This is about par for the course with HP I'd say. We purchased a DL570 that ran about $42k with all the options, and the SPI board died which will cause the system to lock on boot with a red screen indicating a dump of the error, mem addresses etc. This is at the VERY beginning of the POST. Hence, no operating system has even attempted to load as the disk controller cards hadnt even been init'd yet or even the RAM test finished. I called HP to get their 24/7 8 hour response time hardware replacement support and spent over 2 hours on the phone with a retard in india trying to tell me that this screen only occurs on VMware ESX server and that the problem was with software. (This machine is running Windows Server 2003 btw, and I told him this at least 50 times)
But it was a lost cause. In the end I had to insult him AND HIS SUPERVISOR to get some intelligent life, which finally agreed to send a support tech out, who arrive from the local depot which is 3 1/2 hours away, with the part they TOLD him he needed and was not allowed to bring others, to arrive and know IMMEDIATELY from the screen he was looking at what the problem was and couldnt understand why the moron on the other end of the phone in india couldnt get what was going on.
So HP support is jacked to say the least, and that was the level of support I got when buying their BEST warranty. I can only imagine what home users would get.
Amendment to that post: He didnt have the SPI board he had the "Main Board" which is more or less just a series of interconnects, which was fine. He had to drive 3 1/2 back to get the part, then 3 1/2 back to my site just to fix it. Meanwhile I have a major DB conversion and software upgrade this server was the epicenter of, which was then dead for over 16 hours. **** HP.