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Computer starting problem.


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#1
Jane5

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Hello. About a year a go I bought a "HP Pavilion Slimline s3100n PC" which runs on Vista. Until now, no problems at all. It runs great, I always do a virus and etc scan weekly. Then all of a sudden it refused to start properly. when I turned it on once, it froze at the "HP" blue screen (the very first one), so I turned it off and tried again, this time it froze on the black screen with the "_" blinking. So I tried once more, and it allowed me to log in. Once I logged in, it worked great, I tried troubleshooting, scanning for viruses, searching for help on the Vista and HP websites. It didn't help much, no scans found any problems. Then I restored my computer to factory settings ( because the problem continued.). Still nothing! Sometimes it turns on, other times it doesn't. Now it just freezes on one of the screens before log in, pressing F8, of F11 doesn't work. sometimes the screen that lets you access safe mode pops, but Safe Mode freezes. I don't know what to do now. Could anyone help please?
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#2
Neil Jones

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Replace the hard drive.
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#3
Jane5

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Is that the only option? Besides, what if that is not the problem? How can you be sure?

(Thanks for replying.)
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#4
Neil Jones

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Well the fact it hangs at the HP screen which is where it finds the hard drive and the fact that it doesn't even show you the Vista loading screen are two signs that the drive may be starting to become defective.

All of your symptoms point to hard drive issues. If the drive is mechanically defunct, it will pack up altogether and then you will have no option but to replace it if you want to carry on using that computer.
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#5
Jane5

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Well, it usually stops at the black "_" screen.
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#6
Jacee

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You can try the startup repair:

http://www.bleepingc...utorial148.html
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#7
Broni

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Download, and run free diagnostic tool from your hard drive manufacturer site.
Download, and run "memtest": http://www.memtest86.com/
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#8
John Hook

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Jane,

Did you install any software, hardware, updates or change anything BEFORE you computer started to behave this way? Generally, when a PC starts to "flake out" - it's because something was done to it that corrupted something.

I GOOGLED your HP model and it is a desktop PC. Typically, desktop PC hard drives don't tend to fail after only 1 year. I'm not ruling out the possibility that your hard drive has failed - but I wouldn't blindly replace it unless you know for a fact that it HAS failed.

There are MANY things that could be causing your PC to behave this way - NOT just a defective hard drive. When you power ON your PC, is the fan in the back working properly. AMD Processors run at higher temperatures than Intel processors - so proper cooling is VERY important. If the processor or power supply's fan isn't working - overheating could cause strange things to happen. Question - does this happen when you first turn on the PC or after it's been running for awhile? If it fails after it's been on for a period of time - it could be a cooling issue.

Based on your original post, I would not blindly declare what's causing your PC to flake out after only 1 year as there are MANY possible reasons. If you can provide a little more information - I might be better able to narrow down the cause. Again - the first thing to as is WHAT if anything was installed, updated, etc BEFORE your PC started to act up. 90% of the time, the problems are caused by a change made to the OS, Software or new hardware added.

The other, obvious thing, would be to contact HP and determine what kind of warrantee or support came with your PC. If you purchased an extended warrantee from the reseller, you may want to contact that reseller. Generally, having an extended mfg or reseller warantee only helps if the physical hardware fails (motherboard, power supply, hard drive, memory, etc.). If you contracted a virus or installed software that corrupted your PC - they best the reseller can do is to restore your hard drive to it's factory loaded state. If you haven't performed regular backups of your data - you won't be able to get that data back after your hard drive is re-loaded.

Again - don't blindly assume that your hard drive has gone bad. There are dozens of possible things that could be causing this. Reply with more information and I may be able to point you in the right direction.

Hope this helps.

John
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