Hewlett Packard has warned laptop customers that it has identified a design flaw in some memory modules that could "cause users to experience serious problems".
The flawed modules might result in blue screens, intermittent lock-ups or memory corruption, according to the vendor.
Eight Evo models, four Presarios and the HP Compaq Business Network nx7000 and HP Pavilion zt3000 are affected.
The company said that it uncovered the defective memory during routine testing, and stressed that the modules in question are not manufactured by HP, but were supplied by third parties.
HP promised to launch a voluntary replacement programme for customers who have purchased Compaq or HP notebook PCs with the affected memory modules. The company will swap the devices at no extra cost until the end of the year.
"We are taking immediate steps to notify customers, partners and our employees to rectify the situation as quickly as possible," said Ronald Kasik, director in the personal systems group at HP.
"While the probability of occurrence of this issue with the memory modules is low and dependent on the user's environment, we think it's important to notify our customers of this potential problem."
Analysts praised HP for owning up to the issue. "When an industry problem like this occurs, vendors often gamble and hope the user won't realise that it isn't a virus or the generic 'software problem' that has become an industry default," said Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.
"HP is one of the few companies that takes customer needs seriously and has the tools to identify and rectify the problems in a timely fashion."
More information about this issue is available here.
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