Laptop Advice

I am seeking some free computer advice from fellow members before I pay someone to look at it. I have an HP Pavilion laptop that I purchased two years ago in May. It had been acting squirrelly for the past couple of months by crashing and rebooting itself. There was no pattern to the crashing; a blue screen would pop-up then Windows would restart. A friend said that it may be a registry issue, so I downloaded a registry mechanic. That seemed to fix the problem of the crashing as far as I can tell, but now there is a new issue. The computer seems to get very hot during ordinary use. I can hear both of the fans working harder than they used to, and I can feel the heat coming from under the machine. Performance seems to be okay, but I know that the machine is getting unusually warm. Does anyone have an idea why this is occurring and whether or not I should worry? Any advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
 
In reference to it getting very hot. If your sure the vans are blowing as they should. Get a can of that compressed gas for cleaning at Walmart or someplace like that and blow out through all the vents in the laptop. People often don't think about dust clogging up their laptop cooling. That might help if there isn't something wrong with the fans.

Also, when is the last time you did a fresh Windows install?
 
In reference to it getting very hot. If your sure the vans are blowing as they should. Get a can of that compressed gas for cleaning at Walmart or someplace like that and blow out through all the vents in the laptop. People often don't think about dust clogging up their laptop cooling. That might help if there isn't something wrong with the fans.

Also, when is the last time you did a fresh Windows install?

Thank you, I will try the compressed air. I haven’t done a fresh Windows install since I got my computer, so almost two years. Is that something that I should consider?
 
Absolutely. I've found Windows systems benefit greatly from a fresh OS install at least once a year, maybe as often as 6 months if it's heavily used. Windows and other programs have a habit of leaving little things behind here and there, especially in the registry. I do fresh installs on all of my machines (4 at last count) at least once a year and I rarely experience major issues.


EDIT: If your system was like my HP laptop, you probably got two discs. One with Windows and one that everything else from HP on it. Do just the windows install and do all the updates, and only install what you actually use from the HP stuff. No sense clogging up the system with things you won't use.
 
Cameron,

Can you get the message that is displayed on the Blue Screen of Death (BSOD) and post it here?

Working in computer technical support I deal with these BSOD's a lot and honestly I have never seen a BSOD being caused by something in the registry. I'm not saying it's not possible, just that you would more likely get a registry error once Windows load then a BSOD.

The most common BSOD I've seen was because of system files getting corrupted, deleted, or it's conflicting with another software or file on the system or the operating system itself getting corrupted. I've also seen BSOD as a result of a memory stick going bad. Something you might try is if you have the operating system on CD, boot off of it and towarts the start of the setup you can choose 'R' to go into the Windows Recovery Console. I've been able to fix a couple of these by doing a recovery. Try this first, it could save you from having to format and reinstall Windows.

You should be able to get an idea what's causing it from the error displayed on the BSOD. If you can get it, do so and post it here.
 
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I’ll definitely take the advice of an IT guy over that of my friend, so thank you. I will try Windows recovery from the disc. If I can get the error message, I will definitely post it. Thanks again for the advice.
 
Good luck, let me know how it works out. If it's like a lot of the BSOD's I've dealt with, then you should be fine doing the Windows Recovery.

Another thing you might try is this.... you said it's an HP, I haven't dealt with HP Pavilion's but if it's anything like Dell's you can try this. When you first boot up and it's at the HP splash screen, towards the end press F8 to go into the bootup option. Check and see if you have "Use last known good configuration" listed, if so select that and see if it'll boot up.
 
Not saying it couldn't be caused by something else, like a hardware issue (something going out) but I can just say from experience the only Windows failures I have had (with XP) has been from hardware failures and I do fresh Windows installs on all my machines anywhere from 6 months to a year. My chase laptop (and my partner's too - both HP machines) get fresh OS installs prior to chase season.

Sure it's a bit of a pain to get everthing reinstalled again. But I prefer that over problems in the field.

I also run Norton Systemworks on EVERYTHING, which does a fair job with the routine stuff. And I have NOT gotten a virus in years. Some people hate it, but I have had nothing but positive experience with it.

If your going to do to a reinstall, be sure to actually repartition and format the drive rather than install over the top of the old one.
 
Good luck, let me know how it works out. If it's like a lot of the BSOD's I've dealt with, then you should be fine doing the Windows Recovery.

Another thing you might try is this.... you said it's an HP, I haven't dealt with HP Pavilion's but if it's anything like Dell's you can try this. When you first boot up and it's at the HP splash screen, towards the end press F8 to go into the bootup option. Check and see if you have "Use last known good configuration" listed, if so select that and see if it'll boot up.

He's right, you could try the Windows recovery and go back a few dates, but honestly, if you haven't done a clean install in two years, and you use this machine regularly, you'll probably be happier with a reinstall.
 
You can never beat a clean install. I just re-installed XP 2 weeks ago and love it.
 
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