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  1. #1
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    Win7 hanging since I replaced HD -- HD or laptop problem?

    I have a 2+ yr old laptop (HP dv7-6199us) that had been very reliable. Over time it got more and more sluggish, until it was nearly unusable. I tried re-installing win7, and it wasn't much better. (!? Maybe the disk was getting flaky?)

    I tried swapping in an SSD, specifically a WD Black2 SSD/HD hybrid, with another fresh win7 install. Shazam! My old workhorse turned into a fire-breathing hot-rod. Performance was awesome. All was good.

    But then I started noticing problems. I got a few BSODs shortly after installing the Black2, but that hasn't happened in the last 2 months. But lately I'm having a bigger problem: hangs.

    The laptop occasionally (unpredictably) slowly hangs. I'll notice that one app has hung -- it quits responding and gives a spinny-circle mouse sprite. Usually the app screen grays out. Hung apps like that can't be killed or anything else. I can continue working with other apps -- shutting down, writing out data, media files are still playing, etc -- but usually within 2-3 minutes EVERYthing is hung. I have to kill the power. This has been happening every few days for the last 2 weeks.

    I suspect it's temperature-related. The laptop has been running significantly hotter than it used to. The left palm rest gets extremely hot. Ambient temps are generally 75-85F but it hung several times in the middle of the night when it was pretty cool.

    I've been running Open Hardware Monitor to watch the temps, and the CPUs typically run in the 70-90C range. Temps will jump 5 or more just by opening an app, even if the app doesn't stress the CPU. It's almost like just having the app in RAM makes it run hotter. When apps start hanging, it seems like the Monitor has already hung so I can't see what the current temps are. (Then I reboot and put the laptop on an ice pack. )

    I'm not real confident in the Black2 SSD/HD. The logical next step is to replace it with a different SSD that hopefully runs cooler. But before I throw more money at this old laptop, does it sound like the Black2 is the culprit?

  2. #2
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Try blowing out you laptom by using a can of compressed air directed into the vents.

    Jerry

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to jwitalka For This Useful Post:

    garyfritz (2015-08-06)

  4. #3
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    70 is the absolute top temperature you want to see, 90 is shut down territory. Check your CPU fan is running and as jw said, clean it.

    cheers, Paul

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    I downloaded SpeedFan but it only sees "GPU Fan" sensors -- and those both say 0.

    If the fan wasn't running at all, I would assume the CPU would fry in seconds. That's what would happen with a tower system. But there's definitely a fan running. I can hear it, and it speeds up any time the CPUs get hot.

    Unfortunately the fan is pretty inaccessible. I'm not sure if I can get to it to shoot air at it, but I'll try.

    It does seem very odd, though, that this was never a problem until I put in the SSD/HD. Maybe I dislodged some dust and clogged the CPU fan, but it seems more likely that the SSD/HD is just running really hot and adding to the case temps. The SMART data says it's just running at 65, but I have it on an icepack right now.
    Last edited by garyfritz; 2015-08-05 at 16:19.

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    WS Lounge VIP Coochin's Avatar
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    Coolermaster Notepal-U2 Plus (R9-NBC-U2PK) Black Notebook Cooler Pad Supports Up to 17" Laptop

    CoolerPad.jpg
    Computer Consultant/Technician since 1998 (first PC was Atari 1040STE in 1988).
    Most common computing error is EBKAC: Error Between Keyboard And Chairback
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  7. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Paul T View Post
    70 is the absolute top temperature you want to see, 90 is shut down territory.
    So I guess it's not surprising that my system gradually locks up when it gets up around 90.

    Coochin, no doubt a cooler like that would help, just like the icepacks do. But I travel frequently with this laptop, and I'd prefer to solve the root problem rather than using an external band-aid like that. Plus it doesn't explain why I've only had a temp problem since I replaced the HD. I suspect either the SSD/HD is running hot and causing the whole system to overheat (but the SMART says it's only running at 47C right now), or maybe I knocked some dust into the fan when I installed the SSD/HD.

    This morning it's about 80F in the room, and the CPUs were running at 60C when I came in. But as soon as I started doing ANYthing (like opening Chrome to post this) it jumped over 70. I don't know why it keeps rising up to 90 as the day goes on, because the room never gets much higher than about 83.

    Schedule hasn't allowed a blowout yet. I'll try to get to that tonight.

    EDIT: BTW there is one other counfounding element here. At about the same time I installed the SSD/HD, I also upgraded RAM from 8GB to 16GB. So I suppose it's possible the RAM is running hot too, but that seems unlikely. Before, I regularly ran 15-20 apps or more, and I frequently ran out of RAM. So now I've got plenty of RAM, but I can't run more than a few apps before it starts overheating. I just loaded a large app I **always** run, and the temps instantly jumped up around 90. The system was only running at about 18% CPU usage, with the big app fully loading one of my 8 cores, but that was enough to drive it into the overheating range. Never had a problem with that before, even with many more apps running.
    Last edited by garyfritz; 2015-08-06 at 10:21.

  8. #7
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    Please stop mixing Celsius and Fahrenheit, one or the other please.

    cheers, Paul

  9. #8
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    Fair enough. My wall thermometer reads in F and the CPU monitor reads C.

    I am somewhat less certain this is a heat issue. The laptop just crashed again (for the second time today, grrr). The CPU monitor froze up at some point before I noticed the problem, and it was reading in the low 70's C when it froze. The app shouldn't have frozen if it was only 72C or so. I rebooted and immediately restarted the CPU monitor, and it was only reading in the high 70's. The case felt pretty warm but not as hot as it's been.

    So now I'm not sure what to think. Time to open it up and try to reach the fan so I can blow it out.
    Last edited by garyfritz; 2015-08-06 at 16:52.

  10. #9
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    I really, really hate cases that require arcane knowledge, 4 passwords, and a genetic test to open up. I removed every screw I could find and I couldn't even pry any corner of the case open.

    So I just shot the air in through the cooling intake/exit ports. A fair amount of dust blew out and I could hear the fan spinning.

    That may have done the trick. It was running under 50C when I started it up. I started several apps that were driving it over 90C before, and it was coasting along at 60C. I started running some CPU-burners (bash shells in a loop) and temps got up around 90C at 30% CPU or so. But I kept adding burners and the temps topped out in the low 90's even with 90% CPU load. (For some reason core #4 ran about 12-15C cooler than the other 3. Go figger.)

    I didn't leave it running at that rate very long but the case didn't seem to heat up much. Apparently the cooling fins just got dusty. Why it suddenly started being a problem after I installed the SSD is a mystery to me.

    Hopefully the hanging problem is solved. If not, I'll be back... Thanks the suggestions, and THANKS for pointing out the should-have-been-obvious, jwitalka!

  11. #10
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    You're welcome. Glad to hear its running cooler now

    Jerry

  12. #11
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    Crap. It was cruising along in low 60's. I started flipping through facebook, watching a few videos, and... oh crap, it's hanging again. When the CPU monitor hung it was only in the high 60's. I rebooted and restarted the CPU monitor, and it was in the 60's. Case felt only slightly warm.

    So it's running cool now and it's STILL hanging.

    Time to run memtest86 on this new RAM...

  13. #12
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    Ran memtest86 for 8 hours and no errors. So if it's not heat and it's not the RAM, what's causing it??

  14. #13
    Super Moderator jwitalka's Avatar
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    Run Chkdsk /F followed by sfc /scannow from an elevated command prompt. You could have corrupted the OS while it was overheating.

    Jerry

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    AAMOF the system ran CHKDSK automatically after several of the crashes, but I haven't run it recently.

    CHKDSK ran very quickly without the usual long file-verification pass. It found a few lengths that were wrong, but the bigger concern was that it said something about being unable to write out the file table. (It flashed by pretty quickly.) I rebooted and ran it again, and that time it ran the whole pass and there were no errors.

    SFC /scannow didn't find any errors.

    I'll let you know if it helped....

  16. #15
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    No joy. Came into the office this morning and several apps were hung. The CPU monitor indicated temps in the 50's when it hung. Interestingly Task Manager was also hung, and it showed a LOT of CPU activity for several minutes before it hung. Hm.

    So I rebooted and started doing a few things. Tried to get a screen shot using Snagit, and for some reason now Snagit hangs for about 40 seconds (with high CPU usage) when I hit the capture button. Or at least it did when I tried it 3 times. Then I made my capture and now it seems normal. NOW what....

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