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.

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181 Comments

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  1. 121
    Victor Says:

    I got repair my notebook following your instructions, thaks for all!!!

  2. 120
    jwalker Says:

    My computer tech did the bubble wrap and my Compaq V6000 worked for about a week then black screen again. I’ll never buy another HP laptop.

  3. 119
    cj2600 Says:

    @ Walter,

    i contact hp about this issue, and also i told them how i fix it, so I told them how disappointed i was on the product and they offer me a free repair after i show knowledge thanks to you!!! I do not have a warranty for almost two years therefore they were hard to get!

    Congratulations! Hopefully your laptop will last for a while after the motherboard replacement.

  4. 118
    Walter Says:

    is me again. i contact hp about this issue, and also i told them how i fix it, so I told them how disappointed i was on the product and they offer me a free repair after i show knowledge thanks to you!!! I do not have a warranty for almost two years therefore they were hard to get!

  5. 117
    cj2600 Says:

    @ Walter,

    Do you think it would last long since i used it about one time per week and just for running a softphone?

    Cannot tell. All laptops are different.
    Hopefully it will last for a while.

  6. 116
    Walter Says:

    I have fix my HP dv3 1075us. when i though it was time to trash it, after i got a macbook pro. I have given to my hp a a second life!!! Do you think it would last long since i used it about one time per week and just for running a softphone? It is a app that does not work with my mac, and it is not heavy.
    Thank you so much I am so happy to give a new life to this baby

  7. 115
    Koala Says:

    So to everyone who has owned a HP/Compaq with these problems listen up:

    Short version of my story….Own a DV6000 HP laptop. After being in and out of the repair shop at Fry’s for the better part of 3 years, my extended warranty finally ran out. Once again my laptop died. I felt like this was the end, but started doing research on the problem and possible solutions.

    The problem is with the Nvidia Graphics Chip (GPU). It was not properly soldered to the motherboard; they used a lead free solder which is of poor quality. When the computer would get hot, as most laptops do, the solder would come un-done, causing the connections to get loose, and bam! screen would get black, not boot, beeps, loud fans, crazy lines across the screen, its a little different the exact outcome from laptop to laptop, but you get the point.

    I have tried all the ‘cures’ out there. Blanket trick, oven trick, heat gun trick. I won’t go into detail, but you can google any of the above with HP laptop in the search box and get an answer.

    Conclusion? All of the above methods work, although I have had the best results with the ‘heat gun’ method. It lasts the longest, but requires that you completely take apart the laptop, so it does require some technical skill, although there are many videos on YouTube that will walk you thru the process of taking apart the laptop.

    Bottom Line? No matter what you do, as far as methods go, eventually the laptop will not work again. The best length of time I have gone is 4 months between fixes. The last problem came when I was updating my laptop. As it was installing new drivers, the GPU went out. Because of this the BIOS/registry got messed up. I had to re-install my whole operating system. Unfortunately it corrupted some files when the GPU went out. I had recovery programs, but wasn’t able to get everything off my Hard drive.

    So if you are still using your HP/Compaq laptop and using the trick, please keep in mind that there could be a failure that might cause you to lose files/info. Please keep a backup of all important files (4-8gb USB stick should be fine for most people, they are like $15 now) so you don’t lose anything important.

    I am still doing the trick, but after 3 years I am ready to move on to another laptop. I am tired of the stress and anxiety that I get from constantly working and fixing this one. Recommendation would be this: Don’t buy a HP again. The problem is you usually get alot for the money with HP and that might sway you to once again try them out. Because this could only be a one time thing right? They wouldn’t want this to happen again right? Wrong! I have already seen blogs and reports about additional problems with newer HP’s with i3 and i5 core’s.

    Hope this helps someone out there!

  8. 114
    JB Says:

    I did the tape up the vents on my tx1000 and 10 minutes after turning on the computer did a self reboot and now works fine, I also redone the thermal paste and added a penny to the gpu.

  9. 113
    Mike Says:

    I have an HP Pavilion DV6700.But my problem is not the screen going blank completely. When i turn on my laptop, it starts completely well till it get to the ” windows starting” point, then the screen starts going off and on. it will do this for some time before it stops. when you i try putting a usb or even earphone in, the screen goes crazy again.I tried booting it from safe mode and to my surprise it works perfectly.Can someone please help me. The OS is Windows 7 32bit. Thanks

  10. 112
    cj2600 Says:

    @ BSat,

    I have a HP DV4 1204TU. A couple of weeks back, when I switched on my laptop, all I could see was a solid white screen. The laptop works fine with an external monitor. The guys over at HP told me to replace the motherboard. Another guy told me it was probably related to the graphics card. I’m not sure if that’s true because it I can use it with an ext. display.
    What do you think the problem is?

    It’s hard to tell without testing the laptop without known good LCD screen.
    This could be one of the following:
    1. Bad connection between the video cable and LCD screen.
    2. Bad LCD screen.
    3. Motherboard failure.

    Probably this is not graphics card failure because you still can see the external image.
    First, I would try reconnecting video cable on the back of the LCD screen. This could help.

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