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
Tech industry's high-flying 2014
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)