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Old 09-18-2012, 17:39   #1
Drjones
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Help diagnosing a freezing laptop

Hi guys, have a client with a freezing laptop & I can't figure it out; I'm completely stumped. Here's some detail:

- HP Pavilion Laptop DV7 (I can get the specific model # if needed)

- Has OCZ Agility3 SSD 128GB (I installed it like 9 mos. ago)

- Win7 x64 Ultimate (I did a clean install of this when we put in the SSD)

- Just started freezing yesterday, 9/17. I checked & no windows updates had been installed since the 13th so it couldn't be a rogue update causing this. I installed a few win updates today, the 18th.

- It locks up just like a PC would if it had RAM or HD issues, but you can hit ctrl/alt/del, bring up task manager and then it keeps plugging along.

- The Only errors in event log are:
o Source: WMI Event ID 10
o Source: atikmdag event ID 43029
o Source: atikmdag Event ID 52236

- The last two point to display adapter/driver, it is an ATI mobility Radeon HD4500 with driver v8.632.1.2000 dated 8/17/2009

- I ran the built-in windows memory diagnostic, came up clean.

- chkdsk came up clean.

- ran SFC, it too came up clean.

I have ZERO idea.....my only guess would be something with the SSD because I've had issues with several other OCZ SSDs, but no BSOD on this machine, and no errors in the event log that point to anything at all, let alone any hardware issues.

Perhaps we should try a system restore?

Help!!!
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Old 09-18-2012, 18:30   #2
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I keep a sysprepped Win7 hdd sitting around, if there is anything that makes me SUSPECT the hdd, I install it and play around with it.
We spend some time at work trying to crash them and pulling various stunts like subjecting them to a malware infection. I've seen some things that you wouldn't ordinarily associate with hard drive failure.
I would throw an extra drive in it and see what happens. At least then you don't risk the client's data with a restore or reload.
Does the timestamp of the errors in the event viewer correspond to the times of the anomaly?
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Old 09-18-2012, 18:41   #3
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And surely it doesn't have any security software by CA......
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Old 09-18-2012, 19:24   #4
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Boot from Ubuntu to eliminate software issues. If Ubuntu works without freezing, then you know it's software.

It's a start.
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Old 09-18-2012, 19:26   #5
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Buy a Mac...problem solved.
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Old 09-18-2012, 19:40   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsa1115 View Post
Buy a Mac...problem solved.
They let the special people out early tonight. I figured we'd at least make it to page two before this.
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Old 09-18-2012, 19:53   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by filthy infidel View Post
They let the special people out early tonight. I figured we'd at least make it to page two before this.
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Old 09-18-2012, 19:59   #8
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The most common problem like that I see is caused by getting drivers from Windows Update instead of from the maker of the laptop. Almost always it is the video driver but can be others. Don't get driver updates from Windows Update and don't get video driver updates from ATI / AMD, Intel or Nvidia. Only get drivers, especially video drivers, from the maker of the laptop. Even if there are newer ones available from somewhere else.
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Old 09-18-2012, 21:44   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsa1115 View Post
Buy a Mac...problem solved.
Windows is a virus!
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Old 09-18-2012, 21:45   #10
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Google Chrome has given me a lot of problems too.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:11   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsa1115 View Post
Buy a Mac...problem solved.
If you had searched for "macbook display problems" in Google, or something, you would have realized how dumb of a comment that was.
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Old 09-21-2012, 04:25   #12
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As for answering the original post:

1. Make sure you have the latest driver from ATI, not windows update, like GIockGuy24 said.

2. The laptop is several years old, the cooling fan, ducts, heatsink could be filled with dust, causing it to heat up. If you have a laptop cooling fan, you could try placing that under it. Make sure it has plenty of ventilation under it.

3. Note if the problem happens right after starting from cold, or whether it only happens after it has been running a while (when it's warm/hot).

4. If it's an HP laptop that is 3 or more years old, it will probably just up and die soon anyway. Yes, I'm bitter about that.

5. Yes, the model number is always helpful.

6. Try running it just on the battery.

7. Try the fix stated at the end of this thread.
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Old 09-21-2012, 06:04   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dsa1115 View Post
Buy a Mac...problem solved.
Google "macbook wifi problems". All hardware and software have bugs and tracking them down is the topic today.

Really, I would download Ubuntu and burn the .iso file to cd.

Boot the system from the CD, this installs NOTHING on the local drive and doesn't effect existing OS and software in any way.

Run a few things like Firefox and OpenOffice. If it still freezes you can safely say it's a hardware issue. Frankly with HP I wouldn't be surprised.

If it doesn't freeze up. Well then a O.S. reinstall would be in order.
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Old 09-24-2012, 17:33   #14
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Spoke with client again today.

Event logs still show nothing out of the ordinary.

Did a clean boot, still started freezing in the manner I described; a ctrl/alt/del will "unfreeze" it.

HDDSCAN came up clean.

Guess I could run a real memtest soon, I only ran built-in Windows 7 memory test....Any other ideas?
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Old 09-24-2012, 18:32   #15
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we had an issue not too long ago where the client pc would have random app crashes and sometimes freeze up. I was thinking hdd issue due to controller errors in event logs. The long hdd test in bios passed with flying colors, along with every other test. I figured maybe the actual controller on the mobo was messed up or possibly cpu issues, so i swapped the hdd into another pc of the same model. The issue never reoccurred for either user. Bugged the hell out of me not having a true fix.
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Old 09-24-2012, 20:01   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Drjones View Post
Spoke with client again today.
Guess I could run a real memtest soon, I only ran built-in Windows 7 memory test....Any other ideas?
Still back to booting the system from a Live Ubuntu CD and exercise it.

You test the HD, you test the memory, you test the MB. What is the problem is a combination of 2 or more?

Just boot the thing with a LiveCD and run it out.
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