I had a compaq presario b1200, which is now unusable because they said it was a problem in the southbridge. What should I avoid doing with my computer so that it wouldn't end up like that? I'm currently using my desktop to convert videos using total video converter. I'm limiting the processor usage by using granola and setting it to lowest speed, I also set the processor priority to below normal. I've also done this with my compaq before but didn't use granola. Could this be the cause why the southbridge in my compaq failed? Should I avoid converting videos using tvc?
Ask the "they" that told you that. And how they know that. And what caused it. It's a rather technical diagnosis and that's unusual. You might be less than impressed by its relevance to you. But still well worth asking them.. and report back here 'cos it may be interesting and useful to know.
I think one thing you can do is make sure it's properly cooled and doesn't overheat. The northbridge and southbridge are visible things on motherboards.
But don't do as you suggest i.e. don't choose applications to avoid such a problem. That solution will never work. You may as well not use a computer to avoid wearing out any part.
The southbridge is a major part and lots of things connect to it. You can't really avoid it - at least not practically speaking.
Motherboards fail and if it's not one thing it's something else. Sometimes they just don't start.
It'd be interesting to know what your symptoms were before you sent it in.
Have you tried looking at the power supply? I have the same laptop model with the same problem, wherein the processor seems to slow down to an insanely unbelievable level. This link mentions a supposedly common problem for HP/Compaq laptops, caused by a faulty power supply.
In HP/Compaq power supplies, there are three leads instead of the more common two. When one of the solders/connections break due to stress on the power supply cable, it leads to the CPU slowdown because the laptop somehow thinks it's being powered by a non-standard or counterfeit power supply. Supposedly, the problem goes away when you disconnect it from the AC power supply and just run it off the battery. Unfortunately, testing with the battery becomes counter-intuitive because most of the time, the exact reason why it is being kept on AC power is due to a faulty battery that no longer holds charge in the first place.
I opened the plug that goes to the laptop and reconnected the one wire that was disconnected--problem fixed! But if you're not comfortable doing that, just get a new power supply.
EDIT: What I really mean to say is "are you sure the southbridge is really broken?" Because I thought the same until I tried fixing the power supply. Also, I think it's unlikely that something on the motherboard is broken yet the laptop itself will still power up and boot to an OS, albeit very sluggishly.