HP ordered to repair defective Pavilion Elite desktop PCs

Do you own a high-end Pavilion Elite desktop PC from HP? If it's suffered from blue screens or lockups, you might qualify for a free replacement, thanks to a court-ordered settlement now underway. But hurry, the clock runs out on March 1, 2012.
Written by Ed Bott, Senior Contributing Editor

I recently retired an HP Pavilion Elite m9600t desktop computer.

Well, "retired" might not be the right word, exactly. Over a period of a few weeks, this once-mighty i7-powered machine had begun failing and stalling, with sudden shutdowns and unexplained lockups, until one day it refused to power up at all. Thankfully, I had had plenty of warning and had migrated the data from this machine so that I could replace it quickly.

All the symptoms pointed to a catastrophic motherboard failure, and because the system was out of warranty I was ready to throw it away. It was literally in the garage, one step away from being carted off to the electronics recycling center.

And then I stumbled across this page:

Limited Warranty Service Enhancement Program for HP Pavilion Elite Desktop Model Numbers e9150t, e9180f, e9180t, m9600t, m9650f, e9280f, e9280t, and e9290f

Pursuant to a court-approved class action settlement, HP is implementing a 90-day Limited Warranty Service Enhancement Program (“LWSEP") for owners of HP Pavilion Elite Desktop Model Numbers e9150t, e9180f, e9180t, m9600t, m9650f, e9280f, e9280t, and e9290f that were purchased, leased, received as a gift or otherwise acquired in the United States (the “Program Models"). During the LWSEP, owners of the Program Models whose original HP Limited Warranty has expired and who have experienced or who, during the LWSEP period, experience a Lockup Failure or Blue Screen Failure (both of which are defined below) can receive, at no cost to them, a motherboard replacement by contacting HP on or before March 1, 2012. Owners whose Program Model is still covered by HP’s Limited Warranty can receive any necessary repair (including any necessary motherboard replacement) free of charge pursuant to that warranty.

There's no revision date on the page, but an HP support announcement suggests that this 90-day program began on December 1, 2011, which would explain the March 1, 2012, end date.

I called, spoke to a polite support rep, read off the model and serial numbers, and confirmed that the PC is eligible for a free repair. HP is sending me a shipping box and a prepaid return label. The motherboard replacement and return shipping are on them, too, so I won't be out of pocket a penny.

If you own one of the potentially defective units, check the Program Notice to see if you're eligible for a free replacement motherboard.

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