A Compaq laptop can have a wide array of problems. However there are a few things which you can due to fix most problems or at least narrow down your choices for how to proceed in repairing your laptop. When it comes to hardware, laptops are a little different from desktops in troubleshooting, and Compaq computers require their own unique troubleshooting techniques.
- Try to troubleshoot Windows if possible. Microsoft’s website for Windows, Windows.Microsoft.com, has a knowledge base of articles for many common problems. HP’s website also has a list of common problems that occur within Windows and common Compaq problems and their solutions.
- Update drivers. If you’re having problems with a specific piece of hardware, like sound cards or video or some other piece of hardware that doesn’t appear to be a physical problem (i.e. a cracked screen) you should go to HP’s website and click on “Support,” enter your laptop model and then find the latest drivers for your hardware to download and install.
- Use the three R’s of computer troubleshooting. Restart the computer to see if the problem continues. Reinstall a particular software application related to the problem to see if this fixes your computer issue. Finally if nothing else works, you can reformat your hard drive and start over. Some Compaq machines have a restore drive that you can use to restore the system to its original condition. See the next step for how to do this.
- Use a diagnostics tool to test the hardware. The tools are software programs that run either in Windows or boot directly into the program after startup. You can use these types of tools to test the hardware as they are specifically designed to find flaws in the hardware. If possible try replacing the hardware in your Compaq with hardware from another laptop to see if the problem truly is the hardware. HP.com should have instructions on their site for replacing hardware or you can talk to a support agent through their online chat support. Replacing some parts such as the battery or CD-ROM can be done just by snapping them out of the computer with a button.
- Replace your hardware. There are some laptop parts that can be replaced easier than you think and if you definitely have a bad piece of hardware you can order a replacement from HP, the computer manufacturer that bought out Compaq several years ago. The things you can replace easily are memory, CD-ROMs, keyboards, screens, batteries and hard drives. Some are easier to replace than others but HP may send instructions send with the part or may have a web page for the part. Most parts only require that you unscrew a few screws, remove anything that is in the way and carefully disconnect any cables going to the hardware. If you aren’t very mechanically inclined than you will need specific instructions from Compaq (now HP).
- Send it to an expert. Integrated parts may have to be sent away after software troubleshooting has determined that the hardware is bad. This is because integrated parts, such as sound or video cards, are built into the motherboard and replacing the motherboard on a laptop is a lot of work. Repairing the motherboard itself may be possible but only by experts. Similarly, if there is a problem with the central processing unit (CPU), replacing the CPU can be difficult.
- Use the recovery manager to restore your computer. Some newer Compaq’s come with a drive that is partitioned just for restoring your computer. Go to programs and then click recovery manager. Pick advanced options, System recovery, and then Next or just System recovery if advanced options is disabled. When the computer restarts select System recovery and then Next. If you are asked to use Microsoft restore choose No. You will be prompted to back up your files first and you should do this. Then click next and the process will start. This process will format and reinstall Windows and other programs and any settings you had created will be lost.
- Use the F11 key. If the computer can’t access Windows, hit F11 during the BIOS startup and this will take you to the restore program.
- Run tests. You can use the recovery manager to check your system. Open the recovery manager application, then click “Advanced options” and next “Computer checkup” and “Next.” From here you can run a memory test, Check the disk on the system partition or the recovery partition and open a command prompt.
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