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10-23-2009 03:02 PM
I just bought a S5114f-b slimline PC with Vista 64 bit for my in-laws while I was in New Hampshire on vacation. When I set it up for them and installed a few programs it crashed at what I thought were random times. It was a hard unresponsive crash to a garbled screen. Attached below are two pictures of the result. At first I thought the problem was overheating so I downloaded a program I use at home called HWMonitorby CPUID. HWMonitor displays 3 temperature sensors. One under ACPI called THRM and two processor cores. The processor cores were in an acceptable range at all times, but the THRM one was at 104°F / 40°C constantly. It never fluctuated regardless of the temperature of the case. When you load up the computer by playing video, etc.. the computer got warmer to the touch, but the THRM sensor never changed. I loaded BIOS setup to try to verify the value but the BIOS with this computer doesn't display the temps.
The computer has what seems like a very small power supply I never looked at the rating on it, but being a slimline PC I understand it being on the small side. So I considered the possibility that it could be overloaded. There were 4 things plugged into the back 4 USB ports. A Keyboard, a Mouse, a Logitech Communicate webcam, and an Epson all-in-one printer/scan/copier. The latter two have about 6ft cables... not sure if this would increase current draw. The computer should be able to handle these. While setting up the webcam it was detected but unresponsive in one of the USB ports. I swapped ports with the printer and both items worked fine after that.
Next I tried narrowing down when the crashes were happening. I was doing lots of video configuring because they wanted to watch TV on the PC using their DSL since they don't get cable on their street. I went to HULU.COM and began watching TV using FireFox. About 10-15 minutes into a show the computer would crash. I decided to switch to Internet Explorer. 64 Bit Internet Explorer wouldn't allow the Flash Video decoder to install. Adobe.com mentioned that a 32 bit browser would run the Flash plugin but not the 64 bit version. So I loaded the 32 bit version of IE that comes with Vista-64 and installed the Flash plugin. When I played the show from there it ran all the way through without crashing. I then closed the cabinet off that the PC was in to restrict airflow, and let it get warm playing the video again. Still no crash. At one point the computer crashed after closing a video window in Skype. I can't remember if there was video playing in Firefox in the background when that happened so that may not be an issue, but I'm not sure. Anyway, I'd like to narrow this down before the 14 day return policy is up so it can be returned if it is truely an HP issue. The PC was a gift, and it's turning out to be a nightmare of a gift. Anyone else with this same issue?
11-29-2010 08:05 AM
An update to this post.... It is almost 1 year later and my in-laws still have the same problem. They don't use their computer much so they've simply been dealing with it randomly crashing and dumping everything. This is rediculous. I contacted HP support when it first started to happen and they merely suggested solutions I had already told them I tried which did not work. Here's another person with exactly the same issue.