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Hardware or Software problem


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#1
GV25

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I'm helping out a friend with his fairly new laptop. It's a hp pavilion zv5000 laptop, Windows XP, Athlon 64 chip, etc. It's a really nice laptop. He got it within the last 6 months.
Lately it's been doing something I've never heard of before and I can't figure out if he should just take it back because it's hardware or if it's some sort of problem with windows or a virus. About every 30 seconds, sometimes more sometimes less, the computer will just lock up and you won't be able to do anything on it. You can still move the mouse around the screen but it won't change anything running. Then, after a second or two, again sometimes more and sometimes less, the screen goes black and comes back up again. It doesn't seem to interrupt anything you've been doing, and anything you did with the mouse while the screen was frozen still happens. For example, if the screen locks up and I close the window, I won't see the window close, but after the screen turns black and then comes back again, the window will have closed. Also, while I'm typing this I can keep on typing while the screen is locking up, and anything I type will be there when the screen comes back even though I couldn't see it as I was typing it.
That 30 seconds is an estimate and it seems to do it more often when the computer is working harder. And for some reason right clicking somewhere makes it do it almost every time.
I have run zone alarm's antivirus, fully updated and a few spyware checks, but they didn't find anything to fix this. Zone alarm came up with a few viruses but cleaning those didn't fix this problem.
I don't think it's overheating because it's not getting very warm anywhere. My friend's brother got an identical computer at the same time and there are no problems with that one.
I can't figure out what the [bleep] is going on. If you have any ideas, please help or ask me any questions.

Thank you very much
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#2
Retired Tech

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Does it have ATI graphics card
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#3
GV25

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Well, it has a little Nvidia sticker on it, so I'm guessing it doesn't but I'll check real quick.
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#4
GV25

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Looks like it has a NVidia GeForce4 440 Go
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#5
GV25

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Oh, one more thing. It runs fine in safe mode, no problems.
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#6
Retired Tech

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ATI have a feature which knocks windows out, it could be Nvidia have something similar, it is probably video card related if it will run OK in safe mode.

You could check you have the most recent version of the drivers, or reinstall them anyway

http://www.nvidia.co...ers/drivers.asp

They have one set for most cards
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#7
GV25

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I downloaded the drivers and tried to install them, but once it gets to the Install Wizard it says:
"The NVIDIA Setup program could not locate any drivers that are compatible with you current hardware. Setup will now exit."

I downloaded the Graphics Drivers->GeForce and TNT2->Windows XP/2000
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#8
Retired Tech

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Check the card is in properly, there is some lack of communication if Nvidia drivers cannot find the card
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#9
GV25

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This is a laptop, so it won't be as easy to check if the card is in properly. Will opening it up to check the card void a warranty or something?
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#10
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These are general tips for lock ups

http://h10025.www1.h...&dlc=en&lang=en

Step 8 is for uninstalling the card with device manager, which may help
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#11
Johanna

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Motherboard Monitor is a good way to keep an eye on temps, and I wouldn't rule out heat just yet. Another program that will allow you to see motherboard temps and a whole lot more is Everest. Have a look in your event logs, too. How much memory does the laptop have, and is it running most of the time on battery or AC? Is it blacking out more frequently on any particular software?

Johanna
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#12
GV25

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Everest has the temp at 37degrees C. I'm guessing that's the overall motherboard temp.
The laptop has 512mb of memory, it's pretty much always on the desk running on AC. And it's blacking out more frequently the longer it's on and when it's working harder, but i haven't noticed it doing it more often for certain programs.
I uninstalled and reinstalled the drivers, but that didn't change anything
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#13
Retired Tech

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Did you uninstall the adapter in device manager as well

Everest should give you 3 temps if you click sensor
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#14
GV25

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Yes I uninstalled the adapter
And for some reason, Everest is only giving me one temp. I don't know why, but all it has is the Sensor Type (it says HDD) and then temperatures, but it only gives me one. It says IBM IC25N060ATMR04-0 30 degC (86 degF)
and then nothing else. My desktop has a lot more information, including the three temps etc., but i don't know why this one doesn't.

Edited by GV25, 20 June 2005 - 09:17 PM.

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