20 Jun

long beep short beep short beep

Bronwyn’s laptop just “died”. She turned it on, there was a beep sequence (“long short short”), then nothing appeared to happen.

All the lights were on, the fan was running and there appeared to be activity, but nothing showed on the monitor.

The problem, it appears, is that the GPU overheats too easily and was soldered incorrectly to the motherboard by HP (it’s a HP Pavilion dv2000). When it overheats, the solder melts. When the computer is turned off, the solder solidifies and shrinks, breaking the connection with the GPU, causing the laptop to fail to turn on the video when next booted up.

The proper solution is to replace the GPU, or at least to re-solder the connection and improve the thermal flow around the chip. Unfortunately, I’m just not technically able to do that.

The temporary solution is:

  • Place the laptop on a cushion so the air intake ports are blocked.
  • Turn on the laptop.
  • Let it overheat for ten minutes or so. This will melt the solder again, re-establishing the connection.
  • Turn off the laptop.
  • Turn on the laptop.

Obviously, this is a temporary solution until I can get the cash to pay for a new laptop for her. After that, the laptop joins my collection of broken laptops and will be used for something or other that doesn’t need a working video card.

2 thoughts on “long beep short beep short beep

  1. Erm, apple extended their warranty on laptops where this happened. Hassle HP. They should be at least as reasonable. (Unless it’s more than 5 years old, in which case they’re less likely to).

  2. The laptop is over three years old, and we had enough trouble just getting the power brick replaced after one year because we had replaced the Vista with Linux (yeah, what has that got to do with the power brick??).

    She needs a new machine anyway – that thing could heat the whole room.

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