HP Pavilion dv9000 Laptop not powering up, lights are on but no display/bootup

Posted on 2010-09-08
Last Modified: 2013-11-08
I have a client that brought me an HP Pavilion DV9000 laptop that he reported was "freezing" and having "odd issues" with the screen. Now it simply does not power up at all. The lights above the keyboard all light up, but after a minute or so turn off and then turn back on. Connecting an external monitor did not work, so I don't think it's the screen it seems like maybe a graphics card/motherboard issue.

I tried doing the full power cycle (remove battery, hold power for 10 seconds, try powering up only plugged into AC adapter without battery) and it did not fix the issue. I'm leaning towards this being a motherboard/graphics card issue and am about to recommend a replacement motherboard for the client, but wanted to make sure this sounds like an accurate assessment before I do so.
Question by:LlewellynIT
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Expert Comment

ID: 33630138
Remove the battery and unplug the power cord so no power of any kind is going to the laptop and then hold down the power button for a minimum of 30 seconds.  Reconnect the battery and power and try booting up.
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Expert Comment

ID: 33630162
Most likely it is the video chip on the motherboard I reflow allot of those Hp DV series.

When you press your power button on your laptop and the LCD screen just stays black.  What is the problem?

•Possible problem can be the on-board video chip or Video Card.

•Possible problem can be the power inverter.

•Possible problem can be the back light of the LCD screen.


•Bad LCD Cable Connections

On-board VIDEO CHIP or Video Card BAD

First let's look at the possibility that your video chip on your motherboard is bad.  You can also have a separate video card instead of on-board video chip.

If you press the power button on your laptop and you just get a blank screen, then you need to do a couple of checks to see just what the problem might be.

1) If the LED lights are on and you hear the fan in the laptop running and hard drive working but there is no video, that usually means the video chip on the motherboard has gone bad.  This can be repaired by re-flowing the video chip. You will have to find a good repair tech that knows what he is doing for this repair.  It might cost in the neighborhood of $150.00 for this repair.

2) Plug a external monitor to the laptop and see if you have any video. If you see video on your external monitor then your video is OK.

When your power inverter is bad or the back light is bad, you can usually see a faint image on the LCD screen.

Power Inverter / Backlight BAD

1) If your video displays on the external monitor then your LCD screen has a problem.  Either your power inverter is bad or your LCD backlight has gone bad.

2) Check that your power inverter plug it seated properly. Without a tester to hook to the inverter or back light (CCFL) there is a general guideline you can use:

If this happen all the sudden that your screen just went black it is most likely it is the inverter.
If your LCD screen has been geting light and dark or colors have been getting off for a while it is your back light (CCFL).

You can actually have the light replaced but it is a tedious process and it is probably better and cheaper to find a new LCD screen on eBay.

Sometimes memory modules can do this. If you have extra good memory you can swap out and see if it woks. If you have an extra laptop around that usees the same memory you can put the memory modules in question in the extra laptop and use memtest software to test it.

Cable Connections
I have seen loose cables and improperly seated cables do this as well.
Check the connections at the motherboard and back of lcd screen to make sure they are seated properly.

If your onboard video chip has gone bad on your motherboard, you can have it repaired at a reasonable cost compared to having to buy a new motherboard.  This repair will have to be done by a good repair technician and that will be cheaper than a new motherboard.  If your video card is bad then you can replace it.

If your inverter or backlight is bad and you have taken apart a laptop before, you can change the power inverter or LCD screen yourself, but only attempt this if you are sure you can take apart the laptop without breaking anything.

If you can take apart your laptop and check the cables you can save your self some money and time.

Expert Comment

ID: 33630229
I have had this exact symptom before on an HP Laptop, and it was a faulty Backlight. My unit was out of warranty at the time, but the HP rep honestly told me that I'd be better off buying a new laptop than covering the cost of a new backlight.

If, however, it's still under warranty... get them to replace it. HP's turnaround time is pretty decent.

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Author Comment

ID: 33630231
Grant - thanks for the detailed breakdown. I'm thinking it is the video chip/video card because an external monitor does not work and I hear no sounds of boot-up. I read in other places that this is because the GPU can become "unseated" and needs to be re-soldered to the motherboard, what it sounds like you're describing here. Question is, how do I tell if this is an onboard-chip problem, or a bad video card? If I open this up (I've opened up laptops before and done some hardware swap outs - no soldering though) would I be able to see a separate graphics card that I can remove and replace?
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Assisted Solution

Grant1842 earned 400 total points
ID: 33632177
Hey there is no sodering involved.

I use a small butane torch and heat the top of the nvidia chip to about 240f .

I use one of those cheap laser pointers that reads temperature.

I heat the chip up 2 times.

You can use a heat gun as well to do this.  

Look here.
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Expert Comment

ID: 33632242
I do not think it is a separate video card. It acts just like the other onboard video chips that go bad. If you have a separate video card you will see it when you take it apart and then its just a matter of trying a differnt card.

here is a guide from hp on the 9000. 

I would study op on re-flow hp dv9000 on Google. And try give it a try. The mother board is shot anyway, but you will be surprised how easy it is to re-flow those on board chips.

Author Comment

ID: 33640501
Some Googling around shows that this is a VERY common issue, and HP actually has a class-action lawsuit against them because of it.

Thanks for the video you linked, that is extremely helpful. I opened up the laptop and can see the GPU chip surrounded by red stuff. As you mentioned worst case is the board is shot anyway, might as well try this!

Author Comment

ID: 33746489
We just completed this process using a copper shim and the computer booted up with a screen!

Problem now is that after putting it back together NOTHING ELSE works. The touchpad/keyboard do nothing and the power adapter no longer charges the laptop (no blue ring). This stuff definitely worked before doing this process.

Any idea?
LVL 23

Expert Comment

ID: 33746575
I don't understand how it powers on if there is no blue ring at the power jack.

Author Comment

ID: 33746589
Life in the battery I'd imagine ...
LVL 23

Accepted Solution

edbedb earned 100 total points
ID: 33746691
I never thought of that.
You either assembled it wrong or you will have to take another shot at reflowing the chipset.

Author Comment

ID: 33747592
We took it back apart and definitely had the power plug to the motherboard plugged in wrong. We corrected that and booted it back up. Everything works now except for trackpad. We definitely plugged the trackpad in though...anything else to check or open it up again and connect the trackpad ribbon tighter?

Author Comment

ID: 33747818
Wait nevermind, we reset BIOS to defaults and for whatever reason it's working now. Thanks!

Author Closing Comment

ID: 33747835

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