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(This is not an official HP.com site! of any kind shape or form!)
For all real  HP help, docs and drivers, & their forum, please click and go here !

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These pages cover the causes of most dead PC's. ( Laptop or Desktop (LT/DT)  
Warning if you never backup your data, maybe now is the time to act  (all ways)!

Before working on any HP PC, know your service tag lines 1, 3, & 5.  

Guessing? , can be expensive and a great waste of labor and time and money.
Many do love to guess, so here is my list (short 4)below or  for fun, go see my nifty dozen reasons.
In all cases its only 1 of up to 25 objects inside or out side the case that can be dead, or fail or short or even overload, the power rails or short out (classic address,controls and data line buses)
You will near beep codes or see blink codes for errors (write them down and look them up)
What are the 2 biggest time wasters? , on PC (besides owning one (hehe), well that is running any laptop with a bad shorted main huge battery , remove it and park it, number 2 is installing the OS on a bad HDD.
end guessing, and such. (end fanning flames to poverty) {hehe}

General topics: (thing to know and understand before service actions are taken)
Why LAPTOP's are so hard to repair?

How does BIOS work?, basic flows and order.

Try to know PCs are not all the same. (far from that) and vast features can be dead, 1 or more.  (if  a feature is dead, we call them DEVICES, then make sure it is not turned off in BIOS first ) if that check out ok next is Device manager.

Try to know these  things before working on any computer:
When I touch any PC, I "Carbon-14"  Date it first (how old is it)? Age matters. (matters when getting support or not, getting parts, books, upgrades, drivers, and more...) The service manual tells me its age in most cases.
The first things to die on all PC's are those short lived things called batteries, in fact 20 times shorter life spans that the rest of the beast.
Number 2 on the short life, is a bad hard disk drives (5 to 10 years is par )
First diagnostic skills to learn are (is screen always black, no text)  and if the PC BEEPS Codes or flashes the CAP's lock key LED with a code, we always decode these first, (as they say first things, first)
  • If your PC was an Airplane,  it would have crashed long ago.  No , really. (vast single point failures are here on any PC, and no redundancy here! (save on a laptop with 2 batteries and AC power as a backup)
  • The old and classic: Is the  hardware or the  software failing?, we use a  Linux boot and DEMO CD/DVD or USB stick and learn that in a few minutes.
  • The hardware has over 3 Billion+ transistors to fail, but in the simple realities, there are 10 -20 modules to fail, inside and outside the PC, they can go dead or worse short out ,fooling you that the the most  expensive part is bad and is not.
  • The hardware can fail in 6+ ways,  dead, weak, damaged , shorted or intermittant or missing, the screens can go dead or look ugly, the power can even fail and the PC turns off by itself or will not run at all or simply overheats.
  • Software can fail in 1000s of ways, (ever get  virus?) the drivers can be, missing , wrong , or corrupted making you think hardware is bad, like 95% hardware good, driver bad or wrong one loaded !
  • All electronics fail, not one lasts forever, but most parts in PC can last 20 to 100 years, but never the HDD or the Batteries of any type. HDD on laptops last about 5 years, 1/2 that of desktops and 1/2 again from server grade HDD.The tests are here.
  • The memory called FLASH memory will hold its data for 100 years. (please ! stop flashing the BIOS ROM at every hickup or risk bricking a good PC) 
  • The main HUGE battery  is very short lived, on Laptops, so run it with out  this battery on AC Pack, if the PC runs ok now,  then get a new battery or just run on AC power pack forever,  as anyone can surely do if they wanted.
  • The  RTC, CMOS coin cell battery dies and  can fail  in 5 years,  When this battery dies, BIOS goes nuts  and  the RTC , Real Time Clock calendar chip can't keep and hold the time, or date anymore)
  • The BIOS is inside  firmware and is  machine code (into FLASH EEPROM) lasts for 100 years, (proof) (leave it alone)
  • The NVRAM (CMOS lasts for 100 years) it never goes bad but the battery does that  makes NVram work so replace that 5 year old battery first, or use  volt meter, below 2.9vdc bad, 3.3v is new voltage. (easy no?)
  • The the SSD (or M.2) , life is unknown but is huge,  and well worth owning one now for that reason and speed reasons, it has  no disk inside , no heat, silent and longer life)
  • LCD SCREENS: The early PCs up to year 2010 mostly had CCFL screen back lamp tubes, that love to fail dead as soon as 5 years old (2000 to 2010 made), (LED  screens are VASTLY better, 2010 up)
  • Do not hot swap modules inside your PC, read why and  what to do here.
  • Do not replace the CPU , first.  it's the last part to fail, if ever, leave it alone, but do keep the TIM good, Thermal interface material, (thermal paste 'grease' ) fresh. (at the heat sink, CPU juncture)  Same with laptop GPU chip.
  • Learn that in fact,Intel (and AMD) has three or more, thermal protector sensors inside  all  CPU chips, micro silicon circuits, and is super super effective at protecting itself all the time from heat, and is why they last so long !.
  • Clean the PC, not one PC lasts operated like this.( PCs of all types, will pack full of lint , and must be cleaned every year or they will overheat and fail.)
  • Learn that PC boot in a serial process order, see that here , How and why BIOS P.O.S.T's and  boots all PC's (IBM class, not others like Apple ,etc)
  • See what BSOD's mean.
  • Learn that some drivers in any HP PC work as a team,  it has not just 1 driver, to make 1 thing work ,some devices need 3 driver, working, The Camera in mine needs USB2 working and the camera driver, (2 drivers or its DEAD)
  • Learn that Microsoft did not design your PC, your OEM maker did, so ask them first ( Should be captain obvious, but seems not )
  • Last with a dead black screen , do the flash light test seen here. (if in the UK the torch test, cave man style)
Most diagnosis, is all about find the cause of dead things,   the endless sea of all possible dead things and worse things shorting and confusing you easy.
 (I try to avoid BIT Flipping issues here or Windows tweaking of any kind) , MS changes Windows like , the weather does, even changes for the sake of change alone, omg look at the  at the start-button? to what gain?)
Software to me is like changing dirty socks (or diapers), no really! IT IS !
For most owners,  of HP's  (and all others too) THE OLD: "Hey honey, my PCs  borked,  ok  babe, hit F11 recovery key at power on, and reload to clean socks." BINGO" ! <fails with a bad HDD !
My web site pages are for DEAD THINGS, I do mostly just that. (but lots and lots of testing done here too, depending on SYMPTOMS)
BTW , Control + F , you can find any word or phrase on this page. (and using FireFox Control + and - for zoom in or out works.)  as does my search box above work very well and even has fuzzy logic to find thing more easy.

DEAD THINGS:  (Black screens or Windows login missing and more, lots more, here...)
This is my running list of symptoms problems , dead things , tests and cures.   
Diagnosis needs evidence, and tests to make clear smart choices, but many folks today fail at this and just guess, guessing is ok if rich, but you could just change out the cheapest parts, first working to the most costly parts (I will cover my eyes now)
Best to first focus on screens, is the screen dead?
Then are the BIOS screens all dead, did you know the BIOS screens work great (all but F11 key can fail)EVEN with the HDD and DVD drive removed ! (to be clear there is no operating system there now, with HDD removed and BIOS still works)
Is the fan dead, is the screen dead ,is BIOS screens dead or only they work , does the DVD tray drive eject?  If a Desktop?, do all 3 fans work, PSUCPU  /GPU,  (the latter is present on 1/2 the video cards made and for sure all Gaming level cards, most have a fan)
Many things can go dead for the lack of a Software driver, we call them drivers for short.  All chips and cards, and modules need a driver or  that  DEVICE,  will be dead or 1/2 dead. 
I will attempt to list everthing that can go dead (for sure a huge list on all PC made)
I will show mostly hardware failures first. I consider bad drivers, bad hardware only because the hardware is dead lacking that. (Bundle that in your mind)

OFF TRACK but related Projects:

  1. Building my  HP XW4600 Work Station into  movie  media server (MKV) Using my HP P410 RAID card .
  2. Building a Z600 (upgraded to 2 xeon + new SSD, + BIOS flash upgrade + more)
  3. See my Proliant DL380 G7 build Journal. (it's just for back server duty)
  4. My new Dell R710 Video MKV server running PLEX.
  5. See my  RAID testing page
  6. Using my HP RAID card in  any  Alien PC or my XW4600)... (even Non  HP systems...)
  7. How to pick a RAID card.
  8. Why is my HBA dead, or make my HDD seem dead, what is an HBA?, or how to run software RAID?
  9. Why have a  home server at all?
  10. I got my HP SAS drive cage to work on any PC, even with alien raid card. (alien means non HP here) It works!
  11. Fooling around with M.2 SSD ; even booting them on older PC's., (actual cards M.2 not SATA form factor)
  12. Upgrading a Motherboard ,  diagnose a dead motherboard, h, CASE upgrades or mod's, PSU choices ,fan-heatsink choices,  and how to swap the mobo and not have to re- load windows !
  13. Why do KVM switches love to fail? and cures for top causes.

  Data backup or last chance recovery ? SEE HERE TO RECOVER DATA FIRST.

 BIOS  features and very common:   As they relate to service and maintenace and testing any PC.
Is basic Input Output system,  the lowest level of intelligence it the system is read only memory ROM or more accurately EEPROM memory. 
The newer BIOS today is called UEFI,  or DUAL BIOS, or CSM
See this first: BIOS IS OK,  lets say it can boot to any bootable USB memory stick(aka, thumb drives) or to CD boots or DVD boot disks, so BIOS is OKAY.
The top features of BIOS are: (exclusive of the new wild secuity of UEFI) are:
  • Lets you pick which drive or media you can boot, called boot order. (HDD, SDD, CDROM, DVD, USB memory stick and even SD card.(seen in Camera's))
  • BIOS screens work even with all drives and media are disconnected, telly you right off  the bat, the LCD screens is working ok (or monitor)
  • BIOS does not work correctly if the RTC Coin cell goes dead, (5-7 year life span says the pink bunny) 10 happens but are outliers. This battery dead scrambles the CMOS NVRAM that in itself lasts 100 years.( but not the battery)
  • IF time of  day and date can not seem to hold accurately the RTC battery is dead.
  • BIOS has a think call POST, P.O.S.T , for power on self test, and if things are bad it tells you 3 ways (possible) words in text on screen, beep codes and LED blink codes (caps lock key is popular to blink)
Old PCs can't boot from USB memory sticks (thumb drives) over decade old. 2000 to 2004 are problematic years, and before are hopeless.
See how BIOS can fail to allow USB devices to boot.
My RTC battery is sold at walmart. for $2, in the camera department, CR2032 COIN.  (on Laptops with pig tail coin cells, try ebay.)
Some Laptops a DV7. a hidden coin cell socket just  like Desktops have, and is covered in your free service manual of your PC, at your OEM makers web site, HP.com or Dell.com etc.

After replacing the CELL battery, go in to BIOS and do a full BIOS reset to defaults. 
Voltmeter tests,  below  2.9vdc, the battery is no good now, and falling fast to DEAD.

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 on the GPU chip)
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: ( (Compared to a real  ATX spec. desktop DT) 
  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 ram memory sticks are standardized)
  2. Desktops are more modular and I  and new cards to the PCI-express slots any time I want and near ENDLESS CHOICES and that includes a vastly better VIDEO card (like the great GTX1050)
  3. The Desk top has a standard PSU, seen here.
  4. Most Laptops have no video card and is only a soldered down , GPU chip (unlike my HP8540w with 4 video card options)
  5. Most Laptops have  VGA jack on the rear ,so you can in fact connect a monitor there when the  old CCLF LCD screen in the PC goes DEAD, as most have now.
  6. The Laptop is very hard to disassemble.  Some are extra hard, many require the whole heatsink tube and radiator assemble be removed first. (not an easy task but one can learn quickly this skill)
  7. The cheaper Asian Laptops, use snap apart cases, that if done wrong wrecks the cases. (use a pry tool, with a  Guitar pick or this real tools like this of plastic)
  8. The HP power pack is custom, but any 19vdc 100watt pack can work great on any HP LT. The pack only works on HP, not Dell or other PCs, do not use universal power packs, they do not work correctly.
  9. Some laptops have no BIOS tests and diagnosis features at all , like memory test or HDD test. (I use linux to test the HDD)
  10. Laptops overheat way too easy (with fast processors) and love to suck in lint and clog the fan or vents so easy.    (use top brands of Heat sink grease)
  11. Most laptops do not have a Video card slot,  so that means W10 can not be loaded if W10 does not support your GPU chip or engine. Like seen here.
  12. Laptops are fragile, and are easy to damage,  for sure used in a very mobile way. The worst are super wide laptops that I call cracker thin. (horrid)
  13. Worst yet is the cracker thin laptop/notebooks/pads have no drop out battery, but instead is locked deep in side, (it don't scare me) but many folks are afraid of screws.  It loves to fail just like the big batteries do.
  14. The keyboard is also frail, finding one new for your COUNTRY code is not easy,  so just attach  a USB keyboard and type away. (ebay does have them, say and original USA keyboard )
  15. The laptop needs custom drivers, to make all those custom buttons work    (wifi , or sound buttons dead)  Only your OEM has the drivers for those special buttons. (some times w10 upgrads kill dead these buttons)

A/V run AntiVirus scanners to clean the OS,  most times it is a hopeless cause. A DREAM that never works as you expect.
One of the best written papers on Virus cleaning is here. (circa 2008 date I think but less than 2010 AHC-Act, guess at 2009 drafted)
This topic is what I call the endless story,  cleaning out aay infection can be impossible.  Reload the OS.  or do a fresh load of OS
If you believe the dream or have endless hours to work  on this, see some ways below.
Run A/V scans on this sick hard  drive,  there are over 50 scanners to run , on the web.
Run Malwarebytes (free or paid) and scan the the whole drive.
Three are 3 scan methods.
  • Boot the drive normal scans, of the C: boot drive, near hopeless once infected. (See Windows Defender, W10)
  • Go to vast web sites call online A/V scans.
  • Remove the HDD and scan it as a 2nds HDD, using free and special offline AV scanners, (this works near best)
  • or reload the OS, this is not  scan this is the only sure cure.

The best way to scan any infected drive is to move it to another PC as a 2nd or 3rd  drive, or using this external hdd adapter case , inclosure box.
The best why to clean any HDD, is to not be booted to it, while scanning it. (otherwise the virus does a  great,  WACK-A-MOLE  dance and you LOSE !)
There are many online scanners that can work , and will clean some infections but never all of them and is  show stopper for me... this fact
Reload the OS is the only SURE CURE!.

There are other cures, nobody wants to consider.
Windows in ROM (Firmware OS) That can never become infected as it is read only OS.  (like seen on ATM machines now)
There is more simple home cures.
Buy a newer PC that can run Hyper-V or Linux versions.
You can run say W10 on top of Hyper-v Windows 10, or even over Linux
The under layer OS is protected, and the running OS gets infected but the next boot, goes back to your original image of W10. clean as a whistle.
Hypervisors :
First consider bare-metal Hyper-v , and then put linux  there and w10.
There is no in the wild virus that can infect linux so put W10 on top of Linux, (host to host , bare metal)
Run Ubuntu V17+ with KVM (Hypervisor) and run W10 on top.
Gamers will not like this but many can use it for a top security  PC.  (w10 over linux KVM) (note the need for 2 GPUs but is old information see Kernel 4.1)+)
For most folks you will  installed Hyper-V update to W10, the load W10 image (after building it first) and always use the Image running.
If you get kernel 4.10+ which fully splits all of the PCI devices into a seperated IOMMU-Group (Vt_d). So passing through graphic cards one-by-one to multiple VMs is now possible very easily.

The DO not list:   (do I need so say no soda drinks spilled on the key board?)
Do not open your PSU, as it has 120 to 250vac inside, if plugged in or even 1hour later with  capacitors inside charged up.
In the same vain the PC has only max 12vdc inside and is safe to humans,  but if you short it out,  sparks fly into you eye (never good results that) and you blow up devices inside the PC.
Do not run any LAPTOP on a blanket locking air vents. (in fact clean those vents often)
Do not run a PC with dead fans;  (this does not apply to super expensive silent PCs )
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? or if like me , I do  this and run what I want.
Do not listen to MS.com telling you , to upgrade, IGNORE THEM , (They got into big  trouble doing that.. bad act on W10  free upgrade saga  from H3LL)
Never hot swap internal devices or modules or cable inside your PC, of any kind, 

Never use the wrong power pack on any Laptop.(LT)  Never  use univeral power packs (with a voltage switch device DC switch like, 5/7/12/24vdc)
Use the HP (example) correct voltage (19vdc) and watts (65 or more watts), try to know there can be up to 3 watts ratings  used from just one model laptop, based on CPU+GPU needs.
On my LT,  the fastest GPU and fasted i7 CPU needs the 100w supply or it fails. 
I see no problems using HP cloned power packs at ebay.com  at all, and have used many.
If unsure? what pack to use?(ask HP they can answer you )or just  get the 100watt (or 90w) pack.  (19vdc, HP , class, 100watt)
The 65watt pack fails hard on my i7, 2010 LAPTOP , due to the silly processor then sucks 50 watts all by its self. and so does my fastest GPU chip. Oops. 100watts total !
Get the larger pack,  and it too runs cooler and lasts longer, (loafing along)
The newer laptops can have a CPU that only uses 17watts (intel)  and use very little power and 65watt packs work great.  (but not gaming systems of any kind)
Do not short out anything inside you PC, nor watch the idiots on UTUBE do that. (other than just for laughs watching them...)

On a Desktop do not run under powered, PSU's ever. (use same Ampere rating   or more , on every line)  200 watts is pathetic. (the PSU must match your motherboard spec +CPU choice and GPU choices or it will fail)
The $15 PSU is junk, try going to newegg.com buy a Thermaltake PSU,  for at least $39 and win.!
Do not not upgrade any PC if the newer OS does not support your very old hardware.
Lacking OEM support on media you then must use MS install media.
MS media  can work okay, if  you can dig up all the missing drivers, any and all.
The OEM may end support for install media even after 3 short years, leaving only Microsoft media or Linux.
Check HP first.  How to find a good OS install disk 

Media means USB memory stick installs or DVD-R.

HP HELP PAGES,  FIRST READ THE  SERVICE tag,  asking for help lacking this is will get you no answer or worn answers.
The service tag and all software must match this.

WARNING some things at HP go BYE BYE after 10 years, last one made!  (HPE.COM for Enterpise seems far better)
Update, seems HP is rehosting OLDER PCs now for drivers and doc.'s.

Here is my list of things that die first (the support topic)
  • Parts in the parts store at the maker OEM web site shows NIS, not in stock very soon, even 5 years later.
  • The documents dry up (deleted) at 10 years.
  • They (OEM) will talk to you about any PC but maybe not on XP and older, even VISTA and older are shunned now.
  • OS Media kits for fresh installing your windows, from the OEM seems to end way too soon, IMO. 5years or less.   (know that the drivers on this media may not exist else where)
  • Send in repairs to the OEM , I have no clues there.(call them , ask)
HP now tells everyone today it seems,  to run this Help Assistant, so  do what they say !


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)

This is not HP here, but mine. Why do I need the correct drivers.? (or see here my driver page too)

Find your  Drivers and or all documents on this PC at HP,  need to match your  SERVICE TAG (and your OS, operating system)

Install kits:  HP first  (if F11 power on Hotkey fails) HP drops OS support early , 10 year old?, it drops.

HP get media install kit for your PC.(must match your PC )  (CD/DVD or install USB sticks ) HP does not support old PC's now.

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)
Alwasy ask HP first for help. (on the forum below)

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 seen here on all HP products 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. (2006 and newer HP PC only)

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 Operating 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.(consumer grade not Enterprise grade)
  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.

We can run Linux Live or a WINDOWS PE disk, LIVE.
(in 1/2 the cases it will not do that, missing key drivers)

Good luck !

I hear odd NOISES,  that is Abnormal noise?

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 jargon, 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 (or CSM or Dual BIOS )
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 chunk 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.
TIM - Thermal Interface material
Heat sink, that large finned metal thing on top of large CHIP, that may have fan too. (as most CPUs do)
Heat sink thermal interface material or  compound (TIM) )
Heat sink grease, see  TIM above. (or heat sink compound)
WVGA-, 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.
A SMD- security chip is a chip (tiny) called TPM chip that holds the BIOS password.
SOC = System on a CHIP ( CPU and vast other chips extra not needed now)
Backup-., is the process and goal of having your precious data copied somewhere but "NOT HERE."  (not this dead PC) Know that all hard drives do fail, and that a virus can block all files in your Windows documents folders...or erase them...
There is no life time HDD made. (some can go 10 years as seen in high end servers)
BOOT, (short for boot strap) means pulling yourself up by your boot straps.  The CPU by itself is brick stupid and dumb, it can't do any thing at all by itself, but can JUMP (jmp instruction hard coded this) and does so the the BIOS starting point in memory.  BIOS then brings the system online.  (called booting up and is a SERIAL STEP BY STEP PROCESS) From IBM day one , 1981 to now. (even or old CPM computers did the same , older)

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)

GOOD LUCK fixing your PC !   There are only about 20 parts to change out and fix your PC, or just F11 reload the OS. 
My goal here is to cover all ways for major things dead in PCs or Servers. (with no bit flipping, I let "IT" play that silly endless games! ) I do show some BIOS bit flipping ! But must to do the goal 1)
I consider most software equal to a dirty diaper, change it often !
This site is free of all spying or any kind , no binary code or scripts here ever. (but some links to the most safe I can find)  This site is also free of paid pro web publishers, just some lazy dimbulbs rantings.
No spying , spam , scripts or any tracking here, no machine codes here. No begging here, no dontations asked nor accepted. 100% fat/surgar/gulten free. 100% Politics free.
The only scripts here is the freefind script to allow searching, a very important feature of any website,  (I can't crosslink everything so... this works great) the Free find uses fuzzy logic too, so finds things even spelled wrong)
Zero exploitation here, (just text , links and photos only) We do not warrantee what you find on other websites, ever, nor is that possible !   This also mean every page on this domain, same statement here.

There is no warranty here of any kind , for these rumors posted here.  (This page is only for me (but shared) to help me remember things I tend to forget, due to OLD AGE.  You are welcome to read my personal journal.

Under  always....
My favorite Programs are: (I do not get paid to say this, ever)
Malware & A/V protection as seen here.
Firefox v61 or newer  (it blocks evil sites  very well)
LastPass™ free. ( solid 10 on the wow meter)
And best of all O&O shutup10. ends MS spying , with one easy fast page, pulling into ONE Focus point all that crap !
Stardocks great START10™. (and Fences ,is love at first site thing)
And omg, (oh my golly) the great Revo Uninstaller Pro, (what  gem !) It can even clean out , failed unstalled junk ware, you know , programs that have a faulty unstall.exe .wow !
AnyDesk(tm) to remote into all my servers.
Serviio, my video server MKV, love it.
Malwarebytes pro.
and last, Winpatrol Plus (tm) blocks any code that attempts to install  things, (no matter by what or whom)

V27 ,,,,,10-9-2017 (a crude rough draft  Journal  and commented personal opinions,, nothing more.....)   I recommend  this Domain hosting service. INTERSERVER.net

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