I rarely get a problem in the shop that baffles me. One that takes hours and hours of research to find a solution.
This customer's laptop would boot sometimes and work normally. Other times it would boot into a really psychedelic looking screen. Looking like a tartan plaid design at times, or even globular images like space photos or something. It was strange. Click here for a Youtube video of what the problem looks like.
The other issue that was really baffling was every time I tried to shut it down it was trying to down Windows updates. So I was thinking hardware and software?
What I have come to the conclusion is that it is hardware. This model is an HP Laptop, the DV 9653CL, which is called the DV9000 line of laptops from HP.
My problem comes in where this particular model is only a couple years old, and it is hard to find information of others having the problem, because most people don't realize the exact model number is not the one on the front of the computer, but down on the bottom label, there is a model number which is different.
So back to the problem. I have found a HUGE amount of people that have had the same problem. The problem is the NVIDIA graphics chipset on the motherboard. It overheats, and then eventually dies. The problem is, the chip is soldered on the motherboard, and the only reasonable way to fix this is to replace the motherboard.
I found people being quoted from HP for $499 they will fix it. You send it in with your money, and they fix it and send it back. It was hard to find motherboards, and they are very expensive, and that is about the cost that I would have to charge for the repair with parts.
NVIDIA the graphics chip/card manufacturer has admitted to this problem and even gave the people who make computers with their chips, a lot of money to fix the problem for these computers. Unfortunately, HP does everything they can to not have to fix it and discourage people from doing the repair under warranty.
Some people have fought the system, worked their way up management, and got the repair for free because of this problem. Guess what happened after a while? Same darn thing. Graphics chip goes out again.
There are some serious issues with this graphics chipset, and the HP computers. The big problem is, HP won't admit it, and until there is a lawsuit, they do not take any serious action.
In a blog I wrote a couple months ago about the HP DV 6000, I talked a bout a recall for motherboard issues. Guess what? That recall stops around the DV9400 line, so this computer is not covered, even though it has the same issue.
I hope others might be able to benefit from this summation of what is happening here. I found another blog that mentioned just like I did, there seems to be a problem, but because there was not a lot of info on this specific model, he was not sure what the problem was.
I am telling you, HP has a problem with A LOT of their models of laptops, and if you have one, just beware, this could be an issue down the road. Yours may never see this problem, others might have it happen twice, it is hard to say.
If you do a search in Google for DV9000 or DV9000 Video you will see recall, problem and several other issues as the TOP searches for google. And there are a lot of angry people out there.
This is a very good forum, on the HP site of all places, discussing the NVIDIA problem.
Here is an article about NVIDIA admitting the problem and providing money to fix it.
I hate, I said HATE telling a customer I cannot fix your computer and it is not worth the cost. The fortunate thing is, this customer is awesome, and understood the situation as I kept her informed as to my progress or lack of it.
At this point if you have an HP laptop, just pray it stays healthy. If it is one mentioned, make sure your fans stay clean and keep it running cool, as there are many external fans/coolers you can buy now.
If you are looking at buying a new laptop, stay away from the HP brand, period.