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Old 10-08-2008, 04:36 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,346,931 times
Reputation: 175

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Hi- I am NOT computer sophisticated at all! My laptop (circa 2002) is acting strangely. Before you say "geez, go buy a new one!", I can't, just got layed off, so no extra funds right now.
The laptop is an HP Pavillion zt1230 with Windows XP. It has an Intel Celeron Processor 1.3 GHz, 256 MB SyncDram shared memory, 20 GB Ultra DMA Harddrive, DVD-rom drive 56K modem. I have AT & T high speed DSL service. (thru phone line but not dial-up) Hope I got all that right
I always keep it plugged in, I don't use it on just battery power. So...sometimes it acts just fine. But sometimes, the screen flickers (light and dimmer) the little icon that shows if it's on battery or A/C adapter will switch between them (yes, all connections are solid, nothing unplugged) Then sometimes a blue box will appear that says "Hardware malfunction-call your hardware vendor for support-the system has halted". So I looked in the owners manual, it says restart, then when the HP logo shows up, click the F10 key to test the hardware by starting a diagnostic test. Well, I tried 3 times and everytime the logo showed up and I clicked F10 key, this really loud BEEEEP (which kept going and going) happened, and it never gave me a Diagtools menu! It just then continued to restart Windows!
This crap happens almost every time I use the laptop either within an hour, or after a couple of hours. If I reboot everything, sometimes it will be fine (like now) sometimes the screen still flickers and it 'halts' again. So I can't run a hardware diagnostic test to see what's wrong cause it won't let me! What should I do? And also, what would you recommend when I DO get the money to get a new one? A laptop of Desktop? what brand and model? I'd like it to be under $1000 if possible, I DON'T do gaming, I would not need to travel with it necessarily, I don't do anything with graphics, etc. Just e-mail, web surf, download (upload?) camera photos, but I want to learn how to burn music CD's so that would be nice. And I want something FAST if possible. PS==any way for me to make my 'antique' 2002 laptop faster? Would it be worth it to add RAM? Thanks for all advice!!!
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Old 10-08-2008, 05:54 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
Reputation: 8052
It sounds like it *may* be a failing battery. Try running it without the battery installed, if it will operate that way (some will, some won't). It could also be a failing power supply (the brick that plugs into the wall and into your laptop). It could also be an internal component - the charging circuit, for example. The first two things I mentioned are the most likely, though, IMHO.

As for what to do with this machine, I wouldn't spend any money on upgrading it. You might be able to increase the RAM, but a machine (especially a laptop) that old won't have the ability to add much, if any, and your money would be much better spent on a new machine.

As for new machines, considering what you use it for (sounds like net-only pretty much, and maybe standard office apps) and that you leave your laptop plugged in and at home (assuming it's always at home), there's no reason for you to get another laptop. You can get a refurbished or dent/scratch Dell for under $250, reasonably well equipped. You'll also need a monitor and keyboard/mouse, if you don't already have those things, but they're not that expensive if you shop around.

If your notebook will run ok without the battery installed, that'll probably be the best short-term solution, considering your situation. If not, or if the problem can't be resolved without spending money, consider turning the notebook into your family's newest doorstop and see if you can put together a few bucks for a new PC. It may cost more than a new notebook battery or power supply, but putting money into the notebook at this point is just throwing it away.
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Old 10-08-2008, 06:05 PM
 
Location: Full time RV"er
2,403 posts, read 5,854,580 times
Reputation: 1475
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty3 View Post
Hi- I am NOT computer sophisticated at all! My laptop (circa 2002) is acting strangely. Before you say "geez, go buy a new one!", I can't, just got layed off, so no extra funds right now.
The laptop is an HP Pavillion zt1230 with Windows XP. It has an Intel Celeron Processor 1.3 GHz, 256 MB SyncDram shared memory, 20 GB Ultra DMA Harddrive, DVD-rom drive 56K modem. I have AT & T high speed DSL service. (thru phone line but not dial-up) Hope I got all that right
I always keep it plugged in, I don't use it on just battery power. So...sometimes it acts just fine. But sometimes, the screen flickers (light and dimmer) the little icon that shows if it's on battery or A/C adapter will switch between them (yes, all connections are solid, nothing unplugged) Then sometimes a blue box will appear that says "Hardware malfunction-call your hardware vendor for support-the system has halted". So I looked in the owners manual, it says restart, then when the HP logo shows up, click the F10 key to test the hardware by starting a diagnostic test. Well, I tried 3 times and everytime the logo showed up and I clicked F10 key, this really loud BEEEEP (which kept going and going) happened, and it never gave me a Diagtools menu! It just then continued to restart Windows!
This crap happens almost every time I use the laptop either within an hour, or after a couple of hours. If I reboot everything, sometimes it will be fine (like now) sometimes the screen still flickers and it 'halts' again. So I can't run a hardware diagnostic test to see what's wrong cause it won't let me! What should I do? And also, what would you recommend when I DO get the money to get a new one? A laptop of Desktop? what brand and model? I'd like it to be under $1000 if possible, I DON'T do gaming, I would not need to travel with it necessarily, I don't do anything with graphics, etc. Just e-mail, web surf, download (upload?) camera photos, but I want to learn how to burn music CD's so that would be nice. And I want something FAST if possible. PS==any way for me to make my 'antique' 2002 laptop faster? Would it be worth it to add RAM? Thanks for all advice!!!
I have to 2nd that on the battery, just found out from hp that it's not good to leave the laptops pluged in , charge then use till the battery gets weak then recharge. Though mine was dead found that i could get new battery for only 90.00 not bad! also don't think this is advertising but you need to look on line @ Tiger Direct .com out of Florida, got referbed commeercial desk top, 1 yr warr. $189.00 fantastic. that was 4 mo. ago, great unit. Great Co. and people to work with .
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Old 10-08-2008, 08:52 PM
 
Location: Texas
5,070 posts, read 9,076,702 times
Reputation: 1632
Hmmm, mine is plugged in all the time. Would it be better to take out the battery?
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
18,540 posts, read 55,453,855 times
Reputation: 32261
"This crap happens almost every time I use the laptop either within an hour, or after a couple of hours. If I reboot everything, sometimes it will be fine (like now) sometimes the screen still flickers and it 'halts' again."

Could be a heat related issue. Check around in control panel or setup and you may find something that reports the core temp. If there are vents, use a vacuum and artists brush and clean them out. If there is a fan, make sure it is working and has proper airflow.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:39 PM
 
Location: Tyler, TX
15,210 posts, read 18,490,880 times
Reputation: 8052
Good point - heat could certainly be the problem, especially considering when it happens.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:43 PM
 
Location: SW Missouri
15,853 posts, read 30,794,271 times
Reputation: 22403
Quote:
Originally Posted by kitty3 View Post
Hi- I am NOT computer sophisticated at all! My laptop (circa 2002) is acting strangely. Before you say "geez, go buy a new one!", I can't, just got layed off, so no extra funds right now.
The laptop is an HP Pavillion zt1230 with Windows XP. It has an Intel Celeron Processor 1.3 GHz, 256 MB SyncDram shared memory, 20 GB Ultra DMA Harddrive, DVD-rom drive 56K modem. I have AT & T high speed DSL service. (thru phone line but not dial-up) Hope I got all that right
I always keep it plugged in, I don't use it on just battery power. So...sometimes it acts just fine. But sometimes, the screen flickers (light and dimmer) the little icon that shows if it's on battery or A/C adapter will switch between them (yes, all connections are solid, nothing unplugged) Then sometimes a blue box will appear that says "Hardware malfunction-call your hardware vendor for support-the system has halted". So I looked in the owners manual, it says restart, then when the HP logo shows up, click the F10 key to test the hardware by starting a diagnostic test. Well, I tried 3 times and everytime the logo showed up and I clicked F10 key, this really loud BEEEEP (which kept going and going) happened, and it never gave me a Diagtools menu! It just then continued to restart Windows!
This crap happens almost every time I use the laptop either within an hour, or after a couple of hours. If I reboot everything, sometimes it will be fine (like now) sometimes the screen still flickers and it 'halts' again. So I can't run a hardware diagnostic test to see what's wrong cause it won't let me! What should I do? And also, what would you recommend when I DO get the money to get a new one? A laptop of Desktop? what brand and model? I'd like it to be under $1000 if possible, I DON'T do gaming, I would not need to travel with it necessarily, I don't do anything with graphics, etc. Just e-mail, web surf, download (upload?) camera photos, but I want to learn how to burn music CD's so that would be nice. And I want something FAST if possible. PS==any way for me to make my 'antique' 2002 laptop faster? Would it be worth it to add RAM? Thanks for all advice!!!
Sounds like you might need a new A/C Adapter. When mine start to go, I get weird stuff like this happening. Write down ALL of the data on your present one and then check the thrift stores in your area. HP is a very common brand and chances are you might find just what you are looking for.

20yrsinBranson
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:41 PM
 
10,753 posts, read 18,005,309 times
Reputation: 10244
wiggle the power where it connects to the laptop, the D/C jack on the laptop may be worn or damaged causing an intermittant connection from the power supply.
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Old 10-11-2008, 12:25 PM
 
175 posts, read 1,346,931 times
Reputation: 175
Well, it finally died. It was getting worse and worse, I would reboot it and within 5 seconds it would just click off...all color indicators gone black. Or sometimes it would just have the black screen with that error message that I mentioned before "call your vendor blah blah blah hardware problem" I also think there may have been a problem with the cord from the laptop to the elect. outlet, because I could wiggle it and the indicators would go on and off.
I wonder how hard it would be to find a new (cheap) power cord with that big 'brick' on it? Or are they all standard?[/b] I ended up buying a desktop Dell XPS series which I am MADLY in love with . (So much for my meager savings account...) It is super fast!! However, I did have some photos and stuff on the HP laptop I would like to retrieve if possible, plus it would be nice to get it working as a back-up, or for travel.
By the way, ya'll are smart!! I love smart men ;-)
(oops sorry 20yearsinbranson if you are indeed a country GIRL! love you too!)

Last edited by kitty3; 10-11-2008 at 12:28 PM.. Reason: need to add something
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Old 10-11-2008, 03:16 PM
 
10,753 posts, read 18,005,309 times
Reputation: 10244
The power bricks ARE NOT universal, and any number of online vendors will carry them, or call HP.
You need to test the brick you have with a VOHM (Volt Ohm Meter) to make sure it is in fact bad before buying a new one.
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