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HP zv5000 notebook

By shamsael ·
Windows XP, SP2

I was playing Civ4 two days ago and got a bluescreen. The computer restarted before I had a chance to read what it said.

The computer rebooted fine after that and worked until earlier this evening when I tried playing Civ4 again. The game loaded up but the screen went blank while waiting for the saved game to resume. The screen stayed blank for about 10 minutes (I was watching fox news and kept track of the time with their onscreen clock) before I tried powering down and booting again.

When I tried to boot up again, I didn't get any power to the screen. The power LED came on, the disk drive LED flashed for a few seconds, but that was it.

I went downstairs and borrowed a family-member's computer to check for solutions on the HP website. It said the problem was a BIOS issue. It recommended removing the battery and any peripherals, then attempting to boot the computer. It booted, and it further recommended running the HP software update to download a new bios.

I ran the update, but a new BIOS was not one of the options.

The first update downloaded and installed, then the computer rebooted. After restarting, it began downloading the second update but the computer froze after a few minutes. I tried moving the mouse but the cursor didn't respond, so I powered down after a few minutes of that.

When I tried restarting, once again the screen did not even power up, it just stayed dead and black.

I contacted HP support and they instructed me to reinstall the OS. When I powered on the ocmputer to open the cd-rom drive, low and behold, it booted. The computer ran for a good 3 minutes before freezing again like before. Then it refused to reboot.

Another ten minutes go by while I talk to another HP technician who tells me to enter BIOS. Rather than tell her that I can't even get the screen to light up, I humour her and suddenly it starts to boot. I enter the BIOS and she has me run the HDD scan. The screen freezes after it

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by shamsael In reply to HP zv5000 notebook

...runs the test. I turn off the computer with the OS cd in the drive to attempt to reload the OS, but again I get no power to the display.

The "technician" said I had to send it to a Certified Repair Specialist (TM) for hardware repair, but from what I've read here and on other sites, this is a common problem that those trained professionals can't fix.

The pattern seems to be that the computer boots up fine if I let it sit for ten minutes, but locks up after it's been running for a few minutes. It's not specifically a windows problem since it happens even in BIOS too.

On a side note, about six months ago one of the intake fans stopped working and hasn't worked since. To compensate for this, I've payed extra attention to make sure there was no obstruction to the remaining fan and that the computer was placed on something that would help absorb the heat.

With what little I know about computer hardware, I would venture to say that it's a heat problem with the graphics card, but I would much rather to hear the opinion of someone more knowledgable than myself.

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by shamsael In reply to HP zv5000 notebook

Point value changed by question poster.

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by mjd420nova In reply to HP zv5000 notebook

It does sound like a heat problem, not neccesarily the video card but possibly the processor. If you can get to the BIOS, double check the heat ranges to be sure they are right. Too often they have been scrambled by who knows what, but games are notorious for doing things that are not normal. I have seen this before, and it turned out to be the DMA chip on the motherboard causing the processor to go into a loop accessing the hard drive. Overheating quickly followed and intermittent performance plagued any further succesful trouble shooting. My best friend is a can of freeze spray used sparingly to locate the defective chip or device.

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by HAL 9000 Moderator In reply to HP zv5000 notebook

Well it could be a Heat Problem but it could also be related to that dead fan. This could be drawing too much power and have damaged the M'Board in this unit.

It may already be too late to save the M'Board as the damage could have already been done but as a first step I would disconnect the nonworking fan and see if this improves the situation. If it doesn't you are stuck with dismantling the unit and hitting individual IC's with some freeze spray to see it the unit starts working again.

Really whenever you run into a problem of any kind that is hardware related with any computer but especially a NB you have to have it fixed ASAP it's far cheaper to replace a dead fan than to replace the entire M'Board and then the fan as well.

You could try flashing the BIOS even if you are just replacing the same version as quite often Games can play havoc with hardware and software and this may cure your problem but that dead fan worries me and that is where I would start looking.

Col

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