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booman 14th August, 2008 09:26 PM

Failing HP laptop
Once again I have a work computer that is having problems. Its a HP Compaq nx6125 Notebook PC and about 2 years old. My boss takes very good care of it and hasn't dropped it.
A week ago she got a blue screen (not the blue-screen-of-death) of DSKCHK to scan for errors. She has also has problems with Windows XP Pro starting up.
So I started doing my usual process of looking for errors on the hard-drive, checking space, and uninstalling anything she didn't need. I also backed up her personal files to the server.
I also popped in another IDE hard-drive and found that it wouldn't install windows. It would format NTFS but when it tried to copy the files of the disc it kept erroring saying that it can't copy the file... I was given the option to skip the file but I got the same message for every file. I know this second hard-drive works fine because I pulled it out of a diffferent laptop and have installed Windows on it twice.
Now I'm thinking it may be a hard-drive controller on the motherboard.
After doing some research in HP forums, many other HP laptops have overheating issues where the hard-drive overheats. I doubt this is the case because I would get errors before the hard-drive had a chance to heat up.
Last, I tried a Hard-Drive test from the Bios and it couldn't finish.
Are there any diagnostic tool I could use to check the rest of the hardware?
Is there something I may have missed?

PorPorMe 14th August, 2008 10:04 PM

Two options come to my mind. One is to install Xp on the drive on a different computer and then put it in hers. you have probly done that. The second is to know if the drive is ok. Get Hirens Boot Cd. Lots of programs to deal with HDD. My faviorite for this problem is the MaxtorPowerMax. Runs Diagnostics on any drive. I am useing it at this very moment and it has just told me to back up any files I want to keep quickly because this drive is dying! This because there was a corupt file in IE7 and chkdsk would't run. Hiren's Boot Cd. Every one should have it. PM me.

booman 14th August, 2008 10:13 PM

So you don't think the windows dskchk and BIOS "test disk" aren't good enough? I should find something that checks deeper into the partition?
I'll try that Hirens Boot Cd.
Thanks PorPorMe

kellamne 14th August, 2008 10:25 PM

To be honest - not a big fan of Compaq - avoided desperately when getting my laptop after issues with brothers (keyboard, battery and HDD issues). Not saying this is typical - but didnt want to risk.

But back to the point - I assume it is outside warranty. I assume that you have saved anything required. Maybe time to say goodnight - but not not quite worse case maybe - if you cant get it to run from internal HDD - it may run an optical disk based linux (ubuntu) OS - or an OS from an external/USB drive. Not ideal options - but puts some life options your way.

Still not sure what we are going to do with our (my brothers) craptop - so watching this thread to see how you get on. Seems your case is not as bad as ours though.

booman 15th August, 2008 07:19 PM

Yeah, I'm not an HP or Dell fan. But you know how businesses are....
They buy computers because of the name instead of investigating and researching. I've worked on Toshibas, Acers, HP, Dell, Sony, and I really like the Toshibas. I don't know how good Toshibas are now, but there were a few at my work that had to be at least 5-6 years old and still kicking. My brothers HP went through a roll-over in his truck and still works.
Anyways, I'll try the Hirens Boot Cd. and maybe some other boot dskchk programs. I'll keep researching too because I'm getting paid for it.
I'm hoping its the hard-drive but its hard to figure out without purchasing a new hard-drive and trying to format the original. Like I said before, I swapped hard-drives and the other one would Format but not install Windows.
Linux won't work because my boss needs Windows for our server programs. She's Windows dependent like most business people.

PorPorMe 15th August, 2008 10:49 PM

Did you get that network up? Or just put it in a box to get later?:)

booman 15th August, 2008 11:01 PM

oh, the netgear? its staying in the box until I can purchase another one.
I'm looking forward to it, but will have to wait.

PorPorMe 15th August, 2008 11:22 PM

Just curious.

ccperf721p 16th August, 2008 01:04 AM

After trying known good drives, I would start to think it is a controller problem.

Chipsets on the laptops I have owned have never seemed to age well.

Rondog 16th August, 2008 02:33 PM

I have also seen a similar issue. Just for the hell of it, is it possible to try another optical drive in the laptop?

Can you use an alternate Windows CD?

Are you able to run memtest?

If you answer yes to all of those and it still wont install Windows, the motherboard is stuffed. If so, let me know and i'll grab you a quote for a replacement board. The business series HP notebooks aren't as expensive to repair as the consumer series ones.

I love having an account with HP, Toshiba and Asus for my own personal use. :D

robbie 16th August, 2008 05:29 PM

Try some new memory. I've had troubles installing windows and believe it or not it turned out to be the mem.

booman 16th August, 2008 08:26 PM

I'll try Memtest and Ram on Monday. I have a couple of generic stick of laptop RAM at home, but I don't know if they are the right speed for the HP.
I definitely don't have another optical drive and I can try another windows xp disc, but my boss really needs her laptop right now, so formatting & installing won't work. maybe if I did a Windows repair?

Rondog 17th August, 2008 12:32 AM

Repair install of Windows still does (more or less) exactly what the first stage of the install is. Copies all the files from the CD to the HDD. A repair will probably present the same issue as before where it says error trying to copy a file.

Possibly, pull the HDD out, and copy the contents of the i386 folder from the CD to the HDD. And then start the setup by running winnt.exe from the HDD. Hopefully this might work.

booman 19th August, 2008 06:52 PM

She went back to San Fransisco for now. I'm sure there will be an e-mail that the computer has Flat-Lined. I'll let you know what happens.
Hopefully its just the hard-drive because thats easy to replace and re-install Windows.

cloasters 26th August, 2008 07:24 PM

Fixing the bosses gear. That extra frisson of fear, argh, I have dreams about this. Hope you can set this laptop right--or trash it as necessary and get it out of your hair.

PorPorMe 26th August, 2008 08:14 PM


Originally Posted by cloasters (Post 479429)
Fixing the bosses gear. That extra frisson of fear, argh, I have dreams about this. Hope you can set this laptop right--or trash it as necessary and get it out of your hair.

That situation has "Danger Will Rogers, Danger Will Rogers!" written all over it!:eek:

_dangtx_ 30th August, 2008 06:00 AM

probably ram, maybe cd as dude said. or both or more at the same time. if you cant fix it by swapping a piece or two out, forget about it,the costs will get too big.theres a reason folks/businesses can make cash off used computers :)

booman 30th August, 2008 06:06 AM

yeah thats what I told my boss. So she knows that troubleshooting a failing laptop will cost her money and time away from her computer. So far its been working, but I know sooner or later it is going to die. then maybe I'll inherit a laptop to fix myself

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