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Laptop Woes

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by Kris Vickers, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff


    I recently agreed to look at a mates laptop from work, as he has no clue. Its a Presario F500ea.

    It`s a few years old and nothing special, but turns out these things had factory issues with the onboard nVidia chip overheating and causing reboot loops tp prevent damage.

    HP recognised this was there fault and offered a MoBo replacement service for free, trouble is, it finished in March this year lol.

    I know how i can fix it, and to describe it briefly, its a full dismantle to get to the chip and bake it to effectively re-solder the joints.
    You also have to put a 'shim' (i seen people use pennies and small square of aluminium) inbetween the chip and its heatsink, as apparently, the gap is too large for effective cooling.

    What i`m hoping for here is that someone on this forum has done this fix before and can advise me on any precautions or tips to make the job a little easier/better.

    A video of a dismantling would be super-smashing-great (as Jim Bowen would say), but a quick trawl o' t'interweb turned up nowt.

    It`ll probably be next weekend i get round to this, as i`ve heard its a looooong process, so any adice before then would be ideal.

    Thanks in advance :)

    EDIT: Found a few vids that may be collectively helpful, so just some verbal advice now please :)
  2. Adrian Britton

    Adrian Britton
    @ Simberia @Simberia

    Hi mate
    I would contact HP first and ask them how much it would cost to get them to do a replacement first, maybe try a sob story with them and ask them to do it on the cheep, (if they recognise it as an issue, they shouldnt charge full rates as its a manufactory error)

    I know you are probably keen on trying to do it yourself, but weigh up the differences first dude, if the cost of a repair from HP is more then the cost of a new laptop F500ea, then do it, but if its not that much then its probably best to let HP do it.
    As if anything goes wrong then its there problem not yours.

    Sorry I know this doesnt help much and not what you was probably wanting to hear.
  3. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    It seems that if your out of warranty, trying to get hold of HP without phoning up is damned near impossible.

    I`ve seen people mentioning that they have been quoted around £200 for the repair by HP with it being out of warranty.
    My mate isn't too fussed about it being done. He was ready to bin it until i said i`d have a look at it for him, so the manual repair is the best way for me to go without expense for him.
    I might charge him a bottle of vodka though lol, think i may need lots of alcohol after stripping the laptop to bits.

    Thanks for the suggestion though :)
  4. Chris Butcher

    Chris Butcher
    Red Bull Gridsters 2012 Champion

    He SERIOUSLY suggested this. Don't take any advice from him :p

    Kris, HP laptops are normally fairly straightforward to strip down. If I recall correctly, you remove all the screws from the underside, flip it over, take off the top layer of plastic & remove keyboard. You should be pretty close to the board then.

    Unfortunately, I don't know much about the baking process
  5. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Yeh, looking at the vids it seems fairly straight forward. My main issue is because it isn`t mine, i`m always weary of breaking something, ie. plastic trims etc.

    Just knuckle down and get to it i guess. Trip to Scan for some Arctic Silver tomorrow me thinks :)
  6. I had my old lappy done by someone at a shop a few months ago, cost me £50 and i was told the chance of it working and not killing the lappy was about 50/50. It did work and the lappy is running better than ever to be honest as it resides at work as a training lappy.

    If your gonna bin it anyway then its worth a try for sure.
  7. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Absolutely Nick.

    I`ve got some thermal compound and some reference material now. I`m just waiting for some kid-free time to rip it to bits and get it done. About another 16 years to wait i think! lol

    Hopefully get it done next week, as i`m off work Tuesday and Wednesday.
  8. Dave Stephenson

    Dave Stephenson
    Technical Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    as in today?How did you fair?
  9. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Pfft. Had PC problems of my own to cure the last few days.

    Everything is falling to bits! So not touched the lappy yet. Might take it into work with me for the graveyard shift this weekend. Big might though, so no promises! lol
  10. Kris Vickers

    Kris Vickers
    Hardware Staff

    Ok, so i did this fix on Sunday while watching the F1.

    From start to finish took around 4 hours and it went quite well. No apparent breakages etc.

    I could see the problem straight away though. The nVidia chip used in the lap top was cooled by a thermal pad on the heatsink, which barely touched the chip itself. You could actually see the gap :eek:

    See after reading about the fixes on t' t'interweb, i decided to bridge the gap with a 1 pence coin. I found the oldest coin i could, seeing as the new ones aren`t made of copper anymore, and used that (was 1982 i think).

    Using a hacksaw, i squared it off to the size of the heatsink (about 10mm x 10mm), then proceeded to flatten it as best i could.
    I couldn`t find my wet & dry sandpaper, so i rubbed it on the brick wall outside until it was flat lol. Redneck i know, but it worked, even if the friction did burn my fingers once or twice.
    Even the CPU`s 'thermal paste' looked more like cooled melted metal. It was that bad it actually peeled off when i removed it. So all that got cleaned off and re-pasted too.

    I also completely cleaned out the fan and heatsink, as it would be stupid not to.

    So both the GPU and CPU got pasted, usual clean of heatsink and fan, then put it all back together.
    It now boots everytime, no boot loops due to overheating and all seems well.

    I did mean to install SpeedFan and check the temps, but i forgot and i`ve now given the laptop back.

    All in all, a job well done :)