HP Isn’t Honoring the Warranty on Netbook because of Linux!

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I guess I’m hoping that someone here might have some connection at HP, or know how to contact a higher tier tech support, or something.

Basically I have a brand new netbook I got for Christmas. First thing I wiped the drive and installed Fedora on it. Yesterday, the battery went kapoot. It’s completely dead… won’t charge at all. The BIOS is giving me error code 601, which I looked up and says the battery needs to be replaced. You would think that’s enough for the warranty to get it replaced, right? Nope.

I’ve been on the phone with tech support now for over an hour. The guy there has no clue what to do, he’s having me run all kinds of pointless tests that don’t have anything to do with the battery. Then after speaking to his supervisor, they can’t send me a new battery unless I put Windows 7 Starter back on the netbook, then run their special little HP battery status test.

I’ve given them the BIOS error code (I don’t even think the guy knows what the BIOS is honestly), and I told them the output of the acpi command, which is “charging at zero rate – will never fully charge”. But they’re going by the book, and without the HP battery status application they won’t send me a new battery.

Right now the only option they’re giving me is to PAY to order the Windows 7 Starter media from them to restore my netbook to factory condition, to run their utility, to get my damn battery replaced.

This is absolutely f’ing ridiculous. I’m steaming pissed right now… and I’m still on the phone holding to speak to the supervisor.

Can anyone offer any assistance? A phone number for higher level support? Or someone at HP who works in tech support that actually has a brain and doesn’t work in India?

I know /r/linux may not be the best subreddit for this, but oh well… I need people with linux knowledge to understand my headache! :)

EDIT1: Quote from the supervisor:

Him: You have voided your software warranty and need to reinstall Windows 7 to get it back

Me: Ok, well the issue I’m having is HARDWARE, not SOFTWARE

Him: I understand, but in order to get the warranty ID #, you need to use Windows 7

Me: Well I can’t do that, and I haven’t voided my hardware warranty, which is what the battery is covered under.

Him: Well I am the supervisor here and I know the warranty better than you do.


EDIT2: I’ve now been on the phone for 2 hours and 20 minutes… I finally spoke to some case manager, and she gave in and is overnighting me a new battery. But if the “problem persists, I will need to reinstall Windows 7”. I can guarantee this is the last time I will ever buy an HP product.


EDIT3: I got the battery this morning. Guess they shipped it overnight air. Netbook is working just fine now. :) I did notice that the ‘acpi’ command in Fedora doesn’t work right with the battery though. It still says the same thing, that the battery is charging at a rate of zero, and will never fully charge. However it is charging, unlike the other battery. I guess that has something to do with the acpi in Fedora not being fully compatible with the netbook’s hardware, who knows. I at computer repair Broward might throw another distro on it just for kicks and see what it says.

In Retrospect, I at computer repair Fort Lauderdale could have just reinstalled Windows to save me all the headache lol. But, It was the principal of the matter. Sorry, some people still care about that kind of thing.

 About Author: Antonio Matsuoka is senior tech at USA Computer Store and working computers industry from last 10 years and well know for laptop repair Fort Lauderdale.