Ubuntu 8.04 on Pavilion HDX9210TX, epilogue

Frustrations with Vista may have spilled over to the Ubuntu side of the house. My friend said he started to get screen flickers and acceleration problems with his giant Pavilion running 8.04, plus program crashes and some other problems, and out of frustration has reinstalled Vista. Personally I don’t blame Linux, but instead on the machine itself.

Of course, it’s not the end of the line. Without delving into anyone’s psychology, I have a feeling Ubuntu might make a return at some point in the future. However, I don’t think he’s likely to keep that “laptop,” since it has supposedly misbehaved in two different operating systems now.

If that’s the case, I can only make a few vicarious conclusions.

First, I know for a fact that running 3D applications (i.e., Second Life) on that machine with the desktop effects enabled caused flickering and artifacts. To be fair, I also get flickers and artifacts when trying to run 3D applications and desktop effects at the same time. I have a feeling that might have been the problem he experienced. It would be an unfortunate mistake to think the software was failing when in fact it was simply overtaxed hardware or conflicting software demands.

As an added complication, he started tampering with the drivers, and by “tampering” I mean uninstalling packages. Of course, that left him with a 640×480 screen with no options to adjust that, and without the general know-how (he’s very new to Linux), that can be a very dangerous situation. (And with no Internet connection and no mentor around to convince him not to do that, Vista was an accident waiting to happen.)

On the other hand, someone who tweaks that casually is actually a perfect candidate for Linux.

But if all my deductions are wrong, and it is misbehavior in two OSes, then I call trump and blame the hardware. If it really is crashing and it really is that erratic, then my experience would say deficient components. And in that case, it seems like returning it to the HP mothership would be the next step.

Unfortunately it’s not my call. He’s sufficiently frustrated with it to pass it on to a new owner, and that’s not me. I would find it vaguely amusing for a little while, but somewhat overkill. I do better staying in the sub-1Ghz domain. It feels like home. :)

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5 Responses to “Ubuntu 8.04 on Pavilion HDX9210TX, epilogue”


  1. 1 MONODA 2008/05/13 at 5:54 PM

    I also have an hp pavillion and have had LOTS of problems in both ubuntu and especially in vista which came with it, but I havent had any problems with arch :D i love arch, but it leaves 98% of my ram and my processor idle most of the time which makes me regret buying a laptop with these specs.

  2. 2 Stalwart 2008/05/13 at 7:15 PM

    HP Pavilion suck horribly. I’ll never buy one again

  3. 3 Semidigerati 2008/05/13 at 10:16 PM

    I’m going to agree with Stalwart. I’ve never ever had good fortune with an HP computer of any kind. They will not be getting my dough in the future.

  4. 4 Tony 2008/05/14 at 1:51 AM

    It sounds like this particular HP is a mismatch of components. The important thing for the owner to do is contact HP as-soon-as-possible for resolution.

    I’ve dealt with manufacturer’s in the past and some can be helpful and some downright rude(that’s putting it nicely).

    The big problem I see with getting ANY manufacturer to help with problems on new computers is because of V-I-S-T-A! The manufacturer’s are so over worked because of Vista problems that they are denying to cover warranty work in a lot of cases. Warranty work can be approved or disapproved by how many units are in for repair or simply put, how many techs are available to do the repairs. Of course the public in general do not know that fact.

    Manufacturer’s have passed a threshold with Vista. That threshold is that Vista is one year old and most software manufactures are not responsible to warranty computers after a year. Some are as little as three months.

    What I would recommend to that HP laptop owner is not to bother with HP’s online help because that takes time. Get a RMA(Return Merchandise Authorization) number and get the laptop back to HP as soon as possible:

    Ask them to send a shipping sticker and a box with packaging material. If it was bought retail – then get it back to the retailer.

    In either case, if optional RAM or an optional hard drive is installed BE SURE it is documented and upon return of the laptop be sure a smaller/slower RAM module or smaller/slower hard drive has not been substituted.

    Watch out for “Frankenstein” computers being substituted. Dell is notorious for losing a computer sent in for repair and replacing it with a refurbished unit which has been cobbled together. Those type of units rarely last long because the parts are gathered from used parts bins.

    Also, it is good to simply restore the orginal Vista in it’s original configuration if at all possible.

    Vista is making it difficult on the manufacturer’s and they are trying to ride out this fiasco. Remember, the longer a manufacturer keeps a unit in for repair – warranty time is being used. If it takes 3 months to repair a unit, then that’s not only 3 months of lost use, but 3 months warranty the owner has lost.

  5. 5 K.Mandla 2008/05/14 at 7:25 AM

    Thanks, Tony. That’s all very good advice. I’ll pass it on to the owner; it may save him the trouble of trying to resell it.


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