Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot

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Offline whitescruffydog

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Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« on: August 07, 2015, 02:56:22 AM »
Hi, I'm here with yet another computer, this time my boss's.

She reported that it's been running very slowly, and knowing her (I've worked her computers a few times), it was likely that she just ended up with some junkware or malware, and I didn't expect to find anything particularly malicious or difficult.

However, while she does have such junk on her computer, I've dealt with many infected computers, and I've never had one run so badly.  It was like push the power button, walk away, do the dishes, come back, and it MIGHT be ready for you to sign in.  Now, I know that there can be some pretty nasty malware out there, so I wouldn't be so quick to write it out, but it boots EXACTLY THE SAME in safe mode.  It's a Windows Vista laptop, so some age is expected, but I don't think it should run quite that badly. 

When I first turned it on, it gave me a message that BIOS detected the computers internal temperature was too high, blah blah, went into hibernation, everything should be fine.  It booted normally. 

I could barely get it to do anything, I'd try to run MBAM and I'd come back and find the computer off, I'd try to run Microsoft Security Essentials, and come back to find the scan just stopped, try to run sfc /scannow and come back to find the computer stuck in screen saver / with a black screen.  And so on.  The settings are NOT set to turn off or hibernate.   This happened both in normal and safe mode. 

However, after that last one, I couldn't get the computer to do anything (it was on and charging, black screen, wouldn't wake up) so I ended up holding the power button for ~15 seconds before it 'poofed' and shut off.

I noticed it was very hot, and I've had issues with a heatsink before, so when I turned it on I listened.  It sounded like it was running and I could feel air blowing out (maybe). 

It gave me the 'overheating, should be fine' message again, then asked how I wanted to boot, and I said "Safe Mode."  It then said Windows couldn't start, and asked if I wanted to launch startup repair.  I said yes, it did the 'loading Windows files' spiel, then advanced to the Microsoft Corporation loading screen...then shut off. 

I tried again with the same results.

I then unplugged and shut the computer, flipping it upside down to let it cool down.  When it did sufficiently, I tried again and was able to access startup repair.  However, when I picked it up to listen for the heatsink (I didn't feel air this time) I heard a scraping sound, like vrrrt. 

With these issues, I'm guessing there's a hardware problem.  I have little experience though with hardware, so if someone could point me in the right direction it would be greatly appreciated.  Something's telling me the hard drive is going, but I don't know if that would cause overheating, and my boss never reported missing/corrupted files (I don't think she'd notice, though.)

Startup repair ran, and it started this time, but I'm just gonna shut it off and hope someone can help me. 

Oh.  Right click doesn't seem to work, it's missing the c key, and I sincerely doubt I could get it to cooperate long enough to run chkdsk.  It also does not have a battery.  I'd blame that, but I've had a computer like that once, and didn't have any major issues. It's an HP G60.

I think that covers all the main things, but I can definitely answer more.

Thank you!

« Last Edit: August 07, 2015, 03:02:03 AM by whitescruffydog »

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« Reply #1 on: August 07, 2015, 11:12:31 AM »
Sounds like the cooling fan and the cooling fins re clogged with dust and other airborne particles. The service manual you need is here, http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02985882.pdf .

You need to go to section 4 to the Removal and replacement procedures on page 441and remove the fan and heatsink assembly. Then you will need some canned air or Duster in a can or something like that (DO not use an air compressor) to blow the dust out. There will be a Willy worm looking thing between the fan and the cooling fins on the heatpipe. Just use a toothpick and pull that out. Also when blowing the dust out DO NOT let the fan free spin. I know it sounds cool, but the bearings will be damaged and then you will have to replace the fan. Also before reassembling the heatsink assembly, you need to clean off the CPU and the Video chip (if the heatsink has a pad on it as well) and then the bottom sides of the heatsink where it touches both those chips. Then you will have to apply some new thermal paste to them before installing the heatsink assembly back to the motherboard. I recommend that you get some arctic silver thermal paste and some arcticclean thermal paste removal. Make sure to get the Thermal Compound  and not the thermal adhesive. You can read more about the products here, http://www.arcticsilver.com/index.html# . Most of the large reliable electronic or computer shops should have them. You will use very small amounts of arctic Silver. The tub is only 3.5 grams and is enough to do around 20 CPU's. But it is not that expensive. On the website there are instructions on how to use the products.

While you have the entire thing disassembled, clean everything. Blow the dust out. Wipe of the outside of the case with a damp cloth. I use LCD screen cleaning cloths to wipe down the outside of most laptops because the owners eat over them and there is all kinds of food residue on the outside. Also clean the keyboard. I recommend that you take that outside and hold it vertically and tap the edge on something firm. Don't hit it hard, you just want to dislodge anything under the keys. Blow it out with the canned air as well. Again, do this outside. Then you will probably need to get a needle or a pair of tweezers and poke around the keys and pull out all the hair from under the keys. One hair can prevent a key from working.  Once everything is cleaned, follow the disassembly instructions, but in reverse and put it all back together again. Then turn it on and see what improvements, if any, have happened. Once you can keep the computer cool, then you can start cleaning the malware from the system. But I have had computers that once they were cleaned of all the dust and other physical garbage, they worked fine.

A few things, just so you don't do something wrong. Before starting this ground yourself. Touch a piece of metal and discharge all the static in your body. If you have an ESD strap use that, if not make sure to work on a wood floor, or similar surface. No carpet. This will help prevent static buildup, plus if you drop a screw it is easier to find. While disassembling the computer, occasionally touch the metal again and discharge the static. If you keep getting zapped, you may want to wait until there is less electricity in the air. Also before starting the disassembly, remove the battery and unplug the computer from everything.

Read thru the procedure and if you have any questions, ask first before starting. If you are unsure of your skills, take it to a shop and have them do it. Or find the geek in the company, they are everywhere. Someone has done this before.

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Offline whitescruffydog

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Re: Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« Reply #2 on: August 07, 2015, 10:01:15 PM »
Thank you.

I haven't yet decided if I'll do it yet.  My boss said that I could just give it back if I didn't feel like doing it; I would be more willing if it was my own computer.

Why does it seem like to remove the heatsink on every computer you need to take apart nearly everything else first?  One of my old ones needed a replacement and it was the same way.  Maybe it's an HP thing, I don't know.

If I do decide to do it, how do you tell if the cooling system only needs cleaned out or if it should be replaced?  Is there a concrete way to tell, or is it more of a guessing game?

Also, do you have a suggested system of keeping track of the screws?  Every time we take apart a computer we end up with screws left over. I'm fairly certain that's not supposed to happen. 

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2015, 05:00:41 AM »
Take a piece of paper and mark down where the screws go and then put the screw next to the mark. Or if you use actual disassembly instructions, it tells you. There are generally only a couple size screws, so they are easy to keep separated.

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Offline whitescruffydog

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Re: Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2015, 01:19:37 AM »
Hello, Hoov,

After taking the computer apart, I found nothing substantial blocking the fan or vent.  There was one piece of dust, MAYBE half a centimeter in diameter.

Is it possible that the unit needs replaced, or does the problem lie elsewhere?

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Offline whitescruffydog

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Re: Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« Reply #5 on: August 09, 2015, 02:58:08 AM »
I apologize for the double post; it doesn't seem to allow modification.

After booting the computer up again, it seems to be running a lot better.  However, despite it working better, taking a light you can see that the fan is not spinning.   I'm guessing now that we have no choice but to buy a new fan/heatsink unit. 

But I'm miffed as to why it's working better.

I'd say that simply because it's been off so long it's not overheated and is running well, but the first time I worked with it, it was off for 24+ hours. 

I'm not sure where to go now. 

While the computer was running (before I realized the fan wasn't working) I ran sfc /scannow and it reported it couldn't fix some corruptions.  I tried to get the log file, but it kept telling me Access is Denied and before I could enter in the command to retrieve it (or at least the solution I found online) the power cord was bumped and it shut off.

If you could provide further guidance, that would be great.   Thank you.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« Reply #6 on: August 09, 2015, 06:53:58 AM »
Please download and install Speccy. Once that is done, then start it up. Once it is done analyzing, click on File and then on Save Snapshot. Save the snapshot to your desktop and then right click on it and select Send To and then Compressed (Zipped) Folder. I will send you a PM on what to do with the file. I would like two logs from you. The first one when the computer is stone cold. Leave it turned off for a couple hours. Next, use it to browse the internet or do normal kinds of tasks on the computer. After about an hour, save another log. Upload them both to the same place.

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Offline Hoov

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Re: Very Slow, Overheating then Won't Boot
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2015, 09:55:19 AM »
The fan has to be replaced now. I would turn off the computer and leave it turned off until the fan is replaced. If you can't replace the fan right away, but the computer needs to be used, then you need to get one of those cooling mats for laptops, the kind that has fans in it to blow air into or pull air out of the laptop. It is getting way to hot.

Former Consumer Security MVP
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