The webpage of Stoyan Varlyakov

HP Probok 430 G1

by on Dec.03, 2014, under Windows

(if google or bing brought you here, scroll to the very bottom for a solution, I know what keywords you used 🙂 )

I recently purchased this laptop for my beloved life as a gift. I am not cheap when buying equipment, but as this will direcly be on the family budget, I needed do keep the WAF high (wife acceptance factor) by keeping the cost low.So if you are on the market for a 13.3 inch laptop which:

a) doesn’t weight a ton,

b) has VGA and HDMI output

c) mobile processor (not Atom)

d) non-gloss display

You end up buying the HP Probook 430. Specs wise it ticks all the right boxes, the little guy even has an extension port shared between the 3G UMTS card and mSATA. The 13.3 spots the usual 1368×768 resolution, but on a 13.3 that is the max you need for productivity and web surfing.

So I bought the Samsung 840 Evo SSD, installed win7 vanilla on it (licensed of course), tested the laptop with burn-in and was happy with how it behaves. Until we tried it on battery.

The laptop would randomly freeze and its display produced very strange image. If you have seen a VGA with broken sync buffer you will know what I mean. It just freezes.

And of course HP support was super helpful to tell me how this was a drivers problem, OS problem, my problem, everything else but the hardware. I didn’t buy that and went on the internet for “help”:

http://h30499.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-HP-ProBook-ZBook/hp-probook-430-g1-display-goes-blank-and-flashing/td-p/6428244#.VH7fncnET2A

It doesn’t take more than a few searches to see that more than one person is having such issues. But apparently different countries, different warranty budgets – mine wasn’t honored.

I tried the usual steps – firmware, drivers, clean boot, etc… but as one would expect, this did not help.

I checked the event log to find a multitude of EventID 37 source: kernel-power events right before the computer froze. But the Laptop did not overheat, CoreTemp was showing the right degrees, stress testing using HyperPi again did not show a direct dependency between the CPU load and the freezes. The suggestions to change the power plan to High Performance did the trick with the original i7 (Nehalem based), but nowadays the power regulators are on the CPU as well – I haven’t seen an improvement using the high power profile on a desktop machine…

Right before turning this rather good looking laptop to a pile of plastics, I tried the oldschool PC troubleshootingI applied the overclocker-style approach – go to BIOS and whatever looks suspicions – disable 🙂

 

(SOLUTION) In BIOS I ended up changing only 2 settings:

1) the memory for the display controller was set to 128 Mb fixed , changed to 512

2) disable the option to allow the CPU to dynamically change frequency (also known as Turbo)

In my case this was not big of a change since I only have a core i3 inside (non turbo CPU). On the graphics part – the machine has 8G RAM installed so assigning 0.5 for graphics isn’t much of a change. Subjectively the laptop runs much smoother now and most importantly – does not freeze anymore!

That is all HP should have said about this issue, but they did not. Hopefully this helps another one to save a few hours of head banging troubleshooting.


2 Comments for this entry

  • Charles

    I have the same issue. How did you get to the BIOS? When the machine boots its just black.

  • siv

    Actually removing the battery for a few minutes helps. But if yours is stuck on black screen, no BIOS, then you need warranty support. And HP has no right of denying such a fault as in your case.

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