HP Pavilion 524w's hang ups/lock ups.

Discussion in 'HP' started by pavilion.524w, Mar 23, 2008.

  1.  
     
    Will be much indebted if a good techie/soul could give me useful
    insights as to these endless hang ups/lock ups from my HP Pavilion
    524w ... because I just can't function; PC is my CentCom.  Believe or
    not, have been putting up with this crap for nearly three (3) months
    now.  Argh! 
     
     
    SYMPTOMS 

    » The first sign of future hang ups --though these may still be hours
    ahead-- is that after each boot up, the mouse pointer is jerky the
    very first time one moves it.  It jumps anywhere from 1/4" to 2" or so
    from its initial position (from wherever it landed after boot up) to
    whatever direction I'm pointing it to.  Note it only does this one
    time initially at the beginning of the session until the next boot
    up.  From then onwards during any given session, the mouse is as
    smooth as expected at all times.  This behavior occurs regardless of
    the mouse used, either a Microsoft PS3 or a Microsoft wireless USB. 

    » Freezings occur when using any software that needs to scan.  The
    worst are antivirus online scanning but lock ups also ocurr when
    copying large files say, above, 50 MBs. 

    » Just as successful in freezing the machine is any software that
    gets in the registry, such as various either online or installed
    cleaning utilities.  Microsoft's Malicious Software Removal Tool sure
    does it, for example. 

    » Anything that uses ActiveX and/or web-rize bloated sites with Flash
    this, Schockwave that, etc., like Huffington Post or eBay, for
    example, can easily cause lock ups. 

    » When lock ups get bad enough, sometimes there are checksum errors
    on boot up in which case the default BIOS configuration is reloaded. 

    » After repeated and increasing crashes, the behavior of disk
    scanning when rebooting changes even in this semi-DOS environment. 
    This is when running disk scanning from Start -> Run -> chkdsk c: /f
    -- the bootup drive on the primary master, and chkdsk e: /f --a
    logical drive on the same HD.  First one gets the standard full 10
    seconds to escape if one wants, then suddenly it starts giving me only
    5 sec., then ... no option to escape no matter how much the [Esc] key
    is tapped on.  The text allowing the user to escape is dropped
    altogether, gone, and repeatedly pressing the [Esc] key doesn't abort
    it. 

    » After repeated and increasing crashes, another example of changes
    of behaviors is the sequencing of these check disks pass the BIOS
    screen and about the time Windows itself begins to load. 

    » The only way out from these hang ups is to turn the machine off,
    patiently wait for a minute, then restart it.  After repeated and
    increasing crashes, another example of changing processes is that the
    machine restarting by itself, anywhere from a couple to 10 secs, to 30
    to 40 secs later than powering it off.  When it happens repeatedly,
    the only way to stop it from restarting all alone is power it off
    after the lock up, then quickly unplug the power cord from the surge
    protector.  My new power supply doesn't have an on/off button. 

    » For short periods of time, PROBLEMS SEEM NON-EXISTENT (i.e.,
    machine seemingly works regularly, even flies) after re-installing XP
    Pro, which I have done twice already.  Soon enough, anywhere from 5
    hrs to as much as 30 hrs later, freezings begin to ocurr and, from
    that point onwards, things get worse at an increasing rate.  It is not
    only the frequency of lock ups, but also how bad the machine
    crashes. 

    » ONE THING MAYBE POINTING TO THE ROOT OF THE PROBLEM IS FOOLING
    AROUND WITH THE MEMORY MODULES though, by now, don't think it's got
    anything to do w/ the modules themselves.  About 3 1/2 yrs ago
    replaced the original 256 MB single module with 2 x 1 GB modules, also
    PC2100 ... and this puppy took off, literally, right there and then. 
    Modules worked fine ever since. 

    » THE LAST OTHER THING MAYBE ... is fresh Win XP reinstalls.  See
    also possible solutions below. 

    » But the one telling bitty, every time around, is that jerky mouse
    only at the beginning of each session until, in time, hang ups begin
    all over again. 

       
    BIT OF HARDWARE BACKGROUND 

    » For reference, about a couple of months problems started,
    successfully changed the power supply from the original paltry 200
    watts to some 350 W, may a tad more, and the heatsink/fan cooler
    assembly. 

    » Moreover, when the lock ups first began, the original 57 GB Samsung
    SV0602H hard disk drive was only reading and writing at half its specs
    but, even then, appreciated HP putting in there.  It would simply not
    quit, allowing more than enough time to research and get a
    replacement. Equally importantly, it also allowed me to save all my
    data intact on a logical drive on my current HD, a 115 GB Maxtor
    6L120P0. 

    Is it possible that not replacing it right away could have caused
    these lock ups (or spoiled something at a very low level or upstream,
    if you will)?  Because the state of the old hard disk was so bad, at
    the time I blamed it all to the drive.  It never occurred to me that,
    simultaneously, the lock ups were due to something else. 

       
    POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS?/Other already tried ... 

    The following 2 bullet points should narrow down whereabouts the
    problem is but I'm unable to pin it down myself since I'm no techie; 

    » First, whenever re-installing Win XP anew, things go very smoothly
    for a a while. 

    » Second, fooling around with the memory modules is another that
    seems to take good care of things.  For a while, PC can't run any
    better.  From about 2 1/2 months ago trying to narrow down these hang
    ups, lately I pulled out the modules and then put them back in place. 
    Also tried swapping them around, or taking of one or another and
    leaving the other memory bank empty.  Just to make sure these two (2)
    1 GB PC2100 were not the problem, replaced them both with the one
    original HP 256 MB module.  Every time I fooled around with the
    memory, the machine behaved as if there no problems at all, again even
    flies, but only holds anywhere from 5 hrs to as much as 30 hrs.  All
    three (3) modules passed Microsoft's Windows Memory Diagnostic test
    tool with flying colors.  In the off the wall case problesh have
    anything to do with memory timming specs differences, this week
    changed to a new pair of 1 GB PC 3200 Samsung modules. 


    OTHER SOFTWARE; 

    » Already tried Microsoft's Diagnostics and Recovery Toolset. 
    Problem is it relies on dump files it needs for analysis ... but my
    system hasn't got any!  This is, when the machine hang ups, it just
    hangs up, right there and then.  Have yet to see a single blue screen
    of death.  Wish that was on the way down so, maybe, there'd be dump
    archives around. 

    » Independently, Dr. Watson informs me all is swimmingly well
    whenever I run it. 
     
    Machine was working fine indeed with old software when the lock ups
    began.  Still, in the search for solutions updated some HP and VIA
    software as follows (not being all inclusive here; there's a lot more
    I have done); 

    » The old BIOS was Phoenix Technologies version AM37307 but was
    replaced with the package from HP and now is the AM37320 (08-01-23)
    Phoenix Technologies.  When booting up it reads BIOS core revision
    V6.0, BIOS revision 3.20 08/01/2003, system BIOS supplier: Award. 
    The update no difference at all, not an iota, as to the freezings and
    was sorry to run it because functionality to end users is even more
    constrained than the old one.  For example, cannot turn off the video
    shadowing. 

    » Installed and run a couple of times the IDE Tool
    VIA_IDE_MPD_V320b.zip found at; 
    http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=1&CatID=1180&SubCatID=115 
    and apparently the same package posted at; 
    http://www.whitebunny.net/hardware/chipset_via.html 
    leading to actual download page at; 
    http://www.whitebunny.net/download?file=mbd_via_ide_3.20b.zip 
    Not sure why they call it the VIA IDE Miniport Driver but in any event
    this IDE Tool allowed me to run the primary and secondary drives on
    the max PIO modes my hardware allows.  When doing so, the drives would
    be listed as SCSI in the Device Manager.  Other than running
    perceptibly slower, it made no difference again so, presently, I'm
    back on the max DMA modes my drives are capable of.  By the way, the
    front side bus jumper on the motherboard is properly placed at FSB
    133. 

    » Installed the Retro Chipset VIA 4in1 drivers VIA_4in1_443v.zip
    package found at; 
    http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=1&CatID=1070 
    Turns out that "retro" bit on the title is no mis-name.  Drivers were
    older than a good many already in my system!  I guess it served to
    prove that none of the newer drives I happen to have in my system --
    via Microsoft updates beginning with XP SP2, I suppose-- were causing
    the hang ups because ... they continued unabated.  Aargh!  Same
    package can also be downloaded at; 
    http://www.whitebunny.net/hardware/chipset_via.html 
    leading to actual download page at; 
    http://www.whitebunny.net/download?file=mbd_via_4in1_4.43v.zip 
    the version recommended for my PC.  There is also a newer version
    named mbd_via_4in1_4.55vp1.zip 

    » Though my old Iomega ZIP 250 drive (still there for legacy
    compatibility) has been disconnected for a good many months given all
    these problems, I installed the VIA Latency Patch
    mbd_via_ide_3.20b.zip listed at; 
    http://www.whitebunny.net/hardware/chipset_via.html 
    leading to actual download page at; 
    http://www.whitebunny.net/download?file=mbd_via_ide_3.20b.zip 
    You know the drill by now.  Made no difference ... 

    » The last update package to be installed was the VIA Hyperion Pro
    Driver Package via_hyperionpro_v515a.zip downloaded from; 
    http://www.viaarena.com/default.aspx?PageID=420&OSID=1&CatID=1070 
    Somehow, even intuitively, it seemed to have the machine running
    smoothly but, all previous, ...  Grrr!, short of voodoo, don't know
    what else to resort to, honest. 
     
     
    MACHINE SPECS 

    From the back sticker; 
    HP Pavillion 500 
    HW BOM 05+1211 
    SW BOM NA92 
    System number: DB280A 
    Serial # MX25026882 
    windows XP Home Ed. (currently XP Pro SP2, build 2600) 
    Product Key: HCTVC-2HFXF-PBQGP-FPJV3-G2G6M 

    System Info 
    Model: HP/Compaq Pavilion 524w 
    Chassis Type: Desktop 
    Processor 
    Number Of Processors: 1 
    Type: AMD Athlon XP 2100+ 
    Processors Bus Speed: 267 MHz 
    Package: Socket A (AMD A/462 the same as Athlon 64?) 
    Manufacturer Codename: Palomino 
    Clock Speed: 1732 MHz 
    Clock Multiplier: 13.0 
    Front Side Bus (FSB) Speed: 267 MHz 
    L2 Cache Size: 256 KBytes Stepping : A5 
    Trace Width: 0.18 
    Microcode: Not Available 
    Instruction Sets: MMX, Extended MMX, 3DNow!, Extended 3DNow!, SSE 

    Motherboard 
    Motherboard reads VIA AM37 
    HP/Compaq name: Salsa 
    Motherboard Supplier: FIC (me: VIA Arena ... Albatron?) 
    Motherboard Name: AM37 
    Form Factor: uATX
    Processor Brand: AMD
    Processor Socket Type: socket-A (PGA462)
    --------- 

    Chipset Name: VIA KM266, or VIA P4M266/KM266 (North Bridge: VT8375),
    rev. 00 
    Chipset North Bridge: VT8375, Revision/stepping A1 
    Chipset South Bridge: VT8235
    Super I/O: ITE-IT8705F 
    OLD BIOS manufacturer: Phoenix Technologies, LTD 
    Bios Version : AM37307 
    Flash BIOS Device: Xbus 2 Mbit 
    --------- 

    NEW, UPDATED version: AM37320 (08-01-23) Phoenix Technologies, LTD 
    or another way to state it, apparently, when booting up; 
    BIOS core rev. V6.0 
    BIOS revision: 3.20 08/01/2003 
    System BIOS Supplier: Award
     
    Memory 
    Total RAM Installed : 2048 MB 
    Type : DDR DIMM PC2100 
    Used RAM Slots: 2 of 2 
    Memory Bus Frequency: 133 MHz 
    Memory Timings: 2.5-2-2-6 
    Memory Speed: PC2100/PC1600 
    Memory Sockets: 2 DIMM
    Maximum Memory: 2 GB
    Ethernet 10/100 LAN, supplier: Realtek RTL8100L
    Ethernet Configuration: PCI, Down
    IDE UDMA Modes: ATA-100/66/33 
    Expansion Slots (AGP/PCI/Exten): AGP, 3 PCI
    USB Ports: 6 USB 2.0 
    USB Front/Back Options: 2F+4B 
     
    Peripherals 
    USB Version : 2.0 
     
    Graphics 
    Model: S3 AGP S3 Graphics ProSavageDDR 
    AGP Speed: Not Available 
    Brand: 1509 
    Slot: AGP 
    GPU Core: Not Available 
    GPU Speed: Not Available 
    Video Ram Size: 29 MB 
    Video Ram Type: Not Available 
    Video Ram Speed: Not Available 
    Driver Version: 6.14.10.25 
    DirectX Installed: Version 9.0c 
    Available Slot: AGP 2.0 
    --------- 

    Graphics Supplier: VIA 
    Graphics Configuration: Down, In Chipset
    Onboard Graphics Memory: UMA 64 MB 
    Graphics Connector (AGP): AGP 4X (1.5V only) 
    TV-Out Device: No 
    TV-Out Configuration: N/A 
    Audio: AC'97 Down 
    AC'97 CODEC Device: Realtek ALC201 
    Audio Jacks (Mic,Line-In,Line-Out,Spkr,MIDI/Game): M,LI,LO,SO 
    M: Microphone
    LI: Line In
    LO: Line out 
    SO: Speaker 
    M/G: Midi/Game 
    --------- 

    See more specs from HP at; 
    http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/...941&lc=en&cc=us&lang=en&product=296667&dlc=en 
    including picture and map from the motherboard, and more. 
     
    If you kept reading this far down, bless your patience. 
     
     
    H. 
     
    Amsterdam 
    Netherlands 
     
     
     
    pavilion.524w, Mar 23, 2008
    #1
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  2. pavilion.524w

    Malke Guest

    (snip the Great Dutch Novel) ;-)

    I'm going to be very honest with you - there is no way I'm reading through
    all that. It's just too long. I'm sure someone more patient than I will be
    happy to go through it all. I did skim what you wrote. As for me:

    New computer that doesn't work the way you describe = hardware issues,
    probably the motherboard but it doesn't really matter. It's new. Return it
    for replacement under warranty. End of story. No fooling around.

    Malke
     
    Malke, Mar 23, 2008
    #2
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