Vista Service Pack = Dead Laptop

By sethbest ยท 4 replies
Nov 25, 2008
  1. I'm not sure whether ppl here help with laptops too, but they are not my area of expertise so I do hope so.


    Inherited this laptop from my sister who put it in a closet after it got this problem where its been for several months. Basicaly after a big vista service patch the computer started reseting for her before it would finish loading. Looking at it now, it loads and just has a blank desktop, with no icons or taskbars, ctrl+alt+ del does not work, the only thing that does work is the screensaver. This occurs in normal loading or safe mode. To work on the laptop i began installing xp pro edition to recover her files and then format the drive, but after the initial install prompts when it goes to "loading windows" then loads the gui second half of the xp instiliation the laptop turns itself off after a few minutes. Upon reseting it will try a hd scan which will cause it to turn off again.

    My initial assumption is that this has something to do with overheating or faulty hardware, but since these problems begain after the service back installation it seems most likely related to either the operating system, or hd corrutpion.

    The battery also cannot hold a charge, though that may just be from sitting for so long.

    Thanks for the help, the hp boards seem mostly for show since im not getting any responses there.

    Im not eager to send to theyre repair people considering all of the nightmares i've read about with hp's tech support.
  2. Cybelex

    Cybelex TS Rookie Posts: 46

    I'm assuming you got all the data you needed. Is that true?

    If you have a new, full edition of XP that you can install, try installing again to a blank drive. When the options appear in setup to choose where to put the installation, use the options there to remove any and all partitions from the drive so it is completely unallocated. Then, create a new partition for your installation. Use the full NTFS format if you have any doubts about the drive's health (will take a while).

    And try removing the battery while doing this. just recently we had another poster whose defective battery drew too much power and led to the seemingly heat-related symptoms you mention.

    If this doesn't succeed, you could try a memory test as the next, simple way of eliminating another possibility.

    MemScope (Floppy and CD images.)
    Microsoft Memory Test (floppy or CD ISO image)

    If you have enough memory sticks, you can test them by removing one at a time and see if the problem disappears.
  3. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    All great tips thankyou, I actualy started a memtest86 on it earlier. I got scandisk to run and it finds index errors and on attempting to repair one it hangs and resets, so I think there is the problem. This problem does seem like it would be fixed by completely formatting the drive, though I am trying to recover some files before this for my sister. I miss the days of dos based operating systems where i could just go in and do it manualy, the recovery console lacks any real functionality.

    Anyways the only way i can see of recovering her files, since no os will install on the drive, is to find some disk repair utiliy that can fix the drives' indexs (fixboot in repair console ran fine but did not remedy the problem), or finding a drive adapter and using one of my PC's to access it.

    I have the normal large ID pin to small laptop hd pin converter (don't know what its called) but this laptop has a weird drave interface that I'm not farmiliar with, involving ridges that slide into place rather than pins, so this may be a propriatary HP system, or just me being out of the loop

    So If anyone has information on either such a converter, or on a booting utility for drive repair, i would be most appreciative.

    Thanks Techspotters btw, i just started using these forums but your help saves me a lott of stress working over possabilities that i've missed.
  4. Cybelex

    Cybelex TS Rookie Posts: 46

    Not being able to picture the drive, I just thought I'd mention that many of those drives have an extra adapter attached to the top and the normal drive connectors are beneath that. It appears to be all one piece. But don't pull too hard, just in case it is really all the way to the connector already. :D
  5. sethbest

    sethbest TS Enthusiast Topic Starter Posts: 79

    just to resolve this, under the connecter was SATA, so i ordered a SATA USB converter cable on ebay, had it 20 days later, backed up the files, formatted the drive, installed xp, downloaded and installed all the hp drivers, and now awesome working laptop. Im typing this post on it now. thx for the help, first laptop ive gotten since the one i got in 98, with a screw on 15 pound extra battery that powered it for total of 15 minutes
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