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Laptop freezes repeatedly


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#1 cmk7471

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 09:01 AM

My son has a Compaq nx9020 laptop running WXP Pro. It has started freezing up after he's used it for awhile (1/2 hr - 1 hr). After it freezes once, if you restart it it will freeze again within a few minutes, if it successfully makes it through the boot up without freezing. If he doesn't use it for a couple hours he can use it for maybe 1/2 hr again. There are no error messages. The cursor and everything else just stop working (ctrl+alt+del does nothing either). The only thing I can to is shut down using the power button. It freezes very quickly if he's using iTunes or a virus scan is running. If he's on the internet it doesn't freezes as often or as quickly. For these reasons it seem to me that it is overheating, especially when the hard drive is being used a lot. I'm just not sure what to do about it and if it's worth fixing on this laptop. The fan I can see on the back is working, however it only runs occasionally (when it needs it?). I installed SpeedFan as I saw recommended in the forums. Shortly after SpeedFan showed things were getting hot it would lock up. SpeedFan doesn't seem to be detecting any fans on the laptop. It just shows a HD temp and temp1. I bought a cooling fan for underneath. It seemed to slow the warm up, but it still eventually locks up (it couldn't make it through a virus scan without locking up). The same thing happens if I try to run a scandisk or defrag. Any suggestions on how to diagnose and fix this?

Thanks!

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#2 garmanma

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Posted 10 September 2009 - 11:10 AM

Get a can of compressed air, can be found at office supply stores, Best Buy, or whatever.
Insert the nozzle into the vents and give it a blast. Then do the vent holes on the bottom
Might take a few times
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why won't my laptop work?

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#3 cmk7471

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 08:20 AM

I tried blowing it out with compressed air. It still gets hot and locks up.

#4 garmanma

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 10:54 AM

All I can suggest is to take it apart a inspect the fan and put new thermal compound on it
The factory uses a thermal pad, which I don't particularly care for
It also looks like the fan and heatsink are one piece
It's hard to tel without my glasses
Here's the manual with the parts breakdown
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechS...2Fc00374392.pdf

Edited by garmanma, 11 September 2009 - 10:55 AM.

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#5 cmk7471

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:13 AM

You are suggesting replacing the thermal pad, not necessarily the whole fan/heatsink assembly? Is that normally something that fails after time? Is that easy to do? I'm a software person but I've done a few hardware changes on desktops, never laptops. Are you pretty sure that this would fix the problem? Or should I look at replacing the laptop?

Thanks for your advice!

#6 ThunderZ

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Posted 11 September 2009 - 11:34 AM

I would first make sure there are no necessary programs running at start-up.

Have a look at Task manager. How many processes are shown to be running. Does he play games on it. That is severely taxing, even on the best of lap tops.

The fact that an anti-malware scan can not be completed could be for one of several reasons. The PC is already overloaded with background processes, scanning puts it over the edge. Some of those process could be active infections either causing the scan to freeze\PC to lock-up. Any combination of the already mentioned.

#7 cmk7471

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 08:43 AM

There aren't any unneccessary tasks. He doesn't really run games. Mostly homework, iTunes, YouTube, etc. I don't think it's overheating anymore. I started a virus scan as soon as I started it up. It froze at 29% of the scan. The temp was only 40 degrees celcius. It only happens when a hard drive intensive activity is going on: iTunes, virus scan, defrag, scandisk, etc. If he's streaming from the internet he can watch for hours without locking up. Could a failing hard drive have these symptoms? Whenever you turn it on when it's cool it will run for awhile then freeze. If you restart it it will freezed within a couple minutes. If you give it a couple hours then it may run again for awhile.

#8 ThunderZ

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Posted 14 September 2009 - 10:49 AM

How many tasks are running?


THIS will give you a good idea of what is running at start-up prior to any programs being launched by the user. It lists programs that are not need`d to start when Windows starts and gives you an easy way of disabling them.

It may not totally solve the problem but will help eliminate one possibility.

Also be sure that the lap top is being used on a hard surface and that none of the vents are being blocked.




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