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HP Supportability Tools in HP Help and Support

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This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.

What are the HP Supportability Tools?

The HP Supportability Tools are available on every HP computer with Windows Vista and gives you access to a suite of supportability tools. The HP supportability tools are a collection of local diagnostic and repair programs that help you use your computer more effectively.
The latest version of the HP Supportability tools (HP Help and Support and the Active Support Library), can be found on http://www.hp.com/go/helpandsupport/
The HP Help and Support system launches the following HP support applications:

Using HP Help and Support

HP Help and Support is an extension of the Microsoft Help and Support system for Windows Vista. Its primary goals are to help you find information that allows you to solve common problems, learn about your computer, and use your computer more effectively. Launching HP Help and Support guides you to four types of available documents:
  • HP Help and Support content - Documents provided by HP that provide information about HP-specific software applications and tools, and offer basic guidance for using Windows Vista. Some documents provide high level overviews, and others provide task-based walkthroughs to help you resolve common problems.
    The easiest way to find HP Help and Support documents is to search for them using keywords that reflect your concerns. A search displays a list of results, including both HP and Microsoft documents that address the topic.
  • Learning Centers - Learning Centers provide information on a variety of topics to help you learn more about your HP computer. For example, you can use the learning centers to learn more about topics such as Power and Battery, Home Networking, and Performance and Maintenance.
  • User's Guides - These User's Guides contain information that is specific to your exact computer model, including where various buttons and ports are located.
  • Microsoft support content - These are support documents from Microsoft that provide information about the Windows Vista operating system and Microsoft software.
To open HP Help and Support, click Start and then Help and Support .
Figure 1: HP Help & Support Home Page
The search field at the top of the screen allows you to search both Microsoft's and HP's entire help library to get answers to questions and help with problems.
The Help and Support home page also provides access to:
  • support applications, such as the HP System Information tool
  • documents, such as the Learning Centers and User Guides
  • guidance for using tools, such as Troubleshooting Tools and Backup and Recovery
  • software, drivers, and BIOS updates

Using HP Health Check

HP Health Check scans your computer, alerts you to potential conditions, and fixes these conditions before they become problems.
To launch HP Health Check, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start and then Help and Support .
  2. Click Troubleshooting Tools , and then under HP Health Check, click Use this tool to scan your system for security, performance, and maintenance issues to open HP Health Check.
    Alternately, click Start , All Programs , HP , and then HP Health Check .
  3. Click the Re-scan button at the top of the screen.
HP Health Check generates a report that lists issues that should be corrected or repaired to improve the condition of the computer. Urgent issues are flagged "attention needed" and highlighted in red. Health Check also provides informational links to help you learn how to use specific computer features.
The items in list displaying a wrench on the right side can be corrected automatically by clicking the wrench. You may choose to correct each problem individually, or HP Health Check can correct all problems at once by clicking Repair all at the top of the screen.
HP strongly recommends setting HP Health Check to scan your computer on a weekly basis.
For more detailed information about HP Health Check, refer to the HP Health Check Frequently Asked Questions support document.

Using the HP System Information tool

The System Information tool scans the computer and generates a report that lists information that is specific to your individual computer model, such as the amount of memory installed, size of the hard disk drive, serial number, product name, and product number. It may be necessary to provide some of this information if you call customer service.
To launch the HP System Information tool, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start and then Help and Support to open HP Help and Support.
  2. Click Troubleshooting Tools , and then under HP System Information, click Use this tool to view all the hardware and software installed on your machine .
    Alternately, click Start , All Programs , HP , and then HP System Information .
The HP System Information tool opens.
The left pane of the HP System Information screen contains links to all details about the specific hardware and software that is installed in the computer. Clicking these links displays detailed information on the right pane of the screen. For example, clicking Hewlett Packard under Basic Information in the left pane displays detailed information about your HP computer on the right pane of the screen, including the serial number, product name, product number, warranty start date, and service ID.
Figure 2: HP System Information Window.
For more detailed information about System Information, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - System Information Frequently Asked Questions support document.

Using HP Modem Check

The HP Modem Check tool provides assistance with testing a modem. The tool indicates if there is a connection problem with the computer, the phone line, the number you're trying to dial to or a problem with the COM port.
To launch HP Modem Check, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start and then Help and Support .
  2. Click Troubleshooting Tools , and then under Modem Check, click Use this tool to detect any hardware issues with your dial-up modem .
  3. Grant permission to continue, if prompted.
HP Modem Check opens.
Figure 3: HP Modem Check window.
For more detailed information about HP Modem Check, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - Modem Check Frequently Asked Questions support document.

Using HP Battery Check

HP Battery Check is a tool that provides information on the status and condition of batteries installed in a notebook PC. The latest version of the HP Battery Check can be downloaded for your Windows Vista and Windows 7 HP notebook PC.
To launch HP Battery Check, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start , type battery check in the search field, and select HP Battery Check from the list.
  2. Alternately, from HP Support Assistant, select Troubleshoot, and then select Power, Thermal and Mechanical .
  3. Click Battery Check, and view the status of the battery.
HP Battery Check offers recommendations for battery maintenance based on the results of the battery checks. For example, Battery Check may recommend calibrating the battery for best usage or replacing the battery if it is no longer functioning or if the storage capacity of the battery is below the recommended operating range.
If HP Battery Check indicates that the battery should be calibrated, the battery is performing as designed, but lost track of its fully charged or fully discharged condition. Unless the battery is calibrated, a false status is reported to Windows, and that condition shortens the amount of time the battery powers the notebook PC.
For more detailed information about HP Battery Check, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - HP Battery Check Frequently Asked Questions support document.

Using HP Home Network Center

The HP Home Network Center is a visual tool designed to help you connect to a wired or wireless home network by confirming connectivity or identifying potential issues on the computer, the network, and/or the internet. It helps resolve many issues that occur when attempting to connect a computer to a local area network (LAN) by displaying prompts for corrective actions.
The HP Home Network Center is currently available on some English only notebooks.
To launch the HP Home Network Center, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start and then Help and Support .
  2. Click Troubleshooting Tools , and then under Internet tools, click Use this tool to check your Internet connection or to create and manage a home network .
The HP Home Network Center opens.
Figure 4: HP Home Network Center
NOTE:Clicking the links that display in the HP Home Network Center to launch HP Help and Support that will describe any steps that you can take to resolve the issue.
For more detailed information about HP Home Network Center, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - HP Home Network Center Frequently Asked Questions support document.

Using Internet Tools

Internet tools are designed to help you set up and monitor a broadband (cable modem or DSL) connection. Internet tools attempt to connect to an HP server to diagnose connection problems, identify the source of the problem, and indicate if the problem is internal or external.
For example, storing an excessive number of temporary files on the hard disk drive causes slow internet performance. Clicking Delete temporary internet files and cookies launches Internet Properties, which allows you to delete temporary internet files from the hard disk drive.
To launch Internet Tools, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start and then Help and Support .
  2. Click Troubleshooting Tools , and then under Internet Tools , click Use these tools to help resolve issues with Internet connectivity .
A list of links that launch individual internet tools displays.
Figure 5: Internet Tools
The tools that launch when clicking each individual link are as follows:
  • Clicking Delete temporary Internet files and cookies launches the Delete Browsing History screen.
  • Clicking Diagnose Internet connection launches the Windows Network Diagnostics tool.
  • Clicking Check your dial-up modem launches the HP Dial-up Modem Check.
  • Clicking Reset Internet Explorer proxy settings launches the Local Area Network (LAN) Settings screen.
  • Clicking Check for multiple firewalls using Windows Security Center launches the Windows Security Center.

Using performance and maintenance tools

Performance and maintenance tools resolve computer performance issues, such as slow file or program operation and slow startup.
To launch performance and maintenance tools, follow the steps below.
  1. Click Start and then Help and Support .
  2. Click Troubleshooting Tools , and then under Performance and maintenance tools, click Use these tools to help resolve computer performance issues .
A list of links that launch individual performance and maintenance tools displays.
Figure 6: Performance and maintenance tools.
The tools that launch when clicking each individual link are as follows:
  • Clicking HP Health Check launches HP Health Check. For more information about HP Health Check, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - HP Health Check Frequently Asked Questions support document.
  • Clicking HP System Information launches the HP System Information tool. For more information about the HP System Information tool, refer to the HP Notebook PCs - HP System Information Frequently Asked Questions support document.
  • Clicking Improve computer performance launches the Microsoft Performance Information and Tools screen, from which you can run a baseline test of the CPU, RAM, and the graphics card that is installed on the computer.
  • Free up disk space with Disk Cleanup - launches the Disk Cleanup utility and determines how much hard disk drive space can be made available by deleting unused and temporary files.
  • Defragment your hard disk - launches the Disk Defragmenter. Over time, the data on the hard disk drive becomes fragmented - meaning it is scattered in several places on the hard disk drive. Fragmentation causes the hard disk drive to work harder, which can slow down the computer. Defragmenting rearranges the data so that it is closer together, thus allowing the hard disk drive to work more efficiently. When the hard disk drive is defragmented, the computer works faster.
  • Check program compatibility - launches the Program Compatibility Wizard, which tests software programs that worked properly with older versions of Windows and determines if they work properly with Windows Vista.
  • Open Problem Reports and Solutions - opens the Problem Reports and Solutions tool, which connects to the internet, searches an HP database of known problems for your particular notebook model, and generates a report that provides a list of solutions for those problems.