Patient: hp pavilion zv5000


cc photo by Jay Reed

I was recently given a hp pavilion zv5000 laptop to fix.

It belongs to one of my girlfriend’s friends. I talked to said friend’s daughter at a party. She mentioned that it wasn’t working well, so she and her mom had to share her uncle’s laptop. However, I heard her uncle wasn’t going to be in town for awhile. So now, they would be without a computer that works well.

Of course, I volunteered to take a look at it. I was able to fix most of the problems, so she can get back to watching Pokemon videos on YouTube.

Symptoms

I. Slow

To fix the slowness…

  1. back up data
  2. clean install Windows XP
  3. install missing drivers
  4. install applications
  5. restore data

Here are all the missing drivers I had to install to get rid of the exclamation marks in Device Manager.

II. Does not connect to the internet wirelessly

After installing the wifi driver as mentioned earlier, the wireless worked great.

III. Gets hot and shuts down randomly

I couldn’t duplicate this problem. I used the computer continuously for 12 hours straight, but it never shut off on me due to overheating. The fans were on the entire time though, even during boot up and when the computer was idle. The bottom felt hot after 12 hours, but not hot enough to cause a shut down.

If I could get it to shutdown due to overheating, I’d open it up, clean the fans, and apply some Arctic Silver 5 to keep the CPU cool. However, I couldn’t get it to shutdown, so I didn’t want to open it up needlessly.

I did discover that the laptop won’t run on battery power. It needs to be plugged in at all times to work. So my guess is maybe the random shutdowns were caused by the plug accidentally coming loose instead of overheating.

Alpha Mesh

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9 Responses to Patient: hp pavilion zv5000

  1. eksith says:

    “Pokemon”
    Well that may be part of the problem affecting the computer ;)

    There’s a utility called “Glary’s Registry Repair” that works pretty well to remove gunk left over from old applications, redundant settings, malware etc…

    Old registry cruft has been known to slow down a system during startup as well as runtime. So if it ever slows down again, a reg cleanup might be easier than a reinstallation.

    If it has Norton or McAfee, those are pretty much useless IMO. They’re never current enough to detect anything new in the wild and consume even more resources by just sitting around.

    I use Avast, which is pretty good at detecting abnormal behaviour. A lot of times, that’s all the warning you get from a new virus (before they’ve updated their own AV databases). Plus it’s free and doesn’t consume as much resources as the other two.

    The battery not charging may be because it has a few dead cells in it. Once one or two of those go, the whole battery needs to be replaced, I’m afraid. And I have a feeling they kept it plugged in all the time. This kills laptop batteries rather quickly as they’re only meant to be trickle-charged for at most a few hours at a time. Not continuously.

    The fans may have just needed a few blasts of canned air. A lot of homes do tend to collect dust so the temps may vary from house to house.

    I once had a friend come to me with his laptop constantly overheating. Turns out there was a plastic mat on his desk that kept getting sucked into the fans blocking circulation. It may have been some overlooked or unexpected blockage like that as well.

  2. jorel314 says:

    @eksith

    Thanks for the suggestions!

    I’ve never really looked into registry repair before. I shall try it out on the next slow computer that I’m trying to fix.

    I agree wholeheartedly about Norton and McAfee, and I’ve been using Avast for awhile. I may switch to the open source antivirus, ClamWin, if they include real time scanning.

  3. seasores says:

    way to go.. this was a very nice topic and a good help too.. i suggest that the factory setup of this that I think that make it slow especially at startup is because of its RAM (256) that is like the old time around (prehistoric) hehe eniwei I got it benchmarked by CPUI and it tells it has 2slot and maximum RAM upgrade can be at 2GB! hope that will solve some minor things. keep it up!

  4. jorel314 says:

    @seasores

    Glad you found the post interesting. Thanks for reading!

  5. Lars G says:

    The HP Pavilion ZV5000 has built-in problem with the power connection. The soldering to mainboard is wery poor and often breaks, wich in combination with a broken battery can give unexpected shutdowns. It is possible to fix it with a little luck and a great deal of patience but you must disassemble the laptop all the way to the mainboard. When finally at the power contact scratch off protective paint to get a larger area to solder. If necessery add a small piece of copper foil or wire to maximize the strength, and solder al the way to the nearest component. Good luck! /Lars

  6. Jody says:

    Hi, My computer of the same model number has the same problem of overheating and shutting down, and its battery works fine. It’s not the length of time the computer runs that triggers this problem; it’s the number of programs running, especially graphics-heavy programs.

  7. Jody says:

    Thanks, Lars, I may try that. In my case, I’m fairly certain there’s a heat problem. If the second fan kicks on (or if the fans kick into high gear–not sure which is happening) and stays on for more than a few seconds, I know I’m in trouble. It’s particularly troublesome when my son’s playing certain games. It also happens almost every time I try to import CDs into iTunes.

  8. Jody Bilyeu says:

    I cleaned my fans–at first I thought one side of the heatsink grill came from the manufacturer covered by a thick strip of felt, until I realized no, it was wearing a little toupee of lint and filth. I Arctic Silvered the heatsink, following all the instructions on the website, and the spontaneous shutdowns have completely stopped.

  9. jorel314 says:

    @Jody Great to hear you got it working. Good job!

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