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04-02-2012 04:28 PM
I downloaded and installed the new BIOS on Saturday. Sunday night, I got a warning that popped up which I've never seen before. The warning says that my primary HDD is in imminent danger of failure and that I need to backup all data and replace the drive. I ran a CHKDSK on the HDD and found no bad sectors or file system problems. However, every time I reboot, I get a warning that SMART has detected a catastrophic failure and that I need to back up and replace the HDD before I lose all my data. The drive sounds fine and there are no bad sectors. So, I'm wondering if there is a problem with the new BIOS causing this warning. So far, I haven't had any problems downloading but I haven't had a chance to download a really large file yet, which is the only time I have been able to replicate the lock up problem. Anyone else with the new BIOS having this SMART warning? If not, then perhaps my HDD is indeed going out. If so, I think I'll take this machine into the back yard and shoot it. Between the wifi problem, the blu-ray drive that failed in 8 months, and now this, I'm done with this piece of junk!
04-02-2012 08:25 PM
I can say that after BIOS update, the wifi issue with large file transfer has been resolved and I did not get any warning from SMART about HDD failing.
Every two days or so, the wifi card does have trouble connecting to my router after waking up from standby. It sees all SSIDs in the neighborhood except mine. I would say that this laptop being so expensive, is not stable at all. HP has used junk parts and equally crappy firmware.
04-02-2012 08:38 PM
No issues like that here... I even started using Hibernate again because the BIOS fix resolved all of the wifi-related issues I was having.
04-20-2012 09:44 PM
04-20-2012 10:56 PM
01. Try using Task Manager to see which process is taking up CPU. If it is Firefox, then check for updates. It could also be a Firefox add-on misbehaving.
02. I have never heard of anything like this. When your internet connection is lost, try to check your network setting using ipconfig /all. Try to do a nslookup of any website like www.google.com and see what shows. Use tracert to figure out what might be wrong.
Compare the results when you can connect with when you cannot connect. Assuming that you have a simple setup like Internet->Cable/DSL/FiOS->Wireless router->PC/Laptop.
Please do NOT post the results of these commands here as these can reveal a lot about your network and physical location.
04-22-2012 03:35 AM
05-05-2012 05:09 PM - last edited on 05-05-2012 07:53 PM by MrMatthew
I've felt the need to register here to chip in my money's worth. I'm currently an IT manager and PHP developer, have done IT support before, and this is the first time I've had to even bother to register on a forum to help find the solution to a problem that I haven't been able to solve on my own. Usually, if I can't fix it, it's *bleep*.
I, too, experience these lock-up problems under the same circumstances, but I don't seem to specifically suffer when using bittorrent. The laptop will spazz out every now and then when streaming video, but it really finds itself on top form when I try to play any kind of online game. Upon launching the beta version of the newest version of Counter-Strike, my FPS will take an unexpected downturn after mere seconds into gameplay. A lock-up will usually kick in the instant an enemy presents himself; hence, I'm now finding myself being enraged to the point of self-harm.
These lock-ups don't force me to reboot, but they will render the machine useless for perhaps 20 or 30 seconds. The outputs will skip like a scratched CD, and in spite of there being no CPU spikes or other abnormal behaviours, the fan will begin to cough and splutter as the machine becomes increasingly warm. Inputs will also skip to the point where if one summons the console and begins typing, one must wait for the console to actually appear on the screen before any further keyboard activity will be read into it. A reboot serves only to short-circuit this behaviour.
The recovery from these lock-ups isn't pretty either. FPS will improve--from 0-- to a barely playable fraction of its maximum capacity, and the machine will continue to struggle in spite of being able to produce relatively little. This can continue for seconds or minutes. Sometimes, I'll be free to game in peace without this foolishness, but usually this problem will appear almost instantly and is there to stay.
Here is a list of things I've done in an effort to resolve this problem:
1) *bleep* about with an endless array of drivers for the N6200. I currently have the latest ones installed (220.127.116.11). This seems to have no effect.
2) Flashing the BIOS. I currently have the latest one installed, which claims to remedy this issue (F.1A). This seems to have no effect.
3) Messing around with the n mode settings on both the N6200 and my router. This seems to have no effect.
4) Messing around with the power settings on the N6200. This seems to have no effect.
5) Messing around with the packet rate cvars on the various Counter-Strike games to see if there's any observable reaction. Bizarrely, the oldest version of Counter-Strike only provokes this problem slightly, whereas the latest offering has it firing all cylinders. This seems to have no effect.
I've also bought a replacement for the N6200; the Killer Wireless-N 1102. I swapped out the N6200 with this a few days ago and reassembled the laptop carefully only to realise that I'd been shafted again after the BIOS refused to post with the new card installed. Apparently, this is my fault for failing to check for arbitrary hardware limitations hard-coded into the BIOS prior to purchasing the upgrade. I don't even wish to know what backward chain of reasoning has led to such a *bleep* unforgivable feat of pure stupidity.
I did catch a whiff of an edge case hardware problem with this laptop when I bought it on-the-cheap from eBay, but I expected to be able to handle whatever was coming. I did not expect to be laughed at. It appears that I may have to look for a modded BIOS that will lift this absurd restriction. I seem to remember suffering this issue with an old IBM A31p laptop, and the work-around was removing the offending card temporarily on start-up in order to trick the BIOS. Doing so on this machine would result in one being too lazy to ever screw the covers back on leaving both an SSD and an HDD exposed, and any software updates requiring a reboot would likely be avoided also. That's not to mention that fact that the machine is already happy to use my crotch as a heatsink with the plastic covers in place.
If anybody feels I may have missed anything then please feel free to drop me a line. I'm beginning to wonder if I've hastily blamed the N6200 for this foolishness on account of the number of complaints for what seemed to be my issue when it's actually not involved. I'll test the performance of the machine with the N6200 powered down shortly and see whether it makes any difference.
05-05-2012 09:32 PM
I am not familiar at all with online gaming so please pardon me if I ask any stupid question.
a) Does the online game stream continously or does it download to your local disk and then run from there?
b) Which video GPU are you using when playing, power saver or high performance? The high performance GPU does get the laptop warm.
On my laptop, the network card/driver is:
Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6200 AGN Intel 8/3/2011 18.104.22.168
After updating the BIOS, all my netwrok related problems are resolved. I also had to change the Preferred Band to No Preference to resolve a second issue that I had. Now I have been free of any network related problem for several weeks.
I am wondering if your problem could be GPU related. Maybe you can run Task Manager to see CPU utilization/network utilization when playing and see if any unusual behavior shows up. Other than that, it is hard to say anything. Please keep us posted if you find anything.
05-06-2012 09:07 AM
I am here once again to waste more of my life with this outrageous problem. I've experimented with some new ideas and have produced some interesting results.
The first thing I tried after submitting my post last night was to disable the N6200 and instead plug my iPhone in for use as a makeshift USB wireless card. I managed to lure myself toward a false sense of victory after successfully brutalising some new kids on the block on the Counter-Strike game that I've been having problems with only to fall victim to these retarded lock-ups once more.
After pondering, it occurred to me that perhaps the alleged switchable graphcis on this laptop could be responsible for this behaviour, as it could explain short bursts of halted responsiveness followed by longer periods of handicapped performance. I say "alleged" switchable graphics as while there appears to be an onboard Intel GPU as well as the ATi 6850M, I've found no way to switch between these at will. Finding some simple documentation as to what supposedly facilitates this mechanism seems to be beyond the scope of my limited intelligence as well, but as the 6850M seems to never deactive and I'm using the laptop as a desktop replacement, I deliberately haven't wasted any more time with it. I disabled the Intel GPU last night too, and was nearly fooled once again.
This is where things became interesting. I choose laptops over desktops as I'm lazy and prefer to lie in bed with them comfortably rather than sitting at a desk. I already spend more time than I'd like in an office chair. I've also had a cold recently, which has degenerated into a wretched cough with sneezes every once in a while. While testing the gaming performance of the machine with the Intel GPU disabled, I was sitting perfectly still and things ran beautifully with a constant 200 FPS. The instant I involuntarily coughed and the machine shook, all went pear-shaped. I've managed to duplicate this behaviour several times. I'm normally very restless, and my coughing has been much worse till recently, so this pattern simply hadn't twigged beforehand.
What I'm now looking at is some foolish behaviour being caused by my hard drives. I'm using a Crucial M4 SSD as my C drive and a Western Digital Caviar HDD as my D drive; the HDD has been sitting loose in the extra bay. This is because HP has chosen not to ship the machines with the caddy for the extra bay, taking preference over selling them separately at a beautifully extortionate price. Batteries not included? Very original! For this reason, I've been patient and managed to grab one of these completely worthless caddies for a relatively low price. I installed it this morning to see if matters would be improved, in spite of the fact that the HDD is used entirely for cold storage and should never even have to spin up during gameplay and--as anticipated--the problem persists.
The plot thickens. I lost the will to continue squandering time with this issue at this point. My next angle of attack is going to be looking at potential issues with this Crucial M4 SSD. I'll let you all know how it goes.
What's most bizarre is that while I haven't solved this problem, I've definitely improved matters. I have to wonder if I've actually begun with a number of issues that were causing lock-ups and freezes and have only just managed to reduce the nuisances down to a single offender. I'll never know without going back to square one after eradicating this nonsense once and for all--which I have no intention of doing--but hopefully this sensationalised tale of woe will help some other poor souls falling victim of this foolishness. It would be a shame for others to have to duplicate my efforts here and inevitably piss a week of their own time up the wall.
05-06-2012 09:40 AM
Your post reminds me of my past experience with HP DV6000 laptop. I had used the DV6000 for 4 years before retiring it last Thanksgiving and getting the Envy.
Anyways, the DV6000 worked fine for first 2 years. Then I started to have blue screens, freezes lasting several seconds to a minute and then auto-recovering. Everything pointed to disk. I thought that disk might have gone bad so I replaced the disk. Worked fine for several months, then same problems started happening again.
After lot of trial and error, I found that every time I removed the disk, blew air into the connector (on the laptop), re-installed, the disk, it worked fine for several months. I had to repeat the procedure after few months. I also realized that picking up the laptop with one hand, particularly from where the disk is installed, resulted in problem showing up faster. So my guess is that over a period of time, somehow the disk connector got loose.
Since you mentioned adding a cusotm SSD, it might be that your problem is also caused by SSD being loose. Hope you can figure it out. Good luck...!!