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long story short, my 2730p has been giving me numerous problems and it seems like i will have to reinstall windows as many dlls have gone missing/broken (and the damn thing is barely usable now)... before doing so, i'd like to make sure that everything is functioning fine on the hardware level.

what are some good tests for checking the condition of components?

unfortunately, the info that i have on testing computers is rather dated (and iffy).

voltage: no clue. is there a program that can check the condition of a psu?

hdd: seagate test (in past experience, it gives a good status even when an hdd is just about to die) hp hard disk test (likewise...)

ram/cpu: memtest86 (this program actually does work, although i doubt that i have a ram problem) prime95 (i've never been able to capture a snapshot of instability with either this or the following two programs) superpi occt

also, is there a place where a 2730p system recovery iso can be downloaded?

many thanks!

EDIT:

some more info and questions:

would a solid state drive be more reliable / resistant to problems?

the current hdd is a toshiba mk1633gsg, which was replaced only just about a year ago ... what happened with the original drive is, some programs stopped functioning normally, ... bootup got slower and slower ... and one day, after rebooting from an excessive wait at the os loading screen (i recall that it was over 30 minutes), bios refuses to detect the hdd ...

a successful system restore has already been attempted and did not fix anything.

i'll be running memtest, prime95, the seagate test, smartudm and the battery tests soon. in the meantime, do these problems look characteristic of any specific type of failure?

TOUCHSTICK MOUSE RIGHT/LEFT CLICK PROBLEMS

booted into a different os (linuxmint ), found the same touchstick 'mouse' problems (!!!) or at least a similar one, where right click stopped working ... i think that would indicate a hardware problem

back in vista... left click stopped working for about 10 hours ... had to click right click before left click would work ... typing quickly would randomly elicit a right click effect ... this problem persisted through multiple restarts ... then, as mysteriously as this problem appeared, it went away, without restarting or anything. weird.

due to the random nature of this problem, i wonder if perhaps i have a piece of conductive dust in the system or something ... i THINK the mouse problems started after i tried blowing into the vent of the heatsink to clear out any built up dust ... that did dislodge some 1cm long whitish fibers (probably nylon or something) that i then had to tweeze out of the intake vent ... there's probably a lot more back there but i'm having a devil of a time trying to access the heatsink (there seems to be a hidden screw keeping the panel in place)

if this problem had not persisted into a different os, i would have already reinstalled vista. as it is, i don't feel very secure doing this ...

another touchstick mouse problem that sporadically occurs is that clicking left click will elicit the behavior of clicking right click ... and clicking the right click elicits no response. furthermore, the right click menu will sometimes pop up by itself when typing. a usb mouse functions normally and clicking with the usb mouse seems to reset left click for the touchstick but right click for the touchstick remains unresponsive.

TESTS

ran windows memory diagnostic, passed with no errors

ran vista disk check ... had no effect ... found bitmap errors, crosslinked files, orphaned files ... can produce logs if desired

ran sfc /scannow ... found numerous missing and broken dlls ... more info further down

the operating temps are not the highest they've ever been ... between 37-40 degrees celcius

ac adapter voltage (checked with multimeter) is perfectly stable and within parameters ... the laptop is typically running from ac

pc wizard 2012 crashes almost as soon as i initiate the program and restarts in debug mode ...

hdd smart records according to crystaldiskmark:

LAGGING

every 3-5s and nearly every action elicits a random laggyness of between 5 and 30 seconds ... chkdsk didn't fix the lag problem. ... there are random pauses during playback of media files ... clicking anything, opening a webpage, switching tabs, even hovering over things, etc will elicit lag and sometimes will trigger the spinning circle 'busy' animation ... with just two tabs open in firefox and nothing else open other than notepad++ ... there is lag when selecting text and typing into google ... everything causes lag other than moving the mouse back and forth

strangely, if i wait about 20 seconds before logging in, the longer i wait, the longer it will take for the 'enter password' screen to appear ... and getting to the desktop can take anywhere between 30 seconds to 5 minutes to never (as in, the screen goes black and nothing happens) ...

if i leave the pc on, eventually the lag will get worse and affect more things, including there being tremendous lag before turning the screen back on after returning from idleness ... if enough time has passed, the screen never turns back on and the only option is to reset.

one time, saving a txt file as the lagging was getting worse turned the contents of the file into junk.

BSOD

just got one recently, after attempting to open a txt file in notepad++ caused that program to crash. unfortunately, it disappeared before i could write anything down ... can't seem to find the bsod in the event viewer, though i'm not sure what i should be looking for ...

windows\ minidump\ is empty ... there is no memory.dmp ...

SFC

notable entries from cbs.log

2013-07-19 12:43:15, Info                  CSI    0000017b [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui" of Microsoft-Windows-trkwks.Resources, Version = 6.0.6000.16386, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_INTEL (0), Culture = [l:10{5}]"en-US", VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2013-07-19 12:43:18, Info                  CSI    0000017d [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui" of Microsoft-Windows-trkwks.Resources, Version = 6.0.6000.16386, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_INTEL (0), Culture = [l:10{5}]"en-US", VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2013-07-19 12:43:18, Info                  CSI    0000017e [SR] This component was referenced by [l:262{131}]"Microsoft-Windows-WindowsFoundation-LanguagePack-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~en-US~6.0.6000.16386.Windows Foundation Language Pack"
2013-07-19 12:43:18, Info                  CSI    00000181 [SR] Could not reproject corrupted file [ml:520{260},l:58{29}]"\??\C:\Windows\System32\en-US"\[l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui"; source file in store is also corrupted

2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001d5 [SR] Beginning Verify and Repair transaction
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001d7 [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui" of Microsoft-Windows-trkwks.Resources, Version = 6.0.6000.16386, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_INTEL (0), Culture = [l:10{5}]"en-US", VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001d9 [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui" of Microsoft-Windows-trkwks.Resources, Version = 6.0.6000.16386, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_INTEL (0), Culture = [l:10{5}]"en-US", VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001da [SR] This component was referenced by [l:262{131}]"Microsoft-Windows-WindowsFoundation-LanguagePack-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~en-US~6.0.6000.16386.Windows Foundation Language Pack"
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001dd [SR] Could not reproject corrupted file [ml:520{260},l:58{29}]"\??\C:\Windows\System32\en-US"\[l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui"; source file in store is also corrupted
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001df [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:42{21}]"Wdf01000Uninstall.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001e1 [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:24{12}]"Wdf01000.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001e5 [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:42{21}]"Wdf01000Uninstall.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:18, Info                  CSI    000001e7 [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:24{12}]"Wdf01000.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001eb [SR] Repair complete
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001ec [SR] Committing transaction
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001ed [SR] Cannot commit interactively, there are boot critical components being repaired
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001ee [SR] Repairing 3 components
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001ef [SR] Beginning Verify and Repair transaction
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001f1 [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui" of Microsoft-Windows-trkwks.Resources, Version = 6.0.6000.16386, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_INTEL (0), Culture = [l:10{5}]"en-US", VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001f3 [SR] Cannot repair member file [l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui" of Microsoft-Windows-trkwks.Resources, Version = 6.0.6000.16386, pA = PROCESSOR_ARCHITECTURE_INTEL (0), Culture = [l:10{5}]"en-US", VersionScope = 1 nonSxS, PublicKeyToken = {l:8 b:31bf3856ad364e35}, Type neutral, TypeName neutral, PublicKey neutral in the store, hash mismatch
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001f4 [SR] This component was referenced by [l:262{131}]"Microsoft-Windows-WindowsFoundation-LanguagePack-Package~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~en-US~6.0.6000.16386.Windows Foundation Language Pack"
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001f7 [SR] Could not reproject corrupted file [ml:520{260},l:58{29}]"\??\C:\Windows\System32\en-US"\[l:28{14}]"trkwks.dll.mui"; source file in store is also corrupted
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001f9 [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:42{21}]"Wdf01000Uninstall.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001fb [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:24{12}]"Wdf01000.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    000001ff [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:42{21}]"Wdf01000Uninstall.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    00000201 [SR] Repairing corrupted file [ml:58{29},l:56{28}]"\??\C:\Windows\system32\wbem"\[l:24{12}]"Wdf01000.mof" from store
2013-07-19 12:47:19, Info                  CSI    00000205 [SR] Repair complete

HOW IT ALL STARTED i have no idea.

all of these problems are coincidental with installing a new version of java a few days ago ... based on the non os specific nature of some of these problems, i think that is just a red herring ... i used system restore to roll back to a much earlier date and that didn't fix anything ...

a few days later, i got a windows update error: "WindowsUpdate_8E5E0147"

and that's when i ran sfc, which fixed nothing ... multiple dlls are still missing or broken ...

PS: possibly unrelated, i found a small, whitish dust mite crawling on the top of the screen after placing the laptop down on an outside table ... this occured long after these problems started but i do tend to use this laptop outside quite a bit ... opening the main access panel at the bottom of the laptop reveals no obvious infestation or any bug carcasses, although only a small bit of the mobo is revealed ...

PSS: long before any of this happened, i used to run into similar problems after running a java program called jdownloader; basically, the pc would start getting more and more glitchy ('cannot locate hard disk' errors when the hdd is perfectly fine) and laggy until i restart ... but these problems would only happen after i'd start that program and would never occur otherwise. i could literally have the pc on for months and not run into a single problem ... but after starting jdownloader for 30 minutes, BAM.

these problems are coincidental with downloading a java update. i'm not sure what the connection is but it seemed to trip something off...

EDIT:

i am now remembering that my laptop has actually fallen quite a few times... once, it even dropped from about 4 feet (i had it elevated on cardboard boxes so that i could work while standing... i left the room and heard a crash about 5 minutes later). at the time i did not consider it to be significant as, amazingly, everything still seemed to work (perfectly well, might i add) and the 2730p reputedly has a 'military grade' spec with protective measures against hard drive damage from falling (so much for that) ...

ive been doing some reading about reallocated sectors. apparently, these are when the hdd discovers a read fault ...

if there is a physical issue then the damaged parts of the drive cannot be repaired and have to be isolated so they can be avoided. i'm not sure if doing so via zerofill will consume any reallocation space (it ought to, since a sector is a piece of logical space and not data... but on the other hand, if the drive is wiped clean of data, it seems more logical to simply skip over the damaged areas and report a smaller usable space and reserve the reallocation space for future errors). i'm also not sure hjow it is possible that this kind of failure could occur without making the drive completely unusable (i guess maybe the read arm might scrape against the disk, thus causing localized damage???).

on the other hand, read faults could be caused by faulty ram or 'magnetic errors', which may be fixed by writing over the afflicted area (right?). after writing over the area, a repair utility will attempt to read that sector and if such is successful then that part of the drive will no longer be considered damaged. i wonder, in the case of magnetic problems, what caused those problems in the first place, and is the problem truly fixed by writing over the afflicted sector?

in either case, a reformat is recommended to recover the drive.

some are claiming that a zerofill is not necessary. the last time i performed a zerofill, it took quite a while... but doing this step should still be better than not doing so, right?

i'm still not sure if a ssd should be more reliable/resilient than a spinning disk drive/mhdd. in any event, i would like to continue using this drive as i've got all the data on this thing backed up.

in the case that there is a ram problem ... i am remembering that when i upgraded the ram on this machine, i accidentally touched some of the ram chips while i was installing them ... there was no crack of electricity but could some minor electrostatic discharge have caused this kind of problem? in the event that such has happened, is there a way to recover these ram chips (like a zerofill on the ram or something)?

EDIT:

ok, here's where i am now.

long story short, it seems that my laptop is among those that is incompatible with smartudm ... and i don't think i have a power connector for a mini sata hdd for my tower pc ... the hdd in question is a toshiba mk1633gsg mini sata hdd.

so we're kind of at an empasse. i still want to keep using this hdd but only if i can get it to a usable state.

the laptop passes all hp diagnostic tests.

here is the crystaldisk info report:

[url=http://imageshack.us/photo/my-images/35/l9ql.png/]l9ql.png[/URL]

i downloaded hirems boot cd 15.2 which is what i attempted to use to run smart udm as well as some other tests ... the hdd instafailed both smartudm and the 'toshiba smart' test due to not detecting an ide drive.

the toshiba error was: 'NG device defective' ...

the smartudm error was: 'error, ide drive not found'

the hdd passed seatools' long test , and the ram passed 8 hours of memtest86 with both sticks of ram connected. i have not (yet) attempted to run memtest with the reverse orientation or with each stick by itself.

i have reseated the ram and the hdd ... after reseating the ram, i discovered that ... right click started working again in 32bit vista, but with a 1 second lag (which is inconsistent; sometimes there is a 1 second lag, sometimes not) ... the laptop still experiences sporadic, inexplicable lag after a while. switching from window to window is still quite slow... almost as if the ram were totally used up ... switching from window to window or activating a javascript within firefox is super laggy. at least 15 seconds lag to activate the javascript edit function on this page and about 16-20 seconds to load/post this thread (window turned white, mouse cursor turned into the spinning circle busy icon ... which sometimes happens by itself sporadically for 1-7 seconds for seemingly no reason).

these questions still stand: would a ssd be more reliable/resistant to problems than a hdd? also, could reformatting/zerofilling the drive potentially circumvent/repair damaged sections? what would you do to move forward from this point? thanks!

also, rather strangely, it seems like this laptop is having some new troubles with booting from usb. it has been able to do so flawlessly in the past ... but in order to run these tests i had to actually burn them to cd; hence i downloaded hirems boot cd 15.2.

i used a kingston 101 g2 usb drive which used to have linuxmint installed upon it, which i used quite frequently in the past with this laptop and which is also the same drive that is mentioned in the most recent release notes for memtest86.

each time, i reformatted the drive in fat32 as an initial step.

each time attempted to boot from usb with memtest86 (multiple versions including 4.3 and the latest), smartudm or hirems boot cd, the following occured:

first of all, the bios would refuse to acknowledge my usb drive as a boot drive; the usb drive would light up and then the usual 'select your os' screen would emerge, with no option for selecting the usb drive.

the only way to get bios to attempt to boot from the usb drive was to enter the bios settings, which would of course naturally indicate that in fact it is set to boot from usb first of all ... i don't have to make any changes here. it just seems like i have to visit this screen to get bios to attempt to boot from usb (this is new).

even after performing this step, when attempting to boot from usb i get this message 'Non-System disk or disk error' and can't go on even after removing the usb drive. in order to move past this error, i have to restart. damn weird.

i have since discovered that my bios might need updating, since it is not the latest version ...

also this little tidbit:

"Most Intel (not AMD!) based laptops (and desktops by the way) have had UEFI based firmware on them for the last five/six years, but almost all have had the CSM (compatibility Support Module) hard coded into it, to make it look like it was a legacy BIOS running, allowing BIOS-based OSs to load.

This practice is slowly changing. HP has a lot of systems in the marketplace that allow you to expose the UEFI interface, my EliteBook 2730p being just one example."

"One of the new features of UEFI is ‘Secure Boot’ which does not allow loading of drivers or operating systems that do not have a valid digital signature. Memtest86 does not have such a signature so if this feature is enabled then Memtest will fail to boot. Most systems have this disabled by default, however if it is enabled you will need to go into the UEFI settings and disable it in order to boot."

unfortunately, i was unable to find any bios option to disable 'secure boot'

i'm still experiencing sporadic mouse / keyboard problems ...

at first i thought i was just imagining things ... like maybe i was hitting the wrong keys ... but i just tried hitting shift and up and somehow that caused the text input cursor to jump to the very top of this text input box. so yeah. stuff is still fubar.

thanks for all your help so far! i really appreciate you guys!

RE:

"extended hard drive disk check" -more info plz?

share|improve this question
    
What brand 2730p? –  Journeyman Geek Jul 21 '13 at 3:54
    
Most likely an HP EliteBook 2730p. –  Dan D. Jul 21 '13 at 4:42
1  
have you tried any software diagnostics/maintenance routines like chkdsk or sfc.exe? –  Frank Thomas Jul 21 '13 at 5:43
    
Have you checked to see if you have a diagnostics partition accessible from boot? I know the Elitebook 8530W definitely does. –  Tog Jul 23 '13 at 13:41
    
updated with more info –  Eric Leung Jul 26 '13 at 22:06

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