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Laptop freezing

Last response: in Laptops & Notebooks
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December 9, 2009 3:26:15 AM

About a week ago, my HP DV5Z laptop began randomly freezing. I didn't change anything at all on it, no updates to drivers or the OS or anything. It's always while playing a game; I don't think it's ever happened outside of a game. For a fraction of a second, the screen will be shifted either up or down slightly and then its back to normal, but it'll be completely frozen. Sound stops, mouse won't respond, whatever game I'm running at the time will be frozen. I'm at a loss as to what this might be, I've tried everything I can think of including updating every driver that there was a newer version of, disabled things that didn't need to be running, keeping the temp as cool as possible. The hottest it's gotten is about 80 Celsius while pushing it as hard as possible, which doesn't seem too out of line to me, although pretty often it'll even freeze at around 70 Celsius.

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a b D Laptop
a b α HP
December 9, 2009 8:00:14 AM

Try seeing if you can get a temp. on the GPU (I assume it is a dedicated GPU). It sounds like there may be an issue with the GPU overheating, which in turn causes the video driver to go out and that can lead to a freeze. What GPU do you have in it?
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December 9, 2009 2:03:28 PM

If you think it's a thermal issue, why not use it outside in the cold? Ambient temperature has a huge impact on the temperature of your components... now this is less true for laptops, but it's still true (they don't draw in as much outside air as most desktops) I just read a post on here yesterday where someone replaced the thermal paste on his laptop's GPU and dropped it dropped the temps 10C for him. That particularly person said his was all dried up and that might be a unique case... but that is one example of someone doing that successfully. If the laptop is still under warranty, I might want to go that route instead. I've had some positive experiences with HP support believe it or not.
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December 9, 2009 3:11:58 PM

Yes, I did get the dedicated GPU option and got the HD3450 for it, and actually the temps on the GPU seem to be staying lower than the CPU's temp. I think I'm going to try to get an older version of the driver installed though and see if that helps at all since it seems to have been happening more often since I installed the newest one recently to try to fix the problem.
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December 9, 2009 5:00:13 PM

Alright, so I went and updated to the newest driver from ati with the mobilitymodder before I try going to an older one, i still got a freeze but this time I got exact temps at the time of the freeze.
CPU - 79 celsius
GPU - 53 celsius
Hard drive - 39 celsius
ACPI (not sure what exactly this one is, but it shows up in CPUID hardware monitor) - 79 celsius

These don't seem too unreasonable to me.
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December 10, 2009 4:29:17 AM

Now I'm seeing artifacts when the freezes occur, so I think it's safe to say the gpu is dying. Such a shame that this laptop is just a little more than a year old.
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December 10, 2009 1:04:15 PM

Run a Linux LiveCD and see if the problem persists.
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December 10, 2009 4:25:09 PM

HP stands for:

Highly Problematic
Hopeless Products
Heavy Paperweight (This one's my favorite ;) )

Of course that's just my opinion, to be fair, there's at least a few good HP products, but I've yet to see one myself.

If I were you, Vandrel, I would consider legal action. (Seriously) This sort of thing has been happening to a lot of HP laptops, for a good while, and there's already several lawsuits pending.

Even if you don't sue, make sure to express the possibility of a lawsuit to the HP Customer Care supervisors, they will likely be motivated to give you a new GPU. :D 
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December 10, 2009 11:04:43 PM

I've had several HP desktops in the past before I started building them myself and not one of them ever really had anything wrong with them which is why I bought my laptop from them, but if a $1100 laptop from them fails after little more than a year, I don't think I'll be buying from them again anytime soon. And yeah, I'll try calling them to see if I can convince them to give me an upgrade over this. :D 
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December 11, 2009 1:08:41 AM

Well, it's now happening in the BIOS too, so I think that rules out any possibilities of it being a driver or other software issue. Not looking good for this laptop unless I can coax something from HP.
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December 11, 2009 9:29:53 PM

Well, I called HP's Customer Support today and ended up talking to 3 people overall before they told me the case managers would have to handle it even though the laptop is barely out of warranty. The first and second person (his supervisor) I talked to really tried to avoid helping me at all; the only thing they offered me was to pay $398 to have them fix the problems and really refused to listen to much of anything I said. The third was actually pretty nice about it, he never even mentioned that the laptop was out of warranty and told me he'd escalate it to the case managers. As soon as he told me that, I knew the first person's supervisor that I talked to flat out lied to me that he was as high as the issue was going to go and that there was nobody above him he could escalate it to, even when I mentioned legal action. I told the third person I talked to that I had already been offered the repair service for $398 but I refused to pay for that since the problems stemmed from the way the laptop's design and he immediately escalated it.
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December 17, 2009 11:10:23 PM

Well, I finally got a call back from a case manager basically telling me they couldn't care less. New symptoms though that make me think its something besides the gpu, now whenever I run the memory test in the BIOS it's almost guaranteed to crash there too, but it does it even with ram confirmed to be working. I replaced the factory thermal pads with arctic silver, dropped temps all around by at least 10 degrees. Hasn't helped at all though, still crashing.
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December 22, 2009 12:13:38 AM

The laptop is now crashing and freezing on me while doing something as simple as playing a flash game. This is pretty terrible. From what I can tell, nothing is getting too hot. I'm completely at a loss for what to try next. Anyone?
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