Restoring the HP TouchSmart IQ524 - A Quick Photo Summary

  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
  • warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/buckman/public_html/neo/modules/advanced_forum/advanced_forum.module on line 492.
Bill Loguidice's picture

Well, my wife and I have been jinxed these past few weeks, with various expensive house repair issues and an as-always bad timing computer disaster. This time, it was my relatively new HP TouchSmart IQ524 and its 500GB hard drive. Apparently the extraordinary issues I was having with creating Armchair Arcade TV Episode 1 - Route 16, was not entirely software or inherently system limitation related. By this past Thursday, my system's hard drive died, as in no longer bootable and no longer even data accessible, which makes some of the performance issues leading up to the complete failure explainable. Ironically, an MXM (laptop specific slot, which is what my all-in-one desktop PC has on its motherboard) video card that I had ordered from China just came in as well after a month long wait. My only option then was to run out to the store (an Office Depot by my work in this case) and plunk down the $85+ for a new 500GB 7200RPM Seagate Barracuda hard drive (I could have spent more for a 1.5TB HD - the only other option there - but it would have had less performance and I really don't need the extra space at this point). Since the original hard drive was no longer accessible, my only recourse was to restore from a hard drive clone from the middle of December. Luckily, as was the case with the last computer disaster with the Gateway, most of my important data was either in the cloud or on a flash drive, so once I went through the entirely too long process of getting the clone data off of my network server onto a USB drive so the amazing Acronis True Image 11 could work its restoration magic, it was a relatively easy process to get back to 100%. Unfortunately, this process took from late Friday until this morning (Sunday), so, of course, this put my already packed schedule behind schedule, including getting a script revision over to Matt Barton, studying for an "exam", and getting the second episode of Armchair Arcade TV produced. Such is life. What follows are photos of the take-apart-and-put-back-together process with my HP TouchSmart, along with some light commentary, including how the video card purchase seems to have been an ill-advised one:

As you no doubt know, the HP TouchSmart is an all-in-one PC, so it's not as easy process to get at everything:
IMG_3908

You've got to place it face down on a towel to get at the screws in the back:
IMG_3907

You essentially move the stand to a 90 degree position, remove the screws on that, then remove the memory card cover (you also have to remove the DVD drive cover and the USB wireless dongle):
IMG_3893

You have to undo the master screw on both the optical drive and the hard drive to get at the hard drive:
IMG_3894

To get at the motherboard you have to remove a lot of shielding screws (note how easy it is to access the memory chips - replacing RAM and the hard drive are pretty easy for such a system; once RAM prices drop again, I'll probably go to 8GB):
IMG_3895

Now the motherboard shielding is removed. Note the old hard drive is also gone. The MXM video card slot is in the upper right of the motherboard.
IMG_3896

What you see there is the OEM MXM video card. Those little stickers need to be applied to the chips for heat dissipation.
IMG_3897

The stickers are applied:
IMG_3899

I plugged the card in:
IMG_3900

The supplied screws didn't fit in the HP's slots to secure the video card and the ones that I tried BROKE OFF in the holes, so I just used some electrical tape to provide additional support.
IMG_3901

I put the shielding back and the new hard drive in.
IMG_3902

Everything was reassembled. Unfortunately.
IMG_3907

I powered on the system and I got a blank screen and a series of slow beeps. Crap. It turns out that I probably have to disable the onboard video to make the MXM card work. Unfortunately, there are no accessible settings in the BIOS and no jumpers to set on the motherboard. I have a question on the HP support forums, but it's unlikely there's anything I can do (other than resell the card on eBay at a loss).

So I had to go through the painful process of taking it apart again and removing the card, then reassembling it.

IMG_3909
IMG_3910

Luckily on the second reassembly (and being sure to test it before sealing up the case), I had a working system, albeit with the same old specs. Then began the multi-day restoration process to the new hard drive and now this blog post.

Remember to always have up-to-date hard drive clones and get as much critical data into other backed up places as possible!

Comments

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Selling the MXM video card

I'm selling the MXM video card mentioned in the blog post above, here: http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=200429746002&ssPageNa...

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

n/a
Mark Vergeer
Mark Vergeer's picture
Offline
Joined: 01/16/2006
wow - excellent photo-reportage !

Hey that HP Touchsmart is actually quite a smart machine and not too touch to get in! Excellent photos!
These brand-machines albeit Acer or HP are known for their 'incompatibility' when it comes to upgrading. Stuff that physically and electronically fits just would not work. Like you with your videocard upgrade I had a similar experience trying to upgrade my Acer 3810 desktop - the manual states it supports higher spec CPUs up to 3.0Ghz but when I tried popping in a 2.8Ghz one I got zilch.

Turned out I needed a BIOS update, but updating that just was not possible. I guess they wanted to make the system so monkey proof that updating the BIOS just didn't work with the provided Windows APP. Another option is to update the BIOS from DOS but since the machine has no floppy drive I am not able to boot into DOS any easy way.

I think I may have a E8300 CPU Core2Duo that is gathering dust......a self built machine with Gigabyt, Asus, Elitegroup or other mainstream motherboard would have accepted the CPU without any problems.

Perhaps the fact that the system uses a special Touch screen - and probably proprietary bios supporting the touch screen including the built in graphics card. And if you did manage to get the extra graphics card working it probably will have not worked properly with the touch stuff....

Sometimes you're better off building your own systems, especially when you want to upgrade.... My system also was very particular about the graphicscards I tried when I wanted to upgrade from the 8400 Nvidia PCIe graphics card. Arrghh....

PS3: MarkVergeer | Xbox 360: Lactobacillus P | Wii: 8151 3435 8469 3138
Armchair arcade Editor | Pixellator | www.markvergeer.nl

n/a
Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
BIOS
Mark Vergeer wrote:

Turned out I needed a BIOS update, but updating that just was not possible. I guess they wanted to make the system so monkey proof that updating the BIOS just didn't work with the provided Windows APP. Another option is to update the BIOS from DOS but since the machine has no floppy drive I am not able to boot into DOS any easy way.

It seems that is pretty much the issue here, a BIOS lock down. What's funny is that you can disable the onboard audio, but there's no way to put a new audio card in! There's a place for a video card, but no way to disable the onboard video to resolve the conflict. Go figure!

I think I may have a E8300 CPU Core2Duo that is gathering dust......a self built machine with Gigabyt, Asus, Elitegroup or other mainstream motherboard would have accepted the CPU without any problems.

Mark Vergeer wrote:

Perhaps the fact that the system uses a special Touch screen - and probably proprietary bios supporting the touch screen including the built in graphics card. And if you did manage to get the extra graphics card working it probably will have not worked properly with the touch stuff....

Actually, I checked that out. The touch screen is indeed independent and not in conflict with anything else. You can even see the connector/connection for the touch screen on the motherboard near the upper right if you look at the full size photos. It seems to be purely BIOS-related.

Mark Vergeer wrote:

Sometimes you're better off building your own systems, especially when you want to upgrade.... My system also was very particular about the graphicscards I tried when I wanted to upgrade from the 8400 Nvidia PCIe graphics card. Arrghh....

Either that or just bite the aesthetics bullet and get a tower. There were a combination of factors that led me to get this particular system and I didn't think I'd mind the onboard video, but I do. I should have figured a way around my monetary restrictions at the time, but I was definitely in a time crunch as was well documented. With all that said, I actually really like this system and if there was a way to self-upgrade to a real video card, I would have near zero regrets.

As I get a chance to finish off Episode 2 this week, I'll be curious how well Premiere performs. I could still be disappointed, but I'm hoping that a majority of the issues I had were related to a dying hard drive.

Books!
Bill Loguidice, Managing Director | Armchair Arcade, Inc.
[About Me]

n/a
Rose (not verified)
I NEED HELP TO RESTORE AN HP TOUCHSMART FROM THE RECOVERY DISCS

HI MY SISTERS HP TOUCHSMART CRASHED AND NOW WE ARE TRYING TO RESTORE IT FROM THE RECOVERY DISC THAT CAME WITH THE COMPUTER CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW TO START THE WHOLE RECOVERY PROCESS AND IF I HAVE TO PRESS ANY KEYS AFTER I ENSTORE THE FIRST DISC IF SO WHAT KEY DO I PRESS. ALSO SHE HAS TRYED TO DO IT ON HER OWN BUT THE COMPUTER DOES NOT TELL HER WHEN TO INSTALL THE SECOND DISC SO HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME TO INSTALL DISC 2, 3, AND 4 . PLEASE HELP YES 4 DISC TO RESTORE AND I AM TRYING TO HELP HER PLEASE IF ANY ONE CAN HELP ME I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT ALOT.

ROSE

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
First step, disc in, second step, reboot
Rose wrote:

HI MY SISTERS HP TOUCHSMART CRASHED AND NOW WE ARE TRYING TO RESTORE IT FROM THE RECOVERY DISC THAT CAME WITH THE COMPUTER CAN ANYONE TELL ME HOW TO START THE WHOLE RECOVERY PROCESS AND IF I HAVE TO PRESS ANY KEYS AFTER I ENSTORE THE FIRST DISC IF SO WHAT KEY DO I PRESS. ALSO SHE HAS TRYED TO DO IT ON HER OWN BUT THE COMPUTER DOES NOT TELL HER WHEN TO INSTALL THE SECOND DISC SO HOW DO WE KNOW WHEN IT IS TIME TO INSTALL DISC 2, 3, AND 4 . PLEASE HELP YES 4 DISC TO RESTORE AND I AM TRYING TO HELP HER PLEASE IF ANY ONE CAN HELP ME I WOULD GREATLY APPRECIATE IT ALOT.

ROSE

You should just put the first disc in and boot the computer. After that, simply follow the instructions. I haven't tried it myself, so I can't help you beyond that, but you should be able to get help from HP support if that doesn't work. Good luck.

n/a
diana (not verified)
recovery disc

i have been looking for the recovery disc to recover my hp by any chance do you still have yours apparently hp no longer has them!!! they told me to get a copy from someone with the same computer and same model

Bill Loguidice
Bill Loguidice's picture
Offline
Joined: 12/31/1969
Recovery disc

diana wrote:
i have been looking for the recovery disc to recover my hp by any chance do you still have yours apparently hp no longer has them!!! they told me to get a copy from someone with the same computer and same model

I'm sorry, I don't have access to it anymore. I recommend asking on the HP forums.

n/a

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.