I recently got around to trying to get my sisters old laptop to start working again but Im having a bit of trouble finding out the problem.
Its a near 4 year old HP Pavilion ZE1115. The specs, as far as I can remember include a 1.1ghz Duron, 20 gig WD HDD [5400 possibly] and 256MB of PC133. She first started having problems with it when she first got it. It would only show half of the full 1.1ghz in the System Properties and always seemed to be sluggishly slow on absolutely everything.
The same applies today.. it takes ages for the thing to boot up and shut down, tasks and active windows become unresponsive for about 5 minutes until they unfreezes and is just plain slow in every way. I reformatted the drive and tried reinstalling Windows XP earlier and the installation just plain stopped and got stuck on 36%, even when those lame "Welcome to Windows" description screens kept cycling over and over and over. I even rebooted and it still got stuck at 36 or 37%. The "CDrom access" light wasnt flashing at all either.
What is the most logical problem here? Possibly a bad hard drive since everything is slow? Bad memory since not more than one thing can happen before the system bogs down? The CPU since it usually only shows ~500mhz in the System Properties window?
Actually, that system it more than fast enough for XP. I run WinXP on an old Thinkpad 600X, which has a P3 500mhz. I did upgrade it to a 5400rpm HD and 384mb of RAM. It's not super-fast, but it does everything well enough, including booting fairly fast.
Everyone is telling me that the notebook doesnt have high enough specs for XP--youre wrong. Ive used plenty of notebooks with far less and have had no problems. I even set everything to Performance and not Quality, and it still takes 5 minutes for XP to unfreeze the non responsive window after loading.. Notepad.. come on.
I think Im having a hardware issue here, not a 'system requirements' issue.
I tried reinstalling XP and it got stuck @ about 39% this time, and I heard the HDD making this 5 second stuttering sound over and over, as if it was unable to write to that part of the drive, or that the drive was malfunctioning. Im going to go buy a new HDD today to see if that fixes it.
And use ME? Id rather use a Mac!
EDIT: I tried Powermax but everytime I try to do either the Quick or Full test it says "Please contact Maxtor customer service in your area for more assistance," tells me to hit any key, and after trying to find the Any key, I do so and it says the test was Aborted. Does this seem like a bad drive to you?
1) I tried Powermax but everytime I try to do either the Quick or Full test it says "Please contact Maxtor customer service in your area for more assistance," tells me to hit any key, and after trying to find the Any key, I do so and it says the test was Aborted.
Considering how I managed to plunk a 40gb 5400rpm drive into a thinkpad that's probably 2 years older than your HP, I'd think any 2.5" drive will work. You can get one for cheap at newegg. I recommend the 5400rpm models with 8mb of cache, as they perform well and don't get too hot. As far as brands, I like Fujitsu, Toshiba, and Samsung (in no particular order). Rumor has it that Hitachi's aren't great, but I can't confirm that.