I am beginning to see a trend in the reliability of hp ac adapters for laptops. This is the second hp laptop I have owned and the second hp laptop ac adapter to fizzle out. Both ac adapters died after about 1.5 to 2 years of use. So I dusted off my ancient desktop tower (1Ghz, 512Mb ram, 20Gb hard drive, ATI 9200) to make this post.
I could not figure out why it was locking up on me. Not really locking up but was intermittently being pegged at 100% CPU usage. I pulled each component out separately and tested the computer. The ram, hard drive, virus scans, hard drive scans, etc. didn't seem to solve the problem. I finally managed to find a web page from other people who had similar issues, and turns out that it was the ac adapter. As soon as I pulled the cord out if the laptop and let it automatically switchover to battery power the CPU usage dropped back down to nothing. Doh!
So now I'm stuck with a computer from the time of antiquities until the new ac adapter I ordered comes in the mail. It's not all that bad really. It performs rather sporty for a 8-10 year old machine. :P