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John Edward Scott
July 11th 03, 08:39 AM
Hi all,

Like many others I bought a compaq presario laptop 700 series (729EA) and
after a while I discovered it was prone to overheating (an understatement if
ever I heard one!). I trawled through the newsgroups and google applying
various patches etc, looking on the compaq website and applied the Softpaqs
it mentioned and the keyboard and mousepad updates that were suggested.

In short nothing really fixed the problem, the lockups seemed to happen
*slightly* less but then that could have just been my imagination. However
being the persistent (i.e. bone headed) person I am I dug around a bit
deeper, hopefully this might help some other people in the same
situation.....

I was "advised" by Compaq to twiddle with power settings (Control Panel ->
Power Options) and set them to Laptop, this made no different whatsoever,
however it got me thinking. Apparently the point of doing that is so the
Athlon chip inside these machines will run cooler, but it doesn't. The
machine heated up just as much, the fan was *constantly* on.

Anyway to cut a long story short, I found out that AMD chips use something
called PowerNow! to control the speed the chip is running at, and guess
what....if you install Windows 2000 or Windows XP, the PowerNow! software IS
NOT installed. That's right, you have a nice new OS but your chip also runs
flat out all the time, probably thinking its in a nice big Desktop case with
huge fan when really its in a dinky little laptop with a small pixie gently
blowing on it. The PowerNow! software/drivers should be installed at the
factory, but if you're anything like me you rarely stick with a factory
setup (in my case they'd managed to "lose" about 10Gig of disk space because
of the way they'd partitioned it), so you reinstall the OS in the way that
you like it.

I installed the PowerNow! software and using the PowerNow dashboard software
(also from AMD) I can see that my chip drops down from running at 1.3Ghz to
about 500Mhz (obviously it zooms back up to full speed when it needs it),
the end result is that the chip runs a LOT cooler. My fan noise is barely
noticeable now and I no longer have the equivalent of an F16 Afterburner
exhaust shooting out of the side of my laptop.....oh and not a single lockup
*yet* (not conclusive I know, but I could consistently get one or two
lockups a day before).

Hope this helps others in the same (infuriating) situation,

John.

Rob King
July 11th 03, 01:09 PM
"John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
...
> Hi all,
>
> Like many others I bought a compaq presario laptop 700 series (729EA) and
> after a while I discovered it was prone to overheating (an understatement
if
> ever I heard one!). I trawled through the newsgroups and google applying
> various patches etc, looking on the compaq website and applied the
Softpaqs
> it mentioned and the keyboard and mousepad updates that were suggested.
>
> In short nothing really fixed the problem, the lockups seemed to happen
> *slightly* less but then that could have just been my imagination. However
> being the persistent (i.e. bone headed) person I am I dug around a bit
> deeper, hopefully this might help some other people in the same
> situation.....
>
> I was "advised" by Compaq to twiddle with power settings (Control Panel ->
> Power Options) and set them to Laptop, this made no different whatsoever,
> however it got me thinking. Apparently the point of doing that is so the
> Athlon chip inside these machines will run cooler, but it doesn't. The
> machine heated up just as much, the fan was *constantly* on.
>
> Anyway to cut a long story short, I found out that AMD chips use something
> called PowerNow! to control the speed the chip is running at, and guess
> what....if you install Windows 2000 or Windows XP, the PowerNow! software
IS
> NOT installed. That's right, you have a nice new OS but your chip also
runs
> flat out all the time, probably thinking its in a nice big Desktop case
with
> huge fan when really its in a dinky little laptop with a small pixie
gently
> blowing on it. The PowerNow! software/drivers should be installed at the
> factory, but if you're anything like me you rarely stick with a factory
> setup (in my case they'd managed to "lose" about 10Gig of disk space
because
> of the way they'd partitioned it), so you reinstall the OS in the way that
> you like it.
>
> I installed the PowerNow! software and using the PowerNow dashboard
software
> (also from AMD) I can see that my chip drops down from running at 1.3Ghz
to
> about 500Mhz (obviously it zooms back up to full speed when it needs it),
> the end result is that the chip runs a LOT cooler. My fan noise is barely
> noticeable now and I no longer have the equivalent of an F16 Afterburner
> exhaust shooting out of the side of my laptop.....oh and not a single
lockup
> *yet* (not conclusive I know, but I could consistently get one or two
> lockups a day before).

Dude! That's a pretty big find. Well done! :-)

Maybe that's the fault with all these 700s..... the hardware is fine, it's
just the software image that's screwed on these machines?

Now, I just have to get my 700 back from the service centre so I can fix it
myself.

BTW, got a URL for the software?

John Edward Scott
July 11th 03, 07:21 PM
"Rob King" > wrote in message
...
>
> "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> ...
> > Hi all,
> >
<<SNIP>>

> Dude! That's a pretty big find. Well done! :-)
>
> Maybe that's the fault with all these 700s..... the hardware is fine, it's
> just the software image that's screwed on these machines?
>
> Now, I just have to get my 700 back from the service centre so I can fix
it
> myself.
>
> BTW, got a URL for the software?
>
>

Hi Rob,

Yeah hopefully it's going to be a big help, I'm on day 3 now without any
major lockups and the machine is DEFINITELY running a lot cooler. Ok, the
"official channels" say that to get the AMD PowerNow! stuff you're supposed
to go to AMD or the retailer (Compaq) to get it. Despite searching for AGES
on both of those sites I couldn't find it.

I have however managed to get it, so unless someone tells me otherwise I can
point you in the right direction. Remember of course that this is AMD's
software not mine, as far as I can tell it's not under any restrictions (I
looked and looked on AMD's site). Oh and I didn't have any problems
installing it, but remember BACKUP if you're in any doubts.

Feel free to get in touch if you need a hand, I'm very curious to see if
other people get the same results as me.

John.

John Edward Scott
July 11th 03, 11:24 PM
"Rob King" > wrote in message
...
>
> "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> ...
> >
> > "Rob King" > wrote in message
> > ...
> > >
> > > "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> > > ...
> > > > Hi all,
> > > >
> > <<SNIP>>
> >
> > > Dude! That's a pretty big find. Well done! :-)
> > >
> > > Maybe that's the fault with all these 700s..... the hardware is fine,
> it's
> > > just the software image that's screwed on these machines?
> > >
> > > Now, I just have to get my 700 back from the service centre so I can
fix
> > it
> > > myself.
> > >
> > > BTW, got a URL for the software?
> > >
> > >
> >
> > Hi Rob,
> >
> > Yeah hopefully it's going to be a big help, I'm on day 3 now without any
> > major lockups and the machine is DEFINITELY running a lot cooler. Ok,
the
> > "official channels" say that to get the AMD PowerNow! stuff you're
> supposed
> > to go to AMD or the retailer (Compaq) to get it. Despite searching for
> AGES
> > on both of those sites I couldn't find it.
> >
> > I have however managed to get it, so unless someone tells me otherwise I
> can
> > point you in the right direction. Remember of course that this is AMD's
> > software not mine, as far as I can tell it's not under any restrictions
(I
> > looked and looked on AMD's site). Oh and I didn't have any problems
> > installing it, but remember BACKUP if you're in any doubts.
> >
> > Feel free to get in touch if you need a hand, I'm very curious to see if
> > other people get the same results as me.
>
> I read on the AMD web site that you don't need the software in WinXP
beacuse
> it already includes it.
> I found this in the release notes at:
>
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/SellAMDProducts/0,,30_177_3472_1353^3841^9079^964^4396,00.html
>
>

Rob,

I've just checked and the software I have has installs for XP and for
Win2K/98/ME. The Win2K/98/ME is quite a large install (about 1.5 Mb), the XP
install looks like it just installs the AMDK7.SYS driver, which *should* be
installed by Windows Update, however it would be interesting to know how
many AMD/XP owners out there don't have this already installed.

John.

Rob King
July 12th 03, 01:58 AM
> > I read on the AMD web site that you don't need the software in WinXP
> beacuse
> > it already includes it.
> > I found this in the release notes at:
> >
>
http://www.amd.com/us-en/Processors/SellAMDProducts/0,,30_177_3472_1353^3841^9079^964^4396,00.html
> >
> >
>
> Interesting, are you running XP or 2000? (I'm using 2000 which definitely
> doesn't include it by default).

It's currently running the default install of XP Home but I'll be nuking the
drives and putting XP Pro on it instead when I get it back.

John Edward Scott
July 15th 03, 11:58 AM
"John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
...
> Hi all,
>
> Like many others I bought a compaq presario laptop 700 series (729EA) and
> after a while I discovered it was prone to overheating (an understatement
if
> ever I heard one!). I trawled through the newsgroups and google applying
> various patches etc, looking on the compaq website and applied the
Softpaqs
> it mentioned and the keyboard and mousepad updates that were suggested.
>
<<SNIP>>

Just as a follow-up to myself ....it's currently a hot summers day here (for
England anyway!) and my fan is running far less and quieter than it did in
mid-winter. The PowerNow software has DEFINITELY made a difference.

5 days without a crash now...and counting..

John.

Rob King
July 15th 03, 12:31 PM
"John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
...
>
> "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> ...
> > Hi all,
> >
> > Like many others I bought a compaq presario laptop 700 series (729EA)
and
> > after a while I discovered it was prone to overheating (an
understatement
> if
> > ever I heard one!). I trawled through the newsgroups and google applying
> > various patches etc, looking on the compaq website and applied the
> Softpaqs
> > it mentioned and the keyboard and mousepad updates that were suggested.
> >
> <<SNIP>>
>
> Just as a follow-up to myself ....it's currently a hot summers day here
(for
> England anyway!) and my fan is running far less and quieter than it did in
> mid-winter. The PowerNow software has DEFINITELY made a difference.
>
> 5 days without a crash now...and counting..

Well I wish the service people would hurry up and return mine so I can try
this....... apparently work has been authorised to fix it.

And I bet the dude never once looked at this newsgroup :-)

John Edward Scott
July 15th 03, 01:30 PM
"Rob King" > wrote in message
...
>
> "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> ...
> >
> > "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> > ...
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > Like many others I bought a compaq presario laptop 700 series (729EA)
> and
> > > after a while I discovered it was prone to overheating (an
> understatement
> > if
> > > ever I heard one!). I trawled through the newsgroups and google
applying
> > > various patches etc, looking on the compaq website and applied the
> > Softpaqs
> > > it mentioned and the keyboard and mousepad updates that were
suggested.
> > >
> > <<SNIP>>
> >
> > Just as a follow-up to myself ....it's currently a hot summers day here
> (for
> > England anyway!) and my fan is running far less and quieter than it did
in
> > mid-winter. The PowerNow software has DEFINITELY made a difference.
> >
> > 5 days without a crash now...and counting..
>
> Well I wish the service people would hurry up and return mine so I can try
> this....... apparently work has been authorised to fix it.
>
> And I bet the dude never once looked at this newsgroup :-)
>
>

Following my own experiences with Compaq...I don't even think they look at
their Intranet...let alone the Internet.

John.

Dillon Family
July 15th 03, 07:45 PM
Can the PowerNow software be installed on a machine with XP? I thought an
earlier post mentioned XP had it built in. I can't see it in control panel
or power settings.

My 710US is freeze-free for the moment (even with 384 MB of ram) and seems
to be cooler after running a Softpaq that had to do with updating the
controller (or something). But would like to know about the PowerNow thing.
Thanks and good luck.




> > >
> > > Just as a follow-up to myself ....it's currently a hot summers day
here
> > (for
> > > England anyway!) and my fan is running far less and quieter than it
did
> in
> > > mid-winter. The PowerNow software has DEFINITELY made a difference.
> > >
> > > 5 days without a crash now...and counting..
> >



---
Outgoing mail is certified pretty darn clean.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.488 / Virus Database: 287 - Release Date: 6/5/2003

Dillon Family
July 17th 03, 01:39 AM
I did a search on that amdk7.sys file, and I seem to have it in several
locations on my XP laptop, including in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS and
C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 as well as C:\I386 and some file folders
with long numerical strings. So, I guess I have the software (all the files
in question have the Date Modified as 8/29/2002. It just doesn't show up as
a separate function in the power section of Control Panel.

Thanks.


"John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
...
>
> "Dillon Family" > wrote in message
> ...
> > Can the PowerNow software be installed on a machine with XP? I thought
an
> > earlier post mentioned XP had it built in. I can't see it in control
> panel
> > or power settings.
> >
> > My 710US is freeze-free for the moment (even with 384 MB of ram) and
seems
> > to be cooler after running a Softpaq that had to do with updating the
> > controller (or something). But would like to know about the PowerNow
> thing.
> > Thanks and good luck.
> >
> >
> >
> <<SNIP>
>
> Hi Dillon,
>
> Yes the PowerNow has an install for XP, it's a LOT more minimal than the
> 2000/ME/98 install, infact looking at it all it installs is the AMDK7.SYS
> file, so you could just look to see if that's already installed on your
> machine.
>
> On Win2000, the PowerNow tab appears in Power Options (Start -> Control
> Panel -> Power Options), I assuming something similar will happen in XP if
> it's installed properly.
>
> John.
>
>


---
Outgoing mail is certified pretty darn clean.
Checked by AVG anti-virus system (http://www.grisoft.com).
Version: 6.0.488 / Virus Database: 287 - Release Date: 6/5/2003

John Edward Scott
July 17th 03, 08:52 AM
"Dillon Family" > wrote in message
...
> I did a search on that amdk7.sys file, and I seem to have it in several
> locations on my XP laptop, including in C:\WINDOWS\SYSTEM32\DRIVERS and
> C:\WINDOWS\ServicePackFiles\i386 as well as C:\I386 and some file folders
> with long numerical strings. So, I guess I have the software (all the
files
> in question have the Date Modified as 8/29/2002. It just doesn't show up
as
> a separate function in the power section of Control Panel.
>
> Thanks.
>
<<SNIP>>

Hi Dillon,

Hmmm, well from what I understand (and its been a *long slow* learning
process!) the Windows Update for XP should install that file for you,
although by the sounds of what you've described (i.e. nothing showing up in
Control Panel) it sounds like its downloaded it but not installed
it....although I may be wrong.

One think you could try....you could download the PowerNow Dashboard
application from the AMD website and see if it complains that PowerNow isn't
installed (I think when I first ran it something like "PowerNow is
available, but not installed" came up)....it's worth a try.

John.

Rob King
July 21st 03, 02:53 AM
"Rob King" > wrote in message
...
>
> "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> ...
> >
> > "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
> > ...
> > > Hi all,
> > >
> > > Like many others I bought a compaq presario laptop 700 series (729EA)
> and
> > > after a while I discovered it was prone to overheating (an
> understatement
> > if
> > > ever I heard one!). I trawled through the newsgroups and google
applying
> > > various patches etc, looking on the compaq website and applied the
> > Softpaqs
> > > it mentioned and the keyboard and mousepad updates that were
suggested.
> > >
> > <<SNIP>>
> >
> > Just as a follow-up to myself ....it's currently a hot summers day here
> (for
> > England anyway!) and my fan is running far less and quieter than it did
in
> > mid-winter. The PowerNow software has DEFINITELY made a difference.
> >
> > 5 days without a crash now...and counting..
>
> Well I wish the service people would hurry up and return mine so I can try
> this....... apparently work has been authorised to fix it.
>
> And I bet the dude never once looked at this newsgroup :-)

Actually I have finally got the notebook back and they did in fact do
something to it. They seem to have looked up the same support sites as me
(or got the info direct from Compaq) and done the old
new-heat-compound-paste on the cpu trick.

We got it home and fired it up. Things seemed to run quite happily until I
tried to do something really menial. Bam! Total lock up again.

So, I thought, bugger this, before I take it back AGAIN, I will nuke the
whole HDD and completely reinstall the OS from scratch. So, on wnet WinXP
Pro + SP1. I downloaded the PowerNow software and it showed the everything
running at maximum. I scrounged the MS site for that PowerNow CPU driver
and installed that (5.1.2600.1106 is the latest verion apparently).
PowerNow now shows everything at minimum with occasional spikes up to the
max when under load. I'm assuming this is how PowerNow works?

Anyway, haven't had a lockup since the reinstall. I've also avoided
installing any of the Compaq software as WinXP drives it all anyway and I
don't much care for the easy access stuff.

Martian
July 22nd 03, 04:42 AM
"John Edward Scott" > wrote in message

> ...the PowerNow software seems to run the CPU at minimum speed/temp until
> you do anything *demanding* and then it cranks up the CPU speed. Which means
> if you run loads of stuff thats very CPU intensive you might still get the
> lockup problems since the CPU will be running at max speed anyway, but for
> the majority of people it should at least give the CPU a chance to cool down
> when its sitting doing nothing.
>
> I've made sure that I now only run the software I need to (stopped
> unecessary services etc), I've also disabled my previous OpenGL screensaver
> and gone for a simpler one just that the CPU isn't sitting burning away
> while I'm not in the room.

What annoys me is that for almost 5 months, I had no problems, even
with additional RAM and running a CD with other applications
simultaneously. After the new main board was installed (because of a
power problem), it was running like molasses and seemed to worsen
after I burned some CDs using the Roxio that came with it.

The phone rep had me re-run the Softpaq that reflashes the BIOS and
handles heat, so I did that, but it kept crashing. I pulled out the
RAM upgrade, set all the performance settings to the defaults (it
never worked right before the RAM upgrade with the default settings,
but I decided to try it anyway).

Then I visited the Windows Download Center and manually downloaded all
the recommended upgrades and installed them except the Jet 7 (the
downloads had failed even when done one-by-one from the Windows Update
page). People had been warning me about DirectX 9.0a, the Windows
Messenger upgrade, and the Media Player 9, so I did set another
restore point before downloading them. After the downloads, I
installed each and rebooted even if it didn't say I had to.
Amazingly, the machine has now been up without a crash for 7 hours!!!
It does want the Messenger to run all the time now, but that's a small
price to pay for having the use of it!

Although the RAM never seemed to be an issue, I think I'll leave it
out to be safe. There is clearly something unexplainable going on.
It still has the msconfig set not to load services except for my virus
checker and personal firewall, and I don't think this should be
required, but I just want the thing to run at this point. I'll
continue my burn-in tomorrow by taking it with me and using it on the
road to see how it does.

--Jane

John Edward Scott
July 22nd 03, 01:31 PM
"Martian" > wrote in message
om...
> "John Edward Scott" > wrote in message
>
> > ...the PowerNow software seems to run the CPU at minimum speed/temp
until
> > you do anything *demanding* and then it cranks up the CPU speed. Which
means
> > if you run loads of stuff thats very CPU intensive you might still get
the
> > lockup problems since the CPU will be running at max speed anyway, but
for
> > the majority of people it should at least give the CPU a chance to cool
down
> > when its sitting doing nothing.
> >
> > I've made sure that I now only run the software I need to (stopped
> > unecessary services etc), I've also disabled my previous OpenGL
screensaver
> > and gone for a simpler one just that the CPU isn't sitting burning away
> > while I'm not in the room.
>
> What annoys me is that for almost 5 months, I had no problems, even
> with additional RAM and running a CD with other applications
> simultaneously. After the new main board was installed (because of a
> power problem), it was running like molasses and seemed to worsen
> after I burned some CDs using the Roxio that came with it.
>
> The phone rep had me re-run the Softpaq that reflashes the BIOS and
> handles heat, so I did that, but it kept crashing. I pulled out the
> RAM upgrade, set all the performance settings to the defaults (it
> never worked right before the RAM upgrade with the default settings,
> but I decided to try it anyway).
>
> Then I visited the Windows Download Center and manually downloaded all
> the recommended upgrades and installed them except the Jet 7 (the
> downloads had failed even when done one-by-one from the Windows Update
> page). People had been warning me about DirectX 9.0a, the Windows
> Messenger upgrade, and the Media Player 9, so I did set another
> restore point before downloading them. After the downloads, I
> installed each and rebooted even if it didn't say I had to.
> Amazingly, the machine has now been up without a crash for 7 hours!!!
> It does want the Messenger to run all the time now, but that's a small
> price to pay for having the use of it!
>
> Although the RAM never seemed to be an issue, I think I'll leave it
> out to be safe. There is clearly something unexplainable going on.
> It still has the msconfig set not to load services except for my virus
> checker and personal firewall, and I don't think this should be
> required, but I just want the thing to run at this point. I'll
> continue my burn-in tomorrow by taking it with me and using it on the
> road to see how it does.
>
> --Jane

I'm still not *convinced* that the problem is due to one thing on my machine
(Presario 729EA), the PowerNow software
has definitely cut the crashes and overheats down by a HUGE factor. I still
have my suspicions though that something is not quite right
with the graphics driver or the mousepad/touchpad. Since my lockups always
seemed to happen just as I suddenly moved the mouse.

I installed all the patches etc that Compaq advised, plus the Microsoft
ones. I'm currently running the latest driver for my graphics card
so if there's a problem with that then I'm stuck. But as I said, I'm just
happy that the machine isn't overheating every 30 minutes now like it
used to.....one step at a time!

John.

Rob King
July 23rd 03, 03:20 AM
> I'm still not *convinced* that the problem is due to one thing on my
machine
> (Presario 729EA), the PowerNow software
> has definitely cut the crashes and overheats down by a HUGE factor. I
still
> have my suspicions though that something is not quite right
> with the graphics driver or the mousepad/touchpad. Since my lockups always
> seemed to happen just as I suddenly moved the mouse.
>
> I installed all the patches etc that Compaq advised, plus the Microsoft
> ones. I'm currently running the latest driver for my graphics card
> so if there's a problem with that then I'm stuck. But as I said, I'm just
> happy that the machine isn't overheating every 30 minutes now like it
> used to.....one step at a time!

Funny you should say that, as I noticed most lock ups occurred when doing a
trackpad movement. When I reinstalled the notebook from scratch I made the
point of not installing any extraneous drivers for the touchpad, sound and
access keys. Haven't had a lockup yet and it runs at a decent temp now.

Perhaps you want to reformat your HDD and install just the OS from scratch?

Martian
July 23rd 03, 06:31 AM
"Rob King" > wrote in message >...
> > I'm just
> > happy that the machine isn't overheating every 30 minutes now like it
> > used to.....one step at a time!
>
> Funny you should say that, as I noticed most lock ups occurred when doing a
> trackpad movement. When I reinstalled the notebook from scratch I made the
> point of not installing any extraneous drivers for the touchpad, sound and
> access keys. Haven't had a lockup yet and it runs at a decent temp now.
>
> Perhaps you want to reformat your HDD and install just the OS from scratch?

I had put a clean load on, so I'm not sure that will help. Also, mine
has been crashing not only after mouse movement, but also when I'm
doing absolutely nothing, typing email, or just playing a music CD.

I've been very careful to keep the intake and blower vents clear and
I've tried to keep it as near the air conditioning as possible, since
it's hot weather here now (this never seemed to bother my old Compaq
laptops, though). I haven't put the RAM back in (although it was
problematic before the RAM, which was why I was so adamant about
reinstalling it). So far, so good. I am absolutely paranoid about
trying to put the RAM back in.

I asked Compaq about PowerNow, and it is supposedly operational. It
does slow down the processor depending on need when I don't set the
power setting to home/desktop.

I wouldn't feel safe playing a game on it, although after I get my
dissertation finalized, I plan to put it through its paces while it's
still under warranty!

--Jane