This document pertains to HP Notebook PCs with Windows Vista.
Understanding HP Help & Support
HP Help & Support is a set of tools and help documents written by HP and seamlessly integrated with the existing Help and Support system. Because this information is stored on your hard drive, you can resolve many common problems yourself, without going online or calling technical support.
Open HP Help & Support
Click the desktop icon for Help & Support to open the main window.
Alternately, click Start , type Help in the Search field, and select Help and Support when it becomes available.
HP Help & Support Main Window Elements
The HP Help & Support main window is organized in four basic parts.
1. Search field
The Search field in the HP Help & Support main window allows you to search the entire Help & Support system by entering specific terms. If the system finds your keyword in a document, it will bring that document up for you to read.
2. Advanced options
The advanced options bar in the HP Help & Support main window contains four buttons and a drop-down menu. Each of these will be explained in the table below.
3. Help & Support Topics pane
The HP Help & Support Topics pane, located on the left side of HP Help & Support main window, provides a combination of HP-specific and Microsoft information to answer the more common questions from our consumers.
Documents in the system are written to help solve individual problems, and are located conveniently on the hard drive, so you do not need internet access to find help.
4. Help & Support Tools pane
The Help & Support Tools pane, located on the right side of the HP Help & Support main window, provides a combination of HP and Microsoft software utilities that resolve many problems for you at the click of a button. Each tool is described in detail below.
The System Information tool, found in the Tools pane on the HP Help & Support main window, scans your notebook and issues a report that includes information specific to your PC, such as memory installed, hard drive space, serial number, product name, and product number. You may be asked to provide some of this information when you call customer service or chat with a Smart Friend customer agent online.
The left pane of the System Information screen contains links to all details about the specific hardware and software that you have installed on your notebook. When you click on these links, the details will appear in the right pane.
The Learning Center , found in the Tools pane on the HP Help & Support main window, offers tutorial information about basic computer use.
- PC Basics
- PC Security
- PC Tune-up
- Home networking
- Battery information
- HP Online
Troubleshooting tools , found in the Tools pane on the HP Help & Support main window, 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. Each tool is described in detail below.
Performance and maintenance tools
Performance and maintenance tools
Health Check, found in the Troubleshooting Tools window, scans your notebook PC, alerts you to potential conditions, and fixes these conditions before they become problems.
To start a scan, click Scan at the bottom of the window. HP recommends performing a system scan once a week.
During a scan, Health Check examines five areas of concern:
- Security determines if your machine is vulnerable to known security threats, which may not be caught by your antivirus software. If you do not have antivirus software installed, Health Check will flag this as a problem. HP recommends installing antivirus software on every computer that will connect to the internet.
- Performance evaluates the performance of your PC and provides information and/or fixes to improve it.
- Hardware tests all system hardware, such as sound cards, webcams, and other devices, and determines if they are working properly. If these devices are not working properly, Health Check provides recommendations, such as improving configuration or installing updated drivers, if needed.
- Maintenance tests your machine and provides guidance to maintain your machine at optimum health.
- Updates examines the software that is installed on your notebook and recommends updates, if necessary.
Internet tools , found in the Troubleshooting Tools window, are designed to help you set up and monitor a broadband (cable modem or DSL) connection. Internet tools can help diagnose some connectivity problems by attempting to connect to an HP server. Through these tests, Internet tools can identify the source of your connectivity problem, whether it is internal or external.
Performance and maintenance tools
Performance and maintenance tools, found in the Troubleshooting Tools window, include several programs, such as Health Check and System Information , improve the way your notebook functions.
Use Improve computer performance to run a baseline test of the CPU, RAM, and the graphics card that is installed on your notebook.
Use Free up disk space with Disk Cleanup to determine how much hard drive space can be made available by deleting unused and temporary files.
Use Defragment your hard disk to consolidate the way in which your files are saved on the hard drive. If files are saved all over the drive, piecemeal, the drive head has to move all over the drive to read the files, which can cause processes to take longer.
Use Check program compatibility to test a program that worked with an older version of Windows to determine if it will work with Windows Vista.
Use Open Problem Reports and Solutions with an active internet connection to check online with an HP database of known problems for your model of notebook and to download resolutions for any that may exist.
The Battery Check tool, found in the Troubleshooting Tools window, indicates how well the cells in your battery are charging and discharging. If the evaluation finds anything other than a "good" condition, Battery Check will suggest ways, such as re-calibration, to improve the performance of the battery.
The Modem Check tool, found in the Troubleshooting Tools window, helps you set up and monitor a dial-up internet connection. It can diagnose some connectivity problems by attempting to connect to an HP server. The tool will then tell you if your connection problem is with your computer, the line, your ISP, or if the web site that you've tried to access is simply down.
System information , found in the Troubleshooting Tools window, provides information about your notebook, such as the serial number, model, and configuration, which you will need to provide if you contact a customer service representative for warranty service.
Software, Drivers and BIOS updates
The Software, Drivers, and BIOS updates window, found in the Tools pane on the HP Help & Support main window, provides access to update tools from both Microsoft and HP, all in one place.
This window also provides a link to HP Backup and the Recovery Manager, which are tools that can allow you to return your computer to its original configuration, or reinstall the original hardware drivers that shipped with your system.
The Recovery Manager tool, found in the Tools pane on the HP Help & Support main window, provides access to Windows System Restore and to the HP Backup and Recovery Manager . These tools take a snapshot of your computer's settings periodically, and allow you to revert your system to its configuration at the time that snapshot was taken. If you suffer system corruption or have a virus, you can use these tools to revert to an older configuration based on this snapshot, and proceed forward as if nothing had happened.
Using the advanced options in Recovery Manager, you may also reinstall the original hardware drivers that shipped with your system.
For more information on Windows System Restore and HP Backup and Recovery Manager, see the See Also section.
The User Guide , found in the Tools pane on the HP Help & Support main window, is your computer's manual, provided in electronic format, rather than printed out on paper.
Navigating through the User Guide is simple. Each User Guide is organized by titles listed in the left pane. Selecting the + beside a title expands it, showing sub-topic titles. Clicking directly on a title displays its topic contents in the right pane.
You may search for a topic at any time by entering a keyword in the Search field at the top of the User Guide window. You may also use the buttons at the top of the window to print out a topic for future reference, if needed.