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Topic # 95976 17-Jan-2012 22:38
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Hi folks.
I'm wondering if someone can point me in the right direction.

About 3 months ago I bought a brand new HP ProBook laptop which has been behaving strangely from very early on. I can't remember when it started playing up, but it would have been within only a few days of purchase. I've taken it back to get serviced, but have been told that it is a software issue and not covered by warranty. I'll try to give you an idea of the symptoms:

When playing audio of any kind (and also when recording audio or video) there will be an occasional digital burp sound for a second or two. While this audio glitch occurs, no other function such as typing or scrolling of pages can be performed - everything just freezes up for a second or so.

The caps lock function will (occasionally) suddenly reverse function - lower case becomes caps, and when the caps lock is on, caps become lower case.

Portions of the content in the browser will (occasionally) suddenly become selected. This will often not be able to be deselected, and clicking to deselect it will often select further content.

These latter two problems can sometimes be rectified by tapping rapidly a couple of times on the shift key, but more often than not the computer needs to be rebooted.

After purchasing the computer I initially installed the same software as I had on my old laptop (running XP) and didn't add anything else, and I believe that the problems started then.

Can anyone tell me how to determine what software might be causing the problems, and even what kind of software to start looking at?

Many thanks!

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  Reply # 570201 17-Jan-2012 22:50
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You say you added some software but don't say what it was you added.  

I'm presuming you may have added more than one programme, have you tried removing these programmes one at a time?

Do any of these programmes start automatically when you boot the computer?  Do you know how to use the "msconfig" command in the "Run" box after clicking the "Start" button in order to choose what programmes start up automatically?

Does this problem only manifest itself after you start a particular programme? 




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  Reply # 570204 17-Jan-2012 22:58
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Are you running an external keyboard.  Sounds like you might have a key being pressed at times.  One issue I had from time to time a few years ago was I used to lie my bluetooth keyboard upside down in a chair when it wasn't in use (but still turned on). Some times depending on how it was positioned some (or one) of the keys would be depressed, this would give me weird results similar to what you describe. 




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  Reply # 570209 17-Jan-2012 23:20
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Technofreak: You say you added some software but don't say what it was you added.  

I'm presuming you may have added more than one programme, have you tried removing these programmes one at a time?

Do any of these programmes start automatically when you boot the computer?  Do you know how to use the "msconfig" command in the "Run" box after clicking the "Start" button in order to choose what programmes start up automatically?

Does this problem only manifest itself after you start a particular programme? 


I haven't set any program to run on startup, so the computer is only doing it's own thing. The problems I'm having occur even if I've started no other program except the browser (for example).

The computer came with various bits of software (including several video programs) bundled/pre-installed, including an annoying HP security suite.

The programs I installed are:
Microsoft Office
Firefox
Audacity
Market Samurai
Micro Niche Finder
7zip
AIMP2 audio converter
Billy mp3 player
Camtasia Studio (video recorder/editor)
ESET antivirus
Filezilla
Realplayer
Skype
SnagIt (screen capture)
Traders Little Helper (audio converter)

I haven't used the msconfig command before.

Thanks for your input.




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  Reply # 570210 17-Jan-2012 23:22
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Technofreak: Are you running an external keyboard.  Sounds like you might have a key being pressed at times.  One issue I had from time to time a few years ago was I used to lie my bluetooth keyboard upside down in a chair when it wasn't in use (but still turned on). Some times depending on how it was positioned some (or one) of the keys would be depressed, this would give me weird results similar to what you describe. 


Thanks for your reply. I'm not running anything attached to the computer. On my insistence the keyboard was replaced under warranty, to no avail.

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  Reply # 570218 18-Jan-2012 00:22
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I've seen similar problems on my own and other PCs. They have been resolved by any of the following:
- updates to software
- uninstalling the problem application
- cleaning all the rubbish and old files from the disk

I all your software compatible with your version of Windows? I assume is 7 32-bit or 64-bit - what is it?
I'm familiar with half of the applications that should be no problem provided you have a recent version.

So did you install the latest versions of all software?
Have you applied the latest Microsoft updates?

Did an install fail so you had to install again? Some programs don't install properly over an incomplete install.
Have you had a power cut or some other problem with the PC?


If you're not familiar with MSConfig (or AutoRuns?) then you might be better off installing an application like Pirifom CCleaner. It will allow you to check some of the startup entries but more importantly will allow you to selectively clean your system.




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  Reply # 570228 18-Jan-2012 06:03
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Another thing you could try for the first two issues is to open task manager and click on the Processes Tab to see if CPU usage spikes when the glitches occur. If you click on the CPU column so that it is sorted from highest to lowest, you will be able to see which process is causing the spike if indeed this is what is happening. Then it is a matter of right clicking on that process and opening the location to see what installed program it might be.
As for the other two issues, the only things I could suggest would be to uninstall any programs you have added and try installing them one at a time and seeing if the problem occurs.
If you're not familiar with MSConfig (or AutoRuns?) then you might be better off installing an application like Pirifom CCleaner. It will allow you to check some of the startup entries but more importantly will allow you to selectively clean your system.

I second this. 



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  Reply # 570237 18-Jan-2012 07:27
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Hammerer: I've seen similar problems on my own and other PCs. They have been resolved by any of the following:
- updates to software
- uninstalling the problem application
- cleaning all the rubbish and old files from the disk

I all your software compatible with your version of Windows? I assume is 7 32-bit or 64-bit - what is it?
I'm familiar with half of the applications that should be no problem provided you have a recent version.

So did you install the latest versions of all software?
Have you applied the latest Microsoft updates?

Did an install fail so you had to install again? Some programs don't install properly over an incomplete install.
Have you had a power cut or some other problem with the PC?


If you're not familiar with MSConfig (or AutoRuns?) then you might be better off installing an application like Pirifom CCleaner. It will allow you to check some of the startup entries but more importantly will allow you to selectively clean your system.


it's running Windows 7 32-bit.

Some of the applications are the latest versions. Others, I wouldn't know and would have to go through them.

I believe the Microsoft update are current. I'll have to check.

I don't recall any installation failing. There have been no power cuts, and the only time the battery has run flat was about 2 weeks ago, long after I started noticing these issues.

Thanks for your help.



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  Reply # 570238 18-Jan-2012 07:28
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k1w33d: Another thing you could try for the first two issues is to open task manager and click on the Processes Tab to see if CPU usage spikes when the glitches occur. If you click on the CPU column so that it is sorted from highest to lowest, you will be able to see which process is causing the spike if indeed this is what is happening. Then it is a matter of right clicking on that process and opening the location to see what installed program it might be.
As for the other two issues, the only things I could suggest would be to uninstall any programs you have added and try installing them one at a time and seeing if the problem occurs.
If you're not familiar with MSConfig (or AutoRuns?) then you might be better off installing an application like Pirifom CCleaner. It will allow you to check some of the startup entries but more importantly will allow you to selectively clean your system.

I second this. 


Thanks for your input. Seems like a good idea.

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  Reply # 570244 18-Jan-2012 08:13
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First, when was the last time you ran a full antivirus scan?

Next you could run a memory test to make sure the memory is not bad. In Windows 7 click the Orb start typing "Memory" (without the quotes) and you will see Memory Diagnostics. Run that, reboot and change the parameters to run about ten times, overnight. Next time Windows reboots you will see the results in the system icons area.

Even if you don't set programs to automatically start most of them will add things to the startup.

My recommendation to make sure it is not a software problem is to use the restore functionality and wipe the laptop, bringing it back to its original release. Use just the browser for some time and see if the problem shows up again. If it does then it's something in the original software or the hardware.

If nothing happens after a week, then reinstall software, one at a time, taking the time to test between installations.

It will take time, but it's only way to be sure.





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  Reply # 570277 18-Jan-2012 09:59
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falcott: 

I haven't set any program to run on startup, so the computer is only doing it's own thing. The problems I'm having occur even if I've started no other program except the browser (for example).



As Mauricio mentioned some programmes will run automatically when the computer boots up.  When you install these programmes some will ask if you want them to run at boot up others make the rash assumption that you will want them and they go ahead and add themselves to the boot up process without asking.  So even with just the browser running there may be other stuff running in the background.  For example Skype or perhaps SnagIt though I'm not familiar with SnagIt.

As others have suggested either restore to factory installations and add one by one or use something like msconfig to stop various things from starting at boot up. I'm not familiar with other programmes that can do similar things to msconfig but it's not hard to use.

You may need to add the "Run" command to the start page if you're using Vista or Win 7

Click "Start" Run should appear on the bottom right hand side of the start window just above the "Shutdown" button.  If it's not there, right click on "Start' then "Properties" "Customise" scroll down to find "Run Command" and tick the box, click "OK" when next window appears click "Apply" then "OK'.

Left click on "Start" then "Run" type in "msconfig" without the " " click OK.  Choose the "Startup" tab.  Here you will find all the applications that load on start up, some won't make any sense but others are usually easy to identify as a particular programme.  Unticking the box will prevent that application from starting automatically.  If you're not sure what a particular app is, type the item name into Google to find out what it does before you decide to disable it.

Many of the applications shown will be legit, in that it is normal for them to be running from start up so don't disable willy nilly.  The ones you will want to disable should be fairly easy to identify.

 

Good luck.

 

P.S. As also suggested a full anti virus scan won't go amiss.




Sony Xperia X running Sailfish OS. https://sailfishos.org The true independent open source mobile OS 
Samsung Galaxy Tab S3
Nokia N1
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  Reply # 570423 18-Jan-2012 15:07
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freitasm: First, when was the last time you ran a full antivirus scan?

Next you could run a memory test to make sure the memory is not bad. In Windows 7 click the Orb start typing "Memory" (without the quotes) and you will see Memory Diagnostics. Run that, reboot and change the parameters to run about ten times, overnight. Next time Windows reboots you will see the results in the system icons area.

Even if you don't set programs to automatically start most of them will add things to the startup.

My recommendation to make sure it is not a software problem is to use the restore functionality and wipe the laptop, bringing it back to its original release. Use just the browser for some time and see if the problem shows up again. If it does then it's something in the original software or the hardware.

If nothing happens after a week, then reinstall software, one at a time, taking the time to test between installations.

It will take time, but it's only way to be sure.




Thanks -- From the behaviour it seems as though it's running out of memory, but the task manager shows everything is okay.

I'll run an antivirus scan again, but I've certainly run scans after I noticed the symptoms.

Restoring it to factory settings is the last ditch option, but I'll take it if I don't have any luck otherwise!

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  Reply # 570433 18-Jan-2012 15:19
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falcott:
freitasm: First, when was the last time you ran a full antivirus scan?

Next you could run a memory test to make sure the memory is not bad. In Windows 7 click the Orb start typing "Memory" (without the quotes) and you will see Memory Diagnostics. Run that, reboot and change the parameters to run about ten times, overnight. Next time Windows reboots you will see the results in the system icons area.

Even if you don't set programs to automatically start most of them will add things to the startup.

My recommendation to make sure it is not a software problem is to use the restore functionality and wipe the laptop, bringing it back to its original release. Use just the browser for some time and see if the problem shows up again. If it does then it's something in the original software or the hardware.

If nothing happens after a week, then reinstall software, one at a time, taking the time to test between installations.

It will take time, but it's only way to be sure.




Thanks -- From the behaviour it seems as though it's running out of memory, but the task manager shows everything is okay.

I'll run an antivirus scan again, but I've certainly run scans after I noticed the symptoms.

Restoring it to factory settings is the last ditch option, but I'll take it if I don't have any luck otherwise!

Unfortunately, it may be the only way you get anything done under warranty. If it still does it at factory settings, it is a hardware (or HP software) issue. 



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  Reply # 570436 18-Jan-2012 15:24
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Technofreak:
Left click on "Start" then "Run" type in "msconfig" without the " " click OK.  Choose the "Startup" tab.  Here you will find all the applications that load on start up, some won't make any sense but others are usually easy to identify as a particular programme.  Unticking the box will prevent that application from starting automatically.  If you're not sure what a particular app is, type the item name into Google to find out what it does before you decide to disable it.

Many of the applications shown will be legit, in that it is normal for them to be running from start up so don't disable willy nilly.  The ones you will want to disable should be fairly easy to identify.


Thanks -- I'll try this option first and see what we shall see!

gzt

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  Reply # 570611 18-Jan-2012 21:44
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Might be interesting to use an external keyboard and disable the onboard keyboard in device manager.

Do you have additional hardware attached?

Does the log (event manager) show any unusual events after the problem has occurred?



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  Reply # 570621 18-Jan-2012 21:58
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gzt: Might be interesting to use an external keyboard and disable the onboard keyboard in device manager.

Do you have additional hardware attached?

Does the log (event manager) show any unusual events after the problem has occurred?


I haven't seen any spikes n CPU usage when the events occur. What else should I be looking for?

I don't have any hardware attached.

Thanks.

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