HP issues - or should I say ANY quad core CPU issues
Their are two fixes to this problem, neither of which HP is fessing up to.
1) A quad core processor cannot run correctly in a system with only 1 hard drive, the CPU, memory, and subsystem is just to fast, which results in lockups and slow downs all the time.
The system was shipped with a Raid controller, use it, purchase another hard drive (or 2) of the same size or larger, set up a RAID, Raid 1 is preferred as it is about 50% faster in access time.
However, Raid 0 will work OK and eliminate the lockups. The on board controller will not support Raid 5, so if you want to use this you will have to purchase an aftermarket controller.
Regular backups are still REQUIRED, so purchase an external hard drive or make backup DVD's on a regular basis.
The 1st hard drive should be on SATA port 1, the second on SATA port 2, the third hard drive on port 3, DVD/CD should be on ports 5 and 6 - no exceptions.
2) Cabling appears to be incorrect in these systems. The first 3 sata channels on the system board were designed for a RAID array, since you only have one hard drive, the system get's confused.
Fix: Requires are reload of the system in ALL cases
a) go into the BIOS and change the Sata controller settings, to IDE NOT RAID (this is default), or simply use any setting other than RAID - be sure this is saved.
b) move the DVD/CD rom drive connectors to sata channel 5 and./or 6
c) disable sata (S-IDE) channel 2 and 3 (and any other one you are not using) in the bios.
Also disable P - IDE channels if you are not using them.
d) Reload the machine using the restore CD's
e) Immediately after reloading - load ALL Microsoft and HP updates for your machine, this is MANDATORY, and not an option.
f) Load anti-virus and Anti-spyware software (Norton and McAfee are NOT recommended for Vista - they simply do not work well in a 64 bit O/S).
I would suggest Kaspersky's or AVG for anti-virus, these seem to have the least problems
For Anti-spyware, use Spybot Search and Destroy, Spysweeper, Malwarebytes anti-malware or other recognized known programs.
3) Their are timing issues with Seagate SATA hard drives in these systems. Either get the flash upgrade for these hard drives (version 7200.11 or lower), replace the drive a newer model, or with a different brand of hard drive. Seagate is fessing up to this issue in forums.
This appears to affect faster machines more often than slower ones. The faster the system is the worse it is on the hard drive.
WD Cheetah drives also have timing issues, and require a reboot every 49 days. This is a known issue. So be aware of this. WD blue/green hard drives are significantly slower than Seagate drives in the same systems are NOT recommended due to high failure rates.
Fujitsu, does not appear to have any hard drive issues.
Samsung does not appear to have any issues with hard drives - these tend to be slow but reliable.
Hitachi/IBM have some timing issues also related to firmware - this is dependent on system speed and controller used.