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HP Notebook PCs - Installing and Using HP Support Assistant

HP Support Assistant is a utility that contains a set of diagnostic and repair tools which you can run any time your computer is not operating properly. The HP Support Assistant is integrated with the Windows Help and Support utility to provide support documents and access to Microsoft and HP tools to perform routine updates, help prevent potential problems, and provide valuable system information to troubleshoot your computer problems.

Most known hardware driver and software problems can be resolved by running the HP Support Assistant. HP recommends that you run the HP Support Assistance maintenance and troubleshooting tools before you call HP Support for technical assistance.

The HP Support Assistant interface consists of four different sections:

  • Maintain - list of corrective actions that are pending and new tips received from HP. HP recommends performing the actions as soon as they are recommended for your system. Some actions may impact system stability or security and should be acted upon immediately. The action may be an alert or an update. To apply an update, select the action and click on the Apply Selected button. To read an alert, clicking on the action.

  • Troubleshoot - information and resources related to the different troubleshooting categories to help you diagnose and repair your PC. HP periodically updates the list of resources and actions in each category to continuously provide you with more options.

  • Learn - in-depth information on how to use your PC. You can also take free online classes from HP's website or view the Learning Centers stored on your computer. HP continues to add more Learning Centers and online classes so check back often to see what is available.

  • Get Assistance - summary of all the actions available to enable you to resolve problems by yourself, and offers options for contacting HP support agents for advanced technical assistance.

How do I get the latest version of HP Support Assistant

If you have a non-standard HP Windows 7 or Windows Vista software image, or if you have an older version of the Help & Support tools, you should download and install the latest version of HP Support Assistant .

To launch HP Support Assistant tools, click Start
, enter HP Support in the search field, and select HP Support Assistant from the list.
NOTE: Product Name, Product Number, and Serial Number are shown at bottom of window.

How do I use Support Assistant before I call HP Support?

Running the HP Support Assistant can help you resolve most known hardware driver and software issues without having to speak to a Support Agent. Before you call HP, open the HP Support Assistant, connect the PC to the internet, and do the following tasks:

  • Click Maintain , select the Health Analysis menu option at the top of the screen, and then click Refresh .

  • When a list of recommended actions displays, follow the instructions to install specific updates and perform other recommended actions.

If the problem still exists:

  • Click Get assistance , and allow the automated Analysis to complete.

  • Use the drop down menus to record some basic information about the problem you want to resolve, and then click Next to view the results of the analysis. Recording this information will help the agent understand the problem and review what actions you have taken.

  • Click Contact for a list of available contact options. The cost for phone support may be covered under warranty or a fee may apply.

How does the Maintain function help keep my computer up to date?

To keep your computer operating properly, the Maintain function provides a list of software updates and actions you should take. You can run a Health Analysis and a Tune-Up of your PC. When the analysis or the tune-up is complete, a list of available updates and suggested user actions is displayed.

  • Important updates or alerts - actions that need your immediate attention and should not be delayed or ignored.

  • Recommended updates or alerts - actions that you should consider installing, but they can be delayed if necessary.

  • Tips - actions that will help you care for and use your computer more efficiently.

What happens if I delay or ignore an update, but later decide I want to install it?

The History page in the Maintain function provides a list of the types of updates that are applicable to your computer. These updates are organized as:

  • Installed Updates - updates that you have already installed on your computer.

  • Postponed Updates - updates that you either delayed or ignored. You can install them at your convenience.

How does Tune-up help maintain my computer?

By default, a Tune-up , which is part of the Maintain function is run once a month. Tune-up performs several actions by default such as:

  • Set a restore point

  • Perform a hard disk cleanup and repair

  • Delete temporary Internet files

  • Defragment the hard drive

You can change the number of actions performed by selecting or deselecting them from the list of operations on the Tune-Up's Settings screen.

Can I configure what actions HP Support Assistance takes?

Yes. You can click Settings on the lower left corner of the HP Support Assistant window to specify when to check for updates, and specify which actions should be performed.

  • Health Analysis - choose to install the updates automatically as recommended, or choose which updates to install and when to install them. You can also choose to never install the updates.

  • Tune-up - choose to run Tune-up automatically as recommended and specify when it will run. You can also select what operations will be performed.

  • Generic Settings - choose to participate in the HP Customer Experience Improvement program.

What does the Troubleshoot function do?

The Troubleshoot function allow you to check several topic areas of your computer and solve common problems based on solutions developed for the HP support centers.

Each topic area provides links to tools and articles on keeping your computer operating efficiently.

What are Learning Centers?

The Learning Centers are a collection of documents, developed by HP and added into the Windows Help System on the hard drive. They help you discover, use, and maintain your PC, even when you are not connected to the internet. As new Learning Centers are developed, they are uploaded to your computer along with updated drivers and software.

Can I take HP web-based online classes?

Yes! Online classes are designed by HP to familiarize you with certain features of your computer. Classes are offered on a variety of subjects on a periodic basis. You can access the online classes from the Learn section of HP Support Assistant, or go to and search for "online classes" (include the quotation marks).

Why does Get Assistance run an Analysis when I try to use it?

The Analysis function scans your computer for any new known issues and provides you with the tools that may solve these issues before you have to contact a support agent. If you cannot resolve the issue using these tools, it provides data that helps the HP support agent assist you more rapidly.

Will Get Assistance help me resolve a problem by myself?

The analysis function built into Get Assistance helps troubleshoot and resolve problems before a phone call is necessary. Its fast, easy, and saves time. When you solve a problem, you can either just Exit the program, or you can provide Feedback by sending the information from your analysis to HP. Feedback can help other users fix similar problems.

Can I get help and support if I do not have an internet connection?

If you do not have an internet connection, you can still search for documents in Help and Support on the hard drive, use the Learning Centers, and do a Health Analysis on your computer and produce a report. The analysis will use the tools and information that was collected the last time the computer was connected to the internet. The results listed are reliable, but they will not have the latest resources available until you reconnect to the web.

How do I update HP Support Assistant?

HP Support Assistant automatically installs updates and new tools every time it connects to the internet to run a Tune-Up or do a Health Analysis when troubleshooting a problem. With HP Support Assistant, your computer is always up to date.

Does the HP Support Assistant always run in the background?

HP Support Assistant only runs when you start it or when a Tune-Up is scheduled. It does not run in the background or use any resources after you exit the program.

See also

Download the latest version of HP Support Assistant for Windows 7 and Vista.

For information on HP Advisor, which provides similar diagnostic and support tool, see HP Notebook PCs - HP Advisor Version 3.x

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