With all the news about Lenovo’s embarrassing, not to mention infuriating, bloat- and hackware debacle lately I have been quite happy that I already had my PC’s bought, installed and cleaned up since some time. Well, that was until now. My second son’s birthday is nearing and when my first son was of the age that my second one is becoming then he got his first PC. So naturally the present this time is more or less decided.
So yesterday I unpacked a new HP Pavillion laptop. Nothing fancy, i5 CPU, 6 Gb RAM, 1 Tb of disk and a half decent Nvidia graphics card so that he can do some moderate gaming on it. We really did not want anything fancy since he has his head up in the blue quite often so we really did not want to give him something that was going to hurt the wallet too much in case he breaks it.
Anyway, unpacking means installing, especially since I want to set it up with a child account for him so he cannot do something to foolish on it. The fact that the PC’s generally come with everything pre-installed, unlike the old days when the first thing you did was drop in the install DVD, or CD or even floppy (yes I am that old), does not mean it is a quick process however.
Sure Microsoft have done a pretty good installation software for Windows 8 so the first part is rather easy answering a few questions and then the machine sets itself up. It is what comes after that is the problem. For the first hours the machine just sits there spinning the disk at 100% downloading, updating and installing. Christ, when I first opened Windows Update it claimed that it was downloading almost 3 Gb of updates. This is on a new machine straight from HP. That is somewhat a joke as far as I am concerned. Luckily I am on fiber since a bit less than a year but if I had been on my old ADSL connection those downloads alone would have been taking an entire weekend at least. Unfortunately the machine is pretty much useless until everything have finished updating and installing.
Then comes the real ordeal. The bloody bloatware. Like most manufacturers HP packs the machine shitfull with totally useless unwanted bloatware. Everything from crappy games to useless utilities to virus protection software that I do not want. Especially the latter annoys the hell out of me. You get a 30 day trial period of some pre-installed virus protection which you then have to uninstall meaning that during the uninstall procedure there is a window when your PC is unprotected. Windows comes with a perfectly valid protection software and if I want something else I will chose that myself.
The amount of crapware they install is absolutely unbelievable. It is not only a bunch of useless apps and programs that you can ignore but it is a shitload of utilities which all run in the background and bogs down the machine. It took me several hours just clicking through everything and remove it and I still have some things in the start menu that seems to refuse to uninstall properly. During the weekend I have to see how I can get rid of that crap. Then I have to go through the entire machine and check that everything is really removed.
That is quite a few hours, days even, that I have to spend just to clean up this crap. I do not want it. Do you hear me Hewlett Packard and you other crapware installers out there…I (and many with me I believe) do not want the crap- and bloatware that you put on our machines!
The first manufacturer that gives me the option to purchase a clean, 100% crap- and bloatware free machine will get a big plus and careful consideration from me when doing my next purchase.