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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.
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 is bad.
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 these  things before working on any computer:
When I touch any PC, I Carbon14 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.
  • If your PC was an Airplane,  it would have crashed long ago.  No , really. (vast single point failures here, and no redundancy here!)
  • 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 vast way,  dead, weak, damaged , shorted or intermittant, 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.
  • All PCs no matter what, fail. Most do inside of 10  years old. Laptops fail and fail the hardest and cost more to fix, due to custom parts inside. (the motherboard is not standardized there)
  • All PC's made, the raw electronics have service life of  about 20 years min. , and fastly longer kept cool, the FLASH memory will hold its data for 100 years. (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, if PC runs ok, now then get a new battery or just run on AC power pack forever,  as anyone can surely do if they want.
  • The HP RTC, CMOS coin cell battery dies and  can fail in 5 years easy, The BIOS machine code lasts for 100 years, (proof) When the battery dies, BIOS goes nuts (NVram dead), and the RTC clock calendar chip can't keep time, or date)
  • The HDD has service life of about  10 years,  (parked off?; way longer) A SSD upgrade helps in the regard. (Solid State Drive, means no motor, no disk inside , no heat, and longer life) The tests are here.
  • LCD SCREENS: The early PCs up to year 2010 mostly had CCFL screen back lamp tubes, that love to fail dead in 2 years flat (5 on average?), (LED  screens are VASTLY better)
  • Do not hot swap modules inside your PC. (make sure all power inside, is at 0 vdc before jerking parts ) A.C=Line cord pulled, main battery pulled if LAPTOP and push the powerbutton (10seconds) now to discharge all capacitors inside the PC.!
  • 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)
  • Learn that in fact,Intel (and AMD) has three thermal protectors 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  serial 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)
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 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 and reload to clean socks." BINGO" ! <fails with a bad HDD !

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.   
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)
  1. All PC's will Overheat easy, if not serviced once a year, and cleaned they all will run slower or even halt dead ("stop"). , Did you ever clean your PC?   
  2. Is Power okay?,  all power supplies and regulators must  be working correctly. (See this PSU page on what to expect using a voltmeter. (a laptop has 19vdc power pack but the regulators are deep in side on the motherboard.)
  3. Is the Laptops HUGE main battery shorted?, remove it, does the PC run great now?, bingo , just run on the AC pack and not bother with this battery.  If the AC pack is bad, the battery will go dead. (discharged)
  4. Is my PC's tiny RTC COIN CELL battery bad?, if yes BIOS will now fail and the PC will not keep time of day or dates accurate.
  5. Most LCD screens 2010 or older, ran   the old  CCFL LCD back lamps, that just about all have failed by now.. (do the flash light tests seen here)
  6. Lost your password?, all ways but SUNDAY,  seen here.
  7. The Black screen of death BSOD (all ways!) 
  8. Is BIOS dead? (this is next)
  9. See my beyond BIOS fails and cures.      
  10. Why is BIOS so hard to understand? (it is only firmware. but is complex sure, if you dig deep it is.)
  11. What are those PC Beeps and or blink  P.O.S.T error codes  . (we diagnose these first, but the CODES ARE NOT STANDARDized and for sure horrible documentation, on any PC older than 10 years.)
  12. blank
  13. BSOD's  Blue screens of death with funny geek like messages "stop/Halt/Dump" or Crash? in Geek  text ? or even  my new  W10 BSOD's and the F8 key cold boot easy cure !!!
  14. How to upgrade to Windows 7 or  W10 
  15. Why do I need DEVICE  drivers?  ( if the driver is missing, wrong or corrupted, the device it runs will be dead or acts odd or crazy) (like riding a horse, without any saddle or harnesses)
  16. Why is the  device manager so hard to find in XP?      (we'd love to forget this...)   But yes always look in DEVICE MANAGER FOR DEAD DEVICES First.
  17. Is my Hard Drive dead ?  and the tests seen here?
  18. blank.
  19. What if I see only a white screen, no matter what?        or see  dim screens or sleep mode or hibernate mode or want presentation mode?.
  20. You got funny lines in the screen?, usually that is a bad LCD screen array , this.
  21. Rare, but possible  The charger chip is on the  laptop motherboard  can fail  (or the battery is simply bad and shorted and simply overloading the beast.)
  22. Why is my Windows dead ?
  23. Windows runs but has errors so I , I look for corrupted windows files, with SFC (knowns as "System File Check")  {healing wounded windows is crazy complex, re-install it and see if that fixed it,  or A/V scans, or HDD tests, and more}
  24. If Windows is dead the F11 key is your best way forward (data is backed up) power on , hammer F11 key. tap tap tap bam , recovery processes. (do it!)
  25. Avoid BIOS ROM FLASHING.( leave it alone or risk BRICKING the PC !)
  26. Get rid of XP , XP is a Virus Magnet ! (or see better versions of it)
  27. blank
  28. (Buy a used CHEAP PC, > a Windows 7 PC of any kind is easy to find used,  and has full support. (cheap new monitors too)
  29. Virus scans?
  30. To test  most of a system (even HDD missing/removed) use a live boot media test (CD/DVD/USB-stick)
  31. Next is to Backup your data ( in a PANIC ?)
  32. If the above checks are good , and live CD test passes,  but the HP Windows install media fails !, then  the HDD is TOAST  see how to run the Linux drive tests here.
  33. Last is more dead things,  my short  list of odd things that love to die in Windows...
  34. Windows Fresh installs?    or see my bad Windows page, and F11 cures.
  35. Odd facts about  windows installer program disks (setup.exe)  (warning XP asks for  floppy disk, drivers, good luck there, hitting F6)
  36. blank
  37. Cloning a boot HDD to SSD drive.
  38. Your Devices are dead?  I look in Device Manager first !, and if PC is very old and no support by HP, I use one of these chip sniffers  program to find it easy (device or chip true identity)
  39. Windows 10 driver issues. (chip set issues)
  40. NOISE?  Lots of ways to get noise, in fact all PC's  make noise (with fans or HDD) but what if it's ABENORMAL?.
  41. Some one Slammed my PC's  OS , operating system?  or worse killed all that original great HP structure? (Slamming means putting a non HP authorized OS on your PC)
  42. Why is my  internet  dead?(new) both LAN and WIFI.
  43. My external HDD (or SSD) is  dead or acts oddly? tests?, or how to build a better one or fix yours?
  44. My Windows install  disk or usb memory install stick will not boot.
  45. More dead things?
  46. blank
  47. My CD/DVD/BR disks are dead, or my Floppy drive is dead, or missing in XP or ? any OS for that matter.

  48. My PC runs too slow , why?
  49. PS/2 devices fail, or other odd failures. (odd as hell is MS showing Unknown  in the DM device manager, even with the internet working, this is , it should show,  vender name (actual) then show driver missing Dev= xxxxx.
  50. NO basic sound /Audio  (new) see this page.
OFF TRACK 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. See my  RAID testing page
  5. Using my HP RAID card in  any  Alien PC or my XW4600)... (even Non  HP systems...)
  6. How to pick a RAID card.
  7. Why have a  home server at all?
  8. I got my HP SAS drive cage to work on any PC, even with alien raid card. (alien means non HP here)
  9. Fooling around with M.2 SSD ; even booting them on older PC's., (actual cards M.2 not SATA form factor)
  10. Upgrading a Motherboard the hard way (or not)

Where is the Device Manager DM ? after XP it's in the control panel, but on XP it's hidden.
  2 Ways to reach DM (there are more) but this is easy.
Any time a device of any kind fails, (say the  sound chip is dead or Ethernet) we look here to see if the DRIVER is missing , messed up or bleeding yellow or Red, or Unknown marks.
Way 1 is , go to control panel and click device manager, easy no, but not in XP.
Way 2, is open the search box, and paste   this. %systemroot%\system32\devmgmt.msc
On my PC just pasting/ typing  "devmgmt.msc",  in the run box works too., no quote marks.
Plug and Play (PnP or P&P) looks for drivers in the local cache first (in windows folders for such things) then if that fails it goes here to MS driver servers, (long list some not active now)<<< this is now dead, for XP and VISTA.
If you see a driver missing below and internet is working, you  know know that the MS servers failed to match you up.
MS must match the exact chip to a matching driver and to the OS running, a 3 way match up, and knowing this one fact you too can see why it can fail so easy ( #1 way is running dead XP)

See The web site on Drivers)(off my site).

See my driver page here, I cover lots of ground, me with lots of experience back to 1981, and even older non- PC's, before that, to 1974.

This is DM, see my right clicking a good driver, and then I can pick update driver software?
Driver below can be,  missing, unknown or yellmarked or red marked, all 4 ways are bad drivers !
A driver is like a horses saddle, if missing can you ride the horse ( Tonto says yes, but are you Tonto?),<Lone Range jokes, sorry! KemoSavvy.
In Control Panel click "Device manager" easy no?

BEYOND BIOS:      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.
Not black screens of death, not BIOS dead.!
No beep error codes , or blinking LED codes, to hunt down and solve.
The modern PC can boot from HDD, SDD, CDROM, DVD, USB memory stick and even SD card.(seen in Camera's)
If it can boot to CD , or anything, the BIOS is mostly ok only your HDD fails to boot its OS, and fails to do so using the HP F9 key.
My Laptop, I power on and quickly hammer the  hot key  F9 (boot device menu) (The BIOS has boot order screen but F9 key allows you to change what boots on the fly , so use F9)
If BIOS can't find or  see you HDD, then it is dead, or someone turned it off in BIOS or turned off the SATA chips there, in BIOS, or the RTC coin cell battery is dead.
If all devices boot (says CD and USB stick) but not  the HDD using the F9 key , some dead HDD are silent, ear to case side, no motor sounds are the sign of a DEAD HDD;
If the HDD will not boot, the HDD can be bad or the OS on it can be corrupted.
If all things boot but the HDD,  we next test the HDD, I use Linux to do that faster, and more accurately and more effectively.
If the HDD is slient it is dead , if the PC fans are dead they are dead and PC will overheat because they are packed in lint.  Hint a PC that overheats, also overheats the poor HDD. Always fix fan first.

If you want to backup your data now, and before risking it further this is how.


OS corruptions:?  How to get the correct Windows Media is here.
If just Windows is dead or sick see this page here.

What is slamming, I call it that when someon slams the wrong OS on any PC, someone who does not use HP install media does that, or the HDD died long ago and was replace long ago, and F11 key is dead, yup slammed.

Why XP SUX? (as does VISTA!)

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

White Screens of death?, WSOD?

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

Why are Laptops so hard to fix: (easy questions no?) (Compared to a real desktop DT) { I only use my LT on Vacation }
  1. They are not standardized like wonderful desktops are via ATX spec. That means parts are all custom made and only fit this EXACT Laptop. (3 exceptions, CPU,HDD and DIMM sticks, are shared between many makers of PC, but are not generic in any way)
  2. Desktops are more modular. I can add in cards to it, to replace things that don't work right or to expand., the Laptop is less flexible in this way.  On my DT , I can put in a new video card to upgrade Video performance, even run $60 games.
  3. The Desk top has a standard PSU, seen here.
  4. The Internal Display can't just be swapped in 1minute flat, like all DT can be done,  making dead screens very hard to test. (but most LT have an External VGA 15p jack to try)
  5. Just because the rear VGA works?,  it only means there is Video to  at least the VGA 15pin jack.(there is a 1 chip buffer difference from inside to outside video that can fail.{but is unlikely to do so} If VGA jack works most times the screen is bad inside.
  6. The Laptop is very hard to disassemble.  Some are extra hard, many require the Processor to be removed, before the case lid comes off. (means the thermal heat sink thermal compound is now rendered useless, and needs to be replaced)
  7. Some LT made in Japan are a true horror. In that it has screws then MAGIC pry points to get it to snap apart then breaks before you can get it right. A horror. Never by NON USA LAPTOPS.
  8. The HP power pack is custom, but any 19vdc 100watt pack can work great on any HP LT.  Sold everywhere as HP cloned packs, so is never a problem to find one. (pin size matters, bow) The DELL pack is useless... in any HP.
  9. The LT  can have great BIOS diagnosis tools,  memory tests, boot options even mine has  F9 key to let me boot to all things possible attached to my LT, even a USB disk stick, or XD picture card
  10. Laptops overheat easy (with fast processors) and love to suck in lint and clog the fan or vents so easy.    (or failed Heat sinks)
  11. Most laptops do not have a Video card slot,  (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. Laptops 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 NOTEBOOK'S the battery no longer just tips out and comes out in 1 second flat, no,  it's a big job, and those batteries love to fail and you can't just pop it out in 1sec. and see, that the LT (notbook) runs ok now, if yes , BINGO.
  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)

A/V run AntiVirus scanners to clean the OS,  most times it is a hopeless cause. This topic is what I call the endless story,  cleaning out and infection can be impossible. (easy)
 Run A/V scans on this sick hard  drive,  there are over 50 scanners to run , on the web.
Called an offline web scan.
The best way to scan any infected drive is to move it to another PC as a 2nd or 3rd or more drive, or using this external 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 !)
You can ou specify the drive letter to scan. (if missing the drive letter, add one in disk management) I like ESET offline scanner.(google it)

MORE DEAD things.?  (the very short but common list)
  • Only 1 keyboard key is dead or one row, this is a bad keyboard, (or wrong langage keyboard used, not matching your PC)
  • A totally Dead normal USB key board?, try a USB external key board, tested on  all USB jacks?  Try all USB ports first, then  check driver for USB dead or keyboard driver dead.)
  • Laptop keyboards need a matching driver too,  or its internal cable fell off ( a sign of bad service)
  • If wireless keyboard dead or acting ODDLY? then the  batteries inside are dead.or   HP old wireless keyboards will fail with newer Windows.  The HP  models 5187 or 5219crf/urf  are 18 years old.
  • The PS/2 keyboard can fail easy for vast reasons besides a bad missing driver. Most folks today do not use PS/2 keyboard, but if hell bent to do so, buy and PS/2 to USB adaptor and use that for relic keyboards.
  • Dead mouse?, if wireless mouse try a new battery in the mouse yet?, and try all USB ports.?  (we do not use P/S2 mice now, nor RS232 mice from the 1980s, forget them) A bad USB mouse is a bad mouse , a dead USB port or missing mouse driver.
  • Dead VGA jack, On a Laptop, did you press HP hot key,  (Fn+F4) key, means together? to enable external VGA (or set to both or auto mode) .
  • If the DESK TOP video card VGA/DVI JACK is dead? in BIOS only , is a good sign that the Video card (or chip) is bad, make sure the RTC coin cell is not dead in the PC MOBO first.
  • If VIDEO  is if dead  In Windows only, do make sure the correct drivers are loaded, matching the CARD/ GPU chip, and your version of Windows.)
  • The newer THIN HP notebooks "Specre" have no VGA jack, but has and optional. adaptor  so you will need this for diagnosing say a dead LT screen.
  • Your NIC card is dead, Ethernet, see here.
  • If WIFI is dead, and running XP,  upgrade it to SP3, service pack 3,  or WPA2 wireless mode will be DEAD on XP 2001 first version.  UPgade all XP to W7 or pain will be you only future with XP.
  • Dead Sound,? (up the volume yet,? in PC  and external speaker has volumn too if external speakers, try ear buds first, try windows sounds first?
  • If you slammmed your PC?, means installed a non supported OS, see a cure here.
  • Dead monitor.(any screen of any kind)
  • If the screen shows text, then the SCREEN ,is not dead at all, any words there is proof it works. What matter is , what are those words telling you something?
  • If when you unplug power cord and the LAPTOP battery removed, the TIME and DATE reads wrong this is a dead coin cell if BIOS acts odd or can't keep time of day.
  • A Dead built in camera's,  on HP it needs 2 drivers working, or it will be dead,  USB2 chip driver (it talks to the CAMERA) and the needs the Camera driver next.
  • The best way to find dead chips in your very OLD PC and then match drivers to them , is to use PCI-Z free program seen here.
  • Dead fans cause overheating or the owner says fans are too loud?,  well its packed in lint.
  • My screen shows errors , this complaint is near endless, in scope, (BIOS errors, Windows 10 has over 100 blue screen errors, as do applications and web browers and last web site errors. (5 layers of errors possible)
The first thing any dead PC owner must do ,  if PC is over 5 -7 years old is replace the RTC battery first. (RTC coin cell, most are 2032, part numbered)

MORE WAYS TO FAIL?  (this is endless, it seems).
Any time , if any PC messes up, see these 2 bulleted lines.
  • Hardware (my whole page covers this read on.) (if  Linux  LIVE boots and runs the PC is ok,  then only HDD has issues, (of 2 kinds, it's bad or the OS on it is corrupted)
  • Software. (infections, corruptions abound)  If  one App. is bad, reload it or try a better one , if Window's messes up, re-Install it, using HP media  or the F11 magic restore hot key, documented fully at HP.com)
  1. If it don't mess up BIG battery removed (LT) then the battery is bad,  This battery can short or catch fire, get it out of there, now, and run all day on AC power pack, buy a battery only if  you need one for mobile usage , get a new one.
  2. The PC is overheating if any fans are dead, I sure will and top causes are lint pack up. (same with PSU fan dead, any fan dead)
  3. If all tests fail to show text or graphics of any kind on the Screen maybe the screen back lamps are dead. (if PC is year 2008 see the horrible solder ball failures)
  4. If you use a CD/DVD  boot disk or better USB stick booted same.,  running , LINUX  boot disks or stick, and the PC runs ok, on it then the HDD has problems.
  5. If running Window's XP,  why in the world do that?.
  6. If the RTC , real time/date clock or BIOS settings scramble up, that is a bad CMOS COIN cell  is bad, the BIOS will go NUTS,  avoid this pain and wild symptoms, replace the COIN CELL now. (it can be bad 5 years old , easy)
  7. If the Screen has funny lines, the screen is bad. This is hardware bad most times a defective  screen.  If your screen looks like this, keep the trolls/kids away from you PC.
  8. If you can not reach your BIOS screen using YOUR  BIOS hot key (mine ESC)  then that is a hardware failure, in almost all cases power failure of some kind, (see black screens page)
  9. If the PC works in step 4 then run the Linux HDD test next. Seen here.
  10. If the HDD tests pass then reload HP  Windows, using the F11 key, power on and hammer F11, and HP recover puts  you back to day one,  if it fails to run at all then the PC was SLAMMED.
  11. If Slammed by the bad guy, then you need the HP media kit, talk to THEM.
  12. PC older than 2006 the PC had no F11 magic Key, but had a three HP disk set(typ) that came with the new PC, run those yet? It has EVERYTHING there,  HP apps, and HP driver, the works.

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

The DO not list:   (do I need so say no soda drinks spilled on the key board?)
Do not run any LT on a blanket locking air vents. (in fact clean those vents often)
Do not upgrade to W7 or W10 unless HP says its ok, to do so and has matching drivers,  or it's not going to work well.  Why kill HP support?
Do not listen to MS.com telling you , to upgrade, IGNORE THEM , (They got into big  trouble doing that.. bad act on W10)
Never hot swap cards of any kind,  means with power applied or battery (LT main battery) still in the system.  (hot swapping USB cables and USB things, is totally ok , by DESIGN as are SAS drives but... lets not go there.)
Same goes for removing any CD/DVD drive.  (all power removed first) let it sit for 5 full minutes all batteries big removed ,then play.
Never use the wrong power pack on any Laptop.(LT) 
Use the 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 LT.
On my LT,  the fastest GPU and fasted i7 CPU needs the 100w supply or it fails. 
 If unsure? (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 can my GPU chip. Oops.
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)

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 $ cost of any NEW 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 inside. $15 is a Junker.(new)  (if you look inside some dirt cheap PSU, you see what?, was cloned by the Chinese, you see some old relic 1990s designs stolen from the original maker)) avoid this JUNK !
Do not install the wrong OS. (with exceptions)
Try to avoid MS install disks (at first), but in the stead, get HP install disks matching to your exact PC first. (that is correct ask HP.com first)
If brave MS disks can work okay, if  you can dig up all the missing drivers, any and all.
If upgrading Vista to W7, this can work. XP to W7/8/10, not to good.  Upgrading any 2001 PC or older, is not easy.
Check HP first.  How to find a good OS install disk 

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)
HP,DELL and Lenovo (old IBM) all drop support after 10 years,  Dell has the best old documents for old PCs. 
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.
  • 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)

Windows OS Install issues:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

here is GPT disk,  and You being blocked,.

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

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

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

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

WINDOWS 7 ,  Fresh Install steps, step by step.

WINDOW 10 , 
Fresh Install steps, step by step.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I can also get a copy of WINDOWS, 10, LIVE PE BOOT DISK (DVD) OR USE  LIVE BOOT USB DRIVE, and test the whole computer to see if W10 can in fact do all the things I need.

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 !

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

My 4 fans are: (desk top) all can make noise, for 2 reason, it's dirty (lent packed) or bad fan bearings.
  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. Just like the above and for the same reasons.
  3. The PSU has a fan.  It will fail too and  packs up 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 dirt cheap $5 stethoscope sold at all auto parts stores on earth, to listen for bad fan bearings., or to see which fan is in trouble.? (bad fans always give and early warning before they fail hard, they make noise)
Or put a long screw driver to your ear , handle at  ear, and blade tip to FUT (fan under test) casings.  Got noise?, it's bad. end story. (yah replace it) 
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 it is a bad fan or some cheep knock off  POS)
If the CPU fan stalls, the CPU shuts down (a feature) then the BIOS sets beeping codes for you guessed it, CPU is offLINE or on my new PC , CPU has OVERHEATED.
Learn that all Intel and AMD CPUs will  in fact shut them selves off, or slow down first. (by DESIGN) overheated. And suffer no harm. Fix that dead or slow fan,heatsink packup/or the bad TIM.
To learn what a new fan sounds like?, test a new fan. BINGO.

Jargon buzz words.

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

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)

WINDOWS  UPGRADES   The good , the bad and the ugly.?
First the big lie, Any Windows, loads on to any PC, from 1981 to 2018(now) no it will not run all PC, that is a lie.

What is true , is that newer Windows and for sure W10 will not load on PC older than 2007, with some expections loading W10-32b may load on some older machines.
One thing for sure 32bit only PCs  are now considered obsolete, Support is ending fast here.
The problem is mostly about drivers, Windows (nor HP) support old drivers now.
HP does not sell media kits now, for old PC and for sure on old PCs to support Windows 10
HP proof is here. HP install media kit,

The truth is Windows 10- 64bit only runs on the most newer PC's  !  2007+
If wise , run Windows 7 on old PCs, only.HP and Microsoft support W7 on older PC's but for sure not all PCs.
Vista is dead, get W7 now. (many Vista PCs the chips inside have no W7 drivers ever made. (read that as does not exist on earth)
XP and VISTA ARE DEAD, forget they ever happened.

Here as and  example of a HP page. (hint, Ask  HP first if you can upgrade ? first.)

As  a general rule.
Old PCs do not have drivers for a modern OS. (Windows or linux)
Old OS , do not have drivers for newer PCs.
What you can do Install any OS you want and see what fails, then look up the chip codes with PCI-z here.
For example W10--64bit installer will fail at the get go, telling you no support for this PC.
Then with the code for the failing chip, or chips, see what support exists.(over on the same page above, PCI-z)

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

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

If that fails?,  reload the OS.

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

Lies or half truths or worse selective statistics.
The lie #1 is Windows v10 ,  will run 99.9% of all old programs.
  • Sure it's probably true  for most folks, , well that is because, most folks don't run or use many Applications. (full blown in the program files folder) apps.  Most run nothing at all,  zero apps. or run only SKYPE (or  "What's up" app)  (all w7 certified too)
    The truth may be, most folks only read their mail and cruise the web , running IE11 now.(or deity help you EDGE)
  • Sure if they want to run XP WORD it runs in W10, sure but may take XP compatibility mode to run. (right click application EXE pick that)
  • It won't run many old printer programs, nor there old drivers. nor my loved,  UMAX flat bet scanner is now DEAD.  (sure most folks have no scanners, like me)
  • New PC's are 64bit and will not run all your relic, 16bit, GAMES, like relic DUKE Nukem? 1991 ! nor runs old DRM schemes, protecting those old games. (the install disk CD now FAILs )
  • Not to meantion all those older now dead WEB  CAMS,  (no driver w10) or 1000s of USB device now dead, from year 2000 to year 2006) vast things do not work.  (sure all are old)
  • It will not run my be-loved PSP7(PaintShopPro),   I use paint.net now (+free plugin's wow)  and Zoner photo studio 64 ($50) and had to trash my expensive Corel PSP x9 due to , it's a slug , and is full of addware, and bloat, I hated it) Zoner is X9 like,but 100x faster.and no.
  • If you are not most folks then it is a lie!  (some folks have vast programs they use, even CAD/CAM or other tools for CARS OBD2 scanners, and lots more.
  • What may be true is MS arrogance that thanks they know, all those programs you had to abondone! (nor the cost of doing that, and replacing that) . In MY OPINION.! 
  • Maybe it is more  true , with Windows 10 pro and Hyper-v loaded and the you install old XP there as a VM and run old things  from there?
  • Windows 10 does not support vast numbers of drivers, now. (but MS thinks nobody needs those, so, is not added to that 99.9% list.
  In the end, only fate rules what failed, luck , fate and the life of all parts in all electronics made.
Most parts in any PC have a 20 year life span, but not the batteries, of ANY KIND.
The BIOS can hold data for 100 years ask Intel !, (in the ROM , never the CMOS NVRAM due to coin failures)
The HDD lasts about 10 years not dropped. (or hit running) drop heights of only 3feet (1m) are FAIL TIME. 100Gs bad. Run the SMART TESTS yet.?
In all cases anything can fail at any time.
Advice ? buy a PC newer than 2006 year,  and if a laptop skip year 2008 (solderball failures) buy  real desktop so it's easy to fix, easy to upgrade and uses standardized parts,  then own  a dirt chip Chrome book and when it fails crush it .(the Chrome book is toaster like)

Boy Scout , motto , Be Prepared? Estote Parati
  • Have a spare battery for the Laptop? $15 whooping bucks.
  • Spare power pack for same.? Same price.
  • At least one coin cell in the tool box $2, and a DMM meter $20 to check for 19vdc from power pack, to laptop or all voltages seen here.?
  • A Live LINUX boot Disk or USB stick so you see you PC run, and run HDD tests>? Free with stick in hand.
  • Read the HP service manual yet, to see where thing are inside? ZERO $, free.
  • Have the real HP media kit for your PC (windows installer from HP) so when the HDD fails , as most do at 10years old.? You have it ready (sorry you will be at 10 years with no HP disks sold or offered)
  • As spare even used old $10 HDD, to do tests when the above HDD fails?  (be ready)
One can  be prepared or pay the man later in a panic.

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:
Malware A/V seen here.
Firefox v56 with the great  plug-in called NoScript !
LastPass™ free.
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™.

V23 10-9-2017 (a crude rough draft  Journal , nothing more.....)   I recommend  this Domain hosting service. INTERSERVER.net

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