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09-04-2019 05:25 PM
Many thanks for the kind words. I sincerely appreciate them, all the more as it is my first post of a solution. Not to mention that English is not - as you undoubtedly guessed - my native tongue!
As for HP's products, my experience was catastrophic (corporate laptops sourced from Compaq), until I go to 'retire.' The good part was I was 37. The bad was that I was embarking on a personal journey - decade-long so far - fighting a rare form of incurable cancer. I then discovered the incredible value of refurbished Z workstations. I use them for general computing, but also some personal research projects: advanced, real-time mathematical modelization of financial-market behaviors. I know: I should have picked gaming as a hobby!!
Before the bliss of HP Z workstations, the most reliable computers I had ever used were IBM/Lenovo Thinkpad laptops. I still maintain a 4-year old Thinkpad Carbon X1 3rd Generation (a dual-core i7 antique, frankly), as my machine for travel. I have had no experience with Dell to date, beyond their monitors, which are usually reliable, premium products. However, I keep reading great things about their all-in-one workstation models (Precision).
Going back to HP (and Lenovo), I wholeheartedly share your observations about their worsening support. My hypothesis? The launch of Windows 10 in 2015 - and its 4(!)-update cycle a year - has completely overwhelmed both their tool development/maintenance teams and their front-line support team capabilities.
On a more personal note, the fact to be able to share a potential solution with fellow users of HP Z Workstations is very meaningful to me. In my specific circumstances, on my very worst days, it helps me still justify my carbon footprint! So, thank you for taking the time to leave the note. You made my day.
09-04-2019 05:31 PM
Thanks for sharing all these details as I was not aware of the Windows Features menu on the Insider Build. Another neat trick - if your HP Performance Advisor works - to check the .NET version installed/used is to go into Advisor/Your Computer/Configuration Details. The 4th or 5th line from the bottom indicates the .NET version detected.
Thank you again for sharing this knowledge with me.
09-05-2019 06:06 PM
Dear HHH003 - Thank you again for posting the screenshot of the Windows Features from the Insiders Build 18963.1000 installed on a Z workstation running the current version of HP Performance Advisor with no issues. Could it imply that the bug triggering the 'freezes' resides with the .NET framework, not with HP?
The graphical interface of Windows Features, when it comes to .NET, is not the clearest to decipher. Nevertheless, in the Insiders Build you showed, the core of the .NET Framework 4.8 is installed and activated along with the 'TCP Post Sharing' service. In essence, your comments and screen capture may have proved that, on an updated, bug-free .NET Framework 4.8, the current version of HP Performance Advisor runs crash-free. Let's hope MS rolls this one out soon!
09-05-2019 06:30 PM
For some reason even when 1903 was an Insiders Build, PA didn't work. I started a new discussion back in March when I first discovered the issue with PA saying HP needed to get ready for build 1903 compatibility... no one responded to it. I'm afraid I'm going to have to continue using these Insiders Builds for some time because I have found some ,Net forum posts indicating that .Net 4.8 is somehow defective and the fixed version is only being released in Insider Preview releases 20H1 and 20H2. I have personally tested build 1909 (19H2) which will be out soon... and PA crashes just like 1903. It's nothing more than a 1903 build with a service pack installed.
I'm still using version 18963.1000 because 18970.1005 has some bugs with the settings interface I don't like, so just waiting for a fixed version. It should be out soon.
By the way... you can enable Windows 10 Enterprise or Education version with a few Command Prompts in case you notice the Windows 10 version I'm using.
09-05-2019 11:52 PM
First, I’m surprised with how many similarities we have:
- English is also not my mother language.
- I also had cancer. But managed to recover from it.
- I also use my computer for financial modeling. Except I prefer to do it non real time.
Second, you wrote “it helps me still justify my carbon footprint”.
This echoes for me something….
When I had cancer, I got a gift of the book “Love, Medicine & Miracles” by Bernie S. Siegel.
As a rational guy, I tend to ignore it, but I love reading, and I had nothing else to read, so I gave it a try.
Bla blab la … bla bla … and then he described the kind of personality that tend to get cancer, and it was quiet me, and I’m not so common.
The theory become clear: Our immune system can fight cancer, but our immune system is effected from our psychological condition, and that is effected by our attitude to life.
A sentence like “it helps me still justify my carbon footprint” was typical for me the time I got sick with cancer, but after reading the book I made changes in my attitude and my life.
I guess it helped me to recover.
It is my strong recommendation that you will get a copy of this book. It was translated to many languages, maybe also to your native tongue.
Third, as I’m about to buy a new powerful laptop, I will tell you my considerations and hope for your advice:
- The laptop need to work reliably, without wasting my time on solving drivers issues and calling support again and again.
- It takes me about 3 days of my valuable time to set a new computer for my needs. So it should work for many years. And its price does not really mattress.
- My experience with Dell is so bad, that I will not use any of their computers even if it was given for me for free.
- It seems that middle class laptops that are sold in large quantities are supported better then the expensive models that are rarely sold.
- So to conclude, I will go for a good laptop, but not a mobile workstation, and I just need to decide if to give HP another chance, or to try Lenovo.
What is your recommendation?
Wishing you luck and success to come your way.
09-14-2019 11:49 AM
Dear Dagol - Thank you for the book recommendation, to which I only reply now courtesy of Yahoo Mail's SPAM filter. I usually find this kind of books quite helpful. But enough with the sad stories!
Based on my personal experience with 2 Thinkpads since 2007, I would go for Lenovo as long as you pick one of the Thinkpad models (esp. X1 ultrathin, or X1 Yoga convertible). Primarily designed for the corporate market, these machines genuinely have a shelf life of at least five years of active support with drivers and BIOS, including through the Windows 10 convulsions since 2015. Their support software is particularly performant: "Lenovo Vantage" (its name right now) updates your drivers and BIOS automatically when you launch it. I do it once every couple of weeks.
The first and worst bug to date occurred a few weeks ago when everything on the screen turned a pinkish/copper/orange hue. It was due to Lenovo's "EyeCare" feature conflicting with the latest version of Windows 10's "Night Lights!" You just had to turn off Lenovo's feature to fix it. No registry edits required!
09-14-2019 03:58 PM
Thanks for the advice.
Now, that I know that Lenovo support is called "Lenovo Vantage", I could check its reviews on the internet,
The reviews are awful! see here: https://bigtechquestion.com/2018/03/01/laptops/lenovo/lenovo-vantage-i-get-rid/
I also have a strong new Lenovo workstation at work. 4 monitors are connected to it and from some reason it flickers one of the monitors about once in 5 minutes.
And finally, how much can I trust that there is no backdoor in a Chinese computer?
So I really tend toward HP, But one that uses the common HP support assistance, and not the problematic workstation support.
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