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These pages cover the causes of most dead PC's. ( Laptop or Desktop (LT/DT)  At no time will Ipaq leave my lips, (trash it)
A big time related topic?, if PC is dead?,  is how to do a backup now, (all ways)!

Before working on any HP PC, know your service tag.
If you have no idea how a PC boots the serial process steps, please read this great flowchart., by Morris Rosenthal(©)
This page is for getting the hardware working, not  fixing the 3,000,000  x8 Windows REG  bits, set wrong.   (no bit flipping here, well hardly... ok, one page..)                                   
This page covers brick  dead PC, black/ blue/white screens STUCK, of all types. (and other super un-popular show stoppers) Why LAPTOP's are so hard to repair?
Who's on first ,what's on Second? (what's going on here? what really is bad, here.)

MY INDEX:  (examples are all HP)  (I try to show symptoms and solutions,  a truth table would be way too complex to make for diagnosis steps)
Learn this about electronics, that parts can be, dead, weak, wounded, intermittent or even overheat.  (try to appreciate the complexity of  the 3 billion + transistors running inside that PC case and 3+million Windows registry bytes set wrong)  See my HP Driver Secrets.
My PC I am typing on  has 3billion transistors just  in the processor and 1 billion more in my Gforce card GPU.  and more.  If you think it's just a toaster, forget that notion.
Failures  have only 2 classes, 1: Hardware and 2: Software. (HW/SW)   (the latter is child's play to rule out, for example boot to a DVD or USB stick running say KNOPPIX LIVE and see your PC run perfectly or not , just one step and OMG (oh my golly) the PC IS OK, just  windows is borked!)
PC's have VAST failure modes.Both HW and SW   (with Viruses, x10 that) Run Windows 10 for best protection.
Lets stop guessing now, and move to testing and diagnosis.

But all good techs know, power is first.  Power (voltages) must be proper and regulated and steady, or it will fail. Inside the PC are many power rails, that must be working correctly or all is lost.  (take a PC A+Certification class)
If a PC was an airplane , most would be crashed to the ground no.  (Single point failures "insane")
A PC is just  set of modules, you might replace them all 1 by 1 and find the cause?(Macro mode) But power is first. and BIOS is 2nd, the BIOS screens must work or power is gone, or  module inside is shorted.
PCs boot up in a hard serial sequence, making diagnosis easy if you learn just that 1 fact.
BOOTING means pulling yourself up by your boot straps, that is because the CPU has no instructions inside it (no software (microcode excepted), (it has intel inside (LOL)  The CPU (say and intel processor) starts this event.
The CPU automatically and always (or reset)  jumps to memory address  0xFFFFFFF ,in  (R.O.M) It is a blind jump, not a CALL. (see boot sequence here)  if  tech learns how boots work , diagnosis is vastly more easy.
  • Power comes up, now (you pushed the power button ) (a tech uses a voltmeter, to see if power is good, and knows where to look, (lots of places)  Knows  that all LT batteries can short out, and  can cause an overload, remove it. , does it boot up now..
  • The CPU, jumps to the ROM first byte as seen above, and excutes that 1st instruction (even the 1981 IBM did this, Intel made the rule, IBM followed that rule)
  • BIOS ROM goes live (from power) The CPU is hard coded to JUMP TO BIOS now. (executes the first instruction in BIOS machine code) Study how CPUs boot... If BIOS is dead now, we look for loss of power above.  (I am not covering how UEFI boots here)
  • The BIOS now sends a HP logo to the black screen and the words ( hit ESC to enter setup) if not the PC is dead. (stop here, fix that NOW) see Black screen of death page now.
  • BIOS  P.O.S.T  happens (see errors?) Called Power on SELF tests. Beep codes and or  Flash codes, heed them. BIOS can also JUMP to F11 files. (HP recovery) If and only if you pushed the F11 key at power on.
  • BIOS > boot order,   the BIOS order page , tells it what to try to boot to first. Some PC can start at #1 device and find the first bootable device that can boot. (it can walk the list to even a bootable Flash stick) We can also change this order, or use F9 key to force order.
  • This is when BIOS ends, the process now is taken over by Windows totally, (The Windows startup files now execute and windows loads the log in screen,  the reset of the code is all Windows OS running.  Many PCs fail here if the HDD is bad.
That was a short readers digest version of the PC boot flow. (there are no lack of documentation on the boot process) now my list of symptoms and problems common to PCs.  I offer things that are obviously wrong to the owner and what to do  about them. (dead things)
  1. Overheating , Did you ever clean your PC? yet.
  2. Lost your password?, any  and all see here.
  3. The  Black screen of death BSOD
  4. I think, only the screen is dead (monitor or display)
  5. BSOD's  Blue screens of death with funny geek like messages in white  text ? or even  new  W10 BSOD's
  6. Why not to run W10 or upgrade any  PC older than 2006. (Intel/AMD)
  7. blank.
  8. The top failures on all LT are Bad battery main, (remove it and test PC),then  the CCFL lamp goes dead or dim or yellow in the screen or the dead (weak) COIN CELL.
  9. My BIOS screens are all  Dead ?  (on demand ESC F9 and F11 are dead keys at power on? )
  10. The all white screen, no matter what?        or see  dim screens or sleep mode.
  11. You got funny lines in the screen?, usually a bad screen , this.
  12. Windows 10 upgrade (or? clean installed) killed my PC (HP has the answer) (hint, never upgrade any PC without asking HP first if it's ok. (ok?)
  13. The desktop has this PSU , power supply unit, also contained here is a  cure for  CMOS NVRAM issues (or that pesky Coin Cell battery)
  14. The laptop battery can fail , the power pack can fail  or   The charger chip chip in the MOBO can fail  (or models can short)

  15.  PC Beep codes or new HP flashing lights  codes.  (these are BIOS errors, because it  discovered catastrophic system failures! learn to read the codes ) { a vast complex topic due to vast numbers of BIOS used since 1979, endless it is}
  16. Windows only is dead,  when we see text from BIOS on the screen and the BIOS works on all screens work,  then WINDOWS IS DEAD or corrupted.(The first windows screen is login, is that dead?)
  17. Windows runs but has errors so I , I look for corrupted windows files, with SFC (knowns as "System File Check")  {healing wounded windows is crazy complex, re-install it and see if that fixed it,  or A/V scans, or HDD tests, and more}
  18. IF Window is dead the F11 key is your best way forward (data is backed up) power on , hammer F11. tap tap tap bam , recovery processes.
  19. BIOS FLASHING.
  20. See my beyond BIOS fails and cures.           (even a bad HDD?)

  21. Why is BIOS so hard to understand? (it is only firmware)
  22. What in the world is CMOS or NVram.
  23. Get rid of XP , XP is a Virus Magnet !
  24. (Buy a used CHEAP PC, > a Windows 7 PC of any kind is easy to find used,  and has full support. (cheap new monitors too)
  25. Virus scans?
  26. To test  most of a system (even HDD missing/removed) use a live boot CD(or media) or better a USB Stick UDisk. (Windows 10 PE?)  for the price of 1 USB stick. If this works the PC is ok.

  27. Next is to Backup your data ( in a PANIC ?)
  28. If the above checks are good , and live CD test passes,  but the HP Windows install media fails !, then  the HDD is TOAST  see how to run the Linux drive tests here.
  29. Last is more dead things,  my short  list of odd things that love to die in Windows...
  30. Windows Fresh installs?    or see my bad Windows page, and F11 cures.
  31. Odd facts about  windows installer program disks (setup.exe)  (warning XP asks for  floppy disk, driver, good luck there, hitting F6)
  32. Cloning a boot HDD to SSD drive.
  33. Devices are dead?  I look in Device Manager below,  and it is missing and PnP can't fix it? and I have no idea which chip is there? , what can I do?,  Use the chip sniffer  program to find it
  34. Windows 10 driver issues. (chip set issues)
  35. NOISE?  Lots of ways to get noise, in fact all PC's  make noise (with fans or HDD) but what if it's ABNORMAL.

  36. UPgrades / great links and facts on Defunct chip makers .  UPGRADE can and do fail, all the time.  Some are not even curable.
  37. Why is my  OS Slammed? (HP built your PC but some bad guy killed all that great HP structure.!) and now covering my UEFI/GPT pitfalls
  38. My internet   dead?
  39. My external HDD (or SSD) when dead? tests?, or how build a better one or fix yours?
  40. My Windows install  disk or usb memory install stick will not boot.
  41. I rebuilt my cheery switch  keyboard.

Where is the Device Manager DM is in the control panel, but on XP it's hidden. (I will avoid this old way hidden and use....)
(first the short  cut to it)  We go here to see if Devices are dead or sick.
In the run box type (paste) this. %systemroot%\system32\devmgmt.msc
On my PC just pasting devmgmt.msc,  in the run box works too.

or find My_Computer, anywhere, on desktop or in the start menu.
To Open device manager (can apply  to all windows versions): On The Windows Desktop, Right Click My Computer (w10 is "This PC", selecting properties and then select hardware tab and then click device manager.
Windows 10 the control panel always has DM right there every day.  Where it belongs, until soon to be moved to windows NEW 10 settings MENU (sigh) "so they say"
DM must show the device that is failing, the DM device can be missing (no driver present) red marks, or yellow marks, colored marks are bad signs.
If you are connected to the internet, as you must be, then Window can PnP find this missing driver (if lucky) If you have a bad driver, you right click it in DM and update it. 
The worst cases is no working wifi or no Ethernet chip .  If the wifi driver is dead use the CAT/5/6_RJ45, "Ethernet" cable to the router and now connected to the internet, get the missing wifi driver, (or the reverse of this,if WIFI works)
Do know that some chips have no driver at all for some OS.  That is a fact. (for example this old XP box, has old chips and not one has a driver for Windows 7,  so can not be upgraded ever) (I am and expert at finding drivers ! but is not rocket science at all..)


Is your screen is black ,    My BLACK SCREEN PAGE IS HERE.
or just  a DIM BULB ...



B.I.O.S:  (no matter if called, "Setup" by HP or UEFI today) 
In all cases , BIOS must work at all times, at power on button, on demand by you or you PC is dead or has lost all power.

First off the screen must not be dead. (bad monitor, dead CCFL , if the screen not once  shows a line of text then the screen is dead, or power is lost) (on a LT remove the main battery first)
BASIC input output System:
Aka, as BIOS or the newer name UEFI (and vastly more secure and complex)
BIOS is located in ROM and is FIRMWARE or Software in Silicon,  the chip is EEPROM memory called FLASH®  Flash EEPROM does not need uV light to erase it, like back on the first EPROM days of HP PC 1984 (first laptop)
Its called flash because its electrically erases and then can be burned fast. (a double flash feature , if you will)
This chip with code inside, X86 code, always runs first.  (in Real mode) I do not cover UEFI.
This ROM code runs first and is what    BOOT STRAPPING  means, the ROM runs Power on self tests then boots to the HDD#0 (default)  BIOS boots what ever in on your HDD/SDD. If Windows is there it boots windows, or linux or freedos. what ever.
The BIOS has a  boot order page,  that decides, what media, is to boot up first,  it and only IT decides this and is your choice.(means go there and look)
The PC can also roll the boot, if one media  fails it tries the next.  (BIOS logic does this since 1979) (the first systems needed a setup.exe program to reach BIOS, PC x86s back in the glory DOS days)
To get to the BIOS screen is easy, power on and hammer the ESC key (HP only , and last 10 years for sure)

This is what I call screen one, this is BIOS, (ESC the push F1 key INFO page screen . 
The number 1 killer of BIOS isa  bad PSU., or dead 19vdc power pack. 
On any LT , remove the battery first and see if the whole system is ok now. , if not make sure power pack is not dead.
 

 (I can do this on the built in screen or  the external VGA port or my HDMI port., all 3 ways work here.!!!)

 Is BIOS DEAD?  and the screen is always black?, that is Black screen of death failures.   not Microsoft windows   blue screens of death.(XP loves to BSOD at the drop of a hat)
If you see text at power on,  that means BIOS is talking to you, it will always invite you to press hot keys, mine asks for ESC.
This must come up, as seen here, if it's dead, but the Rear VGA is screens are good, then the internal screen is bad, if both are dead, the VGA chip/card is bad or power pack no good.
Alway test a laptop with the battery out, at the first sign of trouble, they like to short out cells inside, is why and shorted like this can overload the power structures inside the PC.
There are 2 issues, here, a shorted battery (Bad) or a bad power pack.
First remove the battery, the main battery,  if you tiny notebook has no battery hatch (next time shop more wisely) then pull off the back is the HP service guide instructs you. (batteries do short)
Then if the PC run , sans battery the battery is was bad end story
if the PC  dead (means BIOS 100% DEAD) the power pack is bad. 10v bad, 19v good. see? 0v dead. buy a new pack, its 10x cheap than any labor charge to fix worse failures inside any laptop.
The fact is many things can kill BIOS DEAD:
  • battery shorted. (take out, ok now?  yes, bingo)
  • coin cell dead.  (the time of day clock fails and so will BIOS fail)
  • Power pack dead.19vdc good .  18v min>?  On a desktop the PSU is dead.
  • Mobo bad. (motherboard)
  • CPU/GPU bad or screen dead. or its CCFL lamp dead.
  • All modules connected to the mobo can be shorted, we remove them 1 by 1 to learn if one is shorting out the power rails. (mine has 6 or more modules even a VGA card)
  • A Ram stick shorted, or dead. test them 1 by 1,  and at least 1 must be good.
  • The power pack as it enters the LT, can fail, (breaks) A simple voltmeter check 19vdc shows this is the case. Fix that now .
  • Some bad-guy,  erased the BIOS ROM (best is leave it alone !)
  • The CPU can overheat in seconds and shut off, this happens with the heatsink fall off, the fan went dead, or the heat sink compound underneath it got hard then cracked, rendering the HS useless and instant oveheating.

See my  INFO, screen below (obviously the screen is NOT DEAD nor black)
 This is the first page a technician pulls up,  to see if some parts are missing, there is a memory check here and HDD test. Do that? Mine below is a nice i7.


 
Photo 1: BIOS INFO SCREEN F1,, I pressed ESC at power on, then pressed F1.  BINGO. 
(the history of HP only,keys are "enter BIOS" keys are F1,F2,F10 and ESC, keys  in chronological order by generational years) Read your book on your PC and it covers this. 

This section is to cover boot order only not DEAD BIOS that  topic is fully covered here.

If you want a good used LT the above, is very very good quality. HP 8540w . (it's not potato chip thin and fail like new note books are)

I will now show a few screens to you can see HOW HP does this. The HDD can be unplugged and these pages all work.
Here is my BIOS, boot screens, full setup mode. ALL PCs have this, some less choices but all have these basic screens (menu's BIOS).  RTM , read the manual, it's all there,to show hot keys your PC uses.
As you can see my BIOS is really UEFI certified, and is  complex secure boot and rules, that I do not cover, I avoid it and use good old MBR boots.  I later added a 2nd SSD to the Upgraded DVD bay and run 2 SSD's, now. (SSD caddy I have)
If the HDD will not boot look here first.  and run the HDD test on page 1.
As you can see I have MBR boot set called LEGACY by HP. ( I like MBR best)
If my HDD goes South, (fails) I boot to a UDIsk, Udisk is USB memory stick with LINUX or Windows PE, LIVE (w7/w8 & w10 I have ready 24/7-365) to do that I push F9 at boot (power on) and change to that on the fly or it go to the screen above and move USB hard drive  to top line.
My HP calls the USB STICKS like this.
Note carefully here, I can put Linux on my 2nd drive and boot there any time I want.  (upgrade bay on mine has a DVD removed and caddy there, with 2nd SDD drive there, running any OS I WANT)  
CD-ROM means DVD in my case, can be bluray too, BD drive. (optical drive is better name, sure)
Hints on topic:-
This PC has  SD card slot (Camera flash card) and can boot lightening fast off a video grade SD card.  (or load and OS using this very very fast port slot !!  And advanced trick !)
One could remove the HDD and boot to the SD forever, running say LINUX live boot.  (yes,  there are lots of fancy and fun things you can do ) and never get a VIRUS again, due to each boot runs the LIVE OS as DAY  1 clean.
One can also run a Virtual OS and gain the same protections at every boot. Virtual-box? (I run Ubuntu 17 that has only 1 exploit listed, and run it under w10 -Hyper-v option, I use this for banking only 2 clicks and bam Ubuntu runs.. from W10, love it.)
end boot order and related topics.
Installs?
If you can not Install Windows from any boot device, do this, first.
  •  BIOS SECURE BOOT is turned on. (so turn it off, and make the device you want , first in boot priority or use the F9 key to do boot on the fly)  Secure boot blocks booting from non normal, HDD/SSD.
  • The legacy boot order set correctly and BIOS  USB boot devices turned on for USB and for CD/DVD.
<< Legacy on, and secure boot off.  Now you can boot a DVD or STICK.



Getting HELP?:  SERVICE TAGS; To get help?, know what your tag states !
When asking for help online or even on any of HP's many forums , you need to tell the helpers your service TAG model information.
1 example of 1000's:
This is  DV5 (one of 9 generations, near endless expanded !) and is 1250US,  the US means for the united states. 
Note the name Pavilion, can be desk or laptops with same name, so means little. (All that matters is what YOUR tag shows, not mine)
Not only that but some Pavilions are Laptop others are Desktops,  (confused yet?) Tell the helper,what you have, say "I have a laptop with tag, info of..." bla bla" and win.
As see bottom of LT. See this?

HP 17 (wifes)  see that e67cl there,  that number matters to get any help at all.  the  xxxxxxxxxxx#ABA number can be useful for buying parts on the hp parts surfer pages.
that p/n product , ending and #ABA is important too.

Clearly the DT has  TAG seen here or on any of its sides. This is  DESKtop Pavilion, unlike any Laptop Pavilion.
My PC,  this is my Elitebook LapTop. (with serial nums neutered.)   This and most laptops can have 5 network chips , 3 sound chips,  and 3 video cards used as options, (knowing all 3 lines here is the key) Only sometimes is the serial needed. 

Some PC were produced for many years, and actual parts inside varied. (to a tech this is important, for matching drivers ) to many users , all PC's  look the same, (a DT or LT) and is totally wrong thing... It's not a toaster.

For HP help?

BEYOND BIOS:
BIOS IS OK, now but what about Windows , or  HDD failures (step by step)
Then Windows cures. (Refresh , startup fix, and a   fresh load of Windows) (all HP solutions)
Next up, is BIOS boots okay? ,  The BIOS decides what it boots, this is no APPLE  puter.
SEE HERE TO RECOVER DATA FIRST.

The modern PC can boot from HDD, SDD, CDROM, DVD, USB memory stick and even SD card.(seen in Camera's) My HP has "Integrated Media Card Reader with SD, MMC, MS, MSpro, xD, Memory Stick Duo support"
If say ,you got to thinking "what if my Windows was dead", you  could just pop up, good old BIOS and tell it to boot to CD. (or stick) 
My lap top as a hot key just for that F9 (power it on, and SPAM the F9 key)  SPAM is kids talk for hit it over an  over like a nut.
My BIOS I can add to the F9 list, do so now.
I use Knoppix boot media.
CD and DVD are  dead technology now (cardboard thin PCs),  so we use LIVE CD ISO on USB MEM. sticks and boot from sticks today. See how to use Ubuntu live here.
Better for testing is Knoppix.

In my technicians tool kit, I have the above, and Window7 or 8  PE live and Windows 10 PE live. (boot CD and a boot USB STICK. HP calls this Udisk.)   My favorite disk of all is here,  at Mr. Gandalf's pages
If I use any of those live CD or LIVE ISO boot sticks (F9'd) I can see ,that the whole PC is ok, and that my HDD or OS is bad..
I can run HDD tests on my Udisk boot and memory tests and even go online with Firefox and run ESET.com powerful portable offline, AV scanner, and malwarebytes scans and more.
The HDD tests are  ok? See THIS advanced why of testing the hard disk drive.
Proving that you have a boot problem, or bad HDD or dead OS.
Lets say the LIVE boot disc (or udisk stick) works great.
That means the HDD is bad or the OS on it is corrupted. (XP dead is normal now it's a virus magnet extereme..
If the HDD/SSD tests pass, seen in link above. Then OS is bad.

OS corruptions:?
If just Windows is dead or sick see this page here.

HP has a newer software package for diagnosis that does this called,  the HP Support Assistant (download it)

White Screens of death?, WSOD?

Not to be confused with lines on the sceen even in BIOS,  that is a BAD CLD display panel. (unless its Solder ball failure)
The GPU chips on all 2008 love to do this, (the 2008 year solder ball problem) or a bad screen. (caused by USA new laws on LEAD solder used on CHIPS)
If the VGA rear port  may work ok on laptop but not the built in LCD screen  or the side port for HDMI works plugged in to a TV,  then it may be just the screen but will cost you $100 for your new internal LCD screen (DIY cost ,no labor)
If the GPU solderballs are bad. get a used MOBO off EBAY. (replace the  mother board)
If like me , a HP 8540 Elitebook a used GPU card slides in, card is like $20 used off Ebay.
The cables can come loose to the screen , yes inside LT.  Check them out, re-seat them.
On a desk top the Video card comes out, if not turn off the MOBO mounted chip,  in BIOS and then add a new Video card in a PCI slot and turn it on in BIOS,then do tests .
If you have  dead external screen try it on another PC, to test any suspect screen.
The Desktop high performance Gaming Video cards have an auxiliary ATX-12v(EPS)DC power jack and cable to the PSU, if it fell off, then VGA will FAIL. (or you forgot use a PSU  with this optional  EPS feature?)
The screen stuck dim or went to sleep?

Why are Laptops so hard to fix: (easy questions no?) (Compared to a real desktop DT) { I only use my LT on Vacation }
  1. They are not standardized like wonderful desktops are via ATX spec. That means parts are all custom made and only fit this EXACT Laptop. (3 exceptions, CPU,HDD and DIMM sticks, are shared between many makers of PC, but are not generic in any way)
  2. Desktops are more modular. I can add in cards to it, to replace things that don't work right or to expand., the Laptop is less flexible in this way.  On my DT , I can put in a new video card to upgrade Video performance, even run $60 games.
  3. The Desk top has a standard PSU, seen here.
  4. The Internal Display can't just be swapped in 1minute flat, like all DT can be done,  making dead screens very hard to test. (but most LT have an External VGA 15p jack to try)
  5. Just because the rear VGA works?,  it only means there is Video to  at least the VGA 15pin jack.(there is a 1 chip buffer difference from inside to outside video that can fail.{but is unlikely to do so} If VGA jack works most times the screen is bad inside.
  6. The Laptop is very hard to disassemble.  Some are extra hard, many require the Processor to be removed, before the case lid comes off. (means the thermal heat sink thermal compound is now rendered useless, and needs to be replaced)
  7. Some LT made in Japan are a true horror. In that it has screws then MAGIC pry points to get it to snap apart then breaks before you can get it right. A horror. Never by NON USA LAPTOPS.
  8. The HP power pack is custom, but any 19vdc 100watt pack can work great on any HP LT.  Sold everywhere as HP cloned packs, so is never a problem to find one. (pin size matters, bow) The DELL pack is useless... in any HP.
  9. The LT  can have great BIOS diagnosis tools,  memory tests, boot options even mine has  F9 key to let me boot to all things possible attached to my LT, even a USB disk stick, or XD picture card
  10. Laptops overheat easy (with fast processors) and love to suck in lint and clog the fan or vents so easy.    (or failed Heat sinks)
  11. Most laptops do not have a Video card,  (my HP8540w/p  does , most don't), yours is a hard soldered GPU chip , on board, so you can't just unplug it , to replace it to see if that was the problem can we.? NO.
  12. Lap tops are fragile, and are easy to damage,  for sure used in a very mobile way.  The new HP  Spectre x360, is so very very frail now,  so thin and so easy to bend and damage, I hate it. (but that is what you get with 1/2 the weight of my Elitebook)
  13. Not only that, but the ,most newer LT the battery no longer just tips out and comes out in 1 second flat, no,  its  big job, and those batteries love to fail and you can't just pop it out in 1sec. and see, that the LT runs great with out it can we. (This can be a 1 hour job and 1week to get the battery)
  14. The key board is custom, that means that if you spill coffee in it and kill it , then a new one is a long mail order, wait, (one can plug in any USB keyboard and that will work if the coffee  didn't go below keyboard, hummmmmmmm.......oops... boom.... kiss off major chips
  15. The laptop needs custom drivers, to make all those custom buttons you see work (from HP only). (there are other chips there that ONLY HP uses,(like HDD shock protector) finger print chip, and more. no need to list them the HP documents cover all this)


Why is BIOS so hard to understand?  (short and sweet ;can yack all day on this, but won't) {now called UEFI, it's FIRMWARE, software in SILICON it is.}
It is only the minimum intelligence in the system it runs with the HDD and DVD drive removed.  BIOS oldest and most common feature is to choose a boot device.(or pick an logical order to boot,  CD then try HDD then try stick?)
  • B.I.O.S is ROM, read only memory, it's always there, always ready to run and always has power (if not a bad power pack) , think of it as a FOUNDATION to a home.  (in fact Windows talks to it all the time, part of PnP functions)
  • All techs know,  that all MEDIA(HDD/SSD/sticks,CDrom, etc),   can be removed and BIOS runs and the screen operates, perfectly, (the BIOS has machine code (extensive) to run the screen in VGA mode, all day long. (all years of BIOS) see screen show" hit ESC key to enter BIOS?"
  • The difficulty is only due to so many makers of BIOS and styles and then makers of PCs  ,  dumbing it down on purpose.  (not   HP)  (dumbing down does not mean , missing over clocking pages)
  • BIOS evolved from 1985 to NOW.  So that confuses many.  The hot keys for BIOS are NON-standard,   (on my HP its F1,F9,F10,F11 and ESC) The fact is the most confusing to most.
  • BIOS has a boot page,  If you pull the 3v coin cell battery guessing or reading net rumor, things get worse,  but do so if the coin is bad. If the coin measures 2.9v or more in circuit tested, leave it and BIOS reset ALONE.
  • The BOOT page has (things to enable or disable) and the order to do that.(and other features sure)  My BIOS shows I have 1 SSD and 3 HDD, and BluRay DRIVE and a plugged in Udisk (a bootable USB mem. stick with windows PE on it)
  • My boot order is HDD1 (SSD with win10) and then the Stick.  if you have them both off , it will never boot .  So turn them on. (some brands of LT prevent turning off the first HDD boot, not hard to understand why, from their point of view..)
  • My BIOS has boot force mode F9, I can click the Udisk and it boots from the stick while INSIDE BIOS page ,but also on my HP Elitebook® I can hit F9 at boot time zero,  and pick any drive to boot from on the fly. (nice no?) (HDD/CD/STICK)
  • but,  the old systems far older than 10 years old (most are in land fill now) you must change the order to where you want now, Stick first? to boot to a Udisk stick or to CDROM/DVD ,  or it will never boot there. (one trick is to remove HDD to force it to boot to next in line)
  • Last and not the least is the El Torito spec, (Intel/MS/IBM) , where you must hit (anykey , or space) to boot to CDROM.  if not?,it will skip booting from CD. (there is a valid reason for this , allowing MS install to boot through on 2nd boot , of install process.!  or fails.. to install...!)
  • That is all I will do on BIOS, in the first years, I run modified BIOS (my code added) to have a password , long before any other makers of BIOS offered it... 1985
  • To learn your BIOS hot keys, RTM, read the manual , found at HP.com (or yours)  The service manuals cover this. (or ask on their great forum)
  • My HP 8540w can run HDD tests.  see? from BIOS screen. (I believe it's a non destructive test, uses a temp file) There is RAM test too. Seen as RUN in test below.
  • Many think flashing a new BIOS every month is smart or wise, no sorry its dumb,  all you need to get wrong is the SSID and bam , you nuked a good mobo. Here are the steps,  good luck wrecking your MOBO.
  • Warning 2, is that flashing the BIOS on a Elitebook or Probook is a 1 way trip, it can not be regressed by you, and for sure direct HP intervention you your folly to do this and do it wrong or for funllll.
This HDD test is super simple, it's by no means EXTENSIVE, at all."trivial is the word"
A better test for any HDD is to put it in another PC (as disk2) and run checkdisk on it. (after all your PC is dead) so..
The best test on a HDD is a complex pattern test, and it erases the whole drive, (like this pattern of data, AAhex, 55hex. over and over. end to end. (we call that data and data bar)
At other PC, go to CP + Admin tools + Computer management + Disk-management. (see your drive now?) good. It's not totally dead.
 Right click it , and pick properties. and pick tools tab + check drive, and scan drive. (a forced scan its not destructive at all)
I used the long path there so you learn how to, and learn that its not missing,in step 4
Trick 2,  if the OS is known dead, or bad, or infected you can delete its partition now.
Trick 3, run A/V scans on this sick (if) drive,  there are over 50 scanners to run , on the web. Called online web scans. Many you specify the drive letter to scan. (if missing letter, add one in disk management)

MORE DEAD things.?
  • Dead key board?, try a USB external key board at all USB jacks? (desk top or lap) (on my LT, 2 USB 3 ports are dead, because I forgot to load the USB 3 drivers, silly me)
  • Dead mouse?, if wireless mouse try a new battery in the mouse yet?, and try all USB ports.? Same with wireless keyboards, it has a battery to make the magic work.
  • Dead VGA jack, did you press Fn key F4 (Fn+F4) means together? to enable it , mines on  AUTO mode.
  • The newer THIN HP notebooks "Specre" have no VGA jack, so uses a DONGUL. so you will need this for diagnosing say a dead LT screen.
  • If not using HP install disks , many drivers will be missing, and so will USB3.  On mine. The HP.com page has all  25+ drivers there, why not go there get them and load them, and win, or better yet use the REAL HP install media !!!
  • Dead Sound, did you check the ear bud/phone jacks yet?  and that the sound chip drivers are ok and loaded and correct from HP?
  • Did you  go to CP control panel, and click device manager, and see all those messing or messed up drivers?  (connect to internet and right click each bad drive, by name , and UPDATE driver,
  • All this worked when the PC was new,  why not do a F11 restores (older PC's F10)  full HP refresh, this only works of the HDD is good, and never was erased. (or you let Microsoft update your OS and wrecked what you had day one, for HP support)




The power supply unit, used on all DT PC's called the PSU.
This is  DT, PSU diagnosis page, that even shows how power on works, using old documents from Intel.

Desktop ATX spec supply, modern !  (there are 20pin (old) and 24 pin versions)
These supples go to the MOBO and the MOBO has a set of voltage regulators too that can fail.
 For example the CPU core runs on 0.55 to 1.52vdc needs a MOBO reg. to do that. (with sleep mode) One must consider these parts can fail too. (and know the MOBO can detect a failure of its, regulator and then tell the PSU to shut down.)
We use a volt meter,  to check each of the rail lines listed above, for proper voltage and we check for noise. ( "tech training 101")
A LT has no PSU, the LT uses a totally unique power structure and is NOT STANDARDIZED at all.

Who's on first, what's on second?
Any time , if any PC messes up, it can only be 2 things.
  • Hardward (my whole page covers this read on.)
  • Software. (infections, corruptions abound)  If  one App. is bad, reload it or try a better one , if Window's messes up, re-Install it, using HP media  or the F11 magic restore hot key, documented fully at HP.com)
  1. If it don't mess up battery removed (LT) then the battery is bad, but that is hardware, and all batteries, love to fail, and often.  (If a PC lasts 20 years? how many batteries is that, 10?) All batteries are weak technology, in the life span department.  Note the massive RECALLS on topic.
  2. If you reload, Windows,  and it still fails, (using REAL HP install disks, per the HP page covering this act) then the hardware is bad. (Modern HP PCs the F11 key can reload the OS,  F11 instantly pressed at power on button turned on)
  3. If you use  CD boot, running LINUX LIVE or the great Windows PE LIVE,  (I have W7/8/10 ready at any time) and this works then the hardware is good, (well the HDD can be bad in this case, so do step 2 above to prove HDD/SDD is ok.,
  4. If running Window's XP,  why in the world do that?.
  5. If the RTC , real time/date clock or BIOS settings scramble up, that is a bad COIN cell.  they last 2 -7 years, on par, get rid of it. replace it. This is HARDWARE.  LT coin,    DT coin.
  6. If the Screen has funny lines, the screen is bad. This is hardware bad.  If your screen looks like this, keep the trolls/kids away from you PC.
  7. If the Screen only works like this with a flash light, the black LAMP IS DEAD ! That is a hardware fix.
  8. If you can not reach your BIOS screen using YOUR  BIOS hot key (mine ESC)  then that is a hardware failure, in almost all cases power failure of some kind, (see black screens page)



How to tell if my Hard Disk Drive is HDD is bad?, a Fixed-Disk-Drive.

See my  HDD testing  page (and how to build a Knoppix test disk or stick)


I've seen every type of HDD failure now, in 40 years as a Computer tech. (I'm retired now, 100%)   I am hardware guy,  software to me, is like fashion clothes. (changes daily and is boring now....)

ODD facts to know about PCs':
Coin button cells:
Lithium Coin cell facts: spec. is 3 to 3.4v open circuit voltage, new. and 1 year old.  at room temp (coin cell spec) Keep in mind all PCs have (low Vf,)diode inside from this 3v cell to the NVram. so the RAM may only see 2.6v, new battery.   (3v new)
The service life max of   COIN-Cell 2032 is 7 years (up to) less PC parked in the trunk of a car. (and worse in Texas, LOL)  worse imported from China coin cell clones, and be horrible quality (and life) Buy a top brand sold here.
The COIN runs many things inside the PC, not just CMOS backup power.
The NVRAM  memory can drop out at 2v. The RTC uses this coin cell to not forget time,day,year, (etc) RTC= real time clock chip (hidden deep in  U23 in my PC) in addition so storing your BIOS configuration data, (all)
The NVram chips  lowest retention voltage (on avg) is about 1.5v. (about) depends on who's chips are actually there in ALL CASES.
Some RTC chips drop the data at 2.2v. (use these facts as your guide lines)  I use 2.9v, and bam it's in the trash, (err hazmat center)  (oh btw, by the way, Microsoft OS goes nuts with Certificate errors, if the RTC is set to wrong date/times) "read double trouble here"



The DO not list:   (do I need so say no soda drinks spilled on the key board?)
Do not run any LT on a blanket locking air vents. (in fact clean those vents often)
Do not upgrade to W7 or W10 unless HP says its ok, to do so and has matching drivers,  or it's not going to work well.  Why kill HP support?
Do not listen to MS.com telling you , to upgrade, IGNORE THEM , (They got into big  trouble doing that.. bad act on W10)
Never hot swap cards of any kind,  means with power applied or battery (LT main battery) still in the system.  (hot swapping USB cables and USB things, is totally ok , by DESIGN)
Same goes for removing DVD drive. (CD) (all power removed) let it sit for 5 full minutes then play.
Never use the wrong power pack on a LT, use the correct voltage and watts, try to know there can be up to 3 watts ratings  used from just one model LT,  on mine the fastest GPU and fasted i7 CPU needs the 100w supply or it fails. (double fast , double the heat and power needed)
On a desktop do not run under powered, PSU's ever. (use same Ampere rating   or more , on every line)  The $ cost of the PSU tells you what is junk and not , mostly, 500 watts or more is wise to buy, I run 800s.  The Cheapest PSU is mostly just pure junk. $15 is a Junker.(new)
Do not forget to get a real honest to Diety , HP media   install KIT disks (seen below) for you LT,  or better the ISO files and keep them backed up.  Or you will be sorry later. All PC's get infected.
Get said drivers and install kits, before the 10 year rule, happens and you get NO  HP SUPPORT.

What is an ISO, it's a FILE  image of  CDROM install disk from Microsoft  or (in this case HP) I can make and ISO from any CD/DVD/BD. Or use RUFUS (free) to make and ISO bootable, memory stick. To burn any DVD use Imgburn (free)


HP HELP PAGES,  (The Real deal here,  this are the first places to look and get help.... for sure....)

HP DOT COM BASE PAGE

HP Parts Surfer ! (click search or even drill down to it by clicking HIERARCHY, then pick laptop or desktop,  and drill to you PC,  if not found then it is obsolete (aka: legacy or Retired)

NOT HP  ! see my Why do I need the correct drivers.? (or see here my driver page too)

Find my drivers and or all documents on this PC at HP, (must match full p/n # and your serial number,  the SERVICE TAG , DAT:

Install kits:  HP first  (if F11 power on Hotkey fails)

HP get media install kit for your PC.(must match your PC )  (CD/DVD or install USB sticks )

After 10 years, HP may not have kits.
On Old systems, HP will direct  you to HP authorized media, kit web sites (3rd party support, ask them or see 2 below)
Here are some aftermarket HP kits: (other sites my be nasty virus infected sites, from Iran, or N.Korea, or?)

If  HP says, "no longer provides Recovery Media for your model,

HP Support Assistant software download and run this program, for smart help.

HP Forums:

Before posting to any forum , post the full service tag data (some hidden under battery bay box) and what OS you are running. (just DV7 tells them LITTLE)
HP Forum , ask for help there,  log in and ask any one can.

Do not use Microsoft Windows install disks or ISO's  to upgrade your,  PC, unless you ask at HP forum first, (they will tell you NO, or will say, x,y,z features will be dead, for sure security software in most cases dead.)  Get and use ONLY HP install disks and drivers from HP.
USE the F11 key, at power on to restore.

Windows OS Install issues:

The endless pitfalls of windows installs. (setup.exe is the installer file name , later OS uses Windows PE install disks and is 100x smarter this method. Windows 7, with the introduction of PE Install engine usage, and vastly more versatile.)
OS = Operating System..
Pitfalls endless , I will do a list, from XP forward in time.
  1. XP installer can NOT find chips on your PC or your motherboard then ask for F6 key and a floppy drive to install this missing critical driver, good luck running any version of XP .
  2. XP plug and play is dead,  sure it is , MS ended that 3 years go. (2017 as I type)  not only that XP  has no drivers at all for newer PCs, for sure  brand new.
  3. VISTA Plug and play is dead now, spring of 2017.  Read my complex driver finder page, for finding the  near impossible drivers, missing.
  4. My HP does not have a F11 recover key function (pre 2006 PCs) so go here.  or the PC I have had a F11 key for recovery but is now dead,  this is a bad HDD or my  PC was "slammed."
  5. Windows is dead, must I do a fresh install?
  6. My UEFI GPT  harddrive or SSD formatted PC will not boot to CD/DVD nor USB stick (sure by design) (turn off  SECURE_BOOT, in BIOS)   << all this new UEFI stuff is very tricky and very buggy, (some have 8 revisions to get it right)  UEFI BIOS
  7. You upgraded your PC to Wndows 10 but HP don't support W10 on this PC, what then? ( find the drivers the hardway, if W10 plug and play fails then there is no other way)
  8. Plug and Play fails with no ethernat cable connected or wifi connected, sure it does, 99% of the time.  The older the PC the worse... so fix the connection fail cause first.
  9. Windows boot to media  install can not find my HDD, sure this is common if the disk is not empty, or formatted wrong, or contains data.   (easy fix, erase the HDD 100% and now it works or test it)
  10. Why are some chips  dead forever. (answer they are obsolete)
  11. Why do Microsoft (MS) media installs kill all my HP stuff?, well MS is not HP is it?  MS when booted to say W7/10 media usb stick will erase all HP files, killing dead some drivers and all HP apps. Killing dead HP F11 recovery and its PARTITION dead.
  12. Why does W7 need 350updates, and takes days to get, well it does, unless MS makes a new media kit to slipstream all that stuff.... ask MS that,.... (I made my own,)
  13. Why did that W10 free upgrade (or bought) kill my chips,  my PC has missing features, say the sound card is dead.  (that is because PnP failed or there is no w10 driver for it , or worse the driver has no certificates valid.) ( read driver find here)

Details of common pitfalls:
If you use a the windows 10 install disk and , pick install, then skip ,then accept and then custom you may still get errors.  (GPT or disk not found or disk has data and blocks you) 
Or boot to any free LIVE CD of any kind and delete all partitions. (drive 0)
HP.com says this about that.
or boot to the windows 10 disk, and pick "repair + advanced options + command prompt" then using Diskpart , delete at least the first 2 partitions on disk 0. (only) (I have many partitions and never ever delete them all)
    UEFI + GPT. (formats)
    If you take a HDD from PC with GPT and move it to your other PC, the UEFI will block you totally. (by design) This is not true on MBR HDD but will have vast problems, but will boot.
    This system is new, and is #1 protection, it blocks users from inserting any disk or USB media (Udisk) and then infecting the system , so that means it BLOCKS you. (both the new BIOS called UEFI and the OS conspire to block you, see?) It's a FEATURE.
    One can revert back to MBR type HDD partitions, just change BIOS-UEFI page to no more secure boot and install windows 10 fresh. Back to an old fashioned MBR system you go..  (GPT is a partition structure)
    When you install windows now, the BIOS-UEFI tells the installer the customer wants or has UEFI active now.   It is your choice !, personally I like old MBR.  (makes it easier to recover data later, under duress,etc) IMO
    First learn what you have there on your HDD/SSD, then decide where you want to go? (toss a coin?)
    • The best path is , (fresh installs) is erase the whole disk first , with it plugged in to any other PC as 2nd drive, (or 3rd , 4th whatever) (do so on even new HDD, or so claimed, many ARE NOT
    • Then set you modern system to MBR or UEFI mode
    • Last using the install disks (w8,9,10) you have no problems at all installing.
    In days past some internal HDD were pre-formatted (not by Seagate but retail chains), Fat32 or NTFS,  and most externals , all are now, (Read the box? label?)
    Some Externals (HDD/SSD) are pre-formatted to GPT. (and makes Win7 owners unhappy at new HDD time.... )(so ERASE THE DRIVE NOW)

    If you bought a new internal HDD, and the bag seal is broken?, it's not new, or was pre-formatted by someone, (who?)  keep and open mind, use a free  top brand partition tool, that can recognize vast types of formatting then can delete it in 1second flat.


    XP ?
    The PIG, the Virus magnet !
     
    The SP3 service pack is last at MS, but SP4 is made by others... (to stop randomeware)

    SP4 + a special security fix



    One quote from wiki is amazing to me.
    "
    In 2016, thousands of computers in 42 separate NHS trusts in England were reported to be still running Windows XP.[47] NHS hospitals in Wales and Northern Ireland were unaffected by the attack.[11][13]"
    The USA and UK military still use XP under a very expensive contract, DOD to MS.  I will not worry about that, or them.
    end XP.


    A clean and FRESH OS , Install basic steps, going beyond above install issues comments  (covering MBR methods not UEFI BIOS and mode)
    Window's: (all)
    First off , if your PC is made by a top maker, not a clone with no name or other odd makers no longer in existence. 
    A top maker (best ) is HP.com  
    If it is that or Dell , et cetera.  We must load the makers version of WINDOWS. Not Microsoft's, what will in fact fail to install many major parts of the total  delivered system new.
    There are many modes here,  startup repair, upgrade mode, and fresh install.  We are doing FRESH here.
    The first way is to boot the PC (HP examples only here)  and hit F11 and then hit, Install.  If the installer says the HDD is bad, it may be,  (not teaching HDD testing here but is in the BIOS pages.)
    The install will do everything you need, if not the HDD is bad, or the INSTALL partitions are DEAD.
    HP Windows RESTORE:  (power on and tap F11 over  and over to get the special screen for HP restore)
    If the HDD died, now or in the past F11 is now dead.
    Due to Dead HP install partitions.   The F11 key is a HP, way of giving you VIRTUAL INSTALL CD , always in the system and read, but a bad HDD kills this dead too. (XP uses F10 key on HPs)
    OK F11 is DOA,  totally missing ,dear or removed or now the HDD is actually a new SSD (you will love it):

    Go to HP.com get your Media kit. (below) Do not use Microsoft's disks, like this one....no matter what it shows there, XP,Vista, W7 up.

    All key strokes below are for my modern HP LT,  2010.(and up)
    Okay, now you have your Install Media kit , be that CD/DVD disks or a USB UDISK stick (new PCs have no CDrom drive,so....)
     This kit is best because PURE Microsoft OS disks, do not contain all drivers needed or other HP software, needed to run any laptop.
    (this stick (USB)must be plugged in before (OR CD),  or F9 can't SEE it. (this is called a forced on the fly BOOT) Fastest and the most easy, way. (or you get to fiddle boot order inside  BIOS)
    PC is off, push power button, and quickly... like a "woody wood pecker",f9,f9,f9 ,bam.(do not delay even 3 seconds our you miss your chances, to get the F9, if you fail ?,turn off PC and back on and hit F9)
    Next, is to  boot and press F9 . See photo of mine, I might show CD/DVD but mine removed, and has 2 SSD drives now.  If you can't see your stick or CD here, now, the stick or CD is bad or the CD drive is bad. If using  STICK try all USB ports !

    All modern HP PC ® do this, right now is a Linux live boot stick there, that I can run and see , gee the whole PC runs great on a LIVE STICK.  (I will now use the word stick only, and not CD or DVD again,but that works too)
    I high-light my Cruzer(tm)stick (arrow keys does that) (Cruzer here is a very very fast stick) and can be my HP install stick,  I boot that ( hit enter key) selection and the HP install windows (name your OS) comes up.
    If I  see the Windows blue screens, on a new PC it will have the W10 blue Microsoft flag.  ( can do a Repair  here, startup repair or pick INSTALL)
    (A warning is now important, if the System is UEFI-GPT and the stick is not UEFI matched, it will fail to boot any stick) (my Rufus app can make a stick that works with both formats)
    The next warning is the Microsoft Install disks all have odd rules on HDD media. Every year it gets more strict ! (UEFI is x10 more strict, and not covered here)
    Media that does not fail is pure slick ,erased HDD only. (no partitions found)
    All non MS format codes will fail here (HDD/SSD)  a complex list of sectors codes are here, any HDD can be pre-formatted for a vast number of different systems even APPLE ! OSX. (yes , endless) (a best table list is here)
    So make sure the disk is REALLY erased, (Google secure HDD erasure, vast ways exist to do that) Seen above here on
    If the HDD/SSD is new,  and not pre-formatted as many are (sadly), it will INSTALL with no problems.
    If an old HDD disk, erase it now. If it can't be erased, that is a BAD HDD, (boot booted to USB Linux stick or Windows PE live stick)
    The BIOS has  rudimentary HDD test.  run it. and if its totally dead, it will tell you that. Do so ....


    Windows 10 with UEFI , active will balk at all media inserted, with code on it.  (again for Noobs ,et cetera) (Google how to install Windows 10 on UEFI active systems)
    Windows does not know all format codes used for 39 long years, that would be near impossible to do (on the fly) or expensive beyond imagination. (so it just balks and assumes you are killing , important DATA, are you"?)
    Warning 2, the older PCs cannot boot to USB. (this is the case of "not invented yet" say in year 2001)
    Warning 3: the newest real MS(Microsoft installer) ISO FILE, is huge, and holds 32bit  and 64bit W10 in one image file, not sure how HP does that, nor care.  I must do as they tell me.  (not only that there is lots of updates and new drivers and bloat-ware to the nth degree now)
    The DVD limit is 25G bytes, (single layer) so my running joke,  is it will bloat up to that by end of 2017 ( ha ha)
    Keep in mind this is a moving target, not only are windows updates now mandatory but they are changing the ISO files, for W10  now.. The 32/64bit merge just happened.
    The current page at MS says,  at least 5GB of space,  (was 3.5 last year) that means a 4GB stick will not work now.  (you need an 8GB stick now)
    I do not know what HP does size wise here. (size wise) but The HP disk have their own APPS, their own,  security manager, and other tools and unique drivers that only work on YOUR HP PC.
    Last and not the least but is first truly, is if the PC overheats , installing , how can it ever install.  FIX bad hardware first. New fan, clean vents, new heat sink grease.
    One good news on W10 is I can do and INLINE W10 to W10 upgrade,  keeping all data, and all programs, I've done this many times now and for sure works great. (best reason ever for upgrading to W10)


    Good luck !!  I offer no warranty for anything on my page, it is not official and is  of a general nature, what problems you have can be 100s or more.  In all cases backup your data first;.
    All words on this page are in my opinion and in my personal experiences, and is not every to be considered FACT in any way shape or form.

    Parting shot:
    If you own an old XP computer, why not scrap it and buy a used  10 year or less PC at the GOODWILL® stores.. for near nothing , killing XP dead, and its  old useless hardware dead!. (get a Windows 7 box or newer !)

    My last warning will be, Windows 7,  MS will not let you download the OS with out a non OEM ,retail key"COA",  OEM keys fail,  here, it says only your PC maker can do supply this. (bull)
    Then fails to even offer it for sale, even a discount for OEM to Retail upgrade for say $50?  (my guess is they too, hate to support W7 with over 300 UPDATES + IE11 now mandatory)
    Worse yet, ? why not offer the W7 ISO with IE11 and all 300 updates slipped streamed, like the one I built.  ( MS is missing the boat here, both profits and support reduction with FULL 2017 , ISO full clean loads)
    I see windows 10 pro, now updates, with no permission, if my mouse is quite too long, what next? (there is only one cure , and that is LINUX)
    Photo's: W10 , 2 screens. Real MS install now HP.. always use HP disks first choice.!
    Click Next or Alt+N.

    Click install or Repair,  (alt+R is keyboard pick for repair) Alt+i  is installed by keyboard commands.  The Clean install is, here, pick Install, and follow instructions.
    \
    Install, Skip, Accept, click custom see this? (of more complex its GPT disk )  below is MBR setup, the 2 extra partitions on mine are Restore point partitions and one extra by me, for same. (10% of HDD is for restore points, I have here.)
    If doing a fresh install, delete all you see here, not data to lose. If you have date STOP and backup your  data now.

    here is GPT disk,  and You being blocked,.


    Here is me on the CD boot, page going to command prompt.  I typed, Diskpart, waited for 5 seconds, then typed, "list disk"  shows that I have 4 hard disk, no, SSD, and 3 HDD. If my external is plugged in (eSATA) it's 4 HDD (2GB)

    To Erase Disk 0 (not me it's my boot SSD)
    but if you wanted to,  ?  
    to Erase disk0, you would  type, " select disk 0" with no quotes and LAST type, "CLEAN"  (if you get GPT errors, you need to learn how to work GPT, Google how now)


    CMD prompt = DOS prompt = command line human interface,
    We are using command prompt (admin) windows+X key see that?
    Long term perspectives on formats:
    My first PC was not IBM it was S100 NorthStar, running Digital Research CP/M 80 and later D.R .DOS,  OS, I had WordStar then and compliers and Basic. I later added a 5MB Seagate Hard disk drive. (expensive) formated to code
    52h , that MS can't figure out.
    CP/m is clone of DEC RT-11, and MS DOS was a clone of CP/M.  If you lived then and used them all as we did, this was obvious. We built systems using them all, as a controller.

    Just be aware that Microsoft windows does  not like , formats not used (or invented) by Microsoft, it will balk or say hard drive missing, or other odd messages. (Or is GPT formatted)
    The same holds true after  Virus  corrupts your HDD structures of ANY KIND.  (partition, MBR , or format)
    Learn to erase drives, and save buying a new drive, when yours is perfectly okay.  (Linux erase is free, use  that!)



    WINDOWS 7 ,  Fresh Install steps, step by step.



    WINDOW 10 , 
    Fresh Install steps, step by step.

    Why not to upgrade to W10: (HP only reasons)

    BSOD's  Blue Screens of Death with funny geek like messages in white  text? (has the words STOP,  DUMP? or HALT  ?)    The best place to look is here livewire.
    Microsoft now adds  51 more Blue screens of death just for fun in W10, some are serious, and some are just windows doing and update, the only clue is blue windows. and some words. (no logo shown, except errors with 3D bar codes)
    I show a few screens here just to show, most never tell you its MICROSOFT CODE TALKING TO YOU.
    Relic BSOD seen in photo 3 below..  "Classic for 25 long years"  Most times this is a Virus or bad Video driver or bad RAM.
    Try a LIVE PE or Linux boot stick or CD see if PC now runs OK,? if does that tells you your boot main SSD/HDD drive has corrupted windows files. (or drivers wrong) or even a bad HDD (hard disk drive or SSD, solid state drive)
    Note that in each case Microsoft fails to tell you, who owns the screen, not even a tiny MS icon or icon flag. (silly to a fault this, and confuses MILLIONS)
    First is W10 crashing, most times this is a bad video driver, in the HAL.
    One other reasons for windows 10 failing is upgrading XP or W7/8 to 10.  Due to these vast complexities of HP restored OS to like new (F11)
    W10.  Most times GPU drivers munged. Note the asinine , no clue of what entity did this, (it's MICROSOFT) MS thinks they OWN THE COLOR BLUE?
    W10 failing one can us a CELL CAM to find what 3d bar means. (omg a clue its MS  ) what next a icon of gill bates?>


    This is the Classical  BSOD, XP to W7 are the most common. (sometimes bad RAM here) mostly rare on and new and not infected PC. 
    The next screen  is not icon marked either, and is serious corruption of the OS .
    W10 here,  Fails to say MS is working on updates.  Dang me..!
    And last and most common now, the endless, Microsoft updates, it was again too much trouble for Microsoft  to at least put MS,  between on and updates "Working on MS Updates"  is hard for them. It's a secret. I guess.
    By far the most common screen you will see is NEXT MS UPDATES:

    This takes up to 10 minutes on my 200mbps fiber connected PC,  or 5 Days using Dial up.  5GB is size of last huge update.
    Warning you can get black screens for a while doing some MS updates.  (this happens at a reboot, during an UPDATE, it's kinda ,a DOS mode update, no windows shells running)
    The Hard disk failing can also show a blue screen warning of HDD death soon, (it sees gross S.M.A.R.T data errors) Trust this it's not fibbing.

    If you can not get Windows to start, use the F11 restore mode (steps. power off, power on, hammer F11, until HP restore pages pop seen below)
    Then pick this. Advanced options: Then Automatic repair. This will patch the boot strap files.
    The restore is last resort, make PC like day 1 new. (all your data is lost now)

    Windows can start run and run slow or run and crash or do many things corrupted or virus infected.
    Besides spending all day  running virus scanners, (top 10) I can run SFC /scannow (run in cmd.exe command prompt window) SFC means System File Check.
    I can examine all startup files.
    But ,you can be just overloaded with startup files. 
    The Microsoft scanner below uses "VIRUS TOTAL CLEAN" to check each file for infection, what  great tool this is !!!
    The best program for this (besides my loved "Security Task manager pro" app) is the Microsoft version of Autorun , as seen here.(portable too, it is)
    Running the ONLINE ESET AV scanner is very powerful. (best I've ever seen)
    Run Malwarebytes, for free. (google it )

    KNOPPIX rules:
    In all cases of crashing WINDOWS, I use my Linux live boot stick (Knoppix ! 7) and my MS Windows PE live disk or stick.
    I  power on hammer F9 key and see the boot menu, (live boot choices) and pick my stick of choice.
    I now can run disks tests. and see if the live OS stick (or cd or dvd) run clean. 
    If the BOot stick passes al my tests for sure the knoppix disk checks, then the HDD0 is infected, or corrupted, the solution is obvious, reload, WINDOZ.


    If cloning home PC's hard disk drive,  HDD?
    There are many reasons to clone, for example upgrading to new SSD drive, or just wanting an image of your working boot drive?, for obvious reasons, (no? Backup reason)

    Using a good clone program makes this super easy and will not fail you.  I use FARSTONE !


    HP Secrets on DRIVER/ packs. (FAQ and facts)  

    A list of all ways, drivers magically work,  to how a tech gets them the hard way.
    1. The PC came working,  day one,  and came with F11 key (2006 and newer?) to reload the OS and drivers from HP.
    2. The other way to get drivers is to let windows plug and play find them. (be internet  connected) XP this is now dead, and spring 2017, Vista is dead and it's PnP is dead.
    3. Usea  Plug and play PCI scanner "sniffer"   the scanner and fetch them directly from the maker of your dead chip.
    4. All about  the  topic of   drivers and  how to use and  learn what chips you have. 
    5. HP has your driver why not get them from HP? the files are named SP12345.exe (a fake name but formatted like this)
    6. HP has a support assistant why not run this App. from HP.

    Factoids: (OS means Operation System)
    1. The driver must match your OS.  ( sure there are exceptions but never count on it or look "SUNK" like the Titantic?
    2. The chips in your PC do not work on all versions (14) of Microsoft windows. Not hardly and worse many are not made now.
    3. HP and MS ended support on XP and VISTA,. and older long long ago.  (just w7 and 10 are supported now) 2017
    4.  HP does not support W7,W8,W10 on all PC's ever made back to 1984, Sorry THEY DO NOT!
    5. The makers of  vast chips do not support W7,W8, or W10 in many cases, in fact the makers can  be NO LONGER IN BUSINESS !!!
    6. The HP drivers must all match as a set and correct versions and be loaded in the correct order,
    7. The HP drivers must match your PC and OS , the best 2 tools for that is do fresh HP install of OS, or use HP's great "HP SoftPaq Download Manager" , app, seen in the drivers page, under, Software Solutions(27) (mine is here , not yours)
    8. Newer PC's can use this tool to get the correct drivers. (Support Assistant)
    9. The last trick is easy, get all your drivers now, download them and put them somewhere, CD-r, USB Stick , somewhere that won't be lost after HP deletes them all (they will) at the end of  10 years support.
    10. Learn that some motherboards, with same PC name have 6 different network chips, 3 Video GPU and 3 sound chips used in production run, mixing these drivers up , you will fail.

    DIY: the hard way, can work if lucky , but learn that W10 has vast things that do not work under W10,  Microsoft hints it does well but they crossfingers behind back and hold a note there (10 years or newer) grin !  My flat bed scanner has zero support as do VAST printers. (and old USB devices)
    It is possible to LOAD A REAL Microsoft windows 10 OS disk or USB stick and install a pure Microsoft OS, but then you need to load all the HP SP12345.exe packs, so all the HP hardware works and plays as a team.
    Done so many times. (but on my LT many packs fail for wrong OS, lucky for me, I did not need the ones that failed. (fingerprint reader was one , and HDD gravity protector dead and 3, the whole security pack fails.)
    One of the key drivers to get working is wired internet chip drivers then when working you can get all the others using this new PC. (fresh loaded) Using an Ethernet cable for best speed in all steps.
    My (LT) uses a the
    Intel 82577LM chip, (stated clear as day  at HP.com and has HP  driver there)
    There are only 4 ways to get good drivers.
    • W7 /10 let it   run Plug and plug and play (PnP ) internet connected first.  (get lucky)
    • At HP.com they have all your driver there, if its not too old.  Past 10 years from last model # made, it ends, 10 years later.  Keep in mind there are series of PCs, like DV6-1000 , 2000 and up....
    • You go to Device Manager (DM) and find the full name and spec of the missing driver (right click update drifver) or do the below.
    • Go to the makers site and get it from them the maker of the CHIP THAT IS DEAD. (warning most chip old are not supported now, for sure on new OS) or the maker is gone.



    Example WIFI chip DEAD:
    What if the PC is too old , well I can go to (say wifi chip made by intel.com and get it. But there is no W10 there, but by pure luck the W7 driver works on W10 just fine.
    If you chip maker dead, then what?  You can't upgrade.
    On mine the HP wonderful Softpaq, app, fails, for no w10 support, this app, loads all driver in automatic fashion
    Then next best way is go to Device, manager"DM", click on dead devices and do a right click update driver now,  be connected to the internet or this will probably fail.
    DM dead devices are (missing,unknown,yellow or red marked)
    Last and very useful is how to find what chips (true names) are in your PC  and then find a matching OS driver, at the chip makers web site, (we run sniffer3)

    There are many pitfalls with drivers , it has always been that way but Plug and Play  (PnP was designed to lessen this impact)
    What are they, I will make a bullet list , as I've seen them all and cure them all if possible. (some are not)
    Hard fails. (all from a pure HP perspective! and wanting all the features you PAID FOR !)
    • Last and not the least you can at any time press F11 at boot time and reload it all from scratch , putting all the above back working 100% just like  it was DAY1 new. You sure can.


    I can also get a copy of WINDOWS, 10, LIVE PE BOOT DISK (DVD) OR USE  LIVE BOOT USB DRIVE, and test the whole computer to see if W10 can in fact do all the things I need.
    (in 1/2 the cases it will not do that, missing key drivers)

    Good luck !


    NOISE,  that is Abnormal noise?
    My PC has  4 or more fans, they all make noise new but is not too much,  but all old PC's ,  the old fans all fail (5years is a good life), all do that and is called BAD bearing's.(inside the fan)
    Most laptops have at least 1 fan and it too can make abnormal noises if bad or just packed in lent, all do that, all pack up, and must be cleaned, or replaced,  bad is bad, no reason to wonder what to do , replace it.
    One guy told me "Gee my PC is making noise", what noise?, he says "it squeals."  We discover it's the mother board PIEZO beeper screaming bloody murder, at a very high frequency only dogs and some humans can hear, 20kHz ? (20,000 Hertz)
    If he read his manual on his PC it tells you, there are beep codes.  and one code is continuous beep for bad RAM.  (RTM read your manual , PC uses different BIOS and they all beep differently so read your manual first, then wonder why)

    My 4 fans are: (desk top) all can make noise, for 2 reason, it's dirty (lent packed) or bad fan.
    1. CPU Fan, clogs with lent every year, and if ignored (bad) it will make noise as the lent packs it up. The CPU heat sink fins pack first, and is super bad to have that happen and ignore it.
    2. GPU fan, yes my powerful Graphics  card has a fan. It packs with lent every year.
    3. The PSU has a fan.  It too  fails or packs in lent.
    4. The Rear of my huge PC  case has this huge 120mm  slow speed silent fan, and makes no noise, and mostly does not pack in lint, it's just too big.
    In all cases, (no pun) I use a cheap $5 stethoscope sold at all auto parts stores on earth, to listen at and   for bad fan bearings., or to see which fan is in trouble.?
    Or put a long screw driver to your ear , handle ear, and blade tip to FUT (fan under test) casings.  Got noise?, it's bad. end story. (yah replace it)  I also have and electronic stethoscope $25 for finding remote noises, safely.
    Fans can stall, chatter, scream, buzz, rattle and chirp, bad is bad. no need fool around , replace it now. (after getting it clean and it still makes a racket)
    If the CPU fan stalls, the CPU shuts down then the BIOS sets beeping codes for you guessed it, CPU is dead or on my new PC , CPU has OVERHEATED. Learn that all Intel and AMD CPUs can in fact shut them selves off, or slow down first. (by DESIGN) overheated.
    To learn what a new fan sounds like?, test a new fan. BINGO.

    Jargon buzz words.

    LT = Laptop, DT = Desktop
    PC ,  any personal computer, even 1985 to now has BIOS.
    CPU the Center processing unit, (the main brain,  Alan Turing's dread, RIP)
    GPU , Graphics Process....unit.... (aka as the VIDEO chip or Graphics chip or Video card in a DT)
    BIOS, basic input output system now called UEFI.
    HDD, hard disk drive, SSD solid state drive (FAST), SSD is the best upgrade you will ever see !
    CD/DVD or BD,   are all optical media , those old silver spinning disks we bought years ago and now your LT has no more,  these magic spinning disks.(or its optical DRIVE)
    USB , universal serial bus.. you can plug in vast things here and they work like magic, (the magic of PnP )
    PnP, this is Plug and Play, (pray?)  It's a system (magic) that discovers you just  connected something new, and with the help of the internet , the correct software driver is installed.
    Driver, what is a driver? its the most low level chuck of software that makes all unique hardware work, for sure chips. (all hardware has a matching correct driver or it fails to function correctly or at all)
    OS = Operating Systems,  be it XP (ended 3 years ago 2014) Vista (now dead  April 11, 2017 ) W7, W8 or W10 or LINUX.  (avoid XP it is, in fact, a virus magnet from H3LL)
    CMOS - this is special memory that does not forget, if the 3v CMOS battery is good and is the memory storage for all BIOS data, parameters, you setup,  and if you pull said battery , the BIOS forgets what to boot from , not a wise idea pulling it (unless you learn how to use BIOS)
    PSU is  a power supply unit in any desktop.,  The LT has an external power pack , mine is just 19vdc power, 100watts. do not guess the watts, use the correct voltage and watts  or more watts and win. (your HP, service manual tells you the correct power to use)
    DC direct current as in Volts.  measure the volts in its pins, with a tool called a voltmeter(or DMM). end guessing. Tool costs $20 at Walmart. (On a LT check for 19vdc. on a desk top check all listed pin voltages , listed on this sticker on said PSU.
    MOBO = slang for motherboard.  That huge green card filling the base of the LT case.
    Heat sink thermal compound, that magic grease (known as heat sink grease) if missing or reused,  fails and the processors overheat slows down then turn  itself off , or worse burns up
    Or OVER-HEATING:
    (fan not dead? fans not packed in lint?, vents not packed in lint? or the whole system of vents packed in lent/dust) we check the heat sinks.   

    Warning some PC's have  cheap (bad) heat sink interface compound, (acts like Glue not grease) that dries out and gets hard, and when you bump the PC?, this critcal interface cracks, and becomes USELESS now. The cure is below:
    • I use only  "Shin-Etsu x23"  brand from JAPAN ,any on this list are good. and not clones or weaker fake grease sold from China. 
    • I use G751 grease from SHIN and love it, I use this on the hotter running CPU and GPU's,  On Laptops the CPU has  very tiny landing pad, and is hard to get good heat conductivity to the HEAT PIPE,
    • Thermal conductivity (W/m•°C)  (<< read the spec, and buy only products that promise to meet this spec.)
    •  (do not buy counterfeit junk from China! ,warning China counterfeits this great product from JAPAN!)
    • The old Intel I-5 a slow processor does not need expensive grease here, only the hot fastest processors need the above,SHIN grease. (even old Dow 340 grease works, on slow CPU, I even have huge full tube that was made in 1975 that is still good !) Gold and sliver is snake oil.
    • Heat sink, is a metal device and with heat transfer pipes on LT,  and  fan to expel heat from the processor. (CPU and GPU) on DT The SINK  has huge fins and a fan.  It must use the the above THERMAL  compounds.
    • Processor, that huge magic chip there from Intel (or AMD) with Millions  transistors inside. The i-8080 had 4,500. back the first IBM PC had 29,000.   Some processors burn 100watts of heat, speed is NOT FREE and will burn lots of power, under load and full speed.
    • Most of my processors never go much hotter than 55°C (Centigrade) We run a free software APP that lets you see the heat from all processors and cores., in REAL TIME. Do so and win, the battle of heat.
    VGA-, Video Graphics adapter, seen on rear of LT to use  any DT external screens. (mine has HDMI port tool for connection to a TV) also used for a projection system .
    LCD-  a liquid crystal Display, either old CCFL back lighted, or modern LED back lighted. The former loves to fail.
    Chip- = gross slang for , fully integrated circuits of any kind from 1970s to now.  At vast different levels of complexity.  Open up your PC see that MOBO, see all those chips, bingo. chips. (square-ish and black, and flat)
    SMD - Surface mounted devices.  & SMT , surface mounting Technology.
    SMD- security chip is a chip (tiny) TPM chip that holds the BIOS password.

    Backup-., is the process and goal of having your precious data copied somewhere but "NOT HERE."  (not this dead PC) Know that hard drives do fail, and that a virus can block all files in your Windows documents folders...or erase them...

    SLAT what is it and why must we have it?:
    "
    SLAT is a Hyper-V Technology introduced in Intel and AMD processors but with a different name. Intel calls it as Extended Page Table (EPT), where as AMD calls it as Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI)"
    Second Level Address Translation
    or virtualization-based security (VBS).
    This hardware makes security work better.
    I like and hate windows, 10, but the newer more secure permissions ,on system folders, wins me over, Windows SLAT usage is worth every penny, if you do financial, work it  needs  Intel/AMD processor that has SLAT.  The AMD list is here.

    I used coreinfo.exe from Microsoft) to see if my CPU supports windows 10 VBS security,  mine does and is why I'm running windows 10 (besides was free) This is all good news, these newer security fixes... now and in the future.
    My CPU is FX series and it runs SLAT , as does windows 8/8.1
    aka:
    AMD processors that support AMD Virtualization™ (AMD-V™) Technology with Rapid Virtualization Indexing (RVI), also known as nested page tables or Second Level Address Translation (SLAT) necessary to support Hyper-V virtualization technology in Microsoft® Windows® 8. (up)
    With the right hardware, your system can attain this level of security, See DEVICE GUARD HERE:

    Read more here, on W10 security, I say, use it.


    This last section is for UPgrades and all my most favorite links.  First I'll do my links:
    All the below are OFFSITE , links to top sources. (I do not run the world, nor run these sites)
    First off , if using your HP install media kit, from HP.com you'd not be here, at all.  If HP does not support W10, then why go any further?, if you must do that then that is Geek level system Upgrades, read on...

    #1: is Windows PE,  why spend $120 at Microsoft.com for say Windows 10 retail,  OS, only to find out It don't run right on you old PC. ? (missing drivers, system now to slow, or your chips are dead, too old, and not longer supported by ANYONE ON EARTH)
    Enter WINDOWS PE live. (boot CD or BOOT USB STICK) does this PC work perfectly NOW?

    #2-Is Your PC acting sick?, so you boot to a live Linux disk or the above. and learn in 5 minutes work, gee, my PC is ok , only my HDD is bad or the infected OS on it is WRECKED.   I recommend Ubuntu LIVE CD. (but installed on a USB STICK, using RUFUS)
    #3: The PCI scanner to find all chips in your PC , use this when you upgrade and now many chips are dead, ( yah, you did that)
    #4: OMG 1,  what are those funny codes seen inside  my chips,  well those are the Makers name code and the product code, (device)  and is covered here in the PCI data base..  Look them up, first.(then you get to find a matching driver for them.)
    #5  What if you wanted to download some machine code (programs) and were afraid, (do be) what to do ? well, use total Virus first.(on it)
    Your PC has a full A/V (antiVirus ) package installed already, mine runs pure MS defender that is part of W10.  What you use is your call, but you must have this protection or all hope is lost. !!!
    #6:  What if you PC is infected?,(if XP it always will be...it's a virus magnet)  We run Eset.com  online scanner. (click scan now) Eset is very powerful, from my personal experiences.
    #7:  Malware?.  Run Malwarebytes free,  and others, there are some deep scanners, that work very well. Learn that no single scanner finds all malware. ever.
    #8: If all this sounds hard, tedious and complex? , well sure it is, it's Geek city, here,  why not just get the HP media kit and reload the OS, or hit F10 or F11 at boot time  (the 2 keys changed about Vista release at HP, your  service manual on your PC tells you all this... and more)
    #9: Run MS ,  SFC /scannow in the Command prompt box. (run box) elevated command prompt.
    #10:Run MS, MRT.EXE in the same run box.  do a deep scan. (free tool inside W10) (I also do a deep "C:/Windows/" scan on one folder. )
    #11: Learn that moving your HDD to another system and doing deep scans on said infected HDD, (or SSD) is way more effective due to the fact that its not booted, and the virus can not HIDE from you. (learn this one fact and save the HDD)( say now it's the E: drive on PC #2)
    #12: Run CCleaner (free) from Piriform do not from any other site or it will be INFECTED.
    #13:Root kit cleaners. Try here to clean this nasty code off your computer.

    Know that some infections can never be removed, totally, some even hide or are time released.  On my PC,  a laptop the cure is the F11 key, fully documented at HP,com
    Always keep backed up. (data backed up , private)
    Now some words on upgrades, do not upgrade unless , 2 authorities (or you) tell you its ok to do so,  HP.com lists all OS that is supported on your PC box.  Some support only 1 OS others 3. The HP pages are shown in the link above, read them.
    The 2nd authority is MS,, Microsoft.com   They had a qualified venders list QVL that lists PC's known to work with  pre W10.  It seems MS stopped doing this, you can't look them up, now. (wow, that SUCKS swap gas !)
    MS has WHQL drivers for chips, if one is missing for your PC, guess what? that chip goes dead.   Windows 10 now can get drivers from your neighbors PC, what?  How this can be safe, I'm clueless but is due to proper certificates.
    The last trick mentioned above, in brief is that you the owner can run Windows 10 LIVE CD to see if you like it.  You sure can., #1 above links you to THAT.
    Learn that the HP was sent working 100%, new, but if you loaded the wrong OS using the wrong disk things will for sure not work and all HP programs will be missing,  and many drivers dead.
    If lucky (many are not) the old PC has a missing wifi driver, and lucky you, Intel made this chip and has a W10 driver for it, and it works, but if that old chip is say for a Realtek WIFI chip not made  now, and will never have a W7./W8 nor W10 driver ever, you are sunk.

    Dead chips,  one could buy say, a USB WIFI dongle and use that.   
    XP is known to fail many USB devices, and to fail many old and new CD/DVD drives, and endless source of trouble XP is and was. Get rid if XP is the solution !

    The finger print scanner now dead, (HP feature) or the HP security package now DEAD>?  Just to name  few.  (one more the HP hardrive protector chip, now dead) Need I list all HP features, dead? now?

      chip makers are no longer in business (or just don't support this chip now).
    Plug and Play (PnP) is great Manything, but can not magically bring back the DEAD. Sorry , if you have  newer PC and plug in the dead, why do you expect it to work (it can if you have the luck of the Irish , I do hope so)

    I see folks online plugging in a 1999 webCAM,  into a newer Windows 10 PC, and then wonder why there is no driver now,  back then it was VISTA or worse XP or Windows 2000, and died as  a product  then
      


    A/V  AntiVirus , what to do after the fact, oops?  FAQ:
    What can I do?
    Answer,  be running Windows 10.  (it was free for a 1 full year, 2016 and if serious about  being protected,  you'd be there now, so I will  assume you are not running the other 13+ MS operating systems.
    The answer is (run all online A/V programs, as seen at ESET  ONLINE, is one of the best.

    Better is make the Microsoft Defender boot DVD or USB stick boot that and scan  the whole PC for sure boot drive. (boot this media stick/DVD now) and scan.
    Here is a great list of off line or online A/V scanners (for sure off line is best, drive removed from infected system and attached like this.
    Scan only the infected drive in total, is best and not booted from the infected drive. Best Best.

    If that fails?,  reload the OS.

    Prevention is a complex topic, (endless for sure) But I run MS defender with Malwarebytes, +Winpatrol + Security task managers, spy protector..  ( w7/w8/w10 I did this with no problems)

    Lies or half truths or worse selective statistics.
    The lie #1 is Windows v10 ,  will run 99.9% of all old programs.
    • Sure it's probably true  for most folks, , well that is because, most folks don't run or use many Applications. (full blown in the program files folder) apps.  Most run nothing at all,  zero apps. or run only SKYPE (or  "What's up" app)  (all w7 certified too)
      The truth may be, most folks only read their mail and cruise the web , running IE11 now.(or deity help you EDGE)
    • Sure if they want to run XP WORD it runs in W10, sure but may take XP compatibility mode to run. (right click application EXE pick that)
    • It won't run many old printer programs, nor there old drivers. nor my loved,  UMAX flat bet scanner is now DEAD.  (sure most folks have no scanners, like me)
    • New PC's are 64bit and will not run all your relic, 16bit, GAMES, like relic DUKE Nukem? 1991 ! nor runs old DRM schemes, protecting those old games. (the install disk CD now FAILs hard)
    • It will not run my be-loved PSP7(PaintShopPro),   I use paint.net now (+free plugin's wow)  and Zoner photo studio 64 ($50) and had to trash my expensive Corel PSP x9 due to , it's a slug , and is full of addware, and bloat, I hated it) Zoner is X9 like,but 100x faster.and no.
    • If you are not most folks then it is a lie!  (some folks have vast programs they use, even CAD/CAM or other tools for CARS OBD2 scanners, and lots more.
    • What may be true is MS arrogance that thanks they know, all those programs you had to abondone! (nor the cost of doing that, and replacing that) . In MY OPINION.! 
    • Maybe it is more  true , with Windows 10 pro and Hyper-v loaded and the you install old XP there as a VM and run old things  from there?
    • Windows 10 does not support vast numbers of drivers, now. (but MS thinks nobody needs those, so, is not added to that 99.9% list.
    I true life tell me ,how many times statistics matter to you?   (If not relevant, then they are useless noise) What matters is only YOUR realities... what you do, and need to do, is all that matters.


    GOOD LUCK fixing your PC !
    My page is for, starving students, or starving artists or for folks living on say just Social Security. (or just can't afford Geeks that charge $300 just to re seat the video monitor jack. (2minutes.work)) 
    These pages are not simple opinion, they are from 50 years experience, mainframes, Mini's and PCs (and A+ Cert training)  Here is my opinion, XP sucks.(but based on FACTS)
    In  most cases , here I have proof of what I say or can demonstrate facts stated. (but anyone can make a mistake, or worse Microsoft changed the rules, again, 1000 times.)
    In many cases where folks ask me a question, my answers are generic due only to the asker not telling full PC model numbers and what OS they run. (the endless story there,,,) or they flat out lied by accident  or are totally confused. (case in point I think is a SSD but is not)
    Know that, many PC 's come (same model but  sub model numbers different)  use 6 different wan/wlan/lan chips. video chips   or more.  In some cases the serial number is the only clue as to what is on your motherboard, for example.
    That means not loading the correct driver , you will have total  or partial chip function failures. (something dead or acts crazy) To avoid this?, ask HP for your matching software if you lost your HP install media.
    welcome to dead PC's.!

     
    V19  (revised 7/27/2017 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------UNDER
    3-18-2017 (a crude rough draft  Journal)   I recommend  this Domain hosting service. INTERSERVER.net



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