PC TIP OF THE DAY: Laptop Not Displaying (Graphics Card problem)

“Hie, My Laptop is having a problem. At start-up the laptop beeps once; long and two short ones. It doesn’t show anything on the screen but I can here the sound of the fan spinning.”

After I read this email from a friend I could easily guess that he was using an HP Pavillion laptop because their graphics cards always fail due to high temperatures.

This issue is most certainly caused by poor cooling design in the HP pavillion DV series Laptops.

The problem is caused by a few of things.


1. The Sticky thermal pad used to transfer heat from the Nvidia Graphics Card to the heatsink which does not do its job

2. The fan speed and internal design do not allow enough hot air to be extracted from the casing.

3. The use of lead-free solder which is more brittle and easily cracks under high heat conditions.

In fact, the poor cooling system causes the temperature inside the laptp to rise and this in turn will break the solder connection of the graphics card mounted on the motherboard.


If you are having the same problem you can fix your computer by using the following two methods:

The first one is very simple but it is for temporary so that you can copy and do a backup of the data in the computer before the problem resurfaces again.


1) put the laptop on a bed or a similar surface to close the air openings below
2) wait for some time (15 min) and let it get warm
3) restart and you laptop should work.
This method works because it overheats the Graphics Card and the whole board and in turn re-balls the solder joints under the graphics card.
The professional way to correct this problem is typically done by using hot air or infrared re-balling techniques where you remove the Graphics card, clean the old solder from it and re-ball the small GPU points and re-attach to the main board. This involves opening the laptop and taking out the motherboard so if you are not sure how to identify the graphics card you don’t need to try this. The advantage of this method is that it permanently fixes your laptop.I would also advise replacing the gooey thermal pad stuck to the GPU with a 2mm thick Copper sheet cut to about 7mm by 8mm made from 2mm copper sheet.Use arctic silver on the both GPU core and on the top of the copper heat sink. This should keep the GPU about 10 degrees Celsius cooler compared to the stock HP DV2000 Laptop. If you use a notebook cooler pad with the notebook this should be enough to keep the machine working.
Even though I have been targeting HP laptops in this article, I have fixed some laptops from different manufacturers that were not displaying using the above methods and it worked perfectly fine.
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