06-25-2010 10:43 AM
I received my new HP 8540w Elitebook with Windows 7 (64-bit) and Advanced Docking station (NZ222AA#ABA). 16GB of RAM Model. Everything worked great.
However - I could not dock this machine in the docking station and power it on with the lid closed. If I did, then the machine would freeze at the 'Starting Windows' screen OR it will Bluescreen right after that screen completes. After discovering a work around of opening the lid just a crack(so my external monitors are used and not the laptop screen) and power up, things worked fine. But if I undocked it and then re-docked it and I forgot to open the lid just a little, the machine would freeze or blue screen when 'Starting Windows' animation started.
In the end, I discovered I was running the most recent nVidia graphics drivers (257). As a last ditch effort, I decided to install the nVidia graphics drivers listed on the HP Support site (version 189) and that seems to have corrected the issue. I am going to closely monitor it going forward. I have never heard of docking hardware not being forward compatible with newer drivers before. I assumed that the most recent drivers were always best. So this sounds like it is most definitely a BIOS issue which I hope gets corrected in a future release.
Hope this helps anyone else out there also struggling with this issue.
06-27-2010 03:52 PM
I'm sure this will be helpful for others.
Just a note, newer does not always mean better. Some issues may be resolved, but others can be created.
Long story short, if it's not broken, don't fix it :)
In the case of Video drivers, it is possible the newer driver was not cleanly installed, so you can try a driver-cleaner application, and re-retry, but otherwise it is possible it is a bug with the newer version.
Hope this helps.
06-29-2010 09:43 AM
Well I thought it was fixed. It happened again this morning. So this doesn't appear to be a video driver issue.
Anyone have any thoughts at all why this might be happening or of people can replicate this using the 8540w and the Advanced Docking station? This sure seems like something that could be due to a BIOS issue. I also don't know how I could not cleanly install the driver since this machine was brand new with a fresh image of our corporate Win 7 Enterprise 64 bit.
Any other thoughts or suggestions are appreciated.
06-29-2010 04:31 PM
Just to be sure, you're running BIOS F.08 or higher right ? (I say higher because I believe there is a newer version in the pipeline and not sure of your shipment date etc).
To your question of how a clean uninstall of a driver couldn't occur, you'll find that vendor installers/uninstallers can be far from perfect :(
I'd also note since it sounds like you're not using the factory install, make sure you have the Chipset drivers (intel) and the Matrix (intel) drivers all installed correctly as well.
07-09-2010 12:19 PM
I'm having the very same issue, same docking station with an 8440p. I tried it on 3 of these docking stations.
-Windows XP x32
-integrated intel graphics
I ran the online diagnostic and installed the suggested bios and driver updates, to no avail.
The computer will boot up fine in safe mode. Also there are no problems if it is docked then started from sleep mode.
07-09-2010 12:52 PM
Well I have gone through all the drivers that apply to me listed on the HP support site for Win 7 64 bit drivers. I have had the latest BIOS firmware installed from day one and this is still happening to me. Granted not as frequently as it had in the past, but about 1 and 5 startups will to this.
So I would hope that HP is taking a long hard look at this and working on a new BIOS rev. because I am almost sure that is where the problem lies. I mean their laptops don't even have an "Undock" option in their shutdown options. My old Dell D830 even had that and could dock and re-dock easier than this brand new HP.
07-09-2010 01:47 PM
I have 40 users with hp business notebooks (2730p, 6510p, 8510p, nc8230, nc6400) and docking stations, 5 of them being new elitebook 8440p and I'm having a problem with just this one. Although I have had to instruct them to shut the computer down or put it in sleep mode before taking off the dock because of other issues.
I have a couple of Dell users who have no problem docking/undocking with the computer running.
I'm no Dell fanboy...other then the docking issue I think that the HPs are a more reliable and durable computer.
07-13-2010 12:21 PM
Go to the BIOS > Port Options > turn off Serial Port and give that a try.
I found that solution in another thread and that has resolved the same problem on multiple 8440p's.
07-13-2010 02:44 PM
Thanks for the tip. Just tried that without any luck. As a matter of fact, I did this with the laptop undocked and rebooted. I then shut the computer down, docked it and powered it on. I got both a Lock up and after a reboot, a blue screen crash. On my third powering up, I finally got in without any changes to the system.
Very frustrating that such a nice and fast computer has such a hard time recognizing when it is undocked and when it is docked. I mean when it is working, it is a great laptop. It just makes it a little harder to be mobile.
07-15-2010 06:50 AM
This is getting out of control! I spent the better part of a half an hour getting my machine to successfully boot while it is docked. Booting while undocked works fine. As soon as I dock this machine I either get a freeze or a blue screen crash dump at the "Starting Windows" screen multiple times. I had to try this about 7 times this morning.
According to this thread, I am not the only one experiencing this.
Does ANYONE in the community or HP have any insight into this? I am starting to think I have purchased the wrong computer for work purposes.
My next step is to create videos of this stuff.
07-28-2010 08:45 AM - last edited on 07-28-2010 11:44 PM by Navya Sri
I have come to the realization that this machine is utter garbage. I am getting blue screens, freezes and lockups seceral times a day. I am seriously thinking that the hardware is completely faulty. I have reformatted several times. Installed all of the recommended drivers from HP. Made sure my BIOS is up to date. Everything!
Oh and I am thinking the docking station has nothing to do with it. This laptop does all of this stuff undocked with NO PERIPHERALS ATTACHED TO IT! It still refused to log in properly without a freeze at 'Starting Windows'. Now it has started developing a blue screen that when I log in and it attempts to display the desktop.
Nothing I do software wise seems to help this machine. So either my specific 8540w has faulty hardware on it or these machines in general are just poorly designed.
08-04-2010 12:20 AM
To note, we've now got a few of these systems, and not one is having this issue....
In fact, I played Starcraft 2 on this one (I'm typing on it now) for 2 hours non-stop (didn't survive, but my team won, woohoo).
You could run several diagnostic tests, but I'd just as well have HP start checking parts. In particular the GPU (mxm module) or RAM are suspect. If still no-go, revert to an HP OS image and see if it works, or just send it to HP to fix.
I'm still betting on the GPU or RAM.
08-04-2010 09:46 AM
Oh I agree. Don't get me wrong. Once the machine is up and running, it is a beast and runs everything great and my post was done in extreme frustration after not being able to boot the machine up due to blue screens all morning. (and lost a day of work BTW). The only way around it was to re-enter my BitLocker recovery key once I was back in the office. This doesn't correct the crashes but at least allows the machine to boot up and get logged in.
I have run several of the internal HP test on the Startup and the Memory and all seem to have passed. I read somewhere that the IDT Audio drivers were causing blue screens on some machines. So I uninstalled the IDT control panel and now I am just down to 1 Blue screen when I dock the machine and boot up at the beginning of the day. After that reboot, I am usually able to get logged in.
As for putting an HP image on this machine, I am unable to do so due to corporate policies. As it is at least usable now for work, I think I can manage for now, but the next step is definitely to get HP to look at the hardware.
08-10-2010 09:34 AM
In case anyone is following this thread, I just installed the newly released BIOS (F.0A)for this machine (even though it has a June release date, I didn't see until this week) and so far, things look pretty good. I usually get at least 1 to 2 startup crashes in the morning when I dock this machine or when I go home and use this undocked. After updated the BIOS yesterday, I fired it up at home and no crash. I docked it this morning at work and no crash.
I am very hopeful that HP got the kinks worked out for this machine and I can finally make this the portable workstation that I need.
08-10-2010 08:05 PM
The saga never ends.
Now this laptop will freeze whenever I am not on wall power. If I start this laptop on battery, it will start up and present 'Ctrl+Alt+Delete' to log in. When I do that, the system never presents me with a set of accounts that I can use to log in with. I can move my cursor around the screen but after 5 minutes, I am never presented with the logon screen. Have to press the power button for 3 seconds and hard power down the laptop.
If I start on wall power, it will start up and present me with Ctrl+Alt+Delete'. When I do that I can log in as normal using my normal credentials. Win7 starts up with no problems. If I unplug the AC adapter, the machine will will still operate for about 5 to 8 seconds and then the machine will lock up.
Have to press the power button for 3 seconds and hard power down the laptop.
It almost as if this laptop is having a REALLY hard time knowing if it is plugged in vs. wall power or docked vs. undocked.
This makes this machine not so portable as long as I am tethered to the wall in some way. Now that I can replicate this 100% of the time, I know how to avoid it but this is still not an ideal situation. Guess I'll use my old Dell if I want to be portable.
08-11-2010 11:05 AM
I posted a video of the freezing machine once it is unplugged:
From the looks of it, this also appears to affect other HP Laptops
Nothing else has changed on this machine hardware or software wise since moving from F.08 to F.0A. This behavior did not exist with F.08 but I had all of the other start up crashes listed earlier in this post. Those crashes and blue-screens seemed to have gone away. But now after moving to F.0A, I am unable to use this laptop if it is not plugged in.
08-13-2010 08:51 AM
I'm still leaning toward RAM or GPU...have you had the hardware tested thoroughly? (Not the quick tests, but numerous memtest86 passes and GPU benchmarks?)
I'd have the hardware checked out (assuming the OS and software is 100% identical to your working systems that is all that remains).
08-16-2010 12:18 PM
I am having the same problem with my 8540w. Win7 x64, M620 CPU, 4GB, 320GB, QuadroFX 880M. I don't have a dock, so that's not the issue. It started by locking up after I would wake it from sleep. It did the exact same thing - it would wake up and work fine for anywhere from 5 to 15 seconds, aaaand LOCK! This went on for a few days. Now, starting yesterday, I can only successfully boot up and log in maybe 1 out of 10 times. It gets to the login screen and seems ok until either 1) 5 to 15 seconds elapse, or 2) I try to login. Whichever of the two happens last is when it locks up.
I was at a restaurant running on battery power, so my first thought was "well, this is the first time I've tried to boot it on battery pwr. Maybe it has something to do with that. (Corrupted ACPI driver, something about the power management scheme, etc...)". So when I got home, I plugged into shore power and voila! It booted just fine. But that only worked once. After that, it locks up on either power source.
I've been limping along with safe mode for the time being. This is just nuts! I have the windows blue screen dump file and I'm in the process of sifting through it in my spare cycles. I've never gone through a dump before, but I'm a good c++ coder, so I can read the dump about as well as a Japanese person can read a Chinese book. I'll let you guys know if I find anything...
08-16-2010 04:47 PM
I think I figured it out. After combing through the dump file, it looks like the culprit is the Intel Matrix storage driver. The error is occurring after a call to the iastor.sys driver file. This driver is for your Intel chipset embedded storage controller. You most likeley have this driver installed. To check, go to Device Manager > IDE/ATA ATAPI controllers. If you see something in there like "Intel AHCI SATA something" (sorry, I didn't write it down), then you have this driver installed.
Right-click it > Uninstall > put a check in "Delete the driver software for this device" > OK.
You will have to reboot. After the reboot, it will probably make you reboot one more time. What this will do is force windows to use the generic drivers that were provided by Microsoft, instead of the flakey iastor.sys driver. This seems to have worked for me. I haven't experienced any lock-ups since then, and I am even able to wake it from Sleep without it locking up - which I've never been able to do. :)
Hope this helps. Good luck!
08-17-2010 09:43 AM
Thanks for the investigation on this D. I was very hopeful that this was the key. Unfortunately, it didn't take care of the "not being able to operate at all when not plugged in" problem.
I also performed a full memtest86 on this machine on all 16GB of memory that I have in this machine and it passed. So it isn't faulty memory units. I am working on getting a GPU test done. Anyone have any suggestions on a good GPU testing tool? (besides 3D Mark)?
08-19-2010 07:49 AM
Ok, after getting some counsel from some very sharp coworkers of mine, we think it might be an nvidia driver issue. Try this:
Control Panel > System and Security > Power Options > Change plan settings (for whatever plan you happen to be using) > Change advanced power settings > Display > NVIDIA Display Power Saving technology > set both "On battery" and "Plugged in" to Disabled.
The last "fix" I posted earlier about removing the Intel storage drivers turned out to be a dudd. It must've just been a fluke that the problem stopped for a short period. I really should've waited before posting that. Sorry. I recommend you put those drivers back if you removed them. But this has been working for me since yesterday. I've tested it A LOT and it really seems to have fixed it for me. I hope it works for you guys too!
Lemme know, and good luck!
08-19-2010 09:41 AM
Thanks again for your investigative skills (Thank your co-workers as well). I did un-install those drivers but after it froze after unplugging it again, I rebooted and re-installed the Intel matrix drivers again.
Within those settings, I don't appear to have a setting for 'NVidia Display Power Saving Technology' in the advanced power settings:
So I am not sure where to turn from here. I am running nVidia drivers with the nVidia control panel (ver 258.96) but don't have that setting. I wouldn't think I would need roll back my driver version to 198.05 as that is the version on the HP site but is not the most recent version on nVidia's site.
Thanks again for your assistance. Guess I am back to the drawing board and tweaking things here and there.
08-19-2010 11:58 AM
I would definitely try rolling back to the drivers on HP's website. It's possible that the feature is being implemented under the covers. With that said, I would also recommend completely wiping out your current nvidia drivers first, including the software (nView, nvidia Control Panel, etc) and then going with the driver package on HP's site. If it's on their site, that means they've done at least some amount of testing on it and they have to support any problems that may arise from it.
(Also note that the "NVIDIA Display Power Saving technology" setting doesn't show up in safe mode.)
Just something to try.
08-20-2010 08:38 AM
I have never used such finicky hardware before. When it comes to video cards(even on laptops) I have NEVER been forced to use the manufacturer's driver package before (for ATI or nVidia). When I buy a Sapphire Radeon card, I always use the latest drivers from ATI as opposed to the ones that Sapphire provides. I have never had a card complain yet alone crash or freeze my computer because it didn't have the Sapphire specific drivers for it.
But the 8540w seems to be that particular about the driver version it has. I am thinking that HP integrates some of their own code into the driver that gets released on their site that makes the card functional. Any other driver sets will will 'function' but could cause unforeseen issues like freezes, locks or crashes. Very strange.
So reverting back to 198 seems to have taken care of the running off of wall power issue. And for the record, the final fix for this issue was using the graphics driver from HP AND the BIOS upgrade that came out a week or two ago. Before that BIOS update, nothing I did prevented this machine from freezing and bluescreening on startup.
Thanks for your input Dames and hopefully I won't be back.
08-21-2010 06:24 PM
"I have never used such finicky hardware before. When it comes to video cards(even on laptops) I have NEVER been forced to use the manufacturer's driver package before (for ATI or nVidia). "
Really? For laptop video cards care to point to where Nvidia or Ati provided drivers in 2008 and 2009 for most laptop/notebook systems? As someone who was involved considerably in these discussions for the last 4 years, I can tell you that this is a very new concept. Linux was the only exception. Windows drivers for ATI mobility gpus (and M series) and for Nvidia 'Go'/'Mobile' series were never made available nor supported by ATI or Nvidia. Nvidia recently announced their 'Verde' program, and ATI announced their "Mobility Catalyst" program.
Prior to this, mobile drivers were only posted by Nvidia for ~5 manufacturers (ones you will -not- find in U.S.-based retail stores at that).
The concept is new and as you can read in the readme notes from both Nvidia and ATI, they note that it is likely you will encounter issues and they recommend you revert to the OEM-provided drivers. Specific features and registry settings are designed based upon various characteristics of the notebook/laptop manufacturers including power, thermal, and yes, even performance characteristics. Specific timing settings and color adjustments (as well as power adjustment for LVDS displays) are present in OEM-specific drivers but not in the recently available 'notebook reference drivers' available from these manufacturers.
The main reason for Nvidia Verde and ATI Mobility Catalyst is not to fix bugs on your notebook. It is to 1) support the video game communities and 2) support the professional workstation application segments.
Summary: Use the Nvidia/ATI drivers at your own risk. In many cases you will be happy, but they are *NOT* targeted to resolve bugs with OEM-supported drivers, and they may cause new issues which will require reverting to OEM drivers to resolve.
"I'm thinking that HP integrates some of their own code into the driver". They modify areas that ATI/Nvidia allow them to, but the core OpenGL and DirectX components are just as pure as ones supplied by ATI, Nvidia, and yes, even Intel. The other functional areas are mainly configuration parameters and feature settings which coincide with the Video-BIOS settings on these notebooks. This is standard in the Notebook industry, and not something that only HP/Compaq does.