NX8220 Problems (of multiple varieties) ***LONG***

Discussion in 'HP' started by miufahkiu, Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. miufahkiu

    miufahkiu Notebook Guru

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    I purchased my NX8220 at the beginning of June this year, at which point I wiped the hard drive clean and did a clean install of the OS. I checked the display for dead pixels using Dead Pixel Buddy; none were evident at this time. For the first couple of months, I used the notebook on a daily basis with few qualms. My greatest disappointment was the display, which was sub-par concerning brightness and even backlighting.

    Over the past 4 months, I have experienced problems of the following variety:

    1) LCD “failure”
    2) Critical system errors
    3) Boot failures
    4) Recorded DVD errors

    NOTE: A system reformat was not performed to solve problems 2 and 3 because I did not have the installation discs for some important software with me.

    In a couple of weeks, I will be able to reformat my computer. At that point I will reinstall my required software and see whether some of these problems persist. I hope they don’t.

    Problem 1: LCD “failure”

    After one month, the display was flickering after I booted up. I toggled the LCD on/off tab, and when the display came back on, it was stable. This is the only incident of this problem that I encountered.

    After two months, I suddenly noticed that a light spot about the size of a pen point had developed on the LCD, located 2” from the top, and ½” from the right; the spot was not a cluster of dead pixels. It displayed different colours, but when displaying lighter colours, this spot appeared lighter than the surrounding pixels.

    Two weeks ago, I noticed that this light spot had become a ½” long streak, as if the “pen” had drawn a line originating from the “pen point”. Coincidentally, I first noticed that there were 2 green dead pixels that week. I ran Dead Pixel Buddy again, and found 3 dead green pixels, and 1 dead black pixel.

    The screen flickering incident is distant memory, and the dead pixels are a small nuisance; however, the light streak is intolerable for day to day use. All of these growing problems combined with the initial sub-par performance of the display have left me very dissatisfied with the display.

    Problem 2: Critical system errors

    Two months after I purchased the notebook, I began to use my notebook for work (in addition to personal use) because the work computers ran on Windows 2000. Novell Client was installed on my computer so that I could access the server.

    Shortly after, I experienced a critical error when using Microsoft Word 2003. The error occurred after opening and closing several documents from the server, but not documents from my own hard drive. When closing a document (usually after opening several consecutive, but not simultaneous, documents), the blue screen describing the system failure would appear. Upon booting after the crash, the critical error was reported, and I was directed to a Microsoft site describing the error as driver related. I searched the net for similar encounters with this problem, but I could not find any. I began to lose important documents as a result of this problem, so from that point I only worked with documents located on my local hard drives by copying them from the server. Although this created a problem of having multiple copies of documents, it solved the greater problem of losing documents.

    NOTE: this was not an issue on other computers at work, some of which operated on Windows XP/Office 2003, and some of which operated on Windows 2000/Office 2000.

    Last week, when my computer restored from sleep mode outside of work, another blue screen appeared. The failure was described as a “memory parity” error. Earlier today, when I turned on my wireless connection (which I have seldom used in the past 4 months), my system completely froze.

    Problem 3: Boot failures

    One month ago, I installed Daemon Tools V4.00. After rebooting from the installation, the blue system failure display appeared, after the HP start up screen and Windows startup displays appeared. At this point, I inserted the System Recovery CD, supplied with the notebook, and booted from the CD. After starting in Safe Mode, I uninstalled Daemon Tools V4.00, as this was apparently a common problem with this version of the program.

    I installed Daemon Tools V3.47 after, and it worked shortly without boot problem from V4.00. About a week later, I experienced another boot problem. This time, the HP start up screen did not even appear. I waited 2 minutes, but still nothing appeared. After approximately 5 attempts to boot up, the system finally booted up normally. I tinkered with Daemon Tools several times, and disabled the Autostart option. This resolved the boot problem, presumably associated with Daemon Tools.

    Still, boot problems persisted randomly in the following weeks. Sometimes when I booted up at work, the HP start up screen (and subsequent start up screens) did not appear. Sometimes it booted up at work the first try, but upon arriving home and booting up, I would encounter the same boot problem. Somewhere in this timeframe, there was also a boot problem where booting up almost instantly after shutting down caused the system to power off a couple of seconds after boot up (display did not come on).

    In the past two weeks the boot problems have occurred less frequently, but I am still concerned every time I hit the power button whether or not my system will boot properly. The problem has not gone away, and sometimes the display does not come on when booting up.

    NOTE: I have tried hooking up an external monitor, but cycling through the display outputs several minutes after powering on does not produce an image on the external monitor.

    Problem 4: Recorded DVD errors

    In the first two months of my possession, the notebook recorded DVDs on Memorex DVD-R media (using Nero Burning ROM) with no compatibility problems between computers. In the past three months, I have been using Ridata 8X DVD+R media. All of the data DVDs I have successfully recorded on my notebook have read without problems on my notebook; however, some of the DVDs do not read, or have read errors on three other computers, which are DVD+R compatible. Some of the data DVDs are read successfully by other computers. The single video DVD I have recorded played fine on two standalone DVD players (but were not tested on the aforementioned computers). I do not currently have other DVD media to test compatibility between computers with.

    The cheap recording media is suspect, but it is peculiar that the all of the recorded DVDs read fine on my computer, and some read on other computers, while some partially read on other computers.

    Combined with the aforementioned problems I have experienced with my notebook, I have reason to believe that something is wrong with my system/DVD writer.


    I will be sending in my notebook to HP in the coming weeks for LCD replacement, and possibly additional service to address the problems mentioned in this post. If you have any solutions to any of my problems, I would like to hear them. Thanks, and sorry for the long-winded post.
     
  2. Device

    Device Notebook Consultant

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    Wow - that really sucks :(

    Did HP give you a hard time about replacing the LCD? Did you contact tech support about any of the other issues?
     
  3. alekkh

    alekkh Notebook Evangelist

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    This sounds nothing like my expereince with HP. The problems deserve instant notebook swap by HP. Dead pixels should not be toleraed, nobody deserves to pay >1000$ and get partially defective LCD (although all notebook resellers undertake a really HUGE effort to convince customers that a few dead pixels are "good for them")

    The critical errors: it is not clear what is the source of them. Maybe, OS, but unlikely, Windows rules these days.
    The primary suspect would be defective RAM stick(s). Try to run one of the RAM tests that people use, search the forum.

    If your CPU temp is too high (70+) (P4?), critical errors are also possible.

    Also, I would try removing all the crapware that comes bundled with most notebooks. Start->Run->type msconfig, Services-unselect all non-MS services except remote packet capture; Startup- unselect ALL. Reboot.
     
  4. chriscl34

    chriscl34 Notebook Geek

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    They will swap it or at most replace the LCD and Mobo which is still a good deal IMO.

    The other problems you're having could be mobo related or as was said RAM related.

    I had similar problems when a mobo went bad. I also had similar problems when I purchased some kingston ram and it was incompatible with the ram already installed on my machine. Getting a stick with the same mhz solved the issue. Also as stupid as it seems, an improperly seated stick can screw up a comp. How would I know this? Meet mister didn't push a ram stick in effectively and screwed up his comp.
     
  5. kylechanb

    kylechanb Notebook Consultant

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    Wow, I am scared. What kind of LCD you are using? WXGA?
     
  6. chriscl34

    chriscl34 Notebook Geek

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    Don't be scared, it's an isolated event. All products have some quality control issues during the manufacture process. That's why we get warranties. I wouldn't sweat it.

    If it was a widespread prob like the glitches in the Xbox 360 rollout, there would be smart and witty t-shirts printed up about it by the competition. And certainly local news at 11. You can be certain of that.
     
  7. miufahkiu

    miufahkiu Notebook Guru

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    My NX8220 has the WSXGA+ LCD display.
     
  8. Venombite

    Venombite Notebook Virtuoso

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    Some WSXGA+ LCD's that HP came out with on the nx8220 were sub-par. They used some cheaper brand with had all the quality problems. Supposedly, they replaced them all with new Samsung LCD's. I have one of these Samsung LCD's and I must say, it's 10x better then the one I had in my original nx8220 (got the entire notebook swapped).

    In regards to the problems you're having:

    1. The LCD, well, it's just bad. Most likely using the cheaper LCD's in the unit. See if they can get the entire unit replaced (if it's within 30 days) or if they can specifically put in the Samsung LCD.

    2. Critical Errors that are occuring could be relating to the ram problem as you indicated with the parity errors. Defective memory can do funny things. Try getting the memory replaced (don't need to send in for service as it's a user replaceable part). With regards to the OS, are you running XP/Office2003 & Novell or W2K? If it's W2K, that could be the problem, try switching back to XP and see.

    3. Regarding the boot problems, you said that the "HP start up screen" did not appear. It this the HP BIOS screen when you power up or is it the HP background after you're in the OS and ready to log in? If it's the BIOS screen, then Daemon tools has nothing to do with the problem as you're not even at the OS when this screen loads. This could be an issue with the memory you indicated previously. Get the memory replaced. Another possibility could be the systemboard.

    4. RiData discs are actually pretty good. I use their media as well and have never come up with compatibility problems. One of the possibilities could be the +R media. Not all drives support this media type. Try switching to -R media as this is all I use and have never come up with compatibility with any drives.

    So from the looks of your unit, you need the LCD & system ram replaced. This will probably resolve 3 of the 4 problems you listed. The issue with the DVD Burner is a problem with media type rather than the drive in my opinion, but you may want to get the drive replaced while you're at it. This way it will eliminate the drive as the case of the problem. You may also want to an some -R media as well and see if that works.

    -Vb-
     
  9. miufahkiu

    miufahkiu Notebook Guru

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    1. The notebook was purchased in early June, so the 30 day exchange period has expired. I'm not sure how HP will fix the LCD problem in my case. I will call HP tech support and see if I can get them to replace it with one of the "Samsung" LCDs.

    2. I was running XP Pro/Office 2003/Novell, so I don't think there should have been any compatability problems. I wiped my hard drive clean last night and reinstalled XP; it did not go off without a hitch. It took me MANY boots before I could set up Windows. Then during the Windows setup, a critical occured (something about a "page fault"), causing my computer to crash before the set up completed. This happened twice.

    3. The boot problems occur before the HP BIOS screen appears. During the Windows reinstallation process, it took forever even for it to recognize the boot disc. By some miracle (after the problems mentioned in point 2), Windows managed to reinstall. I was still encountering boot problems after the reinstall, though.

    Also, regarding the USB power surge problem mentioned in my other thread, the problem persists even after the reinstall. Moreover, the SmartCard reader is not working, even after installation of the drivers. I suspect that there is something wrong with the system board, and as mentioned, probably something wrong with the memory.

    I concur that the DVD+R problem is most likely media related. I'll mention it to HP support, and see if they'll replace it. It sounds like my notebook needs almost a complete overhaul... I wonder if they'll replace the entire notebook.
     
  10. kylechanb

    kylechanb Notebook Consultant

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    Did you add any memory on your laptop? Or it's only using the internal memory? You can swap another memory and see. Otherwise you better contact HP. I have the same model using lower end hardware (1.73ghz, WXGA) without the problem you just mention.
     
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