Practical Advice Laptop Help!

SamB

SF Supporter
Sounds like a power issue to me, maybe there is something going on with that which is dropping the voltage and causing your processor, RAM or hard drive to slow.
I have heard there is a program called HWMonitor that can display voltages and things, maybe you could get that and look for differences between when your laptop is working properly and when it’s going slow.
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
Sounds like a power issue to me, maybe there is something going on with that which is dropping the voltage and causing your processor, RAM or hard drive to slow.
I have heard there is a program called HWMonitor that can display voltages and things, maybe you could get that and look for differences between when your laptop is working properly and when it’s going slow.
Thanks, I've installed it and got it running, I've saved the stats as it is now (working, off battery). I'll do the same if the issue arises again and compare. Could be interesting!!
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
So far so good today. I'm currently using it on battery and only plugging in to charge when it's off. I'm not too keen to try to replicate the issue for the time being, just ensure I have a functioning unit until I can spend more time looking at it. I get about 5 hours out of a full charge which is enough for most things. Might change when I need to do a lot of video calls back to back and will need it plugged in but will play by ear, still got a few months on the warranty.

Uk consumer rights law is pathetic, I've discovered. You get a 12 month warranty but after 6 months the onus is on you to prove a manufacturing fault. How do you do that? One way is by getting a technical report on it. In which case, someone has to open the unit to check through things, thus voiding the warranty, as well as probably costing half what the laptop cost. So they can basically sell you stuff with poor components that barely last a few months then fail - end result you probably have to buy a new laptop. Come to think of it, my spare room is like a laptop graveyard, they never seem to last more than a few years. I don't know what people's experience is in practice, but it seems like they should actually be saying you have a 6 month warranty after purchase.

The most long-lived machine I had was a Lenovo cloudbook thing running off a 32GB eMMC card, lasted years and worked fine until something eventually went wrong and I bricked it by interrupting an update that had stuck all day. That's when I bought the ACER that was useless out of the box, then lockdown so I bought my first HP and that's still going after 4 years, though is a bit wobbly hardware wise (but has been dropped/knocked off table a few times due to me tripping over the power cable!) I think I've actually been unlucky with this one as the old HP has provided such service and is still a functioning backup.

So far, so good.
 

SamB

SF Supporter
It varies from place to place, I had a dyson vacuum and I had it serviced, they came out to my house and did all the work, at the end I was expecting to have to pay as I had no idea about a warranty but the man told me it was still under warranty and it was all free and then left.
This is what I suggest: capture the fault on a video. Then send that to customer service and reference the warranty and tell them you want it replaced or fixed. If they quibble, then tell them you intend to purchase a new laptop of an equivalent function and take them to the small claims court to recover the cost. If they still won’t do anything then keep the video, all the emails and receipt for new laptop and then make a claim through the small claims court. It only costs £35 and you add that amount to the total you are claiming, it’s all quite straight forward and you don’t need a solicitor or anything like that. It takes a while to process, but just keep going, you have the video as proof of the fault and the emails as proof of attempt to resolve and the receipt of the new laptop as proof of loss. If they try and defend, it will cost them more in solicitors than the laptop so they will likely settle, though usually only at the last minute after they have threatened a bit. If it does go to court you should be able to have it determined without your presence as the judge only needs your video, emails, receipt and a short statement to make a decision.
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
It varies from place to place, I had a dyson vacuum and I had it serviced, they came out to my house and did all the work, at the end I was expecting to have to pay as I had no idea about a warranty but the man told me it was still under warranty and it was all free and then left.
This is what I suggest: capture the fault on a video. Then send that to customer service and reference the warranty and tell them you want it replaced or fixed. If they quibble, then tell them you intend to purchase a new laptop of an equivalent function and take them to the small claims court to recover the cost. If they still won’t do anything then keep the video, all the emails and receipt for new laptop and then make a claim through the small claims court. It only costs £35 and you add that amount to the total you are claiming, it’s all quite straight forward and you don’t need a solicitor or anything like that. It takes a while to process, but just keep going, you have the video as proof of the fault and the emails as proof of attempt to resolve and the receipt of the new laptop as proof of loss. If they try and defend, it will cost them more in solicitors than the laptop so they will likely settle, though usually only at the last minute after they have threatened a bit. If it does go to court you should be able to have it determined without your presence as the judge only needs your video, emails, receipt and a short statement to make a decision.
Thanks - I'll see what they say first hopefully I won't have to go through all that! I took my smart watch back after 9 months because the strap broke off and they just replaced it without so much as a raised eyebrow. They could have said I'd broken it but it genuinely just fell off one day and other Garmin users reported a similar issue with that model! So I thought it would be similar when I took the laptop back. HP support seemed pretty friendly, I suppose the shop just wants to make sure they don't take in laptops that just need basic troubleshooting for software problems or they'd be inundated with laptops, phones and all kinds of things that could be fixed in half an hour (and most people would have done far less troubleshooting that I've done so far!).

Anyway, I've got to the office and my strategy is working so far. I'll just shut laptop off and put on charge when not needed, this might be the best workaround for the time being. When/if I get the issues again I can check the monitor thinggy and see what that adds to the picture!
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
Just gave me a heart attack starting up slower than usual but then was OK. So far two days with only one random slow down. Maybe it will keep me from spending too much time on the laptop.
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
Still working. Have been gently plugging it in and unplugging it while in use and so far no issues at all. The two main times it totally went south it had reached under 10% battery and have not let it run down since. There was one occasion where it slowed down on startup and seemed to speed up as soon as I pulled out the plug, but it could have been just coincidence while it was applying or configuring an update or something - and it's been fine since then. Guess for now I will just keep it fully charged and ensure it doesn't go to low battery. Not sure if it's the low battery state or the act of putting the power cable in response to the low battery warning. Like the zen maste in the story whose favourite teacup was already broken in his mind, so he didn't grieve it when he dropped the cup, I will not become too dependent on the unit 🤪
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
Hmmm, why does this always happen on Wednesday/Thursday when it's raining and four Germans are hopping on one leg while on holiday in Spain? I speak in jest, but the main laptop has resumed its weird behaviour. It got to about 50% on battery and I put the power lead in, which I have been doing for 2 weeks without incident, and the laptop immediately slowed. Pulled cable out, sped up, put cable in, slowed down. Repeated it several times so have currently left it on charge while I use the spare laptop. Worst cases, it works when the battery is fuller, or on battery, or I at least have a replicable issue I can go to support with. Trying not to let it bother me, I have more than enough on my plate at the moment. Ah well, gives me a chance to run updates on the spare machine, and there always appear to be updates!
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
Went back to main laptop and now working plugged in now battery is at about 80%. Curiouser and curiouser! At least I have more info on the problem and a patchwork fix for the time being. Will just try to keep it plugged in permanently from now on to avoid the battery running down as this appears to trigger the problem.
 

AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
Now backup laptop is stuck on updates are underway. Main laptop installed updates and is fine. 🤷‍♂️

ETA: Finally backup laptop is up to date! Only took 25 minutes.
 
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AvidFan

Retired Cat Staff
SF Supporter
You shouldn’t have to suffer like this or work around dodgy hardware.
If you can recreate it again then take a video of it so you have evidence and then provide it to customer support.
Thanks, that is an idea. I could also call them and let them on the machine with their little applet so they can see what happens when I attach and detach the power cable at certain battery levels, so they can see for themselves. It's a very strange one! But then even simple ethernet connections won't work in this house (new router, ethernet doesn't work to one laptop but works to another, ethernet won't work to Xbox but works with Wifi, swapping cables/ports makes no difference and other devices work from the same ports/cables, was all working fine with the previous router which I unfortunately sent back, never seen anything like it!)
 

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