Customer Review

121 of 143 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Malware, beware!, April 5, 2014
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This review is from: HP Pavilion 500-281 Desktop (Windows 7) (Personal Computers)
This is the 11th or 12th Desk PC/laptop that I have bought in the last 20 years, and all but one have been an HP. Never in my life have I had so much trouble with "bundled" ad-ware, Mal-ware and bloatware as I have had with this one! My husband wanted this PC to replace an HP Vista PC and we wanted Win7. I have spent the last 4 days (and will probably have to spend MORE time) trying to clear this PC of crap. There is nothing we can do without 4-7 windows popping up with services that require paid subscriptions. They offer no way to close them, except for an icon in the task bar which you must left click (in the task bar) to close. Some of these programs on this PC (Control panel, programs) will not delete with the uninstall tool. It seems you need to download an additional program to kill the roots. However is THAT download safe???? The programs include weather bugs, shopping tools (many different names), etc. If you buy this PC due to Vista discontinue and want Win7 please be advised, your PC will NOT be functional until you get rid of this crap. I suggest you turn it on, do your password, immediately install security software, update it (we use Norton last 20 years, never had problems) update Windows and then go to Control Panel/Programs and get rid of the crap. If it's not put out by Microsoft, Oracle, QuickTime or Adobe, everything else is up for question and you can Google it and find out if it needs to be removed. While I think this could be a very functional PC for what my husband needs (email, Facebook, shopping) it will need to be cleaned of the crap to be so. Very disappointed in Microsoft and HP. As a life long PC customer, this is like crapping on your customers, "Na, Na, Na, No, No, No, say goodby". @HP and @Microsoft, You might as well be flipping us the "bird". Not often I give this low rating, but this is deserving of it. People want plug and play, not "plug" and "headache, cleaning" of a new PC of this crap for hours! I'M NOT HAPPY AT ALL. I think I spent $20 more to buy the Amazon Paper White as an ad free version.This option needs to be rolled out across the board. $20 is nothing compared to the 12-17 hours at my former pay (now retired) of about $30 an hour. ($510 at the high end) to fix this PC!
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Comments

Tracked by 5 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 38 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 7, 2014 3:40:11 PM PDT
I know why I wont buy an HP now. I almost forgot.....

Posted on Apr 17, 2014 5:07:03 PM PDT
HP Pavilion 500-281 Desktop (Windows 7) (Personal Computers)
Wow, S.Davis! and to think I was just about to order this very same item. I know about all those stupid windows popping up and I definitely do not want to go through what you just described. Thanks,

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 17, 2014 6:44:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 30, 2014 7:09:42 PM PDT
S. Davis says:
Cecil, I'm so happy to have been of help. It took me even more time then I said in this post to finally get it cleaned out! This was a replacement for my husband's (hand-me-down) Vista PC. I specifically wanted Win7 because that is what I know! He uses the PC for Email,Facebook and banking! That's it! Unless I give him a desktop icon, he can't find it! So his frustration was MY frustration! x2!
But here's the bad news. I'm not sure you can find any other Desktop that does not also have this crap on it. That's why they are "cheaper". This is a good PC if you have the determination to clean it up.
If you are not partial to a desktop (and if you are, I totally understand, I am too!) you might want to investigate perhaps the Kindle Fire Tablet. I myself have not looked at it, but I did pay a few more $$ to buy a Paper white w/o ads.Worked for me, since the $30 or so was worth about 3 hours of work, when in reality this PC probably cost me 40 hours of work. @ $10 per hour is $400.00. Well worth it!

Posted on Apr 30, 2014 6:42:48 AM PDT
Kellin says:
Your review was helpful, serving as a warning of what to expect. HOWEVER . .

I once had the same experience, back when I purchased my current HP desktop. I dealt with it by wiping the hard drive and installing a fresh-from-the-store XP OS. Since then, I've had a sweet machine that has been quick and dependable for 10 years now. And I don't just email. The machine takes a daily heavy workload without a hiccup - except those of my own making. I've installed and use over 100 applications and run ten or twelve at a time.

Don't blame Microsoft for what computer manufacturers do to the Windows OSes that they force onto their customers. You are always better off with your own copy.

This is my take on HP: They make great hardware, best bang for the buck there is. Their software will make your teeth hurt and your hair fall out.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 30, 2014 7:05:18 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Apr 30, 2014 7:14:02 PM PDT
S. Davis says:
Thanks for this! I too have been a life long HP fan. And I'm really impressed that the very large monitor that came with my desktop purchase some 5-6 years ago, is still going strong! Previously, any packaged monitor that came with an HP purchase pretty much only lasted a year.
The purpose of this PC was to upgrade my husbands (hand me down) Vista PC, no longer supported by Microsoft. He's not big into PC's and is just now learning the value of email! I also purchased this model for him because it is one of the few that still come with WIN7. I run WIN7 now and am not impressed with what I have seen with WIN8.
What I was trying to point out is that most folks who buy a "desktop" PC now days, are newbies, and they just want to "plug and play", (the red plug goes in the red hole, etc.). Not everyone has the knowledge to scrub the HD and install a pristine OS. My point was that I was able to buy a new Kindle Paper-white for a few bucks more and get an ad, bloatware, & mal-ware free e-reader. Why can't they offer this on a PC?
I don't want to see Hewlett Packard go away even if they want to get out of the desktop business! If there are more options to opt out (for a few more $$$) they would sell more. Having bought roughly 11 HP desktops and currently replying to this on an HP laptop (my 3rd one), I don't condemn them, I would just like the option to purchase that "pristine" package out of the box! It would be worth every penny considering the hours I have put in cleaning up this new purchase.
Thank you for your input. I'm sure there are others out there who will benefit from our dialog!

Posted on May 12, 2014 11:27:55 AM PDT
Charles says:
I would have paid you 35.. haha. j/k. Doesn't sound like you have the proper uninstall tools on there. Try AML's free registry cleaner & defrag tools. Also is he not using Firefox?

The registry cleaner has an uninstall tool. Avast is also a good free antivirus program.

In reply to an earlier post on May 12, 2014 4:36:59 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 12, 2014 4:38:50 PM PDT
S. Davis says:
I would have taken $35..haha! n/k Thanks for the suggestions! This all popped up right around the time of the Heartbleed bug (I had read about it several weeks before the net went crazy about it) and I was a little leery of downloading anything from any site that I was not familiar with. I finally got it cleaned up, but I'm pretty sure there's still some stuff on it that needs to go. I did find AML with a Google search, so thanks again.
Yep, we are long time Firefox users. IE leaves a bad taste on in my mouth! But am I missing something with Firefox, do they have tools you can use? There was a time when I knew a whole lot more about PC's, but I've forgotten most of it! I'm so used to no hassles with the set-up, and really no problems, that this crap really, really made me mad! And that's the "G" version! Thank you for taking the time to reply!

Posted on May 13, 2014 1:51:51 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 13, 2014 1:52:43 PM PDT
Ziegmont says:
The software you describe is usually referred to as 'Bloatware' not 'Malware.' Yes, it's a pain to deal with, but that's what low dollar package stuff gets you (preinstalled trial software off sets the lower price). There are good, "free" programs to uninstall bloatware, check your favorite forum. I would start out by loading a thumb drive with Piriform's "cCleaner," Iobit's "MalwareFighter2," "DriveBooster," "Uninstaller" and "SmartDefrag", then AVG's "Antivirus Free". BEFORE EVER PLUGGING INTO INTERNET install 'cCleaner' (it has an uninstaller), and uninstall as much as you can! Then install 'SmartDefrag' and run it, then install the others. Now go on line, run 'DriveBooster' and the others and repeat uninstalls as needed to get the crap out. Piriform has another great FREE program called "Speccy" that shows you your hardware and how it's performing. Computers take work, but if you can't start from scratch you'll have to put in a little time to get the biggest bang for your buck, it's just to be expected. Enjoy

In reply to an earlier post on May 13, 2014 4:30:53 PM PDT
S. Davis says:
Thank you for all of that great information. Although we all ready have this PC on the Internet, it sounds like this might be something I want to do, just to do a little tune-up on all 3 PC's. I get some "high power usage" (or something to that effect) alerts on my other HP Desktop very occasionally and I have no idea why. I'm not doing anything differently on those days than any other day, so it's puzzling. I'm not a gamer so it is not that. LOL, I know it is called Bloatware, however it was so malicious, that's all my brain could figure out at the time! As I said in an earlier post, I was able to buy a Kindle Paperwhite for about $30 more to have an ad-free version. That is totally worth it to me, I wish they would adopt this payment model on PC's to. People like my husband, who have really never used computers before, would be totally flummoxed and either return it (like he wanted to do) or spend several hundred dollars taking it to a PC shop! Thanks again!

In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2014 7:02:52 PM PDT
Neil Commenator's correct, those are good tools to start with. I'd also recommend using Malwarebytes Anti-Malware and AdwCleaner (v3.210 is the latest version) to ensure you've removed all traces of crap. Another good Iobit program worth considering is Advanced SystemCare 7. It's got numerous "cleaning" features, but it's best to be conservative on using this if you're unfamiliar with areas that it wants to "fix." I've used it for years with no problem, but some have reported problems when it's fixed problems within the registry.

That being said, I'm seriously considering this computer, as my HP is becoming a heat source heading into summer (in Florida). A lightning strike took out the motherboard years ago, and since then it's always run hot (but still is a strong box...hate to give it up).

Good luck helping hubby get tech-savvy. ;-)
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