Lately I'm convinced HP is the king of writing stupid software. I've been evaluating a HP 2710p tablet pc for a couple months now, and not terribly impressed with it. One big negative is HP Update. I installed this assuming it would grab the latest drivers for me, and make life easier.
In fact it's updated itself three times now, and each time the only updates were for… HP Update. Two security updates for HP Update, and the latest release 4.0.11 which fixes "minor defects".
That's fairly annoying, but it seems that a "minor defect" also included an update to HP Health Check. As far as I can tell, HP Health Check is totally useless. What the new version does is bind itself to the Ctrl+Shift+C hotkey combo. If you use Outlook a lot you may recognize this as the Create New Contact keyboard shortcut. There's no doubt in my mind that I'd rather run a Health Check on a laptop 4 or 5 times a day than create a new contact.
Lessons for Application Developers
- First off, don't use global hotkeys.
- If you insist on using global hotkeys, allow the user to change or remove them.
- If you're not going to allow the user to change or remove a hotkey, allow the user to uninstall the offending program.
- Periodically check out the Google Search results for the name of your program. If they're all complaints or mostly negative, perhaps it's time to address some issues.
- In the same vein if there are a large number of results for "Your Program's Name useless", pay attention.
- And never, ever bundle new applications with an update for different software.
Removing HP Health Check
There's no option to remove this crap from Add/Remove Programs, the start menu, the program's directory, or in any of the HP utilities. Luckily I never deleted \swsetup\ from this computer after I installed everything, and I was able to find the HP Active Support Library installer in c:\swsetup\sp36082 and another copy (huh?) in c:\swsetup\sp39157. The uninstall works for both of them. Reboot, hit Ctrl+Shift+C again and acknowledge that the target of a shortcut is missing and should be deleted. After that you'll be able to create new contacts with the hotkey combo in Outlook again.
Per Brad in the comments, there is an easier way. Find the shortcut for HP Health Check and get its Properties. I'm no longer running my HP Tablet, but aside from the name the properties dialog will be the same. Click in the Shortcut key text box and press the Delete key to clear the hotkey combo. Click OK and you should have freed up the Ctrl+Shift+C hotkey combination.