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Hp/compaq Laptop Intermittent Blank Screen

 
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nmaier88



Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 4



PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 10:42 am    Post subject:

I have an HP/Compaq nx9500 Laptop. My problem started about 2 months ago, when I started up my computer, and the screen was blank, not even a backlight, as if it had not been started. I restarted it once or twice and it then worked fine. Since then about half the time I have had to restart it once or twice to get it to work, until a few weeks ago. I had to restart it like 10 times to get it to work. I have been leaving it on a lot since then, with the cover closed, to prevent having to restart it numerous times to get it to work. The last few days have been really bad. I have had to turn it off and on and restart it like 30 times or so to get it to work. I don't do anything different, it just seems very random when it works. When I turn it on, everything powers up fine, and it goes to the login screen. I can't see anything, I just wait a few minutes then type in my Windows password, and I hear the Windows login sound, so I know it is logging into Windows, and then I restart it using ctrl alt del, without seeing anything. I know my laptop has multiple monitor capability, and I am thinking it may have something to do with that. My dispay always goes to '(Multiple Monitors) on NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5700' even when I set it to 'default monitor on NVIDIA GeForce FX Go5700' in the display properties. I have tried to connect it to an external monitor, and it did not work on their either. I have also tried Fn + F4, the function key to switch to an external monitor. I don't elieve this is a problem with my LCD screen. Or perhaps it is a driver problem, I have not updated the drivers since I got my laptop about 8 months ago. It worked fine for the first 5 months though. I don't understand it and any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank You.
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Eric Legge



Joined: Dec 14, 2002
Posts: 731



PostPosted: Wed Feb 08, 2006 2:21 pm    Post subject:

What happens when it is working on battery power?

Can it operate without the battery being installed? If so, what happens when that is the case?

The problem could be caused by a loose connection, but the fact that you can't use an external monitor could mean that it's more than just a loose connection.

It's only 8 months old, so should still be under warranty.

I would return it for repairs or have a technician call - depending on if it's an onsite or return-to-base warranty.
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nmaier88



Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 4



PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:13 am    Post subject:

It doesnt matter if it is battery or AC, it does the same thing

I haven't tried running on AC and no battery, I am scared to turn off my computer and try it because it will take forever to get it working again.

Yah, I was thinking it wasn't a loose connection because of the external monitor not working, and because I don't have to wiggle or move the laptop at all to get it to work, I just have to reset numerous times.

I do have the warranty, but I am in the Army stationed in Korea, and it will most likely take a month or so to get it sent to America, fixed, and then sent back here, so I am try to fix it here if at all possible.

Could this be a driver problem? WHat drivers should I try and update if it is a driver problem? What else can it be?

Thank you for the response.
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Werebo



Joined: Aug 09, 2003
Posts: 4078

Location: SE London, UK...

PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:55 am    Post subject:

Allo Nmaier and welcome to Lockergnomes Smile ,
When updating drivers etc for your hardware, always go to the hardware manufacturer's website first, in your instance, NVidia... They're the people who built it Wink ...

From your description though, it seems more like a hardware problem Sad ... If it was software, rebooting it should give a display of some sort, at least until it's loaded the graphics drivers for Windows... If you have the Windows installation disc with you (or pre-installed on the notebook), it might be worth trying to re-install the existing drivers. If it worked for the 1st 5 months with them, it might again.

Depending on your PC skills and facilities available, you may be able to dismantle it and try reseating the minute plugs/connectors between the screen and the rest of the gubbins. You could also check if there a loose cable from the external monitor socket to the circuit board, but the socket may well be fixed directly to the board. In which case, that would mean a new graphics card I'm afraid Sad ...

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nmaier88



Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 4



PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 11:47 am    Post subject:

If it is indeed a hardware problem, is it looking more like a bad monitor, or a bad video card. I forgot to mention that it is a remanufactured Laptop, I am unsure if that changes anything. I am mostly focusing on why it won't work after resetting it 30 times, and then for no reason at all, it happens to work until I turn it off again. Is there anything else I can do to pinpoint the problem? Awhile ago I heard something about this being a known problem for HP/Compaq laptops, and it having something to do with BIOS. This was awhile ago, and I'm not exactly sure if they were talking about my exact problem, I don't recall a lot of the details. Could this be a BIOS problem? What initially tells the laptop to send video to the monitor? Thank You for your help.
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zlim



Joined: Mar 11, 2005
Posts: 2747



PostPosted: Thu Feb 09, 2006 3:33 pm    Post subject:

I was looking on HP's site
Quote:
If the internal display is not functioning properly, try adjusting the brightness. If that does not solve the problem, press the lid switch to ensure the notebook is operating properly.

Try pressing the lid switch just on the off chance that it sticks and thinks the lid is down so it turns off the display.
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Werebo



Joined: Aug 09, 2003
Posts: 4078

Location: SE London, UK...

PostPosted: Fri Feb 10, 2006 1:04 pm    Post subject:

Quote:
Could this be a BIOS problem? What initially tells the laptop to send video to the monitor? Thank You for your help.

It's possible but unlikely to be the BIOS... The BIOS settings usually refer to what 'slot' type to use for a graphics card - 'onboard', PCI or AGP. Notebook users don't usually have a choice in the matter of upgrading the video cards so the BIOS is 'hardwired' to their specific adaptor.

The fact that an external monitor doesn't work either when plugged in, leads me to suspect the graphics card itself, either a 'dry' solder joint somewhere, a loose connection with the cabling/connectors or component failure...

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nmaier88



Joined: Feb 08, 2006
Posts: 4



PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 5:47 am    Post subject:

I just got my laptop working again after accidentaly hitting the power button in the middle of the night. It is definately not the lid switch thinking it is down, because the little light above the touch pad does come on when I open up my laptop. I would be checking out my graphics card right now, but I was thinking about it, and I'm not sure it can be that, or at least not a loose connection. I think this because it requires no shaking or movement to get it to work, it's just really random. Also, once it does work, it will work fine until I turn it off again. So I would imagine if it is a loose connection, shaking or moving my laptop would cause the screen to go blank again. I noticed something interesting this time though, which really leads me to belive it is a software problem. I reset it about 25 times, and then just to try it, I hit the function key and F4, which is the button to switch from the laptop monitor to an external monitor, and it worked, my laptop screen came on. Now, this has happened once before, where hitting that button works, but I have also pressed that button many times to no avail, and just had to keep resetting it to get it to work. So I am confused, apparently only sometimes that button works, and sometimes it just requires a lot of resetting. Does anyone have any ideas?
Thank You,

Nathan
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goretsky



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 9836

Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:31 am    Post subject:

Hello,

There could be a problem with the software which controls whether the notebook uses the internal LCD display or an external monitor. You could try downloading the latest device driver software which controls this function, uninstall the existing software and then try installing the latest version to see what difference, if any, that makes.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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micker377



Joined: May 27, 2005
Posts: 1059



PostPosted: Mon Feb 13, 2006 6:19 pm    Post subject:

Quit pulling your hair out, and check on the warranty. If under warranty, RMA it.
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rick_piel



Joined: Feb 19, 2006
Posts: 2



PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 5:08 am    Post subject:

I seem to be having similar if not the same problem with my nx9500. My current status is that the LCD screen has completely stopped working, but I do get external display connections (both off of the DB15 and the s-video).

This all seemed to start after I had mine for around eight or nine months, and after the last few weeks it's become steadily worse. My notebook is now off warranty, and the frustrating 45 minute call with an HP tech support rep yielded no new incites (I am actually quite surprised at how calm and restrainted I am recalling that phone call at this moment . . .).

I too am wondering if this isn't a bios fix issue, so I will be pursuing that path now that I've returned from my road-trip (yes, the d*mn thing died while I was away on business!). I had a major display issue with this unit after I had owned it for five months, and I had packed it up and sent it back to HP. When it returned there was a photo-copy of their work order in the box stating that they had flashed my notebook with the latest bios and shipped it right back. With this in mind I am hesitant to part with my notebook for yet another week if there is in fact a simple fix.

nmaier88: I will keep you apprised of the results.

goretsky: What exactly would be the "software" you refer to? Do you mean the nvidia go5700 drivers?

micker377: Didn't you get the impression that it would be hugely inconvenient for nmaier88 to part with his notebook for a month?
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micker377



Joined: May 27, 2005
Posts: 1059



PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 7:46 pm    Post subject:

Quote:

micker377: Didn't you get the impression that it would be hugely inconvenient for nmaier88 to part with his notebook for a month?


If it don't work - moot point.
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Thorfkin



Joined: Feb 20, 2006
Posts: 1



PostPosted: Mon Feb 20, 2006 8:10 pm    Post subject:

> This all seemed to start after I had mine for around eight or nine months, and after the last few weeks it's
> become steadily worse. My notebook is now off warranty, and the frustrating 45 minute call with an HP tech
> support rep yielded no new incites (I am actually quite surprised at how calm and restrainted I am recalling
> that phone call at this moment . . .).

I too am having that exact same problem with my NX9500. I purchased mine a little over a year ago. This problem began just over a month ago. Since my laptop is out of warranty I stripped it down to the smallest component and cleaned and reassembled it. That did not solve the problem so it is not likely a loose connection.

The LCD screen itself just seems to randomly decide not to work for long periods of time. I also though it might be a bios issue so I re-flashed to system bios to the current version. That did not solve the problem either.

I do not presently have the money to buy replacement parts so this issue has proven to be most inconvenient.
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goretsky



Joined: Dec 07, 2002
Posts: 9836

Location: Southern California

PostPosted: Wed Feb 22, 2006 10:40 am    Post subject:

Hello,

It could be the video card drivers from nVidia, but some manufacturers also bundle companion software to manage the display adapter. Lenovo (nee IBM) does this with their ThinkPad line of laptops, for example, to set up profiles for presentations and other situations where a second display adapter is connected. I do not know if Hewlett-Packard/Compaq does something similar with theirs.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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rick_piel



Joined: Feb 19, 2006
Posts: 2



PostPosted: Wed Mar 01, 2006 5:29 pm    Post subject:

OK, bad news people.

Dealt with a local HP Service Partner and I was basically informed that this mobo/GPU combo is officially designated by HP as a piece-of-crap (my words, not theirs).

The resolution is to get a new motherboard with the previous generation graphics processor, that is, it’s a NV31 (FX5600) instead of a NV36 (FX5700).

So for those of you still on warranty, do it now; since the replacement motherboard is in high demand -- what with thousands of these turds out there -- delivery can be 6 to 8 weeks. For those of us off of warranty, well, TFB. We get to purchase a new mobo for C$900, minus some C$300 credit, for a grand total of C$600!

Seems to be an issue with a few of their other models, as well: zd7000, zd7100, zd7200, zd7300, zd7900.

Here's the skinny:

HP Notebook PCs - System Board Requires Replacement
Service Coverage Notice:

Unless otherwise specified, HP is responsible for part and/or labor costs associated with products that are under HP warranty at the time of service.
Release Date: 2006-02-21
Last Updated: 2006-02-21
________________________________________
DESCRIPTION
This document applies when the system board of notebooks in the Scope require replacement for any reason. In some instances customers may contact support because the display on the notebook exhibits one or more of the following behaviors:
• Blank or black screen.
• The screen flickers.
• The display appears corrupted.
The following system boards are experiencing a high rate of failure:
Spare Part Description HP Spare Part Number
SPS-BD SYSTEM NV36/128MB 365894-001
SPS-BD SYSTEM NV36/64MB 365893-001
The high failure rate has created an unplanned demand on system boards that resulted into a backlog. This backlog produced a shortage of supply of above referenced spare system board part numbers.
SCOPE
The specific notebook PCs affected by this issue are listed in the Hardware Platforms Affected section at the bottom of this advisory.
RESOLUTION
HP has developed a recovery program to mitigate the shortage of system boards and reduce the backlog. The program requires the use of the following service spare part number as the alternative solution:
Spare Part Description HP Spare Part Number
SPS-BD SYSTEM NV31/128MB 356669-001
Spare part number 356669-001 will replace 365894-001 and 365893-001 for all future orders placed for nx9500 system boards.
SERVICE ACTION
This is a "Fix-on-Failure" service event. Proactive service is neither necessary nor authorized.
Service Partners: If a notebook exhibiting any failure that requires the replacement of the system board falls within the scope indicated above and is within warranty, take the following actions:
1. If any orders for the (NV36) nVidia graphics processor are still pending, engage the customer and initiate the process for obtaining customer approval for the alternative system board (356669-001).
2. For future failures of the system board with the (NV36) nVidia graphics processor during the life of this program, initiate the process for obtaining customer approval for the alternative system board (356669-001).
3. Customer approval must be documented in advance in an email message from the customer. This email message must be forwarded to HP at NV31ACCEPTANCE DeleteThis @hp.com . The original email message must be retained by the partner for a period of two years.
4. In the event that the customer does not agree to wait for (NV36) and does not agree to the alternative solution, escalate the case to Mission Control by sending an email to: MissionControl DeleteThis @hp.com . You can contact Mission Control with the case number at (1-888-943-8476 opt 1).
If a notebook exhibiting this failure falls within the scope indicated above and IS NOT within warranty, take the following actions:
1. Initiate the process for obtaining customer approval for the alternative system board (356669-001).
2. In the event that the customer does not agree to the alternative solution, the only option is to wait for (NV36).
NOTE: The wait time could be at a minimal of 6 to 8 weeks or greater.
Recommended Action: Fix on Specified Failure
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