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On OEM installations of Windows(R)

If there is anything that annoys a geek like me, it is being forced to use/do/say/think something. More so if it is useless and annoying.

I have a Compaq laptop. It came pre-installed with Windows Vista. Along with the OS came a bunch of goodies utterly useless software by HP. They were HP Health Check, HP Battery Check, HP Wireless Assistant and HP Update. I shall now proceed to attack these software one-by-one.

I start with HP Health Check. Perhaps the most annoying software of them all. It checks your PC periodically for issues(?) and then gives the most annoying pop-up of them all. It reads

HP Health Check has finished checking your PC. Click this balloon to view results.
And when you click the balloon to view the issues, most of the time, you are greeted with this message:
HP Health Check did not find any issues with your computer
Sometimes, it finds a whole bunch of drivers which are outdated. But it does not update them, nor does it give an option to select the drivers to be updated. Instead, you need to manually click on any one random issue and say fix this issue. Then wait while the driver is downloaded at speeds of 5kbps and then installed. Then repeat for the next issue.

I use Code::Blocks for coding. Now, this IDE has a useful shortcut, Ctrl+Shift+C to comment, Ctrl+Shift+X to uncomment. But what I observe is that pressing Ctrl+Shift+C opens HP Health Check everytime, and does not comment the block, which means that I need to go to Edit->Comment everytime I want to comment code. Just stupid, isn't it?

Even more annoying is that I do not see any ways to turn this annoying feature off, or even uninstall the damn software. For it is not seen in the usual uninstall programs list.

Today I finally figured out how to remove the annoying key combination. The trick is to find the shortcut to the program (in the Start Menu) and then to view its properties, and delete the shortcut key combination.

HP Battery Check is to supposedly check the health of your batteries, and advise you if calibration is required or if the battery is in poor health. Well, my battery lasts me for only an hour, and I am still being told that my battery is in good health.

HP Wireless Assistant is there to supposedly make it easier for me to create secure wireless home networks. Seriously! And why can I not secure my network the good old fashioned way? Interestingly, this software needs you to be connected to the internet to work. I wonder why that is so...

HP Wireless Assistant just misses the top spot on my list of the most useless software ever, because that position is held by HP Update software. Like Shannon's Ultimate Machine


this software simply exists to update itself.

The most annoying thing to happen then is to have driver issues installing Ubuntu, and then hear HP people say that they shall not provide drivers for Linux.

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