Monday, December 19, 2011

Laptop Computer Repair

I was given a broken laptop computer as there was no video on the screen at all. When power was turned on a couple blue led indicators lit but all else was dead. This is an HP Pavilion tx1000 with Vista installed.

This video chip is know to get too hot on this and similar computers. As it gets hot apparently the solder melts and the chip separates from the mother board causing the failure.

Twice, using a hair dryer, I tried to heat up the video chip on the motherboard enough to reflow the solder without help. Apparently the hair dryer was not getting the solder hot enough. Then once I tried using a heat lamp 2 inches from the board but ended up blowing up the bulb, literally. Then I purchased a better tool which is sort of a heat gun with higher temperature output like 400 degrees Fahrenheit on the low setting and 800 degrees on the high setting. Using the new tool I fried that chip until the little chips board was getting heat blisters. Then assembled the little computer leaving out 5 screws as they are not fitting or no place observable to insert them. And by now I doubted the computer would ever function again.

I powered it up and “Walla“, video on the screen! Windows Vista kept wanting to upgrade which I did several times. I connected the computer up to the internet using an Ethernet cable and it worked fine. The antenna to the Wifi was and still is broken so that is not working.

It is hard to determine how long the computer will continue to run. Possibly it is fixed for the long haul. Who knows? I would keep the computer off laps and such to ensure it can get enough cooling air.

The original owners are welcome to have this computer back as it probably has some personnel files on it. One owners files are password protected. If they don’t want it back I will need to delete all the personnel stuff and go from there.

The video chip is cooled with the same fan and duct work as the main processor. There was a little dust in the duct blocking maybe 10% of the air flow. The dust was easily removed when I had everything apart. Kind of interesting to work on a little unit like this. It is amazing how easy the hard drive comes out. Not so amazing how the DVD unit comes out. The keyboard and motherboard came out rather slowly. Of course I have not disassembled one before this so maybe next time will be faster.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Jim!
    Yeah that was my old computer that I gave to my dad. He had a friend that was going to try to work on it but I guess he found the right person! I was able to get similar results. I wrapped the computer in blankets with a couple down pillows and put it in a garbage bag after turning it on. It would overheat in about four hours and shut down. I would be able to turn it back on and use it for a couple days, and then the screen would go blank again. I got tired of going through the same routine so I got an ipad to replace it! Hopefully you have fixed it for good and have a nice little compact laptop. Go ahead and delete the files. I'm sure you noticed but it has a stylus and touch screen so you can use it as a tablet with the screen folded back. Enjoy!