I got an HP Elitebook 8440p because I wanted something a little newer and faster than my old Dell E1505. It was certainly newer and faster, but it had a problem. Every morning it greeted me with a BSOD. That E1505 was getting older and it had its own quirks, but I don’t remember it ever bluescreening on me. Here’s how I fixed the bluescreens I got with the HP Elitebook 8440p and Windows 10.
Not only did it bluescreen, but the behavior seemed pretty consistent. Two days in a row, I woke the laptop up from hibernation, and about nine minutes later, it bluescreened.
I buy off-lease business laptops because they last longer than consumer models. This is an example of having to solve problems that don’t exist so much in the consumer space due to attrition.
HP’s orphan Elitebook
HP doesn’t provide updated Windows 10 drivers for the Elitebook 8440p. Intel doesn’t provide much in the way of Windows 10 drivers that work on the 8440p either. I may have found a couple that work, but most of the drivers just throw “unknown error” when you try to install them on an 8440p. When I dug into it, I saw that the last Intel drivers that worked for those chips date to 2011 or 2012. Intel provides drivers for download but recommends you get them from the computer manufacturer instead.
So I went to HP and looked. Usually HP’s drivers had a slightly newer date than Intel’s.
Of course, Windows 10 didn’t exist in 2011 and 2012. These are all Windows 7 drivers. But usually drivers from as far back as Vista will work in Windows 10. So I went to support.hp.com and entered “elitebook 8440p” and downloaded every single driver I could find. I also downloaded the last BIOS for it.
Along the way, I also installed Nirsoft’s Bluescreen View. From it, I could quickly figure out it was the NT Kernel that was dying. Not good.
The fixes for the HP 8440P and Windows 10
After researching , I found that a number of other brands of elderly Intel i5-based laptops have similar issues. The common link seems to be the SATA drivers. SATA drivers are among the drivers HP provides. So I installed all of those drivers, noting they’re newer than most of the default generic Windows 10 drivers my laptop was using.
After updating the BIOS and installing those drivers seemed to make the bluescreens less frequent, but didn’t completely eliminate them.
Ultimately, the only cure was to disable hibernation. The fastest way to do that is to press the Windows + X keys and select Command Prompt (Admin). Then type this command:
Losing hibernation isn’t ideal. That said, I’ve had mine sit in sleep mode for 8-10 hours and use less than 10 percent of its battery. So the loss of the capability isn’t debilitating.
And the fixes worked
So, with reservations, the HP 8440p runs Windows 10 pretty well. It runs it really well if you optimize it. I like it better with the newest Windows 7 drivers on it from HP than with any other drivers available. Neither HP nor Intel provide anything newer. I have seen this bluescreen-after-hibernate issue with other combinations of Windows and other hardware. Back when I worked in Infosec at $FORTUNE20_COMPANY, my direct peer and I had different models of Dell computers running Windows XP. He had the bluescreen-after-hibernate issue, though I didn’t.
I’ve also heard of it happening on AMD-based laptops, so I’m not convinced it’s an Intel issue. Maybe someday Microsoft will figure it out.
Aside from that glitch, it works well. The i5 CPU in these laptops has plenty of power for Windows 10 and the Nvidia NVS 3100M graphics are more than capable for productivity work and even some light gaming.