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I'm trying to get a general idea about why my laptop crashes. - To stand more strong during the repair and hopefully be able to give feedback.

I own a HP Elitebook 8530w; the problem exhibits with both windows 7 & windows vista.

What happens is basically my laptop gets for 10 minutes stuck in the "boot up screen". The screen where you see the windows icon (flag)/progressbar at bottom. After those 10 minutes it continues to the log in screen (but just crashes there). Or in the case of windows 7 - doesn't even go further.

This happens each time - even after a clean install- within a day or 2. (normally not the very first thing, but sometime after a day). As it doesn't show the problem directly the repair shops simply state it is a problem of my using my laptop. But now I only installed the vital updates and it kept crashing.

It is also not a problem of the cd, as both windows vista & windows 7 exhibit the exact same problem. So where can the problem lay? Would be very useful if I can guide the people behind the "shop" towards the actual problem?

It's also at the end of my warranty (got a 3 year warranty ending september this year), so I'm eager to not take risks and get it really repaired.

Maybe an extra thing to note: a live rescue disk still works to retrieve all my data, and it does boot up from that.

Can anybody give me some ideas that I should tell them so they understand the problem?

ps: sorry if this site isn't fit for these type of questions, but after almost a full year of reinstalling windows each week it gets me desperate.

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I'm sorry... what??!?? " so I'm eager to not take risks and get it really repaired." taking it to a shop to allow professionals to diagnose the issue OR sending it back to the manufacturer for a warranty repair/replacement is TAKING A RISK? as opposed to what... repeating the same action every week for a year hoping for a different outcome? – Bon Gart Jun 15 '12 at 12:56
@BonGart: Taking a risk I mean is acting like previous time - the people at the shop simply reinstalled windows, tested it and said "must've been your configuration nothing wrong". - then a month later it crashed again. This happened 2 times already - now my warranty only runs up to september - so I don't want to take the risk that again I get sent back with these simple words. – paul23 Jun 18 '12 at 22:55
up vote 2 down vote accepted

Sounds like there is a good chance it could be a problem with the disk. I would suggest testing the Hard Drive to ensure it isn't failing.

There are a variety of bootable disk utilities to test the health of Hard Drives. One simple but effective tool to use is Drive Fitness Test. This will tool will essentially go through the drive checking for bad sectors as well as performing a number of other checks in the process.

If DFT reports that the drive is failing (diagnostics in red box) you should back up anything of importance and then check to see if the drive is still under warranty to see if you can file an RMA on the drive.

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You have tried different operating systems and different install disks. These did not solve the problem which means it is else where.

Remaining items are:

  1. The motherboard. (There is nothing you can do about this)
  2. The CPU (is it overheating? Are the fans clean?)
  3. The HDD. Check the even viewer. Look for errors. Read errors in a consumer HDD then cause huge delays while the disk tries to recover. (Server or RAID versions of HDDs usually return an error within 15 seconds. In which case booting will most likely fail. But it will not stall the system. However I assume you have a consumer laptop drive which will keep trying to read a broken sector for a long time).
  4. The RAM. Can you try a different SODIMM? Are you using two sticks of RAM (in which case you can try with on of them to check if the other is flaky.. Ditto with the sockets for the SODIMMS.
  5. Anything else not yet tested...
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