Sunday night I was cursing technology in general and Hewlett Packard in particular because, while getting ready to see a new client on Monday morning, I'd checked all was well on my new laptop, new in the sense that I bought it late last year to ensure I had a reliable device for on site visits and it has been little used since, but all was not well. The thing wouldn't boot and prompted me to install an operating system. Tried to run the diagnostics in the new fangled UEFI BIOS and it told me no hard disk was fitted.

Replacing the hard disk would not be that expensive but being a windows device the operating systems and HPs management system were pre-installed so recreating the thing would be a pain. (No data to be worried about as I don't keep data on laptops). I opened the case and took out the drive to ensure there were no issues with replacement and was about to order a new drive when, as it was so late in the day anyway and there was no chance of recovering the laptop in time for the on site visit, just out of interest, I thought I would check just what kind of warranty there had been on the damn thing. I was sure that as it was over a year old that there would be no chance at all of getting the thing repaired by HP.

I found the HP registration procedure relatively easily and with the aid of a strong magnifying glass and a light shone at just the right angle entered the laptops serial number. I was gob smacked to discover that not only was it under warranty but that there was still 22 months to run. I rechecked the SN as after a moments elation I realised there must be a mistake but no, there it was, in black and white, right model number and everything, 22 months warranty remaining (and would I like to extend it?)

Finding out how to make a warranty claim was a lot harder and Google searches indicated that the only way was to phone a call centre but by then it was gone midnight and I was going to be out most of the day on Monday so I doggedly persevered. It turned out that a customer registration is not the same as a support registration so I needed to go through that rigmarole again but finally, the option to raise an issue, which hitherto the site had assured me was only open to those with company accounts with HP, sprang into life. It was a bit long winded but eventually  I got the  emails confirming that the issue had been raised and this would accelerate the support process.

Just as I drove into the clients car park in Heanor I got a call from HP. After some very slightly muddled chat with an "engineer" he did accept that the drive was dead and that HP would need to send me a new drive and an HP recovery kit. The beast could have been returned to HP but as I'm hoping to use it again this year and I am apparently a competent person, this seemed the best solution for both parties.

And well, there you are, a piece of technology that broke down after just over a year and was covered by the manufacturers warranty. Wonders will never cease. Perhaps things are getting better?

Monday night. A relentless beep from the office alerted me to a failed disk drive in my Synology NAS box. Not much more than a year old, could the drive still be under warranty? No bloody chance, why would anyone expect modern manufacturing techniques to produce a drive that could be guaranteed for more than year? Two hard drives down in under 24 hours, Bloody technology.

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