They are typically impossible to service when they fail becuase they are such trash. I have seen more failed Compaq monitors than any other brand.
75 Percent of the large pile of failed parts we regularly recycle are from these manufactures, no other.
Compaq and Hewlett Packards parts and technical support departments are incompetent and are often poorly equipped to support consumers. Hewlett Packard's technical support numbers even fore warranty issues ARE LONG DISTANCE NUMBERS. It's never been worth calling them to ask about any issues, it's just a waste of longs distance minutes. Some of their parts people don't even have listings for commonly needed replacement parts that needed replacement because they were cheap or garbage in the first place. We have never been helped with odd issues or engineering questions we have had in regard to these systems. We just figure it out ourselves way before we could get any help.
Parts gouging, parts monopoly and unreasonable over pricing for mostly inferior components. Most of these manufacture's components are proprietary so they have to be purchased through them yet they claim their systems are standard in descriptions. Most of the motherboards are sized a certain way, have a different than industry standard layout or the ports are switched around so you'd have to use their motherboard as a replacement. ASUS makes many of Hewlett Packards motherboard units, I have rarely seen ASUS motherboard units fail except in Hewlett Packard systems. This is probably similar to the OEM hard disk drives situation (Build and sell us the cheapest boards you can). When the price goes down and profits go up, quality goes down, it's pretty obvious here.
A Compaq Presario system had a proprietary bracket that screws into the back of the system to hold the exansion cards in instead of having holes to screw the cards in as a standard. First, the parts department didn't know what the hell I was talking about and wasted a lot of my time. Unfortunately the customer had someone work on his computer that lost his bracket. Right away I figured that the part was really a $5.00 item from MITAC but that Compaq would jack up the price to like $30.00, which would be ridiculous. Well, they jacked up the price allright, $48.00, $51.96 w/tax. I almost had a heartattack and couldn't believe it. Compaq has sold us their proprietary replacement power supply units that are cheap, low wattage units for like $90.00 - $150.00! We sell high quality units that will fit in standard computer systems for PC Clones for like $39.00, which is still priced a little high! One time for a Pentium II Presario system we were quoted like $250.00 for a motherboard. The customer almost had a heartattack and couldn't believe it. For the newer Presario motherboard, which just by looking at it should be cheap in price is like $180.00! Right after the warranty period expired a Hewlett Packard Pavilion 700MHz system that's warranty just expired had a printer port failure. We tried flashing the ROM BIOS w/latest revision, we wiped and reloaded the hard disk drive thinking it was software corruption. The printer port was bad. It was such a new system and having a matching monitor the customer told us they would put about $300.00 into it. We called HP to get a quote for a replacement motherboard unit. The system was a little over a year old and they have no listing for the replacement. They wanted to sell us a replacement tower unit for about $800.00!! The customer was extremely upset and stated that they purchased the entire system for much cheaper than that!! HP's CDROM drives are a gray or sometimes and blusish gray. We called to get a quote for a CDROM drive unit. Even though we already knew it was bad they kept us on the line on a long distance call trying to take us thorugh troubleshooting just to figure out again that it was defective. They then would not ship us or the customer the replacement unit even though the system was under warranty, the customer didn't want to send the computer in or have one of their technicians at his home. They quoted us about $120.00 for a replacement unit!! It was a cheap Samsung 48X CDROM, far cheaper than retail and should go for no more than $60.00, which would still be high. Unfortuantely it was the color of the case and matched the computer.
These companies in my opinion are just as bad, sometimes worse than EMachines, at least EMachines claims that there are a budget computer company and sells most of their system extremely cheap. Compaq and Hewlett Packard claim to be of high quality and faulsly represent their support and computers they build and sell. I feel that corporate power and profits are the only real major interests of these companies. They should pay their wannabe talented CEO's a little less and put some more quality into their computers and service and stop hiding behind corporate doors conting their profits and planning future profits.
Fremont, California Click here to read other Rip Off Reports on Compaq Computer