4. Diagnosing HP Desktops

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The HP desktop motherboards are known for faulty capacitors. From models like the HP Brio to the Pavilion, there is always one type of capacitor that is faulty. The probability that a capacitor will fail is higher than with other elements. That's why it is mentioned in first place.


The hard drive on HP Desktops is placed in second place for problems. I am always following one rule when a desktop arrives and this is to diagnose computer problems by testing the hard drive and testing the RAM. Checking the hard drive health is quick using the GSmartControl. This takes about one minute. Hard drives have an internal data storage where all the health readings are stored. Some time ago there was no way to check it for a technician like you and me. After the GSmartControl was developed, it became much easier to check it. How GSmartControl works is described in a separate article.

Motherboard faults are in the third place for problems. Usually, they are related to capacitors and MOSFETs. CPU fault is very rare. All the PC system faults can be understood if we use probability. The law of probability states that if there is a high probability, then it will happen sooner. We can see this is true when we analyze faults that happen within a computer system.

In the third place for problems, we put the Power Supply Unit. HP desktops have the power supplies designed with the same principles as other brand desktops. The capacitor problem also exists here. And, the hard drive damage by faulty PSU exists here as well.

A memory fault is very rare on HP desktops. To test the memory on a HP desktop, we use traditional tools like Memtest. It also needs to be mentioned that if any of the desktop components are faulty, be it a hard drive or memory problem, then it is a good idea to check the power supply. The stabilized and clean voltages from the power supply unit are vital and if it something goes wrong, it is usually caused by power faults.

The CPU fault is also very rare on HP desktops. Sometimes, CPU faults are dangerous when they fail. And, when we use the faulty CPU in the new motherboard, this can damage the motherboard. To see if the CPU is good and not have a short circuit, I personally use a multimeter. I check the resistance on CPU’s with Vcore. This is the point on the induction on the pin nearest to the CPU.

Figure 1: The area where need to connect one multimeter probe is marked with a cross.

This is at the point where we need to measure. Usually on good CPU’s, the reading will be equal or more to 4. From 4 to about 14 (depending on model) is normal.

The reading here indicates that the CPU is still good. Anything less than this would be suspicious.

Figure 2: Resistance reading on the CPU Vcore. The CPU should be still OK.



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