Windows Vista Business on HP notebooks--Sort of blue screens of death?

I’ve tried asking HP, but for some reason their chat lines won’t work for me, and I hate using the phone for computer troubleshooting because I don’t have a hands free apparatus, so I"m asking here.

And it’s in IMHO because I really am looking for experiences as well as any answers that might be included.


I’ve had this HP Pavilion dv6305us since February 07. It came with a half-gig of memory since upgraded to a full gig, and with the Vista Home Basic OS which I have upgraded to Vista Business, using an academically licensed copy provided by UCLA Extension.

Over the last month or so, there have been a handful of occasions when the screen just stopped working. Apparently, all other programs and processes were continuing to run, although unless there is an audio component, you can’t tell for sure when you can’t see the screen. But on more than one occasion I was either streaming radio or listening to music that I have on my drive, and those continued to play.

The screen isn’t the Blue Screen Of Death, but it doesn’t go completely dark. It just assumes a neutral background color, and will still respond to the brightness control. But it’s just blank, like the “green screens” they use in moviemaking, when they want to film live actors who will later be surrounded by CGI FX.

Has anyone had this? Is my notebook dying?

1: Go to the HP website and see if there are any driver updates.

2: Do an update an see if MS has any VISTA driver updates

3: Listen to the unit to make sure the fan is running

4: Remove the second RAM module, and see if the problem persists.

5: DL a freeware temp monitoring applet like mobile meter that will tell you the temp of your CPU.

Thanks for this, especially [5]. I wondered if there was a tool like that. Do you mean my machine may be overheating, and shutting down its display?

I had another HP issued by my last employer which actually caught fire, although that was a different model.

Does VISTA have a user customizable BSOD? You know where you get to pick the color?

::: Ducks and runs:::

By using Explorer instead of Firefox I was able to chat with HP. FTR I’ll post the steps they said to do:

Short version: Spectre, I recommend you perform BIOS Reset, BIOS Update and install Graphics driver in your notebook.

Long version (Elizabeth is the HP support analyst):
<b> Step 1: BIOS Reset


  1. Turn on the computer.
  2. At the HP Logo Press the F10 key.
  3. When the BIOS boots up, press F9 to set up defaults.
  4. Make sure the ‘Yes’ is highlighted and hit enter.
  5. Press F10 to save the changes.
  6. Make sure the ‘Yes’ is highlighted and hit enter.
  7. The computer should then shut down and reboot. This will reset the BIOS
    to its default settings.

Step 2: BIOS Update


Note: Please do not click on the above link. Select the above link from
“ftp” upto “exe”. Use Ctrl key and C key to Copy the link. Now open A new
internet explorer page and paste the link in address bar and hit enter.
Then it will prompt you to save or Run. Click on Save and Save the file on
the Desktop. Double click the file and follow the onscreen instructions to


Step 3: Graphics Driver nstallation

Please restart your notebook and press F8 to boot in safe mode.

In safe mode please open Device manager and uninstall Graphics driver.

And restart your notebook in normal mode and install the driver.
I’ll try this out and update the thread.

Wasn’t the black screen one of MS’s ways of telling you that you were using an unactivated / hookey copy of Windows?