HP: PCs can be returned with faulty Intel chip

Hewlett-Packard and Dell have both announced that they are working with customers who have purchased systems with faulty Intel chipsets.

Hewlett-Packard announced today that customers can return products that use Intel's faulty Sandy Bridge chipset, following a similar announcement yesterday from Dell .

A Samsung Sandy Bridge Core i7 laptop pulled from sales by a Best Buy in Los Angeles.
A Samsung Sandy Bridge Core i7 laptop pulled from sales by a Best Buy in Los Angeles. Brooke Crothers

Intel said Monday that it had stopped shipments of the chipset that accompanies its Second-Generation Intel Core ("Sandy Bridge") processor due to a flaw that can affect access to a hard-disk drive, optical drive, or other device that connects to a computer using SATA technology.

Customers can "return their affected product and choose a comparable product or receive a refund," HP said today in a statement. The world's largest PC maker repeated the now familiar mantra that the issue affects only a small fraction of PCs sold or ordered since January 9, 2011.

For HP, the issue affects consumer desktops and laptops only. It does not impact commercial systems--such as Proliant servers or EliteBook laptops--except one model in the Europe-Middle East-Africa region, HP said.

"To deliver a high-quality experience to our customers, on 31 January 2011 HP stopped manufacturing products with the affected Intel technology and initiated a shipment hold on products in HP and channel inventory," HP said.

This hold on manufacturing likely reflects what other computer makers are doing too. And particularly a company like Apple that is planning dual-core Sandy Bridge MacBooks . (Laptops affected to date are only quad-core models.)

A statement from Intel VP Stephen Smith, made during a conference call Monday to discuss the chipset glitch, provides a pretty good idea of how long the delay will be. "We were planning to launch those mainstream systems with dual core in a few weeks. And this will likely push out the window of launch a few weeks relative to our plans," Smith said.

Which means if Apple's original launch plans were in the February-March window, systems would obviously be delayed.

In the wake of the HP and Dell announcements, a few charts listing desktop and mobile Sandy Bridge processors may be helpful in determining if you have one of those systems from HP, Dell--or other vendors--or if you were planning to purchase an affected Sandy Bridge system in the immediate future.

There are a few items worth noting in the charts. A processor with the status of "Launched" (in the far right column) indicates a product that had been shipping prior to Intel's Monday announcement, while a processor listed with a status of "Announced" indicates a future shipment date.

And note that while the Sandy Bridge processor does not have the defect, a chipset is delivered, almost invariably, together with the processor.

Also note that there have been erroneous reports stating that faulty Cougar Point chipsets shipped to date are desktop-only models. This is inaccurate. Intel has stated clearly in the past (and reiterated today) that both desktop and laptop chipsets have shipped.

Update: Toshiba has pulled models that had made it to retail shelves. The Satellite A665--SKUs S5182, S5183, S5184, S5185, S5187. The Satellite A665 3D Edition (model 3DV12) and Qosmio X505, SKUs Q8102, Q8104.

Sandy Bridge Core i5 quad-core desktop processors. 'Launched' indicates shipments had begun.
Sandy Bridge Core i5 quad-core desktop processors. 'Launched' indicates shipments had begun. Intel

Sandy Bridge quad-core Core i7 desktop processors.
Sandy Bridge quad-core Core i7 desktop processors. Intel

Sandy Bridge Core i5 mobile processors.  'Announced' indicates a future ship date.
Sandy Bridge Core i5 mobile processors. 'Announced' indicates a future ship date. Intel

Sandy Bridge Core i7 mobile processors. 'Lanched' indicates shipments had begun. 'Announced' indicates a future ship date.
Sandy Bridge Core i7 mobile processors. 'Lanched' indicates shipments had begun. 'Announced' indicates a future ship date. Intel

See complete list of Intel processors (PDF).

Updated on February 3 at 7:35 p.m. PST: adding Toshiba laptop information.

About the author

Brooke Crothers writes about mobile computer systems, including laptops, tablets, smartphones: how they define the computing experience and the hardware that makes them tick. He has served as an editor at large at CNET News and a contributing reporter to The New York Times' Bits and Technology sections. His interest in things small began when living in Tokyo in a very small apartment for a very long time.

 

Join the discussion

Conversation powered by Livefyre

Show Comments Hide Comments
Latest Galleries from CNET
Uber's tumultuous ups and downs in 2014 (pictures)
The best and worst quotes of 2014 (pictures)
A roomy range from LG (pictures)
This plain GE range has all of the essentials (pictures)
Sony's 'Interview' heard 'round the world (pictures)
Google Lunar XPrize: Testing Astrobotic's rover on the rocks (pictures)