US retailer recalls Pentium 4 machines

Best Buy Retail outlets in the US have pulled Hewlett-Packard computers loaded with Intel's Pentium 4 processor off their shelves, according to Best Buy spokesman Jim McManus.

HP Pavilion model 9795C computers from US-based Hewlett-Packard that were shipped to Best Buy locations with a Pentium 4 processor inside have been removed from the stores. Customers who purchased the systems prior to the store-level recalls are being given either refunds or rain checks, McManus said.

"Apparently there was an issue with the [Pentium 4] and the BIOS upgrade," McManus said.

"We had found out about this from HP. And I know that the Pentium 4 [computers] were taken off the shelf, but I don't have a time frame as to when they are going to be back."

Consumers trying to purchase computer systems loaded with the Pentium 4 chip at various Best Buy outlets in the US were told that Pentium 4 systems had been recalled from store shelves due to issues such as excessive heat or unusual performance, sources said.

A sales representative for Best Buy in Houston said several HP computers with the 1.4GHz Pentium 4 chip inside had been on display, but were suddenly pulled from the shelves because "they were running too fast".

"They've recalled all of them," he said.

A search for Pentium 4-powered computers on the Best Buy Web site turned up nothing. When asked about the availability of the Pentium 4, a customer representative for BestBuy.com suggested contacting the manufacturer, Intel.

Intel representative George Alfs said the Pentium 4, which has been available for just over a week, is shipping in a number of different systems at a number of retailers and that Intel is "quite happy with the initial sales". However, Alfs did say that "Best Buy had a logistical issue" with Hewlett-Packard regarding the chip and the system BIOS.

One US-based Best Buy sales representative said he was advised to remove the Pentium 4 systems from shelves due to performance issues and that all prior purchases were being returned.

Another US-based Best Buy representative said "all computers with the Pentium 4 chip have been recalled because they were overheating".

Best Buy customers are being given the option to have customer-configured computers loaded with the Pentium 4 built for them by Computer Creation Stations, which takes the custom orders and ships the product directly to the customer's home, McManus said.

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