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Old 04. Aug 2013, 09:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Question Suggestions to fix an unbootable laptop

My sister has an HP Pavilion dv6605us laptop with Vista Home Premium 64-bit. It was taking over 3 minutes to boot. Most likely it was infected and had spyware and/or a lot of unnecessary startup entries. My nephew and niece (her children) "learned" this laptop at one time. They aren't very savvy about the dangers, so it's quite likely the reason why it's so messed up.

My brother tried to fix it. From all I gather, here's what he did:
  • Applied all Windows updates, (My sis hadn't updated it in a long time).
  • Uninstalled whatever resident AV was on it and installed AVG free.
  • Ran a full AV scan and allowed AVG to delete whatever it found. I don't know what AVG found, but I believe there were about 5 remaining files which AVG failed to delete. Either 2 or 3 of these files had something to do with synaptics.
  • Installed Wise, ran a registry scan, and deleted whatever entries it found.
Result? Laptop is unbootable now!

I warned him not to delete anything just so, especially registry entries, but he didn't listen. He didn't take any notes either, although I advise him to. Up to when he deleted the registry entries, the laptop still booted. In fact, it always booted even if it was slow. There's no sense harping now because the damage is already done. What I want is a solution.

As it is, when I try to power on the laptop, it just boots into a screen with the words HP Invent on a black background. At the bottom of the screen there's a description of which keys to use to navigate in the BIOS. Pressing any of these keys do nothing. So basically, it's hung in the BIOS with no way to navigate.

Things I've tried:
  • Powering on and tapping F8 to try to get into the BIOS - No dice.
  • Connecting an HP keyboard via the USB port and hoping it would be recognized while powering on - No dice.
  • Inserting a Parted Magic bootable CD and powering on - No dice.
No matter what I try the laptop boots into the black screen described above with the same result.

AFAIK, synaptics has to do with drivers for input devices like keyboard and mouse. I don't think AVG deleted those drivers, but it's possible the registry entries which Wise found were connected with those drivers. I can't be sure because I wasn't there when they were deleted, and there are no records (at least that I can access).

I've spent hours searching for a solution. I understand that on some desktops there's a switch or jumper on the motherboard which will "toggle" the BIOS On an Off. However, I don't think any such switch or jumper exists on laptops. The last hope I've read about involves disassembling the laptop and removing and replacing a CMOS battery on the motherboard. Can anyone with the experience tell me if there's a chance this will work?
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Old 04. Aug 2013, 11:23 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Sorry to know about the trouble on your sister's laptop, Joe.

It's a good example to show though, that how registry cleaner can be real dangerous. It can easily make a system unbootable. Because of the aggressive advertisement of registry cleaners, and their glorification, people think that registry cleaning is THE solution to everything. If they are aware of registry cleaners, first thing they will do is run it, like it's magically going to turn everything right.

Anyways, the damage has been done.

Yes, you are right, the Synaptics driver are for the input devices.. in case of laptop, for the touchpad.

I found some threads while searching on Google with search "stuck on HP invent screen", and found that removing any external USB devices can make the laptop boot properly... beyond the HP Invent screen. You can try that.

You can read here:

http://forum.notebookreview.com/hp-c...ml#post5322511

I have linked to the relevant post, but you can read the whole thread.

Another is this:

http://www.geekstogo.com/forum/topic...d-doesnt-work/

Also make sure you know the right key to get into the BIOS. Seems like it might be F10 for HP laptops. You can look on HP support too, to confirm, or consult the manual.

Once it's able to boot up, go into BIOS, etc.. then only it will be clear if laptop is able to boot properly or not... or gets stuck somewhere else.
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 12:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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HP support is usually a good place to start when you have problems. As Anupam says, the service manual and the setup guide confirm that F10 is used to access the BIOS setup utility.
HP Pavilion dv6605us Entertainment Notebook PC support
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 01:10 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I knew from the many warnings on Gizmo's how dangerous registry cleaners can be and what little benefit they provide. MC always said he's seen more computers rendered unbootable by fooling around with the registry than by any malware infection. However, all that is after the fact now.

Thanks for trying to help and providing the links. I tried the suggestion in the first link because there was a transceiver for a wireless mouse plugged into one of the USB ports - nothing else. However, removing it and holding the power button for 30 seconds just causes the laptop to power down again without even showing the HP Invent screen. Next, rather than hold the power for 30 seconds I tried releasing the button as soon as all the lights lit up, but it just boots into the same stuck screen.

You are right about F10. I don't know where I got the info about F8, lol. OK, so I tapped F10 while powering up, but the HP Invent screen now comes up with "Please wait..." at the bottom. Waiting for 10 minutes doesn't do anything.

I agree the first step is to try to boot into a working BIOS, and one I can navigate in as well, but I just can't. I feel I'll really have to open the computer and remove the CMOS. I've never done that sort of thing so I'll have to research it first to reduce the risk of compounding the issue with some sort of physical damage. As soon as I try it I'll report back. In the meantime I'm all ears still.

P.S. Thanks for the link Remah. I'll have to read up and see what they have. You're right about checking HP. I guess I was just haring off in other directions without thinking.
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 02:26 AM   #5 (permalink)
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It's not hard to remove the batttery and clear CMOS so I doubt that you'll damage anything. This is from the maintenance and service guide:

1. Shut down the computer. If you are unsure whether the computer is off or in Hibernation, turn the computer on, and then shut it down through the operating system.
2. Disconnect all external devices connected to the computer.
3. Disconnect the power from the computer by first unplugging the power cord from the AC outlet and then unplugging the AC adapter from the computer.
4. Remove the battery (see Battery on page 46).
5. Remove the memory/WLAN module compartment cover (see Memory module on page 53).
Remove the RTC battery:
1. Disconnect the RTC battery cable (1) from the system board.
2. Remove the RTC battery (2).
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 02:32 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I should have said that the battery, which is a black? plastic coated disc, is attached through a small white? 2-prong connector.
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 02:46 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Remah, thanks for the service guide. I was browsing HP's site and saw 2 procedures which I think I'll try first. The 1st is to perform a hard reset, and the 2nd is to restore the BIOS. Both of these appear easier to try first, and I'm hoping one of them leads to success. I'll probably try tomorrow since it's too late now.
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 12:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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You should try the hard reset first... and maybe the clear CMOS procedure, if hard reset does not work.

I wouldn't go for BIOS restore now... because it seems strange to me that a registry cleaning would cause such issues. System files delete, and/or registry cleaning will most likely cause an operating system issue, but this startup issues are strange.

I don't own an HP laptop, so can't say, but since HP Invent screen is being shown, it may mean that BIOS is OK? Strange that the laptop won't enter even the BIOS.

You should try BIOS restore as last resort, if nothing works.

It might be a good idea to post on another forum, like www.techguy.org, or, www.tomshardware.com, where really experienced people can suggest possible solutions... if you do not get a possible solution here on this forum.
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 12:25 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you decide to open the laptop, search on YouTube for model number of your laptop, in case they have a video on how to open the laptop. There are high chances that you will get some videos, which really make the task easy.

You can also search on Google for opening the laptop of your model, and you may come across step by step procedure, in case you do not find any videos.

Also make sure you have the right tools to open the laptop. You can get the screwdriver kit, with multiple heads, which can open laptop screws too, in case you do not have one. Such things are quite handy.
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Old 05. Aug 2013, 01:29 PM   #10 (permalink)
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All very good advice. Yes, I had it in mind to proceed the same way generally.

I agree it's strange how it hangs on the HP Invent screen. I also agree that even with all the tampering it shouldn't affect the BIOS or the ability to get into it, but then again that's only from my noob perspective. To an experienced computer repair person it may not sound strange at all.

Anupam, normally I won't even think of interfering with the BIOS, but this issue seems to be connected with it. Also, the restore procedure seems straightforward because it just restores from a save file in the HDD.

The service manual Remah linked seems pretty detailed with pictures. It's also from an official source, but I do take your suggestion to check YouTube and google too, before I proceed.

I do have a huge collection of tools, although not specifically for electronics. I think I should be okay there. If not, I'll just buy whatever tools I need.

Yes, I've thought too of posting on these other forums, but I'd like to try to help myself before taking things to the next level. If I still can't fix it I'll post on them.
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