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Compaq Presario HDD assistance


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#1 karthik316_1999

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 08:54 AM

Hi..,
This problem has been killing us and the notebook for several months now..! hope to find a resolution or atleast a cause of the death! The issue goes like this..

My Notebook model: Compaq Presario v2000 CTO
60GB HDD, 256MB 333Mhz DDRAM
OS: Windows XP Home

A couple of months ago, the notebook (used by my friend at a different town) used to get 'frozen/hanged' at random and it would not start back again. Gave it to HP compaq authorised service center in his town. The guy there said it was getting 'overheated' and hence an "I.C" that had failed as a result has to be replaced. (spent about a 100$)Had it done and 3 days later.., the same problem!
Second time service, the same I.C thing was reported since the fan wasn't running properly or something and an hefty amount was charged that he had to pay without a choice.

Recently, i took it over with me to my town. Same like the previous time, it worked just fine but only for about 2 days. I was watching a movie randomly using the seek bar to skip over the videos and it freezed. I did a force shutdown by holding down the power button for a few seconds, gave it a break and when i restarted it, there was no display! The LED was glowing, the HDD indicator would burn for a few minutes and then no activity.

My friend said this was the same symptom that existed prior to both the services and that the "I.C" onboard could have failed again. I contacted HP and did all the initial tests like the RAM reseating, static electricity removal, battery reseat,etc.. I could not even see the display to get into the BIOS as was suggested.. I took it to a private service center known to me who made to work in a jiffy! let me explain wat was done..

The guy quickly removed the HDD out and tried booting the notebook and the screen did come up! I was taken aback and he was meddling with the drive for a few seconds (that i was not allowed to watch). The system turned out to be really really sloooooooow but after a couple of re-boots all was 'back to normal'. Now comes the best part...

When i asked him what was the issue and wat exactly he did, the following was told to me:

1. There is a hard drive failure.
2. Things may work as it is fine but the problem may crop up again anytime.
3. The notebook checks component by component during boot and since the HDD had failed, there was no display.
4. Some area (he was not telling me whether it was the boot sector...or watever) had problems with it that has been rectified now.
5. About the previous services that cost me several thousands (150$+ equivalent INR), he said there was no way an I.C could melt or anything due to overheat since it had its own cooling mechanism. The previous 2 guys would not have changed any I.C at all but still over-charged you. But i have rectified things in a few minutes in front of your eyes.
6. He was not able to tell me "WHAT EXACTLY HE DID WHILE MEDDLING WITH THE HDD TO MAKE IT WORK". He asked a fresh format and re-install would help in determining the cause of the problem and whether the HDD was worth relying upon and whether there is any damage to the disc.
7. He said he had to conduct some tests by booting into windows 98 to determine the problem after formatting it.

I wanted to back-up all of the data before doing all this and took the notebook back to home. After few hours of working, i notice that there are a couple of hangs/freezes at random but hopefully the notebook does start up back again without any trouble after a restart! I called the guy and he says please back up all the data and get it to us. We will assist further.
Now what i wanted to know from people around this forum is!

- What exactly could the problem be with this notebook?!
- Could what the recent service guy told about the previous service guys cheating me be true?
- Most importantly, what problem with the hard disk drive could have prevented the system to boot? The kind of problem that the guy could fix in just a minute by taking it out!!!
- I did the hard disk self check from the BIOS and was OK for all the tests. As per HDD life pro software, the disk is operating at the temperature of 46-47 degress against the maximum of 52 degrees. Should i still try giving the notebook back to this guy for the hard disk test or is there anything i myself can do to come to a conclusion?
- Finally, does all this mean we have been taken for a ride by the previous two service center guys!

Thanks a lot for having the patience to go through all this! Im sure someone will help me out as with my previous experience :-)

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#2 DaffyKantReed

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:09 AM

Hi..,
This problem has been killing us and the notebook for several months now..! hope to find a resolution or atleast a cause of the death! The issue goes like this..

My
When i asked him what was the issue and wat exactly he did, the following was told to me:

1. There is a hard drive failure.
2. Things may work as it is fine but the problem may crop up again anytime.
3. The notebook checks component by component during boot and since the HDD had failed, there was no display.
4. Some area (he was not telling me whether it was the boot sector...or watever) had problems with it that has been rectified now.
5. About the previous services that cost me several thousands (150$+ equivalent INR), he said there was no way an I.C could melt or anything due to overheat since it had its own cooling mechanism. The previous 2 guys would not have changed any I.C at all but still over-charged you. But i have rectified things in a few minutes in front of your eyes.
6. He was not able to tell me "WHAT EXACTLY HE DID WHILE MEDDLING WITH THE HDD TO MAKE IT WORK". He asked a fresh format and re-install would help in determining the cause of the problem and whether the HDD was worth relying upon and whether there is any damage to the disc.
7. He said he had to conduct some tests by booting into windows 98 to determine the problem after formatting it.


The actual problem could have been anything from the SATA/PATA controller on the motherboard to the hardware aboard the hard drive, to some intermittent motherboard or power supply issue . It could have been a software issue as well.

It's no trivial task to source an IC (integrated circuit) belonging to a laptop, so I have some doubts about that bit.

One quick and easy way to check the hardware is to boot from a Linux live CD and see if the the laptop works properly. The output of 'dmesg' can be very helpful.

I wouldn't spend another dime on this PC as new units with better specs can be had for $430US.

Edited by DaffyKantReed, 11 August 2009 - 10:12 AM.


#3 karthik316_1999

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Posted 11 August 2009 - 10:52 AM

hello there.. thanks for the reply..
While there is not a way by which i can get hold of a linux cd that easily, im pretty sure he did not meddle around with the power supply or any software.. the controller could have had a problem..
Is there any way by which i can judge the HDD failure from within windows or is it worth going for a reinstall from him...

#4 DaffyKantReed

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Posted 12 August 2009 - 10:43 AM

hello there.. thanks for the reply..
While there is not a way by which i can get hold of a linux cd that easily, im pretty sure he did not meddle around with the power supply or any software.. the controller could have had a problem..
Is there any way by which i can judge the HDD failure from within windows or is it worth going for a reinstall from him...



Check the Event Viewer for entries which are related to hardware.

Download the diagnostic utility for your hard drive, then run it from floppy or CD-R. If the problem is the hard drive, you should receive an error code.




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