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Doug

Pavilion dv9000 inconsistent failure to boot

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This HP Laptop: http://www.pcpitstop.com/betapit/sec.asp?conid=24855587&report=Summary

 

A friend brought it to me complaining of inability to boot.

Keyboard lights come on, HD vibration is heard/felt, optical drive spins, Fan is spinning and pushing air, but Sreen remains black.

 

Ironically, the machine booted right up for me.

I uninstalled the expired McAfee and installed and scanned with MSSE, Installed Defraggler and defragmented, installed Everest Pro and found temperatures -- both of 2 cores cpu = 40 degrees C, GPU up to about 59 degrees C.

 

The machine was responsive, though not what I would call "brisk". I navigated the internet a bit and Ran a Pit Test.

The machine was even successful a couple of time with "restart".

 

Than I turned the machine completely off.

Attempt to reboot failed.

 

Keyboard lights came on, HD, Opt Drive, Fan all running but Screen remained Black.

Keyboard lights would periodically turn off and then back on. Not blinking rapidly, but rather periodically, as if in a boot-loop cycle.

 

With this machine F10 is for BIOS/Setup... F12 is for Boot options.

 

I found that if I pressed F10, the machine would "sometimes" start and then I could exit Setup saving changes or not, and the machine would proceed to boot normally. Sometimes F10 would not do the trick, but F12 would, and machine would boot normally.

 

One time, machine booted to StartUp Repair and I allowed it to try to Fix.... It found nothing, but did proceed to boot normally.

The machine "always" boots to Normal Boot, and does not revert to SAFE Mode even after a sequence of Boot Failures.

 

I tried booting with Windows Installation Media DVD a few times to use Windows Memory Diagnostic and Windows RE to perform Fixboot, FixMBR, /rebuildbcd. Some times it would boot to Disk, sometimes not.

 

Windows Memory Diagnostic eventually ran, detecting no problems.

Fixboot, fixMBR, /reuildbcd had no beneficial effect.

I ran HD scan from BIOS/Setup with not faults detected.

 

Since this is/was a Vista Home Premium machine and had recently had a session of MS Updates, I thought maybe updates had glitched.

I ran Updates again, and a few more successfully installed. Only one listed as failed, and that was for Power Point which is not installed on this machine, otherwise update history is successful.

 

I then installed:

New RAM

New HD

Installed Windows 7 Home Premium.

 

I thought I had a winner with the new hardware, because the machine started and ran successfully for a few cycles.

 

But then it started not booting again after being shut down.

 

I've tried the machine with Battery only, battery in but powered by AC adapter, battery out powered from AC adapter

 

The boot failure happens with no apparent pattern.

Sometimes it refuses to restart using the restart selection from shutdown.

Sometimes it refuses to reboot from complete shut down.

Sometimes, holding the F12 button will result in normal boot (more often than if I didn't try to push any buttons)

Sometimes, holding the F10 button and cycling through BIOS Setup will result in normal boot (more often than if I didn't try to push any buttons)

 

Once the machine is booted up, it runs fairly well and not prominent problems.

There have been no ERROR or Warning Screens, and no auto-reboot as would be the case if BSOD had possible occurred.

The only problem is the inconsistent boot.

 

By the way, the RPC battery is good (3.25v) (RPT battery ??? ....anyways the flat nickel size battery on the mobo)

 

Having already installed new RAM and New HD, plus installing Windows 7 Home Premium, I don't know what else to try.

 

The only thing that comes to mind is that I have not Flashed the BIOS.

I don't even know if there is a newer version.

 

But the machine continues in a maddening non-pattern.

Sometimes it boots up.

Sometimes it doesn't.

 

Andy Help?

 

Thanks in advance.

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have you checked for any sticking keys?

looking very closely between the keys with a good amount of light will show signs a sticky residue, usually a result of spilling some kind of sweet liquid on the kb.

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Thanks for the suggestion, Joe.

That hadn't occurred to my thinking.

 

The keyboard and the entire machine is remarkably clean.

 

There is a very slight amount of light dust between the keys, but no more than might have accumulated just since I've had it.

 

And no goupie, sticky spots at all.

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well....at least we know what it's not

 

If it's doing that when attempting to get into the bios then you can rule out anything windows too, it is most likely a hardware problem

 

 

Edit: If you can get it to boot up again, open notepad and check the operation of each key in notepad, if you have a sticky key or an issue with the kb it might show up

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by Joe C

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well....at least we know what it's not

 

If it's doing that when attempting to get into the bios then you can rule out anything windows too, it is most likely a hardware problem

 

Edit: If you can get it to boot up again, open notepad and check the operation of each key in notepad, if you have a sticky key or an issue with the kb it might show up.

 

Thanks again Joe.

 

I did use NotePad to print from each key before reporting back to you in my last post.

I figured that might detect any problem that I couldn't "see" via careful inspection with LED flashlight..

_____________________________

 

As to Hardware....

 

Could be any darn thing related to the MotherBoard ??

Could be some loose connection. ??

 

Without having taken the case apart, and only inspecting via RAM compartment and HD compartment, the machine looks quite clean.

 

Yes there is "a little' dust at the fan air intake. but it is just a little and only surface material. No "dust bunnie" type obstruction.

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dv9000 and the dv6000 series are notorious for the failing heat transfer from the nVidia video chip on the motherboard.

I've had limited success with the remedy and personally don't mess with them any more.

 

I've got 2 boards on the shelf behind me now and may take another crack at it, but I won't take on the task for a customer any more.

Other sign that I have seen of this occurring in addition to the random and then consistent black screen is the wireless receiver no longer working.

 

 

It's really a shame, as they are nice lappys, just a bad design in cooling the CPU and video chips.

 

 

:) Y

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Yup...you can reflow those HP's and get them running again but it's only a temp fix because of the design they tend to overheat again and fail within a year or so

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Thank you gentlemen.

 

This looks like a "labor of love" type job.

If I owned the machine, I might consider doing the work as an exercise of learning.

But i neither own, nor love the machine.

In fact, in its present condition it is a pain for everyone involved.

Nope. I'm done.

 

Thanks again

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