Windows PC Crashes at Mac Meetup – Audience Laughs

No one in the room could help but crack a smile when my Windows HP Pavillion ze4800 laptop crashed the moment I booted it up at Wednesday’s Mac Meetup group. I had brought it in to demo the capability of network remote access technologies such as VNC and SSH to be interoperable between operating systems. Unfortunately, when my PC attempted to wake from hibernation, it froze and I had to forcefully shut it off.

When it was next booted, it displayed a Windows no-boot error that read something like, “Windows could not load because it could not find the file C:\WINDOWS\system32\Drivers\Ntfs.sys.” Thankfully I was at a Mac group, so everyone gave a hearty chuckle.

Of course, this leaves me with a broken computer. What’s very frustrating is that no matter what I do, Windows gives me a stop error. A stop error is an unrecoverable problem, more commonly known as the Blue Screen of Death (or BSOD, for short). What’s even more frustrating is that this has happened all over the place, with video distortion increasingly common and even when booted from the Windows recovery console.

I’ve removed the RAM I added from the machine and the issue still occurs, and I’ve removed the RAM it shipped with and only used the RAM I added, and the issue still occurs. It’s probably not caused by bad RAM, which means this issue is probably caused by the machine’s logic board (or other such integrated hardware component).

What’s interesting to me about this whole experience is that it turned me into an HP Total Care customer, and I’m now waiting for them to ship me a box so that they can take a look at the hardware. This puts me 300+ dollars in the hole. And what about the warranty, you ask? Why, it’s 1-year, of course, just like every other computer maker. What about buying a new machin, you ask? I got lucky because apparently HP has a limited time offer to fix anything wrong with the machine for a flat-rate, which is what I’m paying.

So far, while annoying, this isn’t really that surprising. My only real gripe is that throughout the tech support call I had to decipher the extremely difficult to understand Indian accent of some representative who called himself “Gautam.”