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PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
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Table of Contents
Recovering from Software Problems .............................................. 1
PC Repair Overview .................................................................................1
Restarting Your PC ....................................................................................1
Turning Off Your PC ..................................................................................1
Updating Drivers ......................................................................................2
Microsoft System Restore ...........................................................................2
Application Recovery and Driver Recovery ..................................................2
System Recovery Overview........................................................................3
Creating System Recovery Discs .................................................................4
Creating a Recovery Tools CD....................................................................4
Running System Recovery from Recovery Discs.............................................5
Running System Recovery from the Hard Disc Drive ......................................5
Hard Disk Drive Space ................................................................... 7
Troubleshooting ............................................................................. 7
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
iii
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PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
Recovering from Software
Problems
NOTE: If you are replacing a hard disk drive, you
only have to run the System Recovery.
The PC uses the operating system and installed
software programs during normal operation. If
your PC works improperly or stops because of the
software, you may be able to repair it.
Additionally, your PC may include a Software
Repair Wizard (select models only). You can
use this wizard to access many of the repair
methods described in this chapter, including:
Some software repairs are as simple as restarting
your PC, and others require performing a System
Recovery from files on your hard disk drive.
•
•
•
•
Your hard disk drive contains a System Recovery
image that includes all the software files that were
originally installed on your PC at the factory. In the
unlikely event that you need to recover your system,
it is easy to do so using this recovery image.
Because all the necessary information is contained in
the System Recovery image on your hard disk drive,
recovery discs are not included in the accessory box.
Creating System Recovery discs
Microsoft System Restore
Application Recovery and Driver Recovery
System Recovery
You can start the Software Repair Wizard by doubleclicking the desktop icon or clicking Start, All
Programs, PC Help & Tools, and then Software
Repair Wizard.
Restarting Your PC
As a backup, you can make your own copy of this
system recovery image onto CD or DVD discs as
described in “Creating System Recovery Discs“ later
in this document.
Restarting is the simplest repair method for your PC.
When you restart, the PC reloads the operating system
and software into its memory.
You should also make the HP PC Recovery Tools CD.
This CD contains utilities that allow you to make
changes to your hard disk drive. See “Creating a
Recovery Tools CD“ for more information.
1 Close all open programs and windows.
NOTE: It is important that you perform the PC repair
methods in the order described in this document.
PC Repair Overview
This section lists the available methods to fix your PC
if you are experiencing software problems. Detailed
instructions about each method are in the sections that
follow. You must perform the procedures in the order
listed here.
•
•
•
•
•
•
To restart your PC:
2 Click Start.
3 Choose Turn Off Computer.
4 Click Restart.
Turning Off Your PC
When you turn off your PC and then turn it on again,
you force the PC to reload the operating system into
its memory, which clears some tracking information.
This may eliminate some problems that can remain
after performing a restart.
To turn off your PC:
1 Close all open programs and windows.
Restarting your PC
2 Click Start.
Turning off your PC
3 Choose Turn Off Computer.
Updating drivers
Microsoft System Restore
4 Click Turn Off.
5 Start your PC by pressing the On button.
Application Recovery and Driver Recovery
System Recovery
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
1
Updating Drivers
To start a System Restore:
A driver is a software program that allows your PC to
communicate with an attached device, such as a
printer, a hard disk drive, a mouse, or a keyboard.
1 Close all open programs.
2 Click Start.
3 Choose All Programs.
Complete the following procedure to update a driver,
or to revert to an earlier version of the driver if the
new one does not solve your problem.
4 Choose Accessories.
5 Choose System Tools.
1 Click Start, right-click on My Computer, and
then click Properties. The System Properties
window displays.
7 Click Next.
8 Follow the onscreen instructions.
2 Click the Hardware tab, and then Device
Manager. The Device Manager displays.
To manually add restore points:
3 Click the plus sign (+) to expand the device whose
driver you want to update or rollback, (for
example, Keyboard). Right-click the specific item
(for example, PS-2 Keyboard), and then select
Properties. The Properties window for the
selected device displays.
4 Click Update Driver or Rollback Driver, and
follow the onscreen instructions.
6 Click System Restore.
1 Close all open programs.
2 Click Start.
3 Choose All Programs.
4 Choose Accessories.
5 Choose System Tools.
6 Click Create a Restore Point.
7 Click Next.
8 Follow the onscreen instructions.
Microsoft System Restore
®
®
Microsoft Windows XP includes a feature that allows
you to restore your PC configuration to that of a
previous time when a current software problem did
not exist. The feature does this by creating a “restore
point” where it records the PC settings at that time
and date.
When you add programs by clicking Add New
Programs in the Add or Remove Programs window
(accessed by clicking Start, Control Panel, and
then Add or Remove Programs), the operating
system automatically creates a restore point before it
adds the new software. You can also set them
manually.
If you experience a problem that you think may be
due to software on your computer, use System Restore
to return the PC to a previous restore point.
For more information about software restore points:
1 Click Start.
2 Click Help and Support. The Help and Support
Center displays.
3 Type system restore into the Search box, and then
click Search.
Application Recovery and Driver
Recovery
If an individual factory-installed driver or software
program (also know as an application) accidentally
gets erased or damaged, you can reinstall the
software program using the HP Application Recovery
program (select models only).
NOTE: To ensure your PC includes the program,
WARNING: Always use this System Restore
procedure before using the HP PC System
Recovery program.
2
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
perform steps 3 through 5 of the following procedure.
If HP Application Recovery is listed in the PC Help &
Tools folder, your PC includes the program.
NOTE: Do not use the Application Recovery program
to reinstall software programs that came on CDs or
DVDs included in the PC box. Reinstall these programs
directly from the CDs or DVDs.
To start an Application Recovery or Driver Recovery:
1 Close all applications and folders (skip to step 3 if
you are recovering a driver).
2 Uninstall the damaged application:
a Click Start, Control Panel, and then Add or
Remove Programs.
b Select the program you want to remove, and
then click Change/Remove.
3 Click Start.
4 Choose All Programs.
5 Choose PC Help & Tools.
6 Click HP Application Recovery.
7 Click Application Installation or
Driver Installation, and then click Next.
8 Select the driver or application program to install,
and then click Install.
9 Repeat steps 7 and 8 to install other drivers or
applications.
10 When you have finished recovering applications or
drivers, close the Application Recovery program.
Then click Start, Turn Off Computer, and then
Restart to restart the PC.
WARNING: Do not skip this last step. You
must restart the PC when you are finished
recovering applications or drivers.
System Recovery provides two recovery options:
• Standard Recovery — This option recovers
factory-shipped programs, drivers, and the
operating system without affecting any data files
that you may have created since purchasing this
PC. Some data files may be difficult to find after the
System Recovery, so it is best to back up all hard
disk drive files before performing a System
Recovery.
• Full System Recovery — This option completely
erases and reformats the hard disk drive — this
includes deleting all data files you have created.
The full System Recovery reinstalls the operating
system, programs, and drivers from the recovery
image or discs. However, you must reinstall any
software that was not installed on the PC at the
factory. This includes software that came on CDs
included in the PC accessory box, and software
programs you installed since your purchase.
NOTE: If your PC has a blank or corrupted hard disk
drive, you will see only the full System Recovery
option.
Additionally, you have to choose from the following
methods for performing a System Recovery:
• Recovery Image — Run the recovery from a
recovery image stored on your hard disk drive. The
recovery image is a file that contains a copy of the
original software. To perform a system recovery
from the recovery image on your hard disk drive,
see “Running System Recovery from the Hard Disk
Drive.”
NOTE: The recovery image uses a portion of the
System Recovery Overview
After you have tried the previously mentioned methods
of repairing your system software, you can run the
System Recovery program as a last resort to reinstall
the operating system and the application software.
hard disk drive that cannot be used for data
storage.
• Recovery Discs — Run the recovery from a set of
recovery discs (CDs or DVDs) that you create from
files stored on your hard disk drive. To create
recovery discs, perform the procedure in the next
section.
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
3
Creating System Recovery Discs
Complete the procedure described in this section to
create a set of system recovery discs from the recovery
image stored on your hard disk drive. This image
contains the operating system and software program
files that were originally installed on your PC at the
factory.
You can create only one set of recovery discs for your
PC. The recovery discs you create can only be used
with your PC.
After creating the recovery discs, you can delete the
recovery image if you would like to make extra space
available on your hard disk drive.
3 Choose All Programs.
4 Choose PC Help & Tools.
5 Click HP PC Recovery CD-DVD Creator.
The Recovery CD/DVD Creator window appears.
6 Follow the onscreen instructions. Label each disc as
you make it (for example, Recovery 1, Recovery 2).
Store the System Recovery discs in a safe place.
Creating a Recovery Tools CD
In addition to System Recovery discs, you can create a
Recovery Tools CD. The Recovery Tools CD can be
used to:
• Read instructions to use each utility on the Recovery
Tools CD.
NOTE: Do not delete the recovery image unless you
have made recovery CDs or DVDs.
Choosing recovery disc media
There are several advantages to using DVDs instead
of CDs when creating recovery discs:
• DVDs have a faster data transfer rate. DVD
recovery discs restore the original data faster than
CD recovery discs.
• DVD recovery discs take less time to create than CD
recovery discs.
• DVDs have greater capacity than CDs, so there are
fewer discs to record and store.
To create recovery discs, your PC must have a CD or
DVD writer drive, or other drive that can write to CDs
or DVDs.
The number of discs in the recovery disc set depends
on your PC model. The program that creates the discs
tells you the number of blank discs needed to make
the set. The process takes some time, up to 15 minutes
per disc, to verify that the information written on the
disc is correct.
You can quit the process at any time. The next time
you run the program, it begins where you left off.
To create System Recovery discs:
1 Close all open programs.
2 Click Start.
4
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
• Start the System Recovery program from the
recovery partition.
• Remove the System Recovery partition from your PC
hard disk drive to increase space for data.
• Create a new data partition on your PC hard disk
drive.
• Start the Microsoft Recovery Console (a utility from
Microsoft that can perform operating system
diagnostics and repairs).
WARNING: Before using the HP PC
Recovery Tools CD to change your hard
disk drive, create System Recovery discs as
described in the previous section. You
cannot make System Recovery discs after
you remove the System Recovery partition.
You must create a Recovery Tools CD before you can
use any of these utilities.
To create or start the Recovery Tools CD:
1 Click Start.
2 Choose All Programs.
3 Choose PC Help & Tools.
4 Click HP PC Recovery Tools CD. The tools
window appears.
5 Follow the onscreen instructions.
Store the Recovery Tools CD in a safe place.
Running System Recovery from
Recovery Discs
This section contains the procedure for performing a
system recovery from the recovery discs you created
as described in “Creating System Recovery Discs.”
To run the System Recovery program using recovery
discs:
1 If the PC works, create a backup CD or DVD
containing all data files that you want to save.
Remove the backup disc from the disc tray when
you are finished.
2 Insert recovery disc #1 into the appropriate drive
tray (CD or DVD), and close the tray.
3 Turn off the PC:
• If the PC works: Click Start, Turn Off
Computer, and then Turn Off.
Or
• If the PC is not responding: Press and hold the
On button approximately 5 seconds until the PC
turns off.
4 Disconnect all peripheral devices from the
PC except the monitor, the keyboard, and
the mouse.
5 Disconnect or remove all external drives.
6 Press the On button to turn on the PC.
7 The PC starts the recovery from the recovery disc.
Follow the onscreen instructions when they are
displayed.
• For standard recovery, press R. Choose Next to
proceed with the System Recovery. Choose Yes
to start the recovery. Insert the remaining
recovery discs when directed.
Or
• For full System Recovery, press F. Choose Yes to
perform a full System Recovery. Insert the
remaining discs when directed.
WARNING: The Full System Recovery option
deletes any data or programs that you
created or installed after purchase. Be sure
to back up any data that you want to keep
onto a removable disc.
8 Insert the next disc if prompted.
9 When the recovery program finishes, remove the
last disc.
NOTE: If the message Please Insert Login Advanced
Installation Disc Number 1 and Restart is displayed
at the end of a full System Recovery, remove the
recovery disc from the drive tray, and restart the
PC. You do not need to insert the referenced disc.
10 Click Restart to restart the PC.
11 After the PC restarts, a series of startup screens
appears. To proceed with the initial Microsoft
Windows setup, you must answer a few questions.
12 Complete the PC startup, finish the registration
process, and wait until you see the desktop. Then,
turn off the PC, reconnect all peripheral devices,
and turn on the PC.
13 Reinstall software not originally installed on the PC
by the factory.
14 Copy data files from the backup disc to your hard
disk drive.
Running System Recovery from
the Hard Disk Drive
Choose one of the following procedures to reinstall the
software from the recovery image on your hard disk
drive:
• Starting System Recovery if the PC is responding
• Starting System Recovery if the PC is not
responding
Or
• If your PC hard disk drive is blank or corrupted,
press R to perform a full System Recovery. Insert
the remaining recovery discs when directed.
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
5
Starting System Recovery if the PC is
responding
Starting System Recovery if the PC is not
responding
1 Turn off the PC. Disconnect all peripheral devices
from the PC except the monitor, the keyboard, and
the mouse. Turn on the PC.
2 Click Start on the taskbar, choose All Programs,
choose PC Help & Tools, and then click HP PC
System Recovery.
1 Turn off the PC. If necessary, press and hold the On
button until the PC turns off.
2 Disconnect all peripheral devices from the
PC except the monitor, the keyboard, and the
mouse.
3 Press the On button to turn on the PC.
You are prompted to confirm that you have
performed the Microsoft System Restore and Driver
Rollback.
• If you have not performed the Microsoft System
4 During the startup, do the following to enter the
System Recovery program:
When the blue screen with the HP Invent logo
appears, press the F10 key on the keyboard. (You
have only a few seconds to press the F10 key
before the normal startup process continues.)
• If you have performed the Microsoft System
5 The PC starts the recovery; wait for the onscreen
instructions to display, and then follow those
instructions.
Restore and Driver Rollback, click Microsoft
System Restore, and follow the onscreen
instructions.
Restore and Driver Rollback, click Yes to start
the recovery process, and then continue with
step 3.
3 Follow the onscreen instructions.
WARNING: The Full System Recovery option
deletes any data or programs that you
created or installed after purchase. Be sure
to back up any data that you want to keep
onto a removable disc.
4 Complete the PC startup, finish the registration
process, and wait until you see the desktop. Then,
turn off the PC, reconnect all peripheral devices,
and then turn on the PC.
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PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
WARNING: The Full System Recovery option
deletes any data or programs that you
created or installed after purchase. Be sure
to back up any data that you want to keep
onto a removable disc.
6 Complete the PC startup, finish the registration
process, and wait until you see the desktop. Then,
turn off the PC, reconnect all peripheral devices,
and turn on the PC.
Hard Disk Drive Space
Troubleshooting
HP Pavilion and HP Media Center Desktop PCs with
the Windows XP operating system preinstalled may
appear to have a hard disk drive smaller than what is
stated in the product specifications, documentation, or
on the box. Hard disk drives are described and
advertised by manufacturers in terms of decimal (base
10) capacity. Windows and other programs, such as
FDISK, use the binary (base 2) numbering system.
To address problems that may arise when you install
your PC, refer to the following pages for possible
solutions.
In decimal notation, one megabyte (MB) is equal to
1,000,000 bytes, and one gigabyte (GB) is equal to
1,000,000,000 bytes. In the binary numbering
system, one megabyte is equal to 1,048,576 bytes,
and one gigabyte is equal to 1,073,741,824 bytes.
Because of the different measuring systems, you may
see a difference between the size reported by
Windows, and the size advertised. The storage
capacity of the hard disk drive is as advertised.
Solution describes what you should do to try to solve
the problem.
Windows reports smaller capacity in the Windows
Explorer tool and in the My Computer window
because it only shows information about one partition
on the hard disk drive at a time. The first partition
contains the System Recovery information.
Symptom describes the sign or warning message for
the type of problem.
Problem identifies one or more reasons why the
symptom may have occurred.
Look up the description of the symptom or problem,
and try the solution listed.
Some of the symptoms listed may not apply to your
PC. For problems relating specifically to the monitor or
printer, refer to the equipment documentation.
The tables appear in this order:
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Audio
CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, or DVD Writer Drive
Diskette (Floppy) Drive
Display (Monitor)
Hard Disk Drive
Hardware Installation
Internet Access
Keyboard and Mouse
Power
Memory
Miscellaneous
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
7
Audio
Symptom
Problem
Solution
No sound is produced.
Volume is muted.
Press the Mute button on the keyboard to see if the mute feature
is turned on.
Or
1 Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2 Click Sounds, Speech, and Audio Devices, if it is
present, and then double-click Sounds and Audio
Devices.
3 Click the Mute check box to remove the check mark from
the box.
Volume is turned down.
Use the keyboard controls to increase the volume.
Speakers are turned off.
Check whether speakers are turned on.
Speaker cables are not
properly connected.
Turn off your PC, and reconnect the speakers.
PC is in standby mode.
Press the Standby button (select models only), or press the Esc
key on the keyboard to resume from standby mode.
A passive speaker system
is being used.
Replace the speaker system with an active speaker system. Active
speakers have a power cord and On button and connect to the
Audio Out (green) connector on the PC.
Headphones are
plugged in.
Unplug the headphones.
CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, or DVD Writer Drive
Symptom
Problem
Solution
CD-ROM, CD-RW,
DVD-ROM,
DVD+RW/+R,
DVD-RW/-R, or doublelayer DVD+R drive
cannot read a disc or
takes too long to start.
Disc is upside down in the
drive tray.
Reinsert the disc with the label facing up.
DVD drive takes longer to
start because it has to
determine media type
being played.
Wait at least 30 seconds to let the DVD drive determine the type of
media. If it still does not start, read the other solutions listed in this
topic.
Disc is dirty.
Clean the disc with a CD cleaning kit, available from most PC
stores.
Windows does not detect
CD-ROM or DVD-ROM
driver.
Driver program may be corrupted. Force the software to reinstall it
by doing the following:
1 Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2 Click Performance and Maintenance, if it is present, and
then double-click System.
3 Click the Hardware tab, and then click the Device Manager
button.
4 Click the plus sign (+) next to the DVD/CD-ROM drives, and
select the problem drive.
5 Click the Action menu item, and select Uninstall. Click OK.
6 Restart your PC: Click Start, click Turn Off Computer, and
then click Restart.
8
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, or DVD Writer Drive (continued)
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Cannot remove a CD
or DVD disc.
The PC is turned off.
Turn on your PC, and press the Eject button to extend the tray.
Cannot create (burn)
a disc.
Problem with disc.
• Make sure the label is face up and centered in the tray.
• Verify that you are using the correct disc type (media) for the
drive. Try a different brand of disc.
• Make sure the disc is clean and undamaged. If recording
stopped during a recording session, the disc may be damaged;
use a different disc.
• Use the correct type of disc for the type of files you are
recording. When using a CD-R disc, make sure that it is blank
when recording music and is blank or appendable (with space
to add more data files) when recording data.
• Verify that you are using the correct disc type when making a
copy of a disc. RecordNow! can record only to the same disc
type as the source. For example, you can record a DVD only to
a DVD+R or a DVD+RW disc, and you can record a CD only to
a CD-R or a CD-RW disc.
Problem with drive.
• Make sure the disc is in the correct drive.
• Make sure you select the correct drive before recording.
RecordNow! selects the first optical drive it finds, but you can
select the drive in RecordNow! before you begin recording.
• Make sure the recording disc tray is clean and undamaged.
• Select a slower write speed for the recording drive, if it is
available. Each time you make a recording, RecordNow! selects
the optimum recording speed. Refer to the Help menu in the
RecordNow! recording program to choose the speed.
Problem with PC
operation.
• RecordNow! does not let you add a track if it exceeds the
•
•
•
•
•
available space on your disc. You can make space available by
removing one or more tracks from the list before recording the
files to disc.
Close all software programs and windows before recording.
Make sure you have enough space available on your hard disk
drive to store a temporary copy of the content.
If you are on a network, copy the files from a network drive to
your hard disk drive first, and then record them to disc.
Enable Direct Memory Access (DMA) on your PC.
Restart the PC and try again.
Cannot add files to a
music CD.
RecordNow! creates a
closed session music CD.
When recording a music CD, RecordNow! does not allow
recording of additional files after the initial recording.
Cannot add data to
a DVD.
Wrong recording option
being used.
Make sure you set the correct recording option: Insert your data
disc, open RecordNow!, click the Options icon (wrench), click
Data, select the multiple session recording options, and then
click OK.
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
9
CD-ROM, CD-RW, DVD-ROM, or DVD Writer Drive (continued)
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Cannot play a music
CD on a stereo.
Problem with disc.
• Use a CD-R, not a CD-RW disc.
• Try a different brand of disc, or check to see if the brand of disc
works with your stereo. Refer to the documentation that came
with your stereo or player, and check the manufacturer’s Web
site.
• Use a CD instead of a DVD. Audio files on a DVD can be
played on your PC, but you cannot create a music DVD to be
played in a home CD player.
Problem with file type.
Convert .mp3 or .wma audio files to .wav or .cda music files before
recording.
Titles of music tracks
do not appear on
the CD.
Not connected to Internet.
The PC must be connected to the Internet for the artist, title, and
track information to appear when playing your music CD in
Windows Media Player or when recording your music CD with
RecordNow!.
Note that RecordNow! does not record the information to disc.
An error message
appears when
capturing video.
Video capture device not
selected.
You may need to select the capture device if your PC has both an
analog and a digital video capture device. Refer to the Help menu
in the video capturing program to find out how to change the video
device selection.
Cannot play a DVD
movie on a DVD
player.
Movie recorded using
wrong file format.
Your DVD player cannot play video files recorded onto the DVD as
data files. To play a movie properly, use a video recording program
such as WinDVD.
Problem with recording
method.
Video files recorded with RecordNow! can be viewed on a PC, but
not on a home DVD video player.
Diskette (Floppy) Drive (Select Models Only)
Symptom
Problem
Solution
PC is unable to read
the diskette (floppy
disk).
A non-formatted diskette
has been inserted.
To format the diskette:
1 Click Start, and then click My Computer.
2 Right-click the 3½ Floppy (A:) icon.
3 Select Format.
4 Select the desired options, and click Start to begin formatting
the diskette.
Diskette drive activity
light stays on.
10
Diskette is damaged.
Use a new diskette.
Diskette drive has failed.
Press the Help ? button on the keyboard to open the Help and
Support Center, or refer to the Warranty and Support Guide to
contact Support for replacement details.
Diskette is improperly
inserted.
Remove the diskette, and reinsert it: Insert the diskette with the
round metal disk facing down and the arrow on the top pointing
into the drive, and then push the diskette in until it stops.
Diskette drive is
damaged.
Press the Help ? button on the keyboard to open the Help and
Support Center, or refer to the Warranty and Support Guide to
contact Support for replacement details.
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
Diskette (Floppy) Drive (Select Models Only) (continued )
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Diskette drive cannot save
(write) information to the
diskette.
Diskette is full or the file is
too big.
Use another diskette or compress the file to reduce its size.
Diskette is write protected.
Slide the write-protection tab to the unlocked position on the
diskette.
File Save command was not
properly executed.
When saving information to the diskette drive, verify that you
are using the correct drive letter.
Diskette is damaged.
Replace the diskette.
Diskette is not formatted.
To format the diskette:
1 Click Start, and then click My Computer.
2 Right-click the 3½ Floppy (A:) icon.
3 Select Format.
4 Select the desired options, and click Start to begin
formatting the diskette.
Display (Monitor)
NOTE: If you encounter display (monitor) problems, refer to the documentation that came with your monitor and
to the common causes and solutions listed in this table.
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Screen is blank, and
monitor power light is
not lit.
Monitor power cable is not
connected to the monitor or
to the wall outlet.
Reconnect the power plug on the back of the monitor and
on the wall outlet.
Monitor is off (not
turned on).
Press the On button on the front of the monitor.
Screen saver is enabled.
Press any key or move the mouse to make the screen
display visible again.
PC is in standby mode.
Press the Standby button (select models only), or press the
Esc key on the keyboard to resume from standby mode.
PC is in hibernation mode or
is off.
Press the On button to turn on the PC.
Monitor connector cable is
not properly connected to
the back of the PC.
Inspect the monitor video connector for bent pins. If no pins
are bent, reconnect the monitor connector cable on the
back of the PC.
The screen resolution setting
may not be set to your liking
or may not be the best for
your monitor.
Adjust the monitor resolution setting in Windows. See your
monitor documentation for the best resolution for your
monitor.
Screen is blank.
Images on the screen are
too large or too small, or
the images are fuzzy.
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
11
Hard Disk Drive
Symptom
Problem
Solution
PC seems to be locked up
and not responding.
Program in use has stopped
responding to commands.
Use the Windows Task Manager to close any programs not
responding or to restart the PC:
1 Press the Ctrl, Alt, and Delete keys on the keyboard at the
same time.
2 Select the program that is not responding, and click
End Task.
Or
Click Shut Down, and then click Restart.
If this does not work, press the On button for 5 or more
seconds to turn off the PC. Then, press the On button.
Hard disk drive error
message displays.
Part of hard disk drive has
failed or is about to fail.
Press the Help ? button on the keyboard to open the Help
and Support Center, or refer to the Warranty and Support
Guide to contact Support for replacement details.
Hardware Installation
Symptom
Problem
Solution
A new device is not
recognized as part of the
system.
Device driver is not
installed.
Install the device driver from the CD or diskette provided with
the device, or download and install the driver from the device
manufacturer’s Web site.
You may need an updated driver for Windows XP. Contact
the device vendor directly for an update.
For HP peripherals, visit the HP Web site. Refer to the
Warranty and Support Guide for details.
Device connector is not
seated or connected
properly.
Ensure that the device is properly and securely connected
and that the pins in the connector are not bent down.
Cable(s) of new external
device are loose, or power
cables are unplugged.
Ensure that all cables are properly and securely connected
and that the pins in the cable or connector are not bent.
Power switch of new device
is not turned on.
Turn off the PC, turn on the external device, and then turn on
the PC to integrate the device with the PC system.
When the system advised
you of changes to the
configuration, you did not
accept them.
Restart the PC, and follow the instructions for accepting the
changes.
A Plug and Play card may
not automatically configure
when added if the default
configuration conflicts with
other devices.
Deselect the automatic settings in the operating system for the
card, and choose a basic configuration that doesn’t cause a
resource conflict.
You can also reconfigure or disable devices to resolve the
resource conflict.
Cannot install new device
driver.
You must be logged in as the computer administrator to
install or uninstall a device driver. To switch users, click
Start, click Log Off, and then click Switch User; choose
the computer administrator user. (The computer administrator
is usually the user Owner.)
New device does
not work.
12
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
Hardware Installation (continued )
Symptom
Problem
New or existing device
does not work after
installing a new device.
A hardware device
conflict exists.
Solution
To resolve a device conflict, you may need to disable one of the
devices or uninstall an old device driver:
1 Click Start, and click Control Panel.
2 Click Performance and Maintenance, if it is present.
3 Double-click the System icon, and select the Hardware tab.
4 Click the Device Manager button.
5 Click the plus sign (+) next to the problem device and check for
exclamation points in a yellow circle near the device icon. The
exclamation point means there is a device conflict or problem
with the device. Exclamation points do not always appear when
a device is not working properly.
6 If there is an old or unnecessary device driver listed in the
Device Manager, this may be causing the device conflict. To
uninstall the old driver for the new device driver to work
properly, do the following: Right-click the device, click
Uninstall, and then click OK.
7 Right-click the device and select Properties.
8 If available, click the Resources tab to verify that there is a
device conflict.
9 Click the General tab to see if your device is enabled and
working properly. If it is available, click the Troubleshoot
button, and follow the onscreen instructions in the device
troubleshooter wizard.
10 Restart the PC. Click Start, click Turn Off Computer, and
then click Restart.
Internet Access
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Cannot connect to the
Internet.
Internet service
provider (ISP) account
is not set up properly.
Verify Internet settings, or contact your ISP for assistance.
Modem is not set up
properly.
Reconnect the modem, verifying connections.
Note that your PC may also have an Ethernet network interface
(also called a network interface card, or NIC) that connects to a
local area network (LAN). Although it looks similar to the modem
connector, the RJ-45 Ethernet network connector is not the same.
Verify that you are using the modem connector. Do not connect a
telephone cable to the NIC. Do not plug a network cable into a
telephone service line; doing so may damage the NIC.
Web browser is not
set up properly.
Verify that the Web browser is installed and set up to work with
your ISP.
ISP may temporarily
be unavailable.
Try to connect again later, or contact your ISP for assistance.
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
13
Internet Access (continued )
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Cannot automatically start
Internet programs.
You must log in to your ISP
before some programs will
start.
Log in to your ISP, and start the desired program.
Internet takes too long to
download Web sites.
Modem is not set up
properly.
Verify that the correct modem speed and COM port are
selected:
1 Click Start, and then click Control Panel.
2 Click Printers and Other Hardware, if it is present.
3 Double-click Phone and Modem Options.
4 Select the Modems tab, and then click the Properties
button.
5 In the Device status area, verify the modem is working
properly.
6 In the Device usage area, verify the modem is enabled.
7 If there are further problems, click the Troubleshoot
button, and follow the onscreen instructions.
The AOL program comes
up even when it is not
being used.
The PC is still trying to use
AOL for Internet access.
You may want to remove the AOL program.
To uninstall AOL:
1 Click Start on the taskbar.
2 Click Control Panel.
3 Double-click Add or Remove Programs.
4 Select America Online, click Change/Remove, and
then follow the onscreen instructions.
NOTE: Removing the AOL program will not cancel your
account with AOL.
Keyboard and Mouse
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Keyboard commands and
typing are not recognized
by the PC.
Keyboard connector is not
properly connected.
Turn off the PC by using the mouse, reconnect the keyboard
to the back of your PC, and turn on your PC.
Program in use has stopped
responding to commands.
Restart or turn off your PC using the mouse.
Keyboard is damaged.
Press the Help ? button on the keyboard to open the Help
and Support Center, or refer to the Warranty and Support
Guide to contact Support for replacement details.
Cursor will not move using
the arrow keys on the
keypad.
The Num Lock key may
be on.
Press the Num Lock key. The Num Lock light should not be on
if you want to use the arrow keys in the number keys group.
The keyboard Print button
does not work.
Some programs do not
recognize the Print button.
Use the Print menu item in the program.
Wireless keyboard does
not work after installation
or is not detected.
Keyboard batteries are low
or empty.
Replace the batteries in the wireless keyboard; refer to the
documentation that came with your wireless set.
14
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
Keyboard and Mouse (continued )
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Mouse does not
respond to movement
or is too slow.
Mouse connector is not
properly plugged into the
back of the PC.
Turn off your PC using the keyboard:
1 Press the Ctrl and Esc keys on the keyboard at the same
time to display the Start menu.
2 Use the up arrow or down arrow key to select Turn
Off Computer, and then press the Enter key on
the keyboard.
3 Use the up arrow or down arrow key to select Turn Off,
and then press the Enter key.
After the shutdown is complete, plug the mouse connector
into the back of your PC, and turn on your PC.
Program in use has stopped
responding to commands.
Restart your PC by using the keyboard. If possible, save any
open files and close open applications before restarting.
Surface in use for rollerballtype mouse is too smooth.
Use a mouse pad or other rough surface for the mouse.
Mouse rollerball is dirty.
Remove rollerball cover from bottom of mouse and clean the
ball with a damp, lint-free cloth (not paper).
Mouse is damaged.
Press the Help ? button on the keyboard to open the Help
and Support Center, or refer to the Warranty and Support
Guide to contact Support for replacement details.
Mouse does not work after
installation or is not
detected.
Mouse is not connected
properly.
Try unplugging and then reconnecting the mouse cable to
your PC.
Wireless mouse batteries
are low or empty.
Replace the batteries in the mouse. Refer to the
documentation that came with your wireless set.
Optical mouse does not
track cursor well.
The optical sensor uses the
pattern of the surface to
track the position of the
cursor. Reflective surfaces,
grooved surfaces, glass, or
other see-through surfaces
inhibit the ability of the
sensor to track the cursor.
Place the mouse on a mouse pad or white sheet of paper.
Mouse sensor is dirty.
Wipe the light sensor lens on the bottom of the mouse with a
lint-free cloth (not paper).
The wireless mouse moves
the cursor more quickly than
a standard mouse.
Adjust the mouse speed in Windows.
Mouse moves only
vertically or horizontally.
Mouse cursor moves
too fast.
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
15
Power
Symptom
Problem
Solution
PC will not turn on or start.
PC is not securely connected to
an external power source.
Ensure that cables connecting the PC to the external power
source are plugged in properly.
Green power supply light on
back of PC is out.
When the cables connecting the PC to the external power
source are plugged in properly and the wall outlet is
functioning, the green power supply light should be on;
if the light is not on, refer to the Warranty and Support
Guide to contact Support.
Monitor is not connected or is
not on.
Connect the monitor to the PC, plug it in, and turn it on.
Line voltage selection switch is
not in the proper position for
your country/region
(115V/230V).
Set the line voltage selection switch to the correct setting
for your country/region, or refer to the Warranty and
Support Guide to contact Support.
Wall outlet is defective.
Test the outlet by connecting a different electrical device to
the outlet.
Wrong memory modules were
used in an upgrade, or
memory modules were
installed in the wrong location.
Reinstall the old memory to return your PC to its original
state. Refer to the Upgrading and Servicing Guide for
instructions.
Hard disk drive is damaged.
Press the Help ? button on the keyboard to open the Help
and Support Center, or refer to the Warranty and Support
Guide to contact Support for replacement details.
After an upgrade or repair, the
drive power, data, or power
supply cables may not be
properly connected.
Reseat drive power, data, and power supply cables. See
the Upgrading and Servicing Guide for instructions.
Invalid system disk
Or
Non-System disk or disk
error message displays.
A diskette has been left in the
drive during startup.
When drive activity stops, remove the diskette and press
the spacebar. The PC should start up.
PC appears locked up and
won’t turn off when the On
button is pressed.
PC is not working.
Press and hold the On button until the PC turns off.
PC powered off
automatically.
The PC temperature was
exceeded.
The PC is in an exceedingly hot environment. Let it
cool down.
Ensure PC air vents are not blocked and internal fan is
running. Note that your PC may not have an internal fan.
The PC temperature was
exceeded because the PC was
functioning with the cover or
access panel removed.
Replace cover or access panel, and let the PC cool down
before attempting to turn on power to the PC.
Processor or system fan has
failed.
Refer to the Warranty and Support Guide to contact
Support for replacement details. Note that your PC may
not have an internal fan.
16
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
Memory
Symptom
Problem
Solution
Insufficient memory
message is displayed.
All memory in the PC is
being used by open
programs, and memory is
needed for a desired task.
Close all open programs, and then try desired task again.
Or
Restart your PC:
1 Click the Start button.
2 Click Turn Off Computer.
3 Select Restart.
Symptom
Problem
Solution
PC date and time display
is incorrect.
RTC (real-time clock) battery
may need to be replaced.
Battery life is approximately
3–5 years.
First, reset the date and time in your operating system by
using the Control Panel. If the problem persists, replace the
battery. See the Upgrading and Servicing Guide for
instructions, or refer to the Warranty and Support Guide to
contact Support for replacement details.
Printer has problems.
Printer will not print correctly
or at all.
If you encounter printer problems, refer to the documentation
that came with your printer.
Miscellaneous
PC Troubleshooting and System Recovery Guide
17
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