How to do a reflow (performed on a DV 2000)

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by trick_m0nkey, Jul 8, 2010.

  1. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    I've been meaning to write this how-to for a while, and before I post this on my blog, I figured I should share here at [H]! Hope this helps some fellow members here out.

    As a laptop technician, a fairly common problem I see today is a large number of failing HP laptops, particularly of the DV 2000, 4000, 6000, and more recently, the 9000 series laptops. These particular models are fairly notorious in the laptop world for simply just refusing to work all of a sudden. They will turn on, appear to get power, but there will be no display and the laptop will not present any additional signs of life.

    What is happening here? The built-in video chipset is failing. It is built into the laptop’s motherboard, and while the rest of the board is working fine (which is why you can turn the machine on and see all the indication lights), since the video chipset is built into the motherboard, the computer ultimately will not work.

    Why does this happen? Well, this goes back to around 3-4 years ago when nVidia, a major video chipset maker, switched from a lead based solder that had a high melting point to a tin based solder that has a much lower melting point. This combined with a fairly inadequate cooling solution from HP/Compaq leads to a video chip that runs very hot, right on the edge of its melting point hot. Over a period of time, as the computer is turned on and off over and over again, the soldering joints that hold the video chip into the motherboard start to crack and micro-fracture. Obviously when this happen all kinds of malfunctions will occur and you see the problem that is happening today.

    This affects a wide range of laptops since nVidia makes chipsets for nearly all the major companies, but HP and Compaq were affected the most because they seemed to not only have output more of the nVidia based laptops than the other companies, but they also went cheap with the cooling solutions for their video chips. It was only a matter of time since they started dropping like flies, and indeed, they did so much that HP was forced to initiate a recall (since expired).

    What do you do when this happens? Well, before you splurge and buy a replacement motherboard, a new laptop, or drop some good money to get a guy like me to fix it for you, there is a solution. Even if you are not computer or mechanically inclined, it’s a nice project to try because it’s not like you can screw the computer up any more than it already is anyways.
    The fix is called a reflow. Essentially, what we do is isolate the video chipset on the motherboard, and apply a very high degree of heat directly to it. Enough heat to melt the solder built into the chip. This will allow the micro-fractures in the solder to melt back into themselves, allowing them to complete their circuitry again. It’s kind of like a reset at the hardware level.
    At my job, I see about 1-3 of these machines come in per week, and most commonly they are the DV series, so when a DV 2000 came in today, I took the opportunity to take some pictures and write a how-to. It’s worth noting that while all models of the DV series are quite similar to each other, keep in mind that every laptop will have its differences. No two laptops of different models are completely alike, but the fundamentals for taking them apart are largely the same.
    The first thing you will need to do is to acquire the appropriate tools for the job. Allow me to plug in my employer Geek on Wheels Computer Repair in Denton Texas for supplying me with the majority of these tools as well as the bench-space to do this with (along with the customer’s computer!):

    [​IMG]

    Phillips screwdriver
    Flathead screwdriver
    Heat gun (Nothing fancy is needed, I’m using a cheap $30 Wagner 2 stage heat gun)
    Soldering Iron and Solder (alternatively, an IR thermometer, but I prefer this method for reasons you will see later)
    Heavy Duty aluminum foil
    Razor blade
    Copper shim and thermal paste (not needed with this computer it turns out, but with other models or older versions of the DV 2000 it’s very useful)
    Small needle nose pliers (not pictured, rarely used but handy if there are cables that are too small and delicate for someone with fat fingers like myself)

    Once you get your tools, it’s time to get to work with your computer. Here’s our patient right here:

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    I’m using my Google G1 to take these pictures, so they may not be of the best quality, but what I’m trying to capture here is this model’s problems. You can see in the second picture that the computer is turned on, however there is no video.
    I should say that before you undertake this job, RULE OUT ALL OTHER POSSIBILITIES FIRST. You do not want to reflow the video chip only to find out that you had bad RAM the whole time!
    Anyways, let’s get started. First thing we do is unplug the machine, then flip it over and remove the battery.

    [​IMG]

    Set the battery aside. After this is done, start removing all the panels from the bottom of the laptop.

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see the panels that reveal the hard drive, RAM, and the wireless NIC. Remove all of these components, and set them and their screws aside.

    [​IMG]

    After this, remove the DVD/RW drive. For some reason I put the screwdriver in the wrong hole, I’ve circled the screw that holds the DVD/RW drive in place. Most manufacturers of laptops will make it where you can remove the drive by removing a single screw from the bottom of the laptop and then you just need to pry the drive out.

    [​IMG]

    After this, proceed to remove every screw you can find from the bottom of the laptop. Whenever you cannot find any more screws to remove, flip the laptop over and then open it up where the LCD is upright. The next step is to remove the sensor bar; it is going to be located above the keyboard.

    [​IMG]

    I’ve pried it up just a tad so you can see it. This is where the flathead will come in handy. Gently yet firmly wedge the flathead between whatever crevice you can find between the laptop’s shell and the sensor bar and wedge it up. It’s going to be held on to by plastic latches and sometimes screws, but since we removed the screws we simply need to unhinge it from its plastic latches. Don’t force it, take your time.

    [​IMG]

    On many laptop models the keyboard does not come up with the sensor bar and the keyboard is held into place with a series of screws just above it. This keyboard is not like that, as the sensor bar comes off it will lift up the keyboard as well. They keyboard itself is held into place by screws on the bottom of the laptop, which we have since removed. At this point the sensor bar is off its hinges but it will still be hanging on by two cables, but before we remove it completely we will take the keyboard off first.

    [​IMG]

    Here you see the keyboard is attached to the motherboard through a thin ribbon cable. This cable is held down by a plastic latch. You loosen this latch by gently pushing up on both sides, then removing the cable. Do not over-do it on the pressure in loosening up the latches, they are easy to break.

    [​IMG]

    Once you remove the keyboard, you need to remove the cables that are holding down the sensor bar. Here’s a small ribbon cable and a latch that are like a miniature version of what the keyboard had. Remove this by once again pushing the latch up gently on both sides.

    [​IMG]

    Here is the other cable that connects the power button on the sensor bar. There’s no latch here, just pull the cable out, firmly but gently. Use the needle nose pliers if you have to, as there’s not too much room for fingers.

    [​IMG]

    Here’s the laptop now without the sensor bar or the keyboard. Our next goal is going to be removing the LCD screen. First we need to remove all the cables that are attached to the screen before we go to the screen itself.

    [​IMG]

    Here I’ve pulled out all of the cables. Most laptops will have the WIFI antenna that runs from the wireless NIC to the LCD itself. You just pull it out of the hole. The other cables on the right are the right side antenna and another cable for the webcam. Now we move onto removing the screws that hold the LCD in place.

    [​IMG]

    Removing the screws for the left hand side.

    [​IMG]

    Right hand screws are a little trickier to find, but you’ll see them.

    [​IMG]

    After the screws are removed, the LCD will simply lift off. Set this aside in a nice safe spot, away from all your screws and other components.

    [​IMG]

    Here’s computer without its LCD. Now we can focus on removing the upper and lower parts of the shell to get to the motherboard. First remove the screws you can see on the top part. Once these are removed you can start separating it from the bottom.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    Here I’m pulling it apart. Once again, be firm yet gentle. The shell is holding onto itself with plastic latches at this point. You can break their grip by using your flathead screwdriver or prying them out with your hands. Do not force anything. If the computer refuses to come apart at a certain point, DON’T FORCE IT. Check to see if there is a screw you missed that is holding it down, or approach it from a different angle.

    [​IMG]

    Once the top part is loose, it will cleanly lift. You’ll notice that there is one last thing holding it down, and it’s another ribbon cable, this time the one that connects the track pad to the motherboard. Remove the cable and you can finally extract the top part of the shell. Put it aside.

    [​IMG]

    Here now we can see our first full glimpse of the motherboard. Before you can remove the board from the bottom shell, we need to remove a few cables and screws.

    [​IMG]

    Here on the top right part, we see the connectors for the power and right hand USB ports, which are on their own separate circuit board. Go ahead and remove these cables. Be careful of the power cable; it’s held down pretty tightly but its plastic is flimsy. The cable on the top is actually connected to the speakers which are located on the top left as well as the top right.

    [​IMG]

    Top left. Here we can see the left speaker.

    [​IMG]

    Bottom left. Here we see the cable which connects to the WIFI switch.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    First thing we do is remove this WIFI switch, then carefully detach its cable. Set it aside.

    [​IMG]

    Second thing is to remove the left hand speaker. The right speaker is a part of the bottom shell itself and doesn’t need to be removed, but we cannot extract the motherboard without first removing this left hand speaker. Once it’s removed, carefully unplug it from the motherboard, and set aside. You can let it hang off the bottom shell if you want, just make sure it doesn’t snag on something.

    [​IMG]

    It’s glued down, so carefully remove it with your flathead.

    [​IMG]

    After you’ve removed these items, there’s one last thing to remove before you remove the motherboard. This part tends to trick everyone, but HP has this expansion port that I’ve never ever seen anyone use. Notice to two screws. These things have to be removed with your flathead screwdriver before you can finally get the motherboard out.

    [​IMG]

    At last, the motherboard is ready to be lifted from the computer! We want to lift it up and away from its connections on the shell. Grab it firmly yet gently on the right side, lift it up, and then away.

    [​IMG]

    Just like this. Take your time.

    [​IMG]

    On this motherboard we have this IO guard. It will be loose, just take it off and set it aside.

    [​IMG]

    The motherboard in all its glory. Now we are going to remove the heat sink/fan from the processor. This same heat sink/fan also cools the video chipset. The video chip and the processor sharing the same heat sink? Gee, I wonder what could go wrong….

    [​IMG]

    Remove the screws in a diagonal pattern. Top left, bottom right, top right, bottom left. Then the screw on the side.

    [​IMG]

    Underneath the fan, you’ll see its connector. Remove this, and you can remove the whole thing.

    [​IMG]

    Pulling the assembly off. On the right is your processor. On the left is the video chip. This is what we are going to reflow. Notice rubbery thing on top of the video chip. This is the thermal pad, and you don’t want to lose it. You will want to put it back when you are done, and it is very easy to mess up, so be careful when you remove it. Use your flathead.

    [​IMG]

    Here it is without its thermal pad. This chip right here is what we are after, and what is responsible for the problems the computer is having. Now we are going to focus on isolating this chip with foil, so we can prevent the extreme heat from our heat gun from affecting the other components of the motherboard.

    [​IMG]

    This is accomplished by using heavy duty aluminum foil. Here I’ve taken off a piece of foil big enough where I can fold it 3 times, I cut it off so it fits over the motherboard, then I apply it right over the top of the board, folding in the edges so it stays in place. Notice where the video chip Is, I’ve pressed down on it enough that you can actually see the chip.

    [​IMG]

    Now, we take our razor, and we CAREFULLY cut around the video chip.

    [​IMG]

    After cutting out the layers, I take a single layer of the foil I cut out and apply it to the chip itself. I then smooth it down very tightly, like how you see here. This will distribute the heat more evenly around the chip itself.

    [​IMG]

    Now here’s a little trick I do to tell when I’ve reached the right temperature, this was told to me by a fellow laptop tech. You get your soldering iron and your solder, and then melt off a nice blob of it right on top of the chip itself. This acts as your temperature gauge. Whenever the solder starts melting, you know you are at the right temperature.

    [​IMG]

    Now take your heat gun, set it to its low setting, and gradually begin building up heat. Start somewhat at this height and then move it closer and closer, until it’s almost right over the chip. Then switch to your highest setting. The whole time you should be moving the heat gun in gentle circular motions. Focus all the heat only on the chip itself.

    [​IMG]

    This is how close you need to get once you start letting er rip at the highest setting. Remember, nice circular motions, gradual heat build up until you are at the maximum level. I take roughly about 60 seconds to get to the highest level, and at this point it takes about another 20 until I can see the solder melting. Once I start seeing the solder melt, I count to 5, then I set the gun to a lower setting for another 15 seconds, then I turn the gun off, set it aside, and then go do something for another 30 minutes. The internal solder has probably been melted down to this point, we want to give it plenty of time to cool and reset itself.

    [​IMG]

    Now we can test it! Before we put the machine back together, it’s good to see if what we did actually worked. With this model we can do this fairly easily. Get your RAM, battery, heat sink/fan, sensor bar, and LCD. Attach the heat sink/fan first. Make sure you connect the cable that powers the fan. Then take a stick of ram, and put it into its slot. Then, hook the LCD to its connector, and the power button and ribbon cable from the sensor bar to their appropriate spots. Then carefully slide the battery to its connectors on the underside of the motherboard.
    Push the power button. Cross your fingers.

    [​IMG]

    SUCCESS!!!
    When you see the splash screen you’re back in business.
    From this point you put the computer back together, essentially following the steps I outlined above in reverse order. Remember to be careful, and don’t forget to put the cables back to where they were in the first place! It would suck to put the computer all the way back together and then realize that you forgot to connect the speakers! (Speaking from experience here)

    [​IMG]

    Here’s the same computer, with a new lease on life. Go grab a beer and toast yourself on your success, and brag to your friends!
     
  2. Bahamut

    Bahamut n00b

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    Very nicely done, congrats.

    As someone that has worked on every DV series with these defects (dv2000, dv4000, dv6000, dv8000, dv9000) it's pretty sad that HP won't just do a blanket fix for anyone that has the issues.

    It's one thing when a problem crops up that isn't a manufacturing defect after the warranty expires - it's an entirely different thing when the manufacturing defect actually exists and affects so many products which is what happened with those series of machines. They left the factory with that problem, and just because it takes a variable amount of time for it to really coalesce on any given laptop doesn't mean they shouldn't fix it, period.

    Damned shame, but then again I never recommend consumer level laptops. I stopped doing that many years ago, primarily because of the issues these HP laptops ended up with, unfortunately. No it's not the only reason, but it is a big part of it. :(

    But nice writeup/tutorial, thanks, it should offer some help or hope to anyone willing to put in the effort to "save" a dead laptop...
     
  3. Haste266

    Haste266 [H]ardness Supreme

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  4. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    Thanks for the compliments.
    I agree with you. The solution for them wouldnt be that difficult or expensive to implement, they just need to make a copper based cooling solution for these stupid chips. Hell, for the laptops that dont have that thermal pad, I can put in those copper shims and it will shave about 15 degrees C off the temperature. 15 degrees! And all I do is throw in a chunk of copper and some thermal paste!

    Of course, on the flip side, I'm kinda glad HP hasent done anything, it does tend to keep me busy :D

    Thanks. I'm not a big fan of the oven method for laptop motherboards mainly because I'm worried about the oven potentially melting or warping the socket for the CPU. For video cards though, where's my chef hat? :p
     
  5. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I will try this tomorrow on a DV9000. Will let you know how it works out. :)

    Thanks for posting this. :D
     
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2010
  6. munkle

    munkle [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Dang, I wish I had something broken, this looks like fun.
     
  7. IceDigger

    IceDigger [H]ardForum Junkie

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    How many left over screws do you have?

    Awesome work but that is why I do not touch laptop repair.
     
  8. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    Sweet let me know!

    It is! :D

    Thanks. I had 2 screws left lol. No matter how hard I try there's always one or two left...
     
  9. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    It worked on the dv9010us. :D

    For how long IDK but I just updated the bios so it should be fine now.
     
  10. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pic for proof of laptop working:
    [​IMG]
     
  11. Bahamut

    Bahamut n00b

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    Good job, LOCO... nice to have it functional again, ain't it? Even if it's for <xxx unknown> amount... ;)
     
  12. xref

    xref Gawd

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    I'm gonna do this to my old Dell XPS M1210. Thanks!
     
  13. LoStMaTt

    LoStMaTt 2[H]4U

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    How much would you charge to do this if I shipped you a DV2700 series? It actually still powers up but the video is all screwed up and has rainbow colors.
     
  14. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    Kick ass! I'm glad that worked out for you.

    Good luck!

    YHPM ;)
     
  15. DanNeely

    DanNeely 2[H]4U

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    I'm going to guess this is a docking station port. We have them on the Latitudes at work, and for a laptop that's regularly moved from a semi-permanent workspace it's really convenient. Most people take their laptops home* every night and the dock means that instead of having to connect power, keyboard, mouse, headphones, and monitor cables each morning and disconnect them at the end of the day I just pop the laptop in the dock and hit the power button. The dock costs a few hundred bucks up front; but over the course of the 4ish years before the connector changes saving a minute or two a day of puttering around will pay for it several times over.


    * Even if you're not a work-a-holic, it's useful as a just in case because you can work from home the next morning instead of burning a sick day with certain intestinal illnesses.
     
  16. JCJones86

    JCJones86 Gawd

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    Decided to try this myself on my dv9339us. I just heated up the GPU and now waiting for it to cool down. Will post again with results.

    The expansion port works with a pretty nice elevated docking station. I bought mine with an extra power adapter for $60 from a surplus vendor. That was just a few months before this laptop bit the dust. :mad:
     
  17. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    does it work? :D


    PS: that dv9010us is still going. :)
     
  18. JCJones86

    JCJones86 Gawd

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    I am typing on my just-repaired dv9339us! It seems to be working great! No more rainbow vertical lines, and it actually boots into the OS! I am quite stunned that it's actually working. It's been a brick for well over a year at this point.

    Thanks for all the detailed instructions on the reflow. I found the official repair manual for my model on HP's support site to help with the teardown. However, I still have two screws left over even after carefully labeling each group of screws! :D
     
  19. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah I left 2 screws out myself. but I reopened it and put them back in.
     
  20. LightningCrash

    LightningCrash 2[H]4U

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    I need to do this on an old IBM T40-something

    Fortunately they come apart pretty easily.
     
  21. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    This also worked on a Compaq F763NR that turned on then back off after 3 secs. :)
     
  22. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    I see, I've never really seen those docking ports so thanks for clearing that up.

    Sweet! Yeah there's always a couple of screws that dont seem to make it back in for whatever reason.

    Let me know how that goes, I've never tried this on an IBM. :)

    You're on a roll!
     
  23. sushiserv

    sushiserv n00b

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    I had hte Compaq F500, but instead of doing the reflow, I just sued HP.

    Only cost me $15 and I got back $665...

    This is an excellent excellent post on the other hand.

    I just have one question. On another forum they said something about a penny and AS5. Did you do that in your reflow or did you connect everything back together like it was before.
     
  24. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    What I did was connect everything back like it was before. That what I did on both laptops.
     
  25. Loop2kil

    Loop2kil Limp Gawd

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    Successfully reflowed a dv2214, it is now working...thanks for the very nice write up.
     
  26. soulseeker

    soulseeker n00b

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    It works!!!

    Its been 4 months that my HP Pavilion dv9205us turns out black screen.
    But now after reading and following the instruction of sir LOCO
    my laptop revive and working as it was...

    Thanks to you sir...
    :D:D:D
     
  27. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    You mean trick_m0nkey. I didn't write this up. ;)
     
  28. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    DV2000 also back to life. :)

    3/3 so far. :D
     
  29. Loop2kil

    Loop2kil Limp Gawd

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    on a side note...I added the copper shims to the GPU and my temps dropped from 70c to 46c...hopefully this will keep things from going bad again.
     
  30. darknite

    darknite Gawd

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    Mine just did this yesterday, same symptoms and everything. Gonna give it a shot and let yall know. Good write up and very detailed.
     
  31. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    Loco Laptop's living up to his name....

    Yeah those copper shims seem to work pretty well. Someone earlier said use a penny...I wouldnt recommend that though because the last truely copper penny was made in 1981.

    Thanks a good luck :D
     
  32. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yes they do, I did that on the dv2000, I will do it to my friend dv9000 when I get it later this week. (the one I already fixed.)
     
  33. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    I hate to call out HP but something needs to be done, My 3 month old DV7 just got the same problem as all the dv2000, 6000 and 9000. since its still under warrenty I will not take it apart to do a reflow. My laptop uses the Nvidia G105M for those who wanted to know. I guess Nvidia didnt fix their issues and HP didnt learn to make better cooling. :(
     
  34. Compact

    Compact n00b

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    A friend of mine just asked me to look at his laptop. it an HP DV-6917 with a Black screen.

    Here we go


    (Update)

    3 Hours later up and running like a champ with only 1 screw left over
     
    Last edited: Jul 31, 2010
  35. darknite

    darknite Gawd

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    Typing from my repaired dv6000. cpu temps dropped a few degrees too. Instead of extra screws, im missing one. :D Will see how long this thing last this time. Got some good in process pix too.
    Thank you so much for the step by step. Once again the Hard is awesome.
     
  36. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    Yeah, I'm noticing some of the newer models coming in to my surprise too. At this point in my career I've become completely disenfranchised by Compaq/HP. They just suck and I go out of my way to not recommend anything made by them to anyone who asks. It's amazing to me that they cannot design a laptop cooling solution that keeps these chips down to a reasonable temperature, especially after all this bad press and who knows how many failed laptops.


    Outstanding! :D 1 Screw left over is pretty good!

    Thanks for the compliments, good job getting her goin again! I didnt realize but Loco pointed out that updating the BIOS might help with the temps a bit for the gpu side.
     
  37. LOCO LAPTOP

    LOCO LAPTOP [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Yeah, it's to fix a fan issue which could cause the laptop to overheat. :p
     
  38. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

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    HP laptops? Overheating? You dont say?! :p
     
  39. Bahamut

    Bahamut n00b

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    Apr 27, 2010
    Here's the pissy thing to me that just happened:

    Got an HP dv9000 series machine from a client, wanted a wipe/clean install/etc so, that took about 2 hours, fresh XP Media Center installation, MSE on it, not much else, tuned up a bit, Bootvis crunched the boot time from 43 seconds down to 19 or so, and then I set it aside as a finished product waiting for him to come get it. Noted no issues at all with it and yes it's one of those models, Nvidia based GPU... ugh.

    So he doesn't show up for a week, still hasn't contacted me and I decided to make use of the laptop (make an image of the clean installation with True Image) for however long he'll take to come pick it up. I turned it on... and that was about it.

    Maybe 15 seconds in, *click* and it was off. No response, nothing, dead. No "blue light" on the power jack, no lights, no sounds, zero, zip, zilch, nada, nothing. Nothing on the battery, nothing on the AC adapter (and yes it's still working) so I'm dead in the water with a laptop that I'll probably end up not only losing the fee on but potentially exposed to some legal action unless the guy and I come to some understanding. This will turn into the typical "But it worked when I dropped it off and now it's dead, you broke it" nightmare that none of us geeks ever wants to be in and I'm now facing... dammit.

    /me is quite pissed right now because of it since there's apparently not a damned thing I can do... and a client that'll think I broke it and of course that's not the case at all.

    Thank you very much, HP, you fargin' corksuckers... :mad:

    I did the requisite research the past 2 days reading thousands upon thousands of posts and, I know a reflow would help IF the thing powered on and simply didn't have video but, I don't think it'll be worth the effort with this one because "It's dead, Jim, not even a blip from it..." and that's that.

    Did I say I was pissed? :mad: Yeah, I guess I did... shit. :(

    Sorry, just had to rant a bit...
     
  40. trick_m0nkey

    trick_m0nkey I jump for cash, bitch!

    Messages:
    3,910
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2005
    Ouch, I understand where you are coming from. I dread moments like those and I think everyone in the business does.

    I will say that I've had experience where the AC adapter seemed to be putting out the necessary power readings on my multimeter but were still faulty for whatever reason. Have you tried using an ac adapter that you know for a fact works that you can grab from another machine? Sometimes that can be the culprit. If that's not it then perhaps you can try the baking method, which is linked here earlier. That may reflow any power management chipsets you have in that machine which may have died. Or it may not, I know how to do a reflow but I am not Vietnamese :p