HP Media Center issue, will not start up properly

By JJsLocks
Jun 13, 2010
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  1. I have a HP Media Center with the Windows Vista platform. I purchased it in August 2007. Last fall I had an issue where my computer would frequently make noises and randomally freeze. Eventually it would not start up properly and a system recovery would not work. I contacted HP and they replaced my motherboard, free of charge in a 4 day turnaround.

    Unfortunetly I am experiencing the issue once again. I can not get past the 'blue hp screen' that gives you the option to system recovery or enter the boot menu. Is there any way I can fix the issue on my own or is my best bet to contact HP once again and hope for them to fix it again free of charge?
  2. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    What model is this HP?
  3. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    HP Pavillion Media Center m8100n TV PC
  4. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I just ran a system restore and recovery from the boot menu to attempt to start up windows, but to no luck.
  5. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    If this is not under warrenty HP will not replace it for free. In fact it may be considerably expensive. When my daughter's 2007 HP laptop started experiencing systemb board issues it was no longer under warrenty and the cost for shipment both ways, diagnosis and then repair and parts would have cost more than what I originally paid for it.

    Came to find out that they had a slew of failed system boards in their DV 6000 and 9000 series due to the G31/34 Nvidia chipsets that caused excessive heat. I'm NOT saying this is your issue but having the same issues occuring again is suspicious.

    You may want to try a local PC shop or if it is indeed a motherboard have a friend with tech knowledge put a new one in. Make sure it fits and it will work with your components.
  6. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Started my computer up tonight after a two day rest and it started up properly, with a slight delay. I have noticed that whenever I stream MLB TV for any duration my computer would make a noise suggesting that it is running harder than normal. THese noises have been consistent in the last few weeks as my computer began to break down. I am trying to determine if a virus or overload (streaming MLB TV) on the harddrive is causing my computer to freeze/shut down and more recently, will not start up.
  7. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    I am wondering if the load is producing an over abundance of heat and thus causing your issues. Excess heat will shutdown/freeze systems.

    Try this simple low-tech but effective strategy: Open your side panel and with a small fan on its low setting have it blow into your system. Next stream MLB TV. What are the results?
  8. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    The noises continue only when I stream but no shutdown or freezes this evening. I even let my computer stay turned on through out the day today. I am on 1 hour of streaming and using the fan.
  9. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    Hey JJ, that sounds promising. We're not 100% sure but it does appear heat has a significant part in your issue.

    Where is the noise coming from and can you describe it again?
  10. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    The noise is coming from the tower. It sounds like a humming noise. I stopped streaming, because the noise never let up even with the fan. I have not experienced freezing or any issues like that. I am not sure if it is smart to shut the computer down again because I am kind of afraid that it will not start up again.

    Thank you for your continual support!
  11. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    Okay, here is another low-tech tried and true diagnostic step. I'm not making this up. Start the computer streaming again and get down on your hands and knees, get your head/face as close as you can to the inside of your system and see if the noise is coiming from a) your video card, b) your harddrive, c) your power supply, or d) your cpu.

    Bring a flashlight.
  12. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    It was coming from the harddrive. I didn't use my computer this weekend and streamed MLB TV tonight....the noises have been a rare occurance....sound is hard to pin point the location...but my best guess would be that it was coming from hard drive.
  13. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    it is coming from the fan motor inside the tower...
     
  14. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    Okay, first: Is it the harddrive or the fan motor?

    Second, if it is a fan motor are you talking about one of the fans that draws air built into the tower to help keep the system cool?
  15. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    It sounds like it is coming from the fan built inside the tower or possibly somewhere else inside the tower, it is hard to tell. My best guess would be the motor behind the fan that is built into the tower...
  16. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    Well if it is a fan then it would make sense because we determined that when you placed a fan blowing into your system no BSOD occured which pointed to a heat problem.

    So if this fan is failing then you have air flow issues which = heat build up which = system shut downs resulting in a BSOD.

    *** BUT to make sure it isn't the harddrive find the make of your harddrive, go to the manufacture's website and download and run their free harddrive diagnostics utiliy. Run both short and long tests especially the long.
  17. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    where can i find this information to run the harddrive diagnostics?
  18. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I am not sure where I would search. I see 'PCI Express' and 'Serial ATA' written on the motherboard. The power source is labled 'LITEON'.
  19. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    Download the free and safe utility called SIW (System Information for Windows).

    When you engage it on the left hand screen there is quite a large menu that you can choose from. Under the Hardware section click on Storage Devices. In the right hand screen it will give you a list. Usually at the top the harddrive is listed first. It will give you the name of the manufacture.

    Then go to their webstite and find the free harddrive diagnostic utility.
  20. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    I found the OGT Diagnostics Tool on the Hitachi (listed harddrive from the SIW search) site. Does this sound like the correct utility?
  21. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    Actually that isn't right, I have a SCSI and that is not listed, but is listed for the Drive Fitness Test (DFT)....I need to download a diskette...not really sure what i am doing but worth the try, reading the user guide for it now.
  22. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    very odd.........i barely streamed tonight, but i did spend the entire evening with MLB.com open and the noises started up again and became consistent without even streaming and just leaving the website open. I closed the page and the noises stopped instantly! what in the world is going on here?
  23. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    It is almost as if I can turn it off an on....load up mlb.com to turn on....exit mlb.com to turn off
  24. Route44

    Route44 TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 12,109   +21

    I wonder if something is gearing up creating a load but on what becomes the issue.

    Let's for the moment approcah this from a different angle. What is the make and wattage of your power supply? Do you know someone who can test it with a multimeter?
  25. JJsLocks

    JJsLocks Newcomer, in training Topic Starter Posts: 20

    LITEON - 300W

    No, I do not know anybody who has a multimeter.
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