HP Pavilion dv6111eu oven trick – repairing a laptop in an oven

Hewlett-Packard Pavilion DV6000 Series – yet another success story

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Document info

Created: 2010-09-11 (11th September 2010)

Last updated: 2012-03-19

Author: mattkane at hotmail dot com

Location: Finland (Europe)

Coded in XHTML 5 (just for fun).

Introduction

How to repair a laptop that has lost its wireless network adapter (WiFi) and/or has blank screen with no display?

In this case, HP Pavilion DV6000 Series, it is possible to heat a particular faulty chip on the motherboard to make it re-solder itself. Keep in mind though, this may or may not work. This fix might not be permanent. It just buys some more time for the old, ailing hardware.

Warning

Do this at your own risk. I am not responsible for any damage or monetary loss.

You might end up having a permanently broken piece of hardware or even damage yourself or surrounding property!

If you are unsure of your skills or if you don't have enough experience in (computer) hardware, I do not recommend you to try this.

Always read/watch/listen the whole instructions first before you grab a tool and attack the thingamajig.

Mental preparation

I strongly recommend that you view this video first: YouTube - HP Pavilion DV6000 Blank screen fix BGA rework video problem (opens in a new tab/window). The video is created by ReBootit.biz and uploaded by Mixcat.com. There are some details told in the video that are not represented on this document.

More valuable information can be found here: HardForum - Dead video card resurrected (opens in a new tab/window). There are several authors telling about their experiences with the heat/oven trick.

Thanks for every author for spreading their experiences and information. I would not have tried this by myself without your successful examples.

About disassembling, ovening and assembling

I won't be describing every phase and detail or tool. You must know which tools you need to have and how to handle the easily-breaking bits.

Unscrew and remember which screw belongs to where.

Little cables and latches can break very easily, so be extra careful.

I used q-tips and isopropyl alcohol to clean up chips before applying thermal paste. They better be clean and shiny for optimal thermal conduction.

I pre-heated the standard oven (no digital display) to about 190 °C degrees. When it had reached the target temperature, I put the foil-covered motherboard in. The motherboard was in the oven for 7 minutes, exactly. The cooldown time was one hour, just to be sure.

Getting started

The image links open in this same tab/window. The images should be in chronological order.

Final words

The machine did not start at first after assembling. It just flashed its blue LED lights and then turned off. I thought it was broken but after a careful inspection I found out that the CPU was not locked tight enough in its socket (that round lock screw). The proper locking made it work again like a charm.

The CPU runs now about 10 °C cooler than earlier. That's nice.

The GPU runs now about 10 - 30 °C cooler than earlier and that's very nice! That piece of copper really does it job better than the original thermal pad.

Hopefully that old laptop will still work for years to come.

That is all.

Greetings and thanks

And the greetings goes to...

Update (2012-03-19): The first blackout

After a year and a half, the oven-repaired laptop hanged up while running Windows. The display just stayed black and the machine kept restarting itself.

There had been a couple of occasional hangups earlier, but the "remove battery and power cord for 30 seconds" helped.

I ovened the motherboard and got it to boot normally. The nasty thing was that the WLAN adapter was missing. Then I ovened the little WLAN adapter card alone, but it did not help. The machine seems to be working well otherwise again, but the original problem is back - there is no wireless network and the WiFi LED stays orange.

Yet another oven session for the motherboard could do something, but it could also break it for good. With brand new Windows 8 tablets looming in the horizon, it could be the time for the old HP Pavilion dv6111eu with Windows XP to be recycled.

Update (2011-09-30): What's up? It's been a year!

It's been over a year since the oven trick was performed. The machine is still working well! There have not been any issues with WLAN (Wi-Fi) or other components.

One could say that it was worth investing so much time and effort to buy at least one more year of lifetime for the old laptop computer.

A certain Tomato Seller sent me some nice feedback this month (September 2011) and hinted that at least some hot-running laptops could use some extra holes in the bottom for better ventilation. In this case, HP Pavilion dv6111eu seems to have lots of holes already. However, it does run hot.

Computers and other consumer electronics devices generally don't like heat, moisture or dust. So a vacuum cleaner is a nice thing to own and utilize.

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