Welcome to PCdied.com (This is not an offical HP.com site! of any kind shape or form)    For all real  HP help, please go here.

index sitemap advanced
site search by freefind

These pages cover the causes of most dead PC's. ( Laptop or Desktop (LT/DT)  At not 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)!

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...)                                   
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?
If clueless? see here. ( Lego® style?)

MY INDEX:  (See Gob-Smack me)
Learn this about electronics, parts can be, dead, weak, wounded, intermittent or even overheated.  (try to appreciate the complexity of  the 3billion transistors running inside that PC case and 3+million Windows registry bits set wrong)  See my HP Driver Secrets.
My PC I am typing on  has 3billion in the processor and 1 billion more in my Gforce card GPU.  and more.  If you think it's a toaster think one more time. PC have VAST failure modes.  (with Viruses, x10 that) Run Windows 10 for best protection.
A PC that powers up and shows text there , white text on black is NOT a black screen failure, its a failed to boot failure, If the BIOS screens are ok,then  it's NOT a black screen failure, it is a boot failure.
PCs boot in  hard serial sequence, making diagnosis easy if you learn just that 1 fact.  Order:  P.O.S.T > boot order, > HDD /SDD boot startup files, then full OS load, and all startup files last.  Most users are just hoping for a long is screen.
If Power on self test fails,  POST, you will get beeps or on new PCs, flashing LED codes on the keyboard.  POST errors are #1 ,first things first, issues.
  1. I only have  a dead Black screen, never any text at all, no matter what I do!, or has  dim screen
  2. My BIOS screens are all  Dead ? or is BOOT order wrong?
  3. The all white screen, no matter what?
  4. You lost Electric raw D.C. power {use  a voltmeter to test it}and the PC is dead now with no DC power,  the Laptop battery reads 19vdc,  the Destop has this PSU with 5-10 voltages to check.
  5.  PC Beep codes or new HP flashing lights  codes.  (these are BIOS errors, because it  discovered catastrophic system failures! learn to read the codes )
  6. blank
  7. Windows only is dead,  The BIOS screens are all  okay  here.
  8. Windows runs, but not well, I look for corrupted windows files, with SFC (knowns as "System File Check")
  9. BSOD's  Blue screens of death with funny geek like messages in white  text? (has the words  DUMP? or HALT or STOP?)
  10. A laptop can shut down overheated, (even the CPU can do that , all by its little self) (did the heat sink fall off the processors?, yes CPU and GPU !)
  11. Got funny lines in the screen?, most times, is a bad LCD screen , bad cable to it?,  If you  gently twist, the screen itself  with 2 hands (torque it)  if lines come and go?, the Screen is BAD.! (screen cables loose is always possible)
  12. BIOSpassword lost? (ask at HP.com) Most Cheap PCs have a back door PW, ask HP. others like the Elitebook or Probook are vastly more hard to reset, only HP can give you a flash binary file that works.
  13. Windows at login screen shows , lost password?, the local PW Windows 10 is not hackable, like easy W7 was.  The Windows CLOUD password resets using Live.com  goggle that or at MS.com search how to reset w10 passwords.Millions asking now....
  14. See my beyond BIOS fails and cures.
  15. Windows is slow? , it's normal for old PC's and old HDD (hard disk drive) buy a SSD and upgrade it, you will be amazed.  (most PC's (XP for sure) are just infected and slow, clean it or get a  fresh load (install) of the OS) or better, upgrade  it .
  16. Get rid if XP , XP is a Virus Magnet ! (best is to buy a 10 year or less old Windows 7 PC of any kind, for near nothing, at Fleabay or "Goodwill")
  17. 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.
  18. Next is to Backup your data ( in a PANIC ?)
  19. If the above checks are good , and live CD test passes,  but the HP Windows install media fails !, then  the HDD is TOAST. (buy a new SSD now)  I test the disk in another PC first, and attempt to fresh format it.
  20. Last is more dead things,  my short  list of odd things that love to die.
  21. Fresh installs?
  22. blank
  23. Odd facts about  windows installer program disks (setup.exe)  (warning XP asks for  floppy disk, driver, good luck there, hitting F6)
  24. Cloning a boot HDD to SSD drive.
  25. Devices are dead?  I look in Device manager,  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
  26. NOISE?  Lots of ways to get noise, in fact all PC's  make noise (with fans or HDD) but what if it's ABNORMAL.
  27. UPgrades / great links and facts on Defunct chip makers .  UPGRADE can and do fail, all the time.  Some are not even curable.

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....)

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)

Like me, this section is about DIM BULB's... ,    My BLACK SCREEN PAGE IS HERE.

B.I.O.S:  (now matter if called, "Setup" by HP or UEFI today) I'd have called it BIOS mach1 !

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® invented by Intel® Flash EEPROM does not need uV light to erase it like back on the first HP PC 1984 (first laptop)
This chip with code inside, X86 code, always runs first. 
This is what does the BOOT STRAPPING of the OS.  The BIOS has  boot order page,  that decides, what media, is to boot up first,  it and only IT decides this and is your choice.
The PC can also roll the boot, if one media  fails it tries the next.  (BIOS logic does this since 1979)

This is what I call screen one, this is BIOS, F1 key INFO page screen . 

 (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 blue screens of death.
If you see text at power on,  then it is a blue screen death, I call it blue , only to say windows is dead, today Microsoft has this HUGE array of blue death screens, seems endless, to me.
This must come up, as seen here, if it's dead, but the Rear VGA is good, then the 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.
 If 19vdc is on the mobo, pins, the power pack is okay, (it can be RAM bad too, try 1 DMM  memory stick at a time )
SEE 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 is a nice i7.
 I run a very special heat sink grease here, imported from JAPAN. (to keep the CPU cooler, it runs at 55 C temp.
Photo: BIOS INFO SCREEN F1,, I pressed ESC at power on, then pressed F1.  BINGO.  (the history of "enter BIOS" keys are F1,F2,F10 and ESC, keys  in cronological 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 .

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 Ugrade DVD bay and run both, now. (SSD caddy I have)
If the HDD will not boot look here first.  and run the HDD test on page 1.
If my HDD goes South, (fails) I boot to 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.
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.
Hints on topic:-
This PC has  SD card slot and can boot lightening fast of a video grade SD card.  (or load and OS using this very very fast port)
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.
end boot order and related topics.

Getting HELP?:
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, this word too is important. (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.

For HP help go here driver ,etc...

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.
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 and over like a nut.
My BIOS I can add to the F9 list, do so now.
I can boot to LINUX CD.
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.

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.
Proving that you have a boot problem, or bad HDD or dead OS.
Lets say the LIVE boot disc (or udisk stick) works great.
Lots of paths here, so keep mind YMMV, your machine may vary.
So now we know the PC is okay, BIOS is okay,  the CDROM works or live CD or stuck works, so that means Windows is corrupted, or HDD is bad.
I then power on hit F9 and pick my C: drive,  The OS is dead?  totally, freezes, or what ever , its time to do the HP recovery processes.
If F9 works but windows does not load, when not pressing the F9  key, then the BIOS boot order is wrong, for sure, so go there and correct that now. (Using the BIOS entry key)
RESTORING THE OS:  (there are many ways to do this, but we start simple and work to harder)    Common as nails this action, with a bad virus.  HP uses F11 key to restore the HP OS.
  1. There, are startup repair option. fixes the corrupted HDD start files or missing.
  2. OS  refresh, saving  data.  (the HP has a partition (spare) that has a copy of HP windows install. Use that first.
  3. and  a clean load of Windows from the HP media kit.
  4. The real Microsoft windows Disk (or ISO) can in fact install a fresh OS, but many HP features and drivers can be born dead.  (HP has cure, and only them , if at all)  If HP.com says you can't upgrade your PC then why are you trying.
I'm not going to tell all these steps here, but would be grossly redundant and varies by model HP you own,  See the HP media kit here.
My LT (laptop) runs W10,  and we can now do what is called an inline W10 to W10 upgrade,  the steps are easy, with LT booted and running , insert the W10 install stick in the USB port and use explorer t go there and run setup.exe off the stick.
I then pick pick install then it ask (finds your existing OS there) and asks to do clean install or upgrade install, (says clearly keep all documents and all installed applications) Pick this, and does just as it states, and works, great.

Hints on CDrom installs, they are slow, and if made from CD-R can get read errors. Avoid all that and make a install media USB memory stick , it will run super fast and not be corrupted, as CD's love to do. (many old laptops the CD drive  is bad, weak or flaky)
The fastest ever install on my HP is off my HP camera memory slot called "media card reader" Supports SD (Secure Digital), MultiMedia Card, Memory Stick, Memory Stick  Pro, Memory Stick Duo*, Picture card.
I can boot from this SD card, using a card off a video camera that is lightening fast.
I also have on my traveling LT a 2nd SSD ,with a full install image of windows 10 there.

OS corruptions:?

First get the data backed up.  Seen here. (PANIC page)
One can run as admin  command  line ,,SFC /scannow  ( press winkey+X, then pick command prompt (admin) or run #7 at below, linked page.
or run this beauty. Run IMAGE-HEALTH (cmd). Seen here,( runs Dism for you it does and works)

The best way to clean malware infections is a clean load of Windows, (or switching to Linux)
Remember XP is a Virus magnet.  (avoid it ,totally)
XP and Vista are not DEAD products, no more support.

The only 3 simple ways to see if a HDD is ok? AND THIS advanced why; way beyond simple.
1: Install windows, see if it installs , if  it shows HDD errors, its bad.
2: or if windows runs but slow or oddly , get a Program called SMART,  run that see if errors and run windows, disk check program. (Google those 2 ideas , it's not new)
3: Run the HDD test in BIOS.

Wrong Upgrades  (I did not say updates) of any kind: (facts) can kill working drivers.  (do not let MS up grade you automatically, turn that off in windows update page)
If you did, and now HP has no drivers, what to do.

See my page on how PnP works and if not what to do. (be your own PnP engine, 1 step at a time)

BTW: By the way my HP 8540w does not support windows 10 but does run perfectly (all things but the security package, finger print reader dead, and the omg loved SOFTPAQ, is DEAD , etc)   "Softpaq is the HP smart autoload, of drivers" Kinda like Red Hat Linux has...
HP has newer software that does this called,  the HP Support Assistant (download it)

White Screens of death?, WSOD?

The GPU chips on all 2008 love to do this, (the 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?)

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 ture 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, btw) 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 Udisk 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.  (unlike my DT with  4 fans and kept high off floor from all that dust/lint/etc) (or failed Heatsinks)
  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.}
  • 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 overclocking 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.
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 nother 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-managment. (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 specifiy the drive letter to scan. (if missing letter, add one in disk managment)

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)

Show and Tell? PSU here first. "The power supply unit, used on all DT"
This is  DT, PSU.  note the up to 10 voltages DC to check, with your meter. (at least 5 voltage lines out)  The Higher power PSU are more costly and 10x better in quality, never buy any $15 new PSU, it will be CRAP.
Desktop ATX spec supply, modern !
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.
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")

If this means nothing?  von Neumann architecture ? then...
Puters 101? or why is my box dead?
This section assumes you can unplug the display monitor and go to any PC and test it there,  telling you its NOT IT BAD.
Same goes for laptop screen dead,  plug in any desktop screen to  the LT rear VGA jack and test that, if that works the screen in the LT is bad. $100 typ. parts cost.

The below is the computer box only. (in all its shapes and forms)
The PC to you  is just  4 parts or less?  (I'm saying replace all 4 , one by one, and fix it)  If you do this , you save about $300 labor at your un-named local,  ripoffshop.
  1. The LT only, the huge main Battery is bad , shorted is bad news. (They are all short lived 1 to 5 years?, why not try the spare now or running with out it) $15  The LT and DT both have  Coin cell battery that fails near 5years.($3)
  2. The POWER PACK (AC to DC power pack, 19vdc is HP  common type.100w best size) $15 cost  The DT has PSU that can fail ($50 cost)
  3. The OS (windows) (reload it yet? from scratch?) Get it from HP.com, not Microsoft.  or for free,  The F11 key does this for free, power on, push F11 (your HP doc's in all cases tells you how, under system recovery chapters)
  4. The CASE part .   "this is the 3billion + transistors complexity box"  (3,200,000,000 now on intels newest processor, 3 billion)  MOBO, or HDD , bad? ,VGA card BAD?  you can just guess spend cash and guess. Takes no skill or testing to guess. In my case all are $100 or more each.
If this is your Idea of a computer above, then replace those 4 parts in the order shown,  and now it works great.
That order 1,2,3,4  is by cost factors.
If wise? get the Laptop serviced, and not guess and go broke.
But, If you are un-daunted by that, then read the whole page above. In order presented from the top of this page.
This skips wired wrong, say wires fell off that need to work... oops.

Even more basic is,  "Is it a hardware or software problem?"  ageless. as Mr Neumann himself.

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

See my  HDD bad page, and all tests.

I've seen every type of HDD failure now, in 40 years as a 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"

  • Why read all this , well no need really!, why not ask for help on a real HP forum. Seen below: ( or get the PC repaired by a real technician?)
  • No PC runs with out  POWER, computers need clean and pure and steady  power levels "watts" rating, to run, or run right.  The end results are DC power to CHIP's , from the line power pack, battery or   or if DT ?, the  PSU .
  • My HP laptop power pack is 19vdc out. (any voltmeter made can check this, today called a DMM)
  • If the MAIN LARGE battery is shorted, as many love to do, then the charger overloads so bad , the power to the PC actual MOBO  can be weak or dead.  Remove the MAIN battery now and see if the system is happy. (Step one on any laptop for sure)
  • If the coin cell (button ) battery dies?, as all do in  5 -10 years, if this happens CMOS BIOS  settings , go scrambled, and may fail to boot from the HDD. 
  • Keep in mind at all times, you can spend 3 wasted days repairing a virus, infected OS,  or reload FRESH Windows it in 30 minutes?, It is your choice and the only this choice has a for sure chance of  success. (reload now!)
  • However, If infected, the off line AV scanner from Famous ESET is very good!
  • Prevention ?, next time, use RESTORE POINTS, in Win 7 to 10, Click CP control panel, then Recovery + Configure system restore + Create + "a name" and continue here.  Do this on a stable system, for a place to go back to, using the same CP+recovery method.
  • Hints, XP is dead for 3 years now. Vista is now dead too, April 2017, up grade to W7 and WIN. Or better, try Ubuntu Linux Desktop.
  • XP is a virus magnet, and is not the top #1, CyberAttack, victums of the world (not in USA , places like NHS , hospitals in UK still run XP, why?  is the question we all would love to hear .
  • To prevent data loss, Google how to do PC backups.  (learn it and practice it) WIN!
  • Hint: An infected hard drive may be cleaned , if removed (unbolted, yes) to a external eSATA case. ($20) and then connected to a working system(USB or Esata port) and run ESeT online scanner program(free)
  • There are vast other things to fail on the MOBO, bad fan, ?  (same on desk tops, have 2 fans that must work, CPU and PSU, fans, and on mine a GPU card fan (I have a fast GPU card and must cooled at all times.)
  • If he PC is full of dust bunnies it will overheat and STALL, and if  fans jam  or all vents packed in lint, we clean ours every year or it DIES. (like clockwork it dies if not serviced) Or the HEAT sink fails or it's interface compound.
  • Rule1: Just because some lamps (LED) glow does not mean POWER is ok!, with weak power they sure they can glow.  If they are dead, blank,  then power pack is dead, or far worse.
  • Remove all USB cables from system to see if PC wakes up.
  • See smoke? see burned wires?
  • The BIOS flashing /beeping codes at you , means count them and look them up at HP.
  • What is as symptom of a Virus infection?, well to be honest , "ANYTHING" but the top ones are, "slow system" or "things dead in windows" a dead control panel or I can not install or remove programs at all.  (and far far far worse "steals your Identity")

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,  (real)


Why do I need the correct drivers.?

Find my drivers, (must match full p/n # and your serial number,  the SERVICE TAG , DAT:

Install kits:  HP first

HP get media install kit for your PC.(must match your PC )

after 10 years, HP may not have kits.
On Old systems, HP will directy you to HP authorized media, kit web sites (3rd party support, ask them)
Here are some aftermarket HP kits:

HP says, "no longer provides Recovery Media for your model," a couple of other sites you can check are: http://www.computersurgeons.com/ and     http://www.restoredisks.com/



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.

Windows Install issues: (all I've seen since Windows 1) "say a fresh install "  ( see that  file on the install disk called Setup.exe , that be our topic)
The Microsoft  install programs many, are a ROYAL PITA.  (brick stupid comes to mind)    
By the way my HP can re-Install itself with just F11 key pressed at power on.

Rules of the game:
If  have the PC connected to your router with a real wired ethernet cable, you will  save tons of grief and wasted hard labor fighting missing DRIVERS.
Do not format the HDD if you are booted to it now, (like remove car tires, at 85mph , that be NO FUN)
If you have no data on that old HDD/SSD you can make the disk clean 2 ways, both on another PC, with yours plugged in to it, and use CP disk manager (or cmd. prompt type, diskmgmt.msc) or use any top free partition tool to do what ever you want.
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)  The solution is on the above line.
Or boot to any free LIVE CD of any kind and delete all partitions. (drive 0)
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)
  1. If running the dead OS XP, it will ask for a floppy "F6",    (dumb no?) but is worse, it can't read USB media,  2 times dumb but all this is long gone history, forget XP it's DEAD (never run XP or for sure Sans SP4 and that last patch 2017 for cyberhacking fix.)
  2. The CD Setup.exe  all, do not like preformatted alien HDD (or SSD) , it will not like Apple disks or any of the vast formats of LINUX or well anything but WINDOWS formats.  The Setup will tell you the disk is missing, (lies to you in your face)
  3. Today, 2017 the same rules apply, but is now 10x more strict, it flat refuses to fresh load any disk full of microsoft formatted data. (all legit) This was done to protect the brave and totally innocent folks. (or daft) The solution is erase it your self first, as a 2nd drive on 2nd PC.
  4. Solution too is boot do a LIVE Linux CD or Windows PE disk and erase this DRIVE fully.
  5. Using anything, even Linux can slick any disk made, no fan fare , no drama, no problems , even windows can (on 2nd PC as drive2) at the with diskmanager(GUI) or at the CMD prompt, type, use Format /?  or Diskpart , enter then List DISK.  see if it has partitions.
  6. Learn that some new hard  disks sold are preformated vast ways,  so with  them we erase them first,  and windows SETUP.exe becomes happy.
  7. When you boot the BIOS picks the dead drive by default (C:) so fails to boot, because it's DEAD and is why you are HERE, but anyone can go in to BIOS setup's at any time and change the boot order. (my HP has  F9 key just for that , "boot to any media listed"
  8. The next thing that happens is El Torito rules. The nicer BIOS's tell you on the screen "hit any key to continue"  if you don't?, It will never boot to CD.( this rule is because windows setup takes 2 boots, one with CD then with none, or it fails ) "so called boot through feature"
  9. Okay Window Setup runs  its blue menu's and you pick "INSTALL" it, booted from CD (or any media) and then says no hard disk found, see above for simple fix, then finds it this time and installs.
  10. The OS opr. system you are using (installing) for sure XP will not be able to load drivers for most WIFI and even worse, the HDD PATA/SATA chips are dead.  no drivers. On newer OS say VISTA the hard disk drivers work but network and wifi are dead. (the classic PITA)
  11. The only solution on XP (install.exe) is drivers on a floopy (what's a floppy?) from the maker of said chips,  good luck pulling that off in 2017
  12. Lets talk Windows 7,  the only supported older OS at Microsoft now 2017.  This OS began life if October 22, 2009  , and will not know how to run chips made say in 2017.  but can if you do the install connected, to the internet and are lucky that the drivers still  work for ethernet chips.
  13. Windows 7 has 300 updates,  and fails if IE11 is not installed, I've spent days getting IE11 loaded,  (missing the free w10 is a bad deal) (I now made a slipstreamed W7 CD with all 300 updates and IE11, so can do a near hands free install now)
  14. Last and best, is why not use the HP disks called Install media kit, from HP.com ? If you do that, most of the above is cured.
  15. Try to under stand a hard fast rule, if  the PC is new and for sure newer than 2009 W7, how can 2009 setup.exe  know about chips not invented in 2009 or before,  answer it can NOT. (but if the ethernet connected NOW, it MIGHT, see?  magic can happen with PnP)
  16. For Geeks?  If the old CAB files don't have your chips there,  you may have problems. (what we do,  is have memory stick in hand, with all key chip drivers on it. (for sure SATA, USB, WIFI, Eithernet and VIDEO) Like Boy Scout , be prepared. (all 5 are at HP.com for mine)
  17. Last of last, if your chip maker (say wifi) does not make a driver for your old OS,  it will never ever work.  How can it?, it can not.
  18. On newer systems with UEFI BIOS, (2008 and newer PC) the rules changed hard, the new rule is all media inserted now, is a virus (assumed)  Doing any installs here takes specific and new steps. (MBR/GPT ways)  HP.com says this about that.
UEFI + GPT. (formats)
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)

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 (virus free x60 tests) top brand partition tool, that can recognize vast types of formatting then can delete it in 1second flat.

XP ?
The PIG, the Virus magnet ! 
In the USA XP is now only 2% or less (falling fast) of  all running Windows.   OMG, they run this in the UK at Hospitals and FAILED. (cyber-attacted)
The cheap (free) and fast fix is Linux.
XP has larger usage in countries that run stolen XP.  (Some even expect support even when pirated, gall has no ends?)  
We now know hospitals in the UK run XP, still.  ( I'm gobsmacked. )
Even more imporant is many folks just use there Cell phone, totally avoiding all this heart ache, I can't blame them...
XP is dead, and now VISTA early 2017,  END OF THE LINE, END OF LIFE (install Linux is the cure, for OLD GEAR)  See how others love (sarc)_ VISTA here (Blimp TV . Thanks !).
The correct cure is buy a system with W7 on it, used for less than $100 and move on? END THE VIRUS ATTACKS ! NOW.
Zero support, virus magnet and no updates, and no questions answered on it, as Leonard McCoy would say, It's DEAD JIM !

The one place that has SP3, and is not infected, as 99% ARE,is at Major Geeks.  and the SP4 unoffical version too. (sp3_+ all roll ups.(watch out !, you need a valid COA key to do installs like this on XP)
Windows UPDATE is DEAD . 100% dead. (means no future protections)
Windows, defender or MSE is also now dead.  
Support for new hardware is dead.
But... here are some more facts.

SP4 + a special security fix

XP is a virus magnet (at all times) and if you install say the HP offical disk set of XP  from
October 25, 2001  ,  16 long years ago ,that  XP on disk and is wired directly to the internet with no router firewallm active, it will get infected in minutes, as you install.
Always do installs, behind a firewall, or disconnected from the internet. (XP only )
Next would be SP3. Loaded. Seen above.
If you go online and read mail with attachments, you will get infected, in seconds.
Now in the new wild world of web sites, that are chock full of malware today, you will get malware by the ton, even with Malwarebytes loaded (and you should !).  (XP is a naked OS, it can't protect it self, at all.)
At least W7 has DEFENDER and better safe structures.
Never use XP, ever again.   If you must , then use ESET.
Best of all run LINUX.  (only relic PC like this, old and slow, with slow HDD, small Ram, and old slow processors)

Why do people run XP....?  It gets  no (nor Vista) updates for security now!, except one for the  "
WannaCry is believed to use the EternalBlue exploit,"
  • To lazy to do updates.  ?
  • The hardware is so old and slow it can not  be upgraded. (sure if 15 year old PCs, sure)
  • To daft to know what it meant when Microsoft said "XP and VISTA is not supported now.", and no updates now, nor knowing that means , IT IS DOOMED !
  • Not wanting to up grade hardware nor up grade the OS to W10, for many reasons, mostly costs.   (pay me now? or pay me later, comes to mind)
  • Not upgrading the processor to SLAT levels,  AMD/INTEL.
  • Head burried so deep in the sand, they just are not aware how bad XP really is.
  • The fear of Linux,  stopped them from success.
  • They stole it and can't see why paying for and upgrade is good. (outside USA counterfeit XP is rampant still, and they help infect everyone, even unknown to themselves.)

One quote from wiki is amasing 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]"
They can't afford an updata after 16 years? XP to W10?
I guess, they don't charge you $6000 for a stinking MRI scan , like herein USA, so can't  afford to buy VBS hardware and W10 based computers.  (
virtualization-based security (VBS). )

Last and better than XP /Vista , is Windows 7,  but it has one big failing !,  300 updates + and the impossible to load and mandatory Internet Exploder, 11.
(I spent a whole day making a full Slip streamed full Windows 7 install disk, it does work, but I HAD NO FUN DOING IT)
The best ploy?, is a NEW PC.  or say a 5 years old PC or so... no more than 10 years, old.
There is nothing wrong with Win8, gee press the left windows, key, see? or run Stardock , Start 8 for 5-bucks.

A clean and FRESH OS , Install basic steps, going beyond above install issues comments  (covering MBR methods not UEFI BIOS and mode)
Windoz: (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 existance.  (I build ASUS machines and run pure Microsoft OS and Linux here)
A top maker (best ) is HP.com  (a scary complex URL ,no?)
If it is that or Dell , et cetera.  We must load the makers version of WINDOWS. Not Microsofts, 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.
Lets now do DEAD F11 , 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 on HPs)
Go to HP.com get your Media kit. (below) Do not use Microsofts disks, like this one....no matter what it shows there, XP,Vista, W7 up.
HP get media install kit for your PC.(must match your PC and OS)

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 (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 preformatted 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 25Gbytes, (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 heatsink 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 premission, 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.

BSOD's  Blue Screens of Death with funny geek like messages in white  text? (has the words STOP,  DUMP? or HALT  ?)   
Microsoft now adds more Blue screens of death just for fun W10, some are tragic others only mean microsoft is doing FORCED updates and can take a very very long time, (5-10minutes on my fiber ISP network or 5 days with Dialup.)
That is correct, Windows 10 is not in the least compatible with DIAL UP. (sure it works ok, slow but when an update starts, FAIL) If using a metered internet connection , each update costs big money. (like 3/4G?)
Relic BSOD 1.  "Classic for 25 long years"  Most times this is a Virus or bad Video driver or bad RAM.
 (It means bad code in memory ran or was executed, and failed, causes are virus (causing bad code) or some key drivers wrong, or bad memory)  ( I test the system with a LIVE PE or linux boot stick or CD. even try running 1 stick of ram only)
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)
F8 key does not work W8 & up.  (has no ways to get to safe mode and not easy)
The next screen  is not icon marked either, and is serious corrution of the OS .
W10 here, Usually a bad Video card (GPU chip) driver.
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.

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.  Give it 15minutes to end that...
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 (press F11 under 3 seconds of power on)
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 )

If cloning a HDD?
There are many reasons to clone, for example upgrading to SSD drive, or just wanting an image of your working boot drive, for abvious reasons, (no? Backup reason)
I use Farstone. (version 11 is free)
Be sure to remove the cloned drives, after the clone or you will get Hard Disk Signature Collision , errors.  (Turn off said PC and remove  the drive not needed now.)
The fix is never have 2 truly identical drives in the PC at the same time.  (to see the ID takes special tools and methods)
The other way is , is to  right click  the offline drive in computer DISK management and select  online. (risky this) 
The risk is booting and windows, then takes the new drive and sets it offline (automatically) and damages the boot records doing so, making it no longer bootable.
Steps that work every time.
Clone, C to Say E: (C: is boot drive, E is say a new SSD drive)
Shut it down now. turn off PC
Remove C:  and put E: in its place. (new HDD or new SSD , job)
Power up and the SSD is now active, and fast.
Hint1: Better cloning software, prevents these issues, by changing the signature after the clone. Better cloning software also clones all partitions including the HP, recovery partitions;So F11 still works. (F10 on XP)
To change the signature is complex, it takes Disk partitions edits and registry edits.
One old trick I use to do is set the spare drive Inactive. (this tells windows never boot here, so now the disk is just DATA)
Warning many clone programs do not handle GPT disks correctly. UEFI.

HP Secrets on DRIVER packs. (FAQ and facts)  (SP12345.exe is a fake HP name example here) A.K.A: DRIVER H3LL !  (OS = Operating systems)
  1. Upgrades can kill many features of you HP computer, if you upgrade with Microsoft software or worse fresh load,  a Microsoft (say w10) Operating System via their MEDIA kit,  then many things will fail. The solution is complex or even impossible.
    Factoid 1: HP does not support W7,W8,W10 on all PCs they ever made, Sorry THEY DO NOT, and rule 2, Factoid 2: The makers of those magic chips do not support W7,W8, or W10 in many cases, in fact the makers can  be NO LONGER IN BUSINESS !!!
  2. If the chip maker or card maker (PCI or any for that matter) is no longer in business or fails to support a newer OS, why upgrade? OS,  In fact many chip end at VISTA support or even end at XP.  WHY BUCK FACTS here.?
  3. The HP drivers must all match as a set and correct versions and be loaded in the correct order,
  4. 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)
  5. Newer PC's can use this tool to get the correct drivers. (Support Assistant)
  6. The Drivers are Exe files,  SP12345.exe, this is a tiny Installer shell by HP.com  It will tell you 2 things, driver installed ok or not with error codes.  (It can say , this driver is not for this PC and more, and is the shells main purpose besides the final driver load)
  7. If the  SP12345.exe fails, after say 300 huge updates of Windows 7 and now manatory IE11,  this driver installer can  fail, with code 9996 or the like, the cure is easy, do this trick next.
  8. Take SP12345.exe and fully extract it to a  folder, say its, Ethernet chip driver, called Realtek.  Using 7zip (free) extract here, the real driver files expands and lands inside  to this folder,  xxxx.sys, zzzz.inf,  etc.
  9. Then in Device manager, see that bad or missing driver, right click it and go... Update my driver then pick browse my pc, and go to folder above. BAM this chip now works. (well that is if the chip model and the driver match,  that means the Intel driver will fail for Realtek chip.
  10. 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.
  11. The SP12345.exe will tell you clear as day if you try to load the Intel wifi driver on a Broadcom wireless motherboad, in fact mine unplugs and can buy other HP wifi cards to fit my LT. (microPCI?)
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.
Mine (LT) uses a the
Intel 82577LM chip, (stated clear as day  at HP.com and has HP  driver there)
What if HP has no supports now my 10 year old PC, (10 years from last one they built not the first)
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.  (a tragic loss of a wonderful program defected by you).
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 !)
  • You don't even have that chip, so how can a driver even talk to a missing chip, well it can not, case in point (wifi or bluetooth or both missing, or in BIOS turned OFF) (drivers drive chips in most cases, so...)
  • Wrong driver, for your OS, they must match.
  • Using the Microsoft driver and not HP's off HPs, driver pages. oops...
  • Using half MS driver stack and half HP driver stacks, oops, CHAOS rules your  system .
  • Using drivers not from HP nor from MS,  but from a virus/malware site called (fake names) Driver-magic-pay-me-now-fool.com  (a hopeless and dangerous idea if ever there was)
  • One can use fresh drivers say , from Intel, or AMD or Nvidia off their  official pages, yes this can work and for sure if HP does not support , say W10 on ANY  Boxed PC. (my powerful GPU  card runs fresh NVIDIA drivers)
  • You upgraded your PC without HP.com permission. (H3LL it's your PC, sure but...) why do that.? Is it fun to find missing drivers all week or even possible.?  
  • My PCs all run on W10,  due to them being newer 10 years or newer.
  • The HP has custom some hardware,  I will give one example. My  laptop has  top row hot key board, that can turn off and adjust many major things, WIFI, speaker volume and more.  
  • If you can't get a driver for this one thing, how  much fun is that? It's only provide by HP.com
  • The HP comes with bundled software, not just driver. Some are very useful, others are just bloatware.  Like the HDD protector. and the huge vast Security package that make the finger print reader work or MS silly HELLO feature work.. and more lots more... all dead now with a fresh w10 load.
  • 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.

My last comment will be this, on this topic, I run a PCI scanner first to see what chips I actually have in my PC, and if say there is no BLuetooth chip, I either buy one and put it in or just  don't use bluetooth.
I can also, look up each chip and see if the makers supports say Windows  10... (some key chips do not run W10 at ALL, case in point, some wifi, and Ethernet chip makers, and NEVER WILL !)
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 BEARINGs.(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 Turings 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, vents not packed in lint? or the whole system of vents packed in lent/dust) we check the heatsinks. 
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 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.
SMD security chip is a chip (tiny) that holds the BIOS password. That can be changed out, to cure BIOS only , password lock out, but is a SECRET how.  One official site charges $100 to do it, plus tax and shipping.
Backup 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 secuity fixes... now and in the future.
My CPU is FX series and it runs SLAT , as does windows 8/8.1
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 futher?, 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%, of 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.
I no longer use PCs with anything inside made by RealTek , due to they shut down the download pages, at there home page,  they only help PC makers now,  so I boycott them, personally, now.
Dead chips,  one could buy say, a USB WIFI dongle and use that. (new) That works in W10. I can buy USB Ethernet chip too.  We can get connected on any PC made, that has USB and VISTA and newer. (XP has weak and dead support on USB)
The problem of updates and chips now dead makers, is complex. There are many chips now , not supported. (vast) Video,  Sound , Wifi,  Ethernet, and more. lots more. Dealing with this is either easy for me, or is impossible even for a Diety, ( dead chips are just that , dead)
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?

Many chip makers are no longer in business (or just don't support this chip now).    As any Star Trek fan knows,  HE'S DEAD JIM !
Plug and Play (PnP) is great thing, 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)
Many GPU video card makers are defunct now (DEAD) are no longer in business, or left THAT business to make other things, but not this thing (your chip that fails)
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 die as  a product way back then,,..  He's DEAD JIM.

Here is another list of defunct computers or chip makers. (near endless this... I have personally seen more die than LIVE)
I can post 10000s chips not made, nor supported all day long,. to what point?

Here is a list of todays top players, and many of these makers made chips that stalled (ended) at VISTA, that chip ended then...
 Some makers,  made newer chips, but some made none or dropped say sound chips, etc... All have a web page and all have a download page clearly stating what is supported. (or may not even EXIST NOW! that too is, He's DEAD JIM.)
Many Chip makers, do not sell modern drivers for W7, W8 or W10.  (go to their web site and read about that)

Most chips ever made (1984 to now) will not work in W10,  for 2 reasons, they the makers or the products  are dead or there old W7 driver is no good now.
In fact, there are more dead chips than new ones.  A hard cold FACT dead.   Find a driver For S3 chips and W10. 
Best, is to have PC 10years or newer and WIN !

Warning about W10, fresh installed from MS, not HP.
The new W10 mandates fresh Certificates,  this new rule makes fresh loads , even with good drivers FAIL.  (but works as an upgrade, omg that is a tricky rule there.)
This new rule makes even good drivers, now DEAD ! (what a bloody joke on us!) Grandfathering only seems to work now, on UPGRADES. (say W7 to 10) in many cases.
In effect ,MS has now crippled PnP plug and pray is more pray now. (My guess ? is this will only get worse for folks with older PC's)
Window 10 features, allow you to find some very hard to find missing drivers from your neighbors PC,  but you must have the feature tuned on. (IMO it's risky)
Think of a software driver as a car, that has no tires,  all is great, but will not GO.  1000s of parts perfect, but 4 tires, missing, H3LL one tire missing.

Money and opinions.....
I do not get paid for posting any of  this, it's a retired guys rants,  opinion, nothing more.  I offer it to those in deep trouble, you are bricked in some why. 
There is no SPAM here, no forced Video's no ADs , ever, or any other marketing nor any form of exploitation of you at any time by me. (what you can find off my site can be ANYTHING)
All the above is opinion and as we all know, Windoz 10, now can change to what ever  it wants now, at every boot, it's really Chameleon 10 !  (note how your W7 licenses are now dead, they are commuted in 30 days, no going back ever, now)
I use special software that blocks all MS spying 100%
(I use wide screen and white backgrounds so pages can be printed,  I do not support any CELL phone  screens, nor BLOGs , no Word Press®)
 Just simple flat files, (this page can even be stuffed in to a PDF file easy)  My pages are only for things DEAD. (no bit fiddling, but one,  BIOS boots to Drive 0 , bit)
I do love windows 10 security and the faster updates, Windows 7 has over 300 updates that are a HORROR to load, and IE11 manditory too get them) (I have a slip streamed W7, I made that cure that horror)

3-18-2017 (a crude rough draft  Journal)   I recommend  this Domain hosting service. INTERSERVER.net