5 Little Known Ways To Troubleshoot The HP TouchPad

muo hptouchpad trouble intro   5 Little Known Ways To Troubleshoot The HP TouchPadWhile it might not be as popular as the iPad, it has been suggested recently that there are more apps for the HP TouchPad than there are tablet-optimised apps for Android. With HP’s fire sale of its slate resulting in just under a million devices being sold for a fraction of their suggested retail price in the second half of 2012, however, the fact remains that there are a lot of users out there enjoying the pleasing webOS and the functionality of the device (complete with a 1.2 GHz dual core CPU, 1 Gb RAM and at least 16 GB storage).

Like all pieces of hardware, however, there are occasional problems with the HP TouchPad. This might be due to running an application that requires too much RAM, or it might be because your tablet is low on power. Alternatively all that might be required is an update to the latest release of webOS.

Discarding Applications

The obvious way to deal with performance issues is to discard the apps that are currently running. With a strong likelihood that the problem is related to a particular web page in your browser or perhaps a game or social networking app, these are the items that you should focus on closing first of all (closing your email is also recommended).

Closing an app is a simple case of pressing the center button, displaying the apps in card view and then swiping upwards to “throw” the app off the desktop, thereby closing it.

With the release of webOS 3.0.5 comes a new method for closing apps. Some software stay running when closed in the usual way, often required by the OS to run in the background (an example might be the email app). A new slingshot effect – where the app is pulled down and released to be sent flying off the desktop – is recommended in this case and is designed to completely close apps.

Restarting the TouchPad

If closing your apps doesn’t help, restarting your device should. This is typically done by holding the power button on the top-right of the tablet and waiting for the Shut Down button to appear, which you should tap.

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However this method doesn’t always work, in which case you will need to hold the center button and the power button together, forcing a shutdown.

Rebooting your tablet is normally a case of holding the power button for a moment, but from time to time this doesn’t work. If you find that you cannot start your HP TouchPad then as long as it is fully charged (see below) the your best option is to repeat the center+power button combination as described. As soon as you see the HP emblem on the display, your TouchPad should boot.

Recharging Your WebOS Tablet

It isn’t unheard of for issues relating to poor performance to be caused by a low battery. In situations such as this the simple answer is to recharge your tablet.

But how can you do this most efficiently?

The answer is to ignore your computer or Touchstone dock and connect the TouchPad directly to the mains via the USB cable and adaptor. A direct connection will charge your device quicker; additionally, if you are having problems booting due to a low battery then connecting in this way will “wake” your tablet almost instantly.

Running Diagnostic Checks

If none of the above proves of any use in resolving your current performance issues, it is probably time to run diagnostics.

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Begin by opening the Launcher, switching to Settings and selecting Device Info. In the application menu (top left) select Diagnostics and use the Interactive option to check Power.

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You should run all four of the displayed tests, clicking Start to proceed and following the steps that are displayed (usually involving the connection and disconnection of your USB cable). Once complete, you should find that any issues are fixed.

Other diagnostic checks can also be used, although these won’t typically assist with performance issues.

Updating Apps and Reinstalling WebOS

Not all problems can be resolved by closing apps and restarting your machine, of course. In the unlikely event that you are still experiencing slow, laggy performance on your HP TouchPad, the answer is to either check for updates or reinstall webOS.

The first updates you should check for are apps; it could be that a specific app is causing a known issue on your TouchPad, so deal with this by opening Launcher > Settings > Software Manager and downloading any updates.

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If this fails to resolve the problem, check for updates to the operating system via Launcher > Settings > System Updates. Any updates you find here will then be downloaded to your tablet.

Could your TouchPad require a reinstallation of webOS? If none of the above solutions have helped then the answer to this is probably “yes”. In order to perform this step, first open the web browser on your PC or laptop and open http://hpwebos.com/account. From here, select Device Options > Get webOS Doctor, installing Java if required.

Before doing anything else, you will need to make a backup of your data. Do this by selecting Launcher > Settings > Backup > Back Up Now. Once this has completed, switch your TouchPad to USB Update Mode by connecting the tablet to the AC charger and plugging this into your mains outlet. In the Launcher, open Settings > Device Info > Reset Options > Shut Down. As your tablet closes, hold the volume up button, situated on the right-hand side of the device (just around the corner from the power button).

As you hold the volume button, connect the TouchPad to your computer, releasing the volume up button when the large USB icon appears. With your tablet in USB update mode, you are ready to proceed.

You will then be required to Download webOS Doctor and run it, following the prompts to update your HP TouchPad.

Conclusion

Obviously there are several steps listed here and it is recommended that you attempt them in the order that they are presented. Reinstalling webOS can take a lot longer than simply using the slingshot method to close apps so there is no point doing this until you have ruled out any other issues.

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10 Comments -

Paul N

Very good to know. Thanks for sharing. I wonder how the multimedia capabilities are?

Christian Cawley

 Not really sure what you mean there Paul? Are you referring to the multimedia capabilities of the TouchPad?

Tim Brookes

You know what really annoys me about my TouchPad? The fact that I can’t opt out of OTA updates. So when 3.0.5 landed it automatically installed itself (without telling me what was happening) and this usually ends up with a “HP” logo doing bugger-all on screen for 10+ minutes. You don’t get a “Update in progress” screen – just the standard “you’ve turned your tablet on” logo.

I had no idea, thought the device had hung on boot and was Googling like mad to see what was wrong. I ended up resetting it using the home-power button combo, eventually gave up trying to fix it and went back to working on whatever I was doing. Relieved as I was that it finally came back to life all my apps had been removed when it finally woke up. 

The fact that 3.0.5 wasn’t patch-proof or UberKernel supported at the time further added to my frustration. I’d rather have stuck with 3.0.4 until everything had been fixed up accordingly.

The final “omgwtfbbq” moment came when I found out they still haven’t fixed the PulseAudio issue that randomly occurs (tinny, awful sound) with the only solution now being a restart.

I love WebOS as a platform, it smites the mess that is Android any day. Never will it compare to iOS, but then it’s never had the money or time thrown at it that Apple can afford. The TouchPad itself is most certainly a HP device though – poorly designed on the cheap. 

Great article by the way, I’m sure there will be plenty of people who need to visit the Doctor at some point. 

Christian Cawley

Cheers Tim, I feel largely as you do but love the tablet so much I can’t see myself jumping ship just yet…

Tim Brookes

Yeah I love it too, mainly for WebOS though. I certainly won’t be putting Android on it any time soon that’s for sure. 

There’s a rather large shortage of apps, but on the whole the web browser, email client and general performance is more than satisfactory. It’s no iPad, but it’s still the next best thing ;)

KevMo

Install CyanogenMod 9 Alpha 2 and leave webOS behind (or keep it there for dual-booting, just in case).  Video streaming, browser performance, e-mail, etc. are just faster.  Google and Amazon app stores have a few more apps than webOS. ;-)

Christian Cawley

Sadly KevMo, the Alphas are just that – alpha. It’s not ready for use in anger on the TouchPad and until it is reliability cannot be guaranteed.

Dropping webOS is madness, imho. A much better OS than Android 3 onwards.

Don Colley

Thanks for the tip. I just got the Touchpad and am learning the functions and apps. Occasionally I can’t get an app to minimize no matter where I tap and I can’t throw it off. I rebooted to reload. I will get it figured out, but I think I am going to like it. I will touch back to read what you have next time. PS: I say my surname just like yours. Loads of Colley/Cawley/Cauley/Collie families in the States. Thanks again.

noel Beauchamp

Hello, my hp touchpad will not charge. I have checked my charger with a metering device , and it is working fine. What can I did to correct this problem? Please help me, Thanks

Christian Cawley

Does your TouchPad sync? If so, the problem could be with the USB port.

I would suggest purchasing a Touchstone dock, which will charge your device without the USB. You will at the very least be able to isolate the problem using this solution