have a Compaq Presario with a 3.2ghz Celeron processor, 512mb Ram and 40gb of Ram.....runs fine most of the time, but once every week to two weeks, it freezes up, I restart it, and it wont load windows....even in safe mode, so the only thing I can do is a recovery, and I lose anything I have downloaded or saved...grr.
i had the same problem with my older compaq that i recently gave to my little bro and in the end i broke down and paid to have it looked at since the one year warranty was already over but the guy that worked on it for me was a friend down the block that has his own little computer repair shop so he didnt charge me much but he said he swiped the hard drive clean and then installed XP with SP2 and after that i had no problems with it, he said that all the recoverys i had done had actually harmed the computer more then help it because the hard drive holds all the info from the first time you used it and from every other time no matter if you do a complete system recovery or not so all that stuff was still on the hard drive no matter what and since they kept building up and building up the only way to get back yopur perfromance and clean everything out is to swipe it clean and reinstall windows from a Rom
found out what was wrong with my comp...it fubared again, and when I hit F10 for recovery, it asked if I wanted to do a hardware diagnostic first...I said yes, and it ran PC Doctor, which came back with an error code HD521-2W. Well, I ran the recovery and got the computer working again. I then went to the HP website (HP evidently makes Compaq) and got on a live chat with a technician...I gave him that code, he took a couple of minutes to look it up, and bingo..Hard drive going bad...good news, comp. is only 7 months old, so its still covered under warranty. They are sending me a box to ship it to them (prepaid) then when they get it, they will put in a new Hard Drive, and install all the software on it, and send it back to me...it will take about 2 weeks, but its free....and I end up with what basically amounts to a new computer...yay!!
Having same problem with compaq presario bought from best buy. after few weeks froze up and wouldnt boot past the blue screen. message reads something about about the hive file and contact system administrator. tried to safe boot n notta. tried to return to best buy to exchange and they said i was about 2 weeks past jan 24 which was last day to return so would cost $60 just for their geek squad to open it up and let know the problem. $60 would go to fixing if i wanted them to or it would be @ $100 for them to copy all my personal pictures and files to a cd. HELLO .. well went home called compaq and they did send new HDD with prepaid to send back the one they say is bad. well looking up the specs for the replacement is lesser quality (uses twice the power and is more than 2x slower for tract to tract seek time). Also the so called DVD BURNER TSST CD/DVDW TS-H652L wouldn't even burn a DVD and I even paid extra for dvd burner and bigger hdd. go figure. I should've made my own!
If your at all handy, building your own is the way to go. When I built my first PC mounting the heatsink and fan on top of an exposed core of the AMD XP processors was a harrowing experience, but todays processor mounting is much easier and less scary than a few years ago. It may seem to cost a little more than buying one prebuilt, but you can get the best parts and nothing is proprietary. Most prebuilts save a few dollars by using cheap Power Suplies and thats one of the things that makes the lifetime of a prebuilt short. When a power supply goes it can often take the motherboard with it. A reliable supply and top of the line processor (no semprons or celerons) will get you a system that can last for 20 years if your lucky.