How to fix HP video problem

posted in: Motherboard | 182

Today I show how to fix a known video problem on some HP laptops using bubble wrap.

Most likely the fix is not permanent but this will buy you some time, enough to backup personal files or even use the laptop until you get a new one. There is no guaranty this fix work 100%.

Here are some HP models affected by this known video failure problem: HP Pavilion dv2000, dv6000, dv9000, tx1000 tablet PC, Compaq 700, v3000, v6000 and probably some others.

If you know more models, please mention them in comments after this post.

CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM:

As I know, the video problem somehow related to NVIDIA graphics chip located on the motherboard. Overtime the graphics chip separates from the motherboard and the video fails.

SYMPTOMS OF THE PROBLEM:

The computer turns on and all LEDs light up but there is no video on the screen or external monitor. The internal screen remains completely black and blank.

I found this trick mentioned by Walliot in this post. This trick called “towel fix” and used to fix “no video” issue in xbox360.

HOW TO FIX:

1. Remove the battery and hard drive.
2. Plug the AC adapter and turn on the laptop. Make sure it’s is actually on, all LEDs should work.
3. Wrap it up with towels so all air intakes are closed.
4. Keeps the laptop wrapped in the towel for about one hours.
5. Unplug the AC adapter from the wall the let it cool down (do not move it for a while).
6. Unwrap the laptop and try tuning it on.

I didn’t really believe that this trick might work and tried it just because of curiosity but… IT WORKED!!!!

#1. HP tx1000 Tablet PC repair.

First, I tried this fix on a failed HP tx1000 Tablet PC.
I didn’t have paper towels at work but I had plenty of bubble wrap.
I closed it in a tablet mode (with hard drive and battery removed), plugged the AC adapter and wrapped the laptop properly in bubble wrap.

After that I just waited for about two hours and unplugged AC adapter from the wall. Waited for about 30 minutes and tried turning it on.
Success!!! It starts with with video.

I just couldn’t stop and tried the fix on another one.

#2. HP Pavilion dv6000.
This is a different model with very similar failure symptoms. It failed exactly the same way as the first one.

This time I did something extra. To make sure there is no cool air coming into the case through the bubble wrap, I closed all air vents with sticky tape.

After that I turned it on from AC adapter (again with hard drive and battery removed) and wrapped the base.

It was running like that for about 60-70 minutes but then I noticed that all LED lights went off.

Not sure what happened. Maybe the motherboard overheated too much and shut down on its own. Anyway, I didn’t touch it for about 30 minutes and let it cool down.

My fix was successful again! The laptop turned on with video and booted to the desktop.

HOW THIS FIX WORKS:

Here’s my understanding of how this fix works.
When you run a laptop wrapped in towels (bubble wrap in my case), it gets very hot because there is no air circulation inside the heatsink.

The heatsink gets so hot that it melt solder between the chip and motherboard and the video chip gets resoldered to the motherboard.

Now I have to test for how long this fix last. :)

RELATED POSTS:

Also read backing the motherboard in an oven and how to reflow failed NVIDIA graphics chip with a heat gun.


182 Responses

  1. Sir, i like your site. i learn different kind of troubleshooting laptop.

    id like to share my experience wih this kind of problem. when all LEDs are running but the screen is blank, i put some hot air pressure(480deg.c)to the video card or the whole motherboard. and after a while it runs.

    Nixon

  2. osvaldo,

    the only way to fix definitely the re-soldier or “reballing” process, but also works “reflow” is the same as explained here but with professional tools.

    Probably this is too expensive. Not worth repair.

  3. Thanks man! It worked perfectly! I wrapped the computer with 2 nylon bags, a towel on the top and some blankets on the back and bottom. The screen I left it open so that it wouldn’t get damaged with the heat.

    I left it like 1:30 hour and I started smelling burned plastic. So I turned off the machine, uncovered it and waited for it to cool down. It was very hot!

    Then I put the hard drive back in and now it is working.

    Just in case though, I will leave the program “TeamViewer” very accessible in my desktop in case I have to get in blindly if the fix is just to last one month. It’s a pity to throw the computer away, so if I can use it from another computer, that’s better than nothing.

    But for now this works, and I will enjoy my display once more.

    I will also post a link to here in HP’s forum for all the people who couldn’t get into that class lawsuit against NVIDIA.

    Thanks!

    Tomas.

  4. if you worked and did not burn your motherboard is a lucky man. please all the people who have video fails go to a service technician first. the only way to fix definitely the re-soldier or “reballing” process, but also works “reflow” is the same as explained here but with professional tools.

  5. int21h,

    So far, so good – customer happy and no problems whatsoever. I was wondering if this method would work on video card as well, as some HP models are well known to have construction flaw that results in fail-chain: WIFI -> Video card -> and motherboard finally.

    It might work. Basically it’s same method as described in my post – overheating the CPU and “resoldering” the faulty NVIDIA chip.

    If you could keep us updated if result is permanent, that would be great.

    So far my “fixed” laptop work fine. :)

  6. OHENE BA,

    I have a blower…so i take everything apart and heat the motherboard with the blower. But in few weeks it goes off again. I want to know how to replace the chip.

    I really doubt that you can replace the chip at home.

  7. OHENE BA

    I am so grateful for this advice……so far i have worked on about 23 HP laptops with similar problem. I have a blower…so i take everything apart and heat the motherboard with the blower. But in few weeks it goes off again. I want to know how to replace the chip.

  8. This procedure is called reflowing of BGA soldering.. As being said before, I would not trust this fix to run for long – month if lucky.
    In the ideal world you need to get video chip off the motherboard, clean the solder, reball it and solder it back to the motherboard, but I wouldn’t risk it doing at home without required equipment (costs thousands).

    I think you are right, but for someone anxious to get personal data back or just make the laptop work for a while this could be a very easy and valuable solution. To be hones, I wouldn’t put any money in fixing this problem. Ideally you have to replace the motherboard but it’s too expensive.

    If you are trying to recover files and don’t have an external enclosure, then this should help to back them up before your computer fries again.

    This is a very good advice. If you are lucky and your laptop boots after this fix, back up all important files ASAP. After that just have fun with the fixed “zombie” laptop. :)

    A permanent solution is to replace the motherboard.

    Yep, but I really doubt that you can find a brand new motherboard for these laptops. Most motherboards out there are refurbished.

  9. Just like Max said, this is a temporary fix. The problem is due to certain circuits loosing contact with the motherboard. If you are trying to recover files and don’t have an external enclosure, then this should help to back them up before your computer fries again.

    A permanent solution is to replace the motherboard.

  10. This procedure is called reflowing of BGA soldering.. As being said before, I would not trust this fix to run for long – month if lucky.
    In the ideal world you need to get video chip off the motherboard, clean the solder, reball it and solder it back to the motherboard, but I wouldn’t risk it doing at home without required equipment (costs thousands).

    Great work for discovering this kind of kludge!!! I’ll try this fix next time I have hands on dead pavillion.

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