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hp laptop: Ubuntu live CD works, Vista won't

(9 posts)
  • Started 2 years ago by J-Dubya
  • Latest reply from whs
  • Topic Viewed 1454 times

J-Dubya
Posts: 8

Hi all.

Been lurking here for awhile and finally decided this was the place to ask for help. Really like the HTG website!

Have an hp DV6000 series laptop running (well, not now ;)) Vista w/the dreaded nVidia GPU overheat issue (I think). I can get Vista to start, but after only a few minutes, the system locks up and the screen displays zig-zag or diagonal lines of various alternating colors. Then, only a hard re-start will get it going again. Have done a lot of research on this issue and seen many videos of how to "Re-flow" the GPU chip to the motherboard.

Since the Vista problem started, I decided to use my trusty Ubuntu Live CD to troubleshoot the system. Ubuntu runs this laptop flawlessly and I never have any graphics or freeze-up issues. Been using it this way for about a month now.

So, here are my questions:

1) If it's a hardware problem, why does the Ubuntu Live CD run the system without any problems?

2) Do any of you know if Ubuntu doesn't actually use the on-board nVidia GPU, but some other form of video emulator?

3) If #2 answer is Ubuntu does NOT use the on-board graphics, then can I make Vista run without using the on-board graphics? (This may be a question for the Vista forum.)

Thanks in advance for any help/advice you can provide.

Posted 2 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Ubuntu has to use the GPU just the same as Windows. They are though probably using a different (maybe generic) driver. I would think that you are victim of a driver problem.

I own a DV6000 with Vista which runs flawlessly since years. The wife uses it and she is on it at least 5 hours each day.

Posted 2 years ago
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J-Dubya
Posts: 8

Thanks for the quick response, whs!

It really does seem like a driver issue, but why would the driver that the PC's been using for years suddenly begin to have a problem? I'd much rather fix a driver issue than a hardware issue.

Do you have any suggestions regarding the use of a "generic" driver in Vista?

The only problem is that Vista won't stay running long enough for me to do anything, like a driver upgrade (or rollback) for example.

Incidentally, the problem also occurs while running in "Safe Mode" which I thought used basic drivers to operate the system.

BTW, (like you) this is my wife's laptop and she also uses it for hours at a time every day just surfing the 'net or doing word processing. No heavy duty applications or games or movies. We actually use dial-up Internet!

Thanks again for your help.

Posted 2 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

See whether you can find a driver (using another PC) and load that on a USB stick. Then install it from there. Hopefully the defunct PC will hold up long enough.

One more test you could make is to install Windows8 Release Preview (it is free) on a USB attached disk and run that on the defunct PC. That way you would know whether it is a problem inherent in Windows or specific to your Vista.

Here is a tutorial on how to install Windows8 on a USB device. Download that from my Skydrive. With Chrome, you can also read it on-line.

Posted 2 years ago
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J-Dubya
Posts: 8

OK. I suppose we could try a driver install from usb. There are a number to choose from on hp's support page for this laptop.

I don't have a usb stick large enough to try the Windows 8 preview. Do you think I could burn an ISO image to a DVD+RW? I figure it can't hurt to try running Win 8 from a "Live DVD" like I'm doing now w/Ubuntu. I don't want to install the preview though. (Been reading about it at Microsoft's website.)

The next hurdle will be convincing my wife to try these things. I know just enough about computers to be dangerous and if I mess up her laptop she will NOT be happy! She has told me that she wants to take it to a computer repair shop for diagnosis, but I hate paying someone for something I could do AND I want to be "in-the-know" about the issues and possible fixes BEFORE she takes it anywhere.

Thanks so much for your help and advice. I will post again when/if there is a resolution.

Posted 2 years ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

You cannot easily 'run' Windows8 from a live DVD. You can only create an installation DVD. But if you have a USB attached HDD, then you can use my tutorial (section 2) and go from there.

And tell the wife that nothing we are doing will make the situation any worse. Since we are fishing a bit in the dark, we have to approach the problem by methods of elimination.

Posted 2 years ago
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J-Dubya
Posts: 8

OK. Thanks again. We might have time to tinker around with it this weekend. I'll read through your tutorial and let you know how it goes.

Posted 2 years ago
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J-Dubya
Posts: 8

Update:

Well, we haven't done much with this laptop in the way of trying to fix it yet. It is working good with Ubuntu running from the live CD. It had gotten to the point where if we tried to start Windows the system would show a black screen with the message "DISK READ ERROR". We did figure out that if we do a "Hard Reset" (shut down > remove power cord & battery > hold down the power switch for 15 seconds > leave the battery out > plug in the power supply > press power button) the machine will restart and boot to the Advanced Startup Options screen for Windows. From there if we select "Start Windows Normally" Vista will start. The session is usually short-lived, however (10-15 minutes) and the system freezes up and we get the diagonal lines across the screen.

I tried using GParted to re-size the C: drive thinking I could create another partition to try doing a "clean" install of Vista. (Got my hands on a Vista install disk.) GParted reported file errors on the drive and was unable to do anything with it. There is a RED ! in the line for dev/sda which indicates a drive issue.

So, we ran the S.M.A.R.T. hard drive test from the BIOS and the hard drive tested good.

We are convinced this issue is related to the nVidia GeForce 7150 GPU.

I'm still puzzled as to why Ubuntu runs this machine (albeit v11.04) without a hitch. We tried to run the latest Ubuntu version (12.04) and while it tried to load, the screen would flicker and flash what looked like similar patterns to the diagonal lines and colors we get when Vista freezes.

In reserching the video chip issue I found <http://fixmyvideogpu.com/> and we will probably be sending our laptop to this fellow for repairs.

I will follow up with this thread to let everyone know the outcome.

Thanks again to WHS for all your advice.

Posted 1 year ago
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whs
Posts: 17584

Thanks for the update. This is really a very strange issue.

Posted 1 year ago
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