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Compaq Presario CQ60 - hard drive overloads and runs hot

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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
Posts: 2
Location: London

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 12:11 pm    Post subject: Compaq Presario CQ60 - hard drive overloads and runs hot Reply with quote

My Compaq Presario CQ60 has been giving me problems for many months and I am thinking of changing to an Apple, Before I junk it I want to be sure that the problems are not easily fixable.


1. Outlook crashes several times a day. I have moved my contacts and diary to Google Calendars and MobileMe contacts for syncing to an iPad and iPhone. These work brilliantly. Outlook email remains a problem as Outlook hangs up frequently. I may dump Outlook and find a new email client. But I understand Outlook is a good application and I feel I should not have to find any alternatives to it. Should I just reload Outlook? How easy is this?

2. The real issue: The CQ60 laptop hard drive is running at 100% most of the time (the three disc light is either full on or flashing fast all the time) and the computer is very very hot all the time, such that it occasionally cuts out when I am running a heavy application like iTunes with others. The laptop also seems to be grossly overloaded and is too slow. Task manager is usually at 15-30% unless I am doing something heavy.


Laptop is 2 and a bit years old and has heavy use.
My partner bought one at the same time, uses it similarly, and shows no such similar problems.
I am what a PC expert calls, a Power User (VIOP, itunes to name but a few applications used) and I use it full on for most of the day, most days.
A local IT specialist spent hours looking at it twice 2 and 6 months ago and found no problem, "It's a good laptop, he says" Grrrr, say I.
He has installed CC Cleaner.
It needs defragging now but the application won't do it because it says I need to make 15% free space on the hard disc.
It sits on a hard open surface.
It has started to cut out (overheating) in last 3 weeks.
Fan works and runs flat out continuously from a few minutes after start up.
I run Vista (why do I feel the need to mention this?)
Apart from the Outlook issues above, it runs fairly well and slowly on some occasions.

Any advice welcome before I junk what might be a perfectly good computer.
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Joined: 05 Feb 2006
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Location: UK

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 1:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The hard drive is practically full, clear some data off it to an external drive this will give Windows some space to breath. Probably a load of music for iTunes filling up the space. If Windows doesn't have enough space to defrag, it probably doesn't have enough space to do much.

It sounds like your system is permanently using the hard disk for RAM causing the constant use of the hard drive, and heat. How much RAM do you have? If you are running Vista, you need a minimum of 2Gb, preferably 3Gb if you are asking a fair bit of your system (iTunes and VoIP software aren't that demanding).

With regard to the overheating issue, make sure the laptop is kept on a hard surface, they have air vents in the bottom and sides. If these are blocked by putting it on your knee or soft surface then it will overheat. Invest in a can of compressed air, and with the laptop turned off, blow compressed air in to the vents, this will blow out dust and dirt that can prevent effective cooling and cause overheating.

Outlook is not the best email client out there, if you don't need it's specific features, I wouldn't recommend using it. Personally I find Gmail's online interface to be much better than Outlook. That said, if you want to continue using Outlook, it would help to know what version you are using.

It probably is a perfectly good computer, but needs a bit of housekeeping doing. I suspect that it's spec may be a little on the low side for you, however it may benefit from having Windows XP or Windows 7 installed rather than Vista.
"Microsoft programs are generally bug-free. If you visit the Microsoft hotline, you'll literally have to wait weeks if not months until someone calls in with a bug in one of our programs. 99.99% of calls turn out to be user mistakes. I know not a single less irrelevant reason for an update than bugfixes. The reasons for updates are to present more new features."
-- Bill Gates, on code stability, from Focus Magazine
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Joined: 31 May 2010
Posts: 813
Location: Morecambe

PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2011 6:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I concur totally with SoftStag
I'll add the comment that if you've moved calendar and contacts to Google, you may well move the e-mail as well, especially as that will aid synchronisation

As to Outlook - the only reason to use it is if you need its group-sharing features. Other than that its an overblown unstable complicated memory hog.
Most people are better off with Windows Live Mail (if on Vista or Win7)

PS if your "computer expert" uses marketing jargon like "power user" find another expert. He's just using salesman-speak to hide his inability to diagnose the problem. VOIP and Itunes don't count as "power use" by any stretch of the imagination
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Joined: 27 Jul 2011
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Location: London

PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 3:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks guys - very helpful advice.

The PC came with 3GB, as opposed to the 2GB option at the time.

I use Gmail for my main email address so Gmail makes sense instead of Outlook. However I need to pick up, and reply to, a variety of emails using different email addresses (not Gmail) and Outlook is good at that. I will need to check how and whether Gmail can handle this.

Oddly, 24 hrs after posting, an Outlook .pst file caused a problem such that no solution would fix it, blocking my access to Outlook. I was forced to move to a new Outlook profile.

Now, regarding backing up, I see I need to remove data as there is a lot of stuff on the laptop. Properties of C drive say capacity is 138GB and 120GB is used (that's a lot more than the 3GB above!). Question is what can I clear to an external drive? In the Local Disc (C) there are a number of folders: One where I store my stuff which is just over 4GB so I can move most of that. But several others have even more on them and I am reluctant to move them if they are needed by the computer. Viz. Logs -500KB; Programme Files - 6GB; Programme Data - 3GB; SWSetup - 2GB; Users - 63GB and Windows - 9GB.

How do I locate iTunes stuff to store on the external drive?
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2011 1:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

3GB RAM memory is enough, that is not a problem
The issue is the stored data on the hard drive. Half of your drive is taken up with user data. Thats going to be one of two things
1) documents / files / videos / music that you've either created or downloaded
2) temporary internet files, and other temp files

So what can you do? Well first a tidy up
Go into the control panel, then into "internet options" and then use the "delete" button under "browsing history" (on the first tab) to remove the internet cache. You have to do this separately for each user on the machine from within each account
Next download CCleaner from
Install this, run it and use the "cleaner" option to remove temp files and other junk. Use the standard default settings. Again, do this for each account

Check how much space you have left on the machine now. If less than a third is free, you need to put some of your data files onto external drives
The ONLY files save to move are those in the documents / pictures / music / videos folders. Move anything else and something will stop working
The iTunes music files should be in a subfolder of "my music"
And finally, if you've filled the machine up with lots of programs you've never going to use, then uninstall them

As regards the PST problem, Outlook has a PST repair tool which may make that file readable (though I expect you'll find some data will be lost)
In Office 2007 its called scanpst.exe and is located in
C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\Office12
In other versions of Office it will be somewhere similar
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 24, 2016 8:44 am    Post subject: pst repair Reply with quote

If Inbox repair tool fails to repair Outlook mailbox PST file, then use third party PST repair software to fix error of Outlook. I would like to suggest Recovery Fix for Outlook recovery software. It is an advanced and reliable tool that provides a perfect solution. The software recovers permanently deleted mailbox items instantly. Visit detail
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