Wednesday, September 30, 2009

HP DV4 Laptop Unfreeze

The intermittent system freeze on this less-than-a-year-old laptop was really getting in the way of my grad school remote meetings.  Sometimes it'd work for most of the day and would freeze in the middle of a skype meeting.  If I reboot just before the meeting, it senses that and freezes up right at the moment I call up class mates on skype.

So, time to fix it or find some back up...

Googling found two potential causes.

  1. bloated registry - I hope not; been careful not to install or otherwise mess up this system

  2. bad driver - maybe

Luckily the event logs showed "unexpected reboots" starting way back in July 2009.  The Realtek RTL8102E/8103E Family PCI-E Fast Ethernet driver had just been updated from Vista updates a few days prior to that.  Sure looks suspicious...  Driver is provided by Microsoft.

Install and check driver in Device Manager, now provider is Realtek and version/date is much older.  Clicked on "Update Driver..." and somehow got it to download the latest from Realtek automatically.  OK, maybe it works since the provider is still Realtek.  And the DV4 laptop is still freezing.

Normally this is sufficient reason to buy a new laptop, but hey, grad school ain't cheap...  So, try HP's old Realtek driver again.

  • Driver Date: 11/10/2008

  • Driver Version: 6.213.1110.2008

  • Running for 3 days now.  Rebooted only to get the external monitor to resync or whatever it does to clear up the correct display resolution but just not showing anything on screen issue

Laptop:  HP Pavilion dv4t 1300  (I'll probably forget this so best to jot it down.)

Reminder #2:  Don't Update Driver in Device Manager (stick with driver provided by HP)

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