Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Proud of my Wife! The Secret Geek...

Well, I'm more than a few miles from home on a business trip, and she calls to say the computer is slowly crashing (BSOD, reboot and lives for a few minutes, then BSOD).

HP Iq504 with 4GB RAM. Hit F9 on boot, and you get a hardware analysis program that loads outside of Windows. Good.

She runs it and says the memory is bad. Not Good. to the rescue! 2x2GB sticks of ram for $40, and it arrives in four days.

I send her the video and instruction link on the HP website. Basically, with the computer face down on a soft cloth, lift the stand straight up, lock with sliding tab, and unscrew back panel. Release memory chip clips, remove, and reverse for installation. She breezes right through the replacement without any glitches... until.

Until the darned computer stand locking latch won't unlock. She tries for 20 minutes, calls HP, no luck. They tell her to take it to Best Buy... they try, no luck. The latch WON'T BUDGE.

A neighbor finally succeeds in completely disassembling the stand/latch mechanism and there is a HUGE spring in there that is so big the little plastic tab on the latch has no way to push against the spring. He had to use huge pliers (with safety glasses on!) to get the spring to retract enough to unlatch the stand.

Well, all is good. But HP better come up with a better latch, or at least a better way for consumers to trouble shoot this item. Come on... it's just a stand. How hi-tech does it have to be to reliably lock into place?

But, I'm proud of her!

Geek out,

PS: A shout out to Ed Rice who had volunteered to help her with the memory replacement!

Note on "F" keys at boot for many recent HP laptop/IQ computers: (HP Computers after late 2008)

(F1) System Information
(F2) System Diagnostics
(F7) HP SpareKey
(F8) Window$ boot option
(F9) Boot Device Options
(F10) BIOS Setup
(F11) System Recovery for Consumer Notebooks
(F12) Network Boot

WALL-MOUNTING an IQ touch computer:
Hardware Geeks forum post has the free user's manuals and supplemental manuals for troubleshooting performance problems, recovery, etc., if you've lost the originals.