This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.
Using HP Total Care Advisor
HP Advisor is a tool that allows easy access to computer information, including warranty details and connections to peripherals, such as printers. This document describes how to use the tools that HP Advisor offers, how to minimize the display, close the display completely, or change the default setting so the tool does not open on startup.
Opening HP Total Care Advisor manually
By default, HP Advisor opens on startup, and displays on top of all other applications. To open HP Advisor manually, click Start , All Programs , and then HP Total Care Advisor .
If you contact a customer service representative for warranty service, you will need the serial number and product number for your computer, so the serial number and product number for your computer display in the bottom-left corner of HP Advisor.
NOTE:To check the version of HP Advisor that you are using, click the Preferences icon in the upper-right corner of the screen and then click About HP Advisor .
Managing the HP Total Care Advisor
When the HP Advisor launches on startup, you can minimize it by clicking the Dock View button in the upper-right corner of the Advisor window. When HP Advisor is docked, it displays in a reduced mode at the top of your desktop.
You can also minimize the HP Advisor to the system tray by clicking the X button in the upper-right corner of the Advisor window.
Preventing HP Total Care Advisor from launching at startup
To change the default setting and prevent HP Advisor from launching on startup, follow the steps below.
- On the HP Total Care Advisor window, click the Preferences icon .
- Select the Launch HP Advisor automatically on start-up check box to deselect the automatic start-up option.
If you decide that you do want HP Advisor to launch on startup, simply select the Launch HP Advisor automatically on start-up check box again.
Launching HP Total Care Advisor manually
To open the Advisor at a time other than startup, click Start , type total care into the search field, and then select HP Total Care Advisor from the list.
Understanding the HP Total Care Advisor's tools
HP Advisor has two main sections when it first opens: the upper pane, and the tabs below it. The upper pane displays the contents of the tab selected at the bottom, including tools to help you manage your computer and links to important documents and web sites. The purpose of each tab, and the contents of the pane it displays, are described in the sections below.
PC Health & Security tab
|Clicking this icon selects the PC Health & Security tab (which is open by default when the HP Advisor starts). This pane enables you to see the condition of your battery, backups, internet connection, and PC performance at a glance. It also displays how much free hard disk space that you have remaining.|
The PC Health & Security pane contains several tools and links, which are described in the table below.
|Icon||Tool name||What it does|
|Internet Connection||The internet connection tool can help find a broadband or dial-up package from an internet service provider (ISP), and can assist in setting up and monitoring an internet connection.|
|Warranty||The warranty tool connects to HP warranty information on the web, and can take you directly to HP for warranty services.|
HP Advisor provides many different ways to get help for your computer, including on-line help documentation, chatting with a personal SmartFriend assistant online, and speaking with a customer service representative by phone.
|Printers||The printers tool enables you to manage and monitor up to 15 printers from your computer, all in the same place. This tool also provides information about printer supplies, such as ink cartridges and HP photo paper.|
|Security||Security offers access to critical information from Norton Internet Security, if installed, or from Windows software, firewall, and security. HP recommends setting the firewall and internet security options to On .|
|PC Update||PC Update provides critical and suggested updates for drivers, BIOS, and some software.|
|Battery||The battery tool provides a quick assessment of the condition of the battery for its age and usage.|
|Backup||The backup tool enables you to set up a backup schedule easily, and to check when you last backed up your system and important files.|
|PC Health||PC Health actively scans your computer to alert you of important updates from HP and to detect Hardware or Software conditions that may impact the performance of your computer.|
PC Action Center tab
|Clicking this icon opens the PC Action Center pane. This pane indicates when critical and recommended alerts have been issued, and recommends actions to solve potential conditions before they become problems.|
HP Update also proactively loads HP drivers and software, and you can install these updates in this pane.
PC Help tab
|Clicking this icon opens the PC Help pane. PC Help provides access to HP Help & Support as well as to System Information and Troubleshooting Tools .|
The left panel contains links to Help & Support documents on a variety of topics. Clicking any link opens the HP Help & Support directory page for that topic, from which you can navigate to many documents that will help you with problems you may encounter.
The right panel contains icons that link directly to useful tools.
System information provides information about your computer, such as the serial number, model, and configuration, which you will need to provide if you contact a customer service representative for warranty service.
Learning Center offers tutorial information about basic computer use, including topics like PC security, networking, and general maintenance.
Troubleshooting Tools are a highly useful set of programs provided by HP. In many cases, using these tools can solve your problems without having to call customer support. You can use Health Check to scan your computer for security and performance issues, use Internet tools to resolve connection problems, and Battery Check to monitor and calibrate your battery. For more information about these tools, please see the HP Notebook PCs - Using the Help & Support System and Troubleshooting Tools in Windows Vista support document.
Product Showcase tab
|Clicking this icon opens the Product Showcase. The Product Showcase enables you to see products, such as printers and printing supplies, peripherals, software, music, and games, that are provided by HP or its partners, and which you may find useful for your personal or business use.|
Finding HP Total Care Advisor if Icon does not display
If the HP Total Care Advisor icon does not display on the Start menu or in the Quick Launch menu, click Start , type total care into the search field, and then select HP Total Care Advisor from the list to launch the program.
If the Total Care Advisor does not display in the list, it may have been disabled or removed. To reinstall the HP Total Care Advisor application, you must do a complete system recovery by using the Recovery Manager or the Recovery discs that you created when the computer was new.
NOTE:You should only perform a system recovery if the operating system or hard drive is corrupted. The Recovery Manger will completely delete all files and programs and return the computer to the original factory image.
Using the Total Care tools without launching Total Care Advisor
The tools that are available in the Total Care Advisor can be launched individually by clicking Start and typing the name of the application into the search field. The commonly used tool names are shown in the following table.
|Name of link on Total Care Advisor display||Tool Name to be typed into Search|
|Battery icon||HP Battery Check|
|Launch HP Health Check||HP Health Check|
|Launch Microsoft Backup tool||Backup and Restore Center|
|Security icon||Security Centers|
|Check for broadband offers||Easy Internet Services|
|PC Update||HP Health Check|
The HP Help and Support utility also provides links to Troubleshooting Tools.