Note on archived topics.
05-07-2009 12:36 AM
I've been having serious problems with the machine locking up. After flashing bios, installing new drivers, updating everything you can think of I finally decided to start over and do a system restore to factory settings. Went through the process and when it finished the computer restart. On the restart I notice the HP logo is distorted, it goes to the Vista load screen, the bar on the bottom of the page moves for a while, the screen flickers then goes off. It then sits there for a few minutes before restarting the computer and taking me to the startup repair/start windows normally screen. Running through the process of the startup repair does not fix anything.
My problems began about 4 nights ago. Before tonight I was able to do a restore point to a few days ago and everything would load. However, the second I did any kind of 3D test on the card it would lock the system up. I would have to do a hard reboot and then the HP logo would be back to being distorted and it would get hung up after begining to load windows as described above. Since I've done the factory restore I can no longer access any of my restore points (because I'm assuming it formatted the drive).
My original thought is that the video card was overheating or going bad. I don't notice any excessive heat and (when I was able to get the computer to actually boot) it looked like the GPU temps were normal. I was thinking it was the video card because everything would work fine (surf, check email, watch videos online) until I ran a video card test or played a game with 3d graphics.
This computer was 1 yr old this past March
05-09-2009 02:20 PM
One possibility is a corrupted or mismatched bios of the GPU .. you mention flashing a bios, but I presume this is the motherboard bios, while it is possible to update the chipset of the GPU this is not a very stable proces and will result in all sorts of wierd issues.
Another possibility is that internally a connector has suffered some sort of damage, has come loose, or something along those lines.
Both these options will require the assistance from a repair center.
However, since you are referring to flickering and distortion, and since you have a notebook with one of the faulty GPU series chances are that the GPU or parts of the GPU package (video memory, connector slot) do have some sort of damage. Typically the affected GPU's will perform fine, unless they have suffered critical heat damage, unless you tax the GPU with higher functions, like directx / direct3d.
Heat damage is a gradual event. Only when it becomes persistant you start to notice heat buildup. Especially when you are not using the GPU for functions which make the GPU work a bit (like directx). It would be very interesting to see if you can still run this video test and monitor heat results. Bear in mind that with the epoxy used for the defective batches a gradual buildup of damage and one or two heat spikes is enough to cause damage without the user noticing the machine going hot over extended time).
We had one dv9000 with a similar issue, it would sorta work alright, it even went to HP but came back since their test showed the GPU to function within parameters. It wasn't until we retrieved their passmark configuration that we noticed that HP does not check anything other then normal video signal and video playback. Once we ran a passmark check which featured a decent use of the GPU (d3d) the notebook rolled over and locked up. At that point we managed to revive it twice through a rollback, the third time the machine suddenly developed an amazing heat buildup, and died for good.
It's been shipped to HP under extended warranty and has been repaired, unfortunately with an MB/GPU combo of the same respective assembly batches, so with the same hardware fault.
I would do a final check on the machine at home, if you can't get further or run into unexpected results call HP and arrange to have the machine picked up for repair under the HP extended warranty for the HP Nvidia defect. Should you run into troubles with customer support, just stay polite and be persistent, if you want a walkthrough on how to crunch through it would be worth digging a bit into the results of this google query (in contrast to HP marketing published halt of url censorship on these forums the mods still keep removing important things).
Good luck 😕