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HP Laptop having screen issues, only works in Safe Mode

by Ms.Gadgettes / July 2, 2009 2:07 AM PDT

I have an HP Laptop, it is kind of old, around April of 2006 I believe, but it works perfectly for my work so I've never replaced it. Since yesterday I've been having problems and can only boot into safe mode. Here is what happened:

Turned it on, noticed some horizontal white lines flash across the screen when it was starting up. Shortly after that I got the Blue Error screen, but was unable to read the message as it restarted the computer before I could. While it was in the process of restarting I noticed some horizontal lines that were different colors this time.

So, I started it up again, still trying it in normal mode and it would not work. You can tell the computer is powered up because all the lights are on and the screen has the glow toward the bottom so you can tell it is on, but it is a dark screen. So I forced it to shut down and started in safe mode. Checked the display drivers, things seemed to be okay and it seemed to be working okay, so I restarted again trying to get into Normal mode, with no luck. So I started into Safe Mode with Networking.

While in this mode I decided to chat with HP to see if they could help. I had two different agents, the first one never could understand the issue and the second one basically said I had to complete restore the system, not wanting to do that quite yet I tried a few different things. I downloaded the updated Driver software (several months ago I had an issue where when I turned on the computer everything was a lot bigger than normal and the driver had to be updated, so it was only one update behind)and tried to install it, but I got an error message, so I tried one update back and that update installed after restarting, so I then updated to the newest driver and this one installed as well. I restarted the computer into normal mode and when it go to the screen just before the desktop there were some colored horizontal lines at the bottom of the screen, but they went away when the desktop came up and I attributed it to the fact that the drivers were not completely installed.

So after the drivers were updated, everything seemed to be okay. I worked on it all day, turned it off late last night and didn't notice anything. So I turned it back on today and noticed the lines again. It got to the loading screen, but never went beyond that point and the screen stayed dark. So I restarted the computer and it brought up system repair. System repair ran and it said that all of the tests were successful and it restored to a point yesterday. It said if that fixed the issue it would restart just fine, otherwise it would start the repair process up again. When it restarted it did what it has been doing and just staying on a dark screen.

So, again, I'm working from Safe Mode with Networking to try and get this repaired. The one agent at HP said I should try updating the BIOS as well, which I haven't done yet because it was working and the other agent just said to do a full system repair. So I don't really know what I should try next. I have it under warranty, but it was with a local electronic repair shop and I have since moved, so I'm not sure if I should try Staples or Bestbuy or what my next step would be.

The laptop is an HP Pavilion dv9000. I'm using Windows Vista Home Premium. The display adaptor is an NVIDIA GeForce Go 7600. If you need anything else just let me know and I should be able to find it.

If you have any other recommendations for me to try, I would greatly appreciate it. I really don't know what else to try and know this is the best place to ask.

Thanks so much!

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The dv9000 line is well known for this.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2009 2:22 AM PDT

Has HP changed the motherboard on this one yet?

Does reloading from the Restore Media fix it? (if not, read and answer the first question.)

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I only found one thing on the computer
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 2, 2009 2:50 AM PDT
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I read the article and
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2009 2:56 AM PDT

Some of the symptoms match. I must be witness to some dozens of this line getting new motherboards for what you described.

If the system restore, reload fixes it then it is a corrupted OS but sadly there is no definitive tutorial on repairing Windows even though we have a billion users of it. Go figure.

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So what do you recommend I do from here
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 2, 2009 3:01 AM PDT
In reply to: I read the article and

Should I try going through HP to get it repaired, or should I taked it to Staples Easy Tech or Best Buys Geek Squad.

I can handle the basic fixes for things, but when it gets too advanced I get lost and don't know where to go. If I had instructions I can handle most things.

Thanks again!

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by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2009 3:08 AM PDT

All those places near me are more like disaster centers. They do poorly in my area. I prefer HP since they'll ship you a box, return labels and HERE (yes here, I can't write about Montana) it takes 7 to 10 days depending on the weather for the fixed laptop to get back. I've seen machines languish at where you noted for longer than that.

I've added a few new ideas in a fresh reply but given it's in the dv9000 line I'd get HP to change the motherboard and use that article to say that your machine is doing some of that.

Of course I doubt we can avoid a full restore of the OS.

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Just another idea.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2009 3:01 AM PDT

How adept are you at using your machine's Fn keys? I read your posts again and saw no mention of you trying to set the resolution in safe mode to something "safe" like 800x600 or tapping Fn+F4 or an external monitor or 'other common Windows tricks.'

Lastly did you try reducing Windows Graphics Acceleration to none?

Links about that for XP, then Vista:

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I really never us the F keys
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 2, 2009 3:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Just another idea.

About the only thing I use is F5 for a refresh, but I'm willing to try anything. I will finish what I'm doing now and see what happens.

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I tried what you recommended
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 2, 2009 3:21 AM PDT
In reply to: Just another idea.

I changed my settings in the Display settings to 800x600, but I just went into the control panel and did it, I'm not sure if I have to use the function keys for it work properly, but I did get it changed that way.

I pressed FN+F4, but nothing happened, so I'm not sure what it was supposed to do.

I tried turning off the graphics accelerator and got an error message "The new settings could not be saved to the registry"

One thing I noticed while doing that is under "Adapter Information" all of the info was either unavailable or N/A, I'm not sure if that is significant or not.

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Actually, the display settings won't stay
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 2, 2009 3:22 AM PDT

If I go back in they change back to the default of 1024 x 768

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Which is ok.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2009 4:31 AM PDT

After we change it we just start, reboot normally for "the test."

More in a moment.

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Thanks, I found my warranty information
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 2, 2009 4:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Which is ok.

And the new company that they have warranties through is called CPS and it looks like I may be able to file a claim from my new location. So I'm going to call the guy I bought the warranty from to find out tomorrow if I can't get it fixed in the meantime!

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Turn UAC off and try again.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 2, 2009 4:37 AM PDT
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I turned off the UAC and then rebooted
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 3, 2009 3:15 AM PDT

After I did that I tried booting in normal mode and it didn't work. So I forced a shutdown and restarted, this time I got the system repair up again. It ran through once and the only thing it could do was do a restore. So then it restarted and system repair came up again but still didn't find anything to repair.

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My predictions.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 3, 2009 10:36 AM PDT

1. You will eventually use the restore function or media.

2. If that fails the motherboard is likely in need of replacement. Again I'm drawing on the many times HP has swapped these out.

3. I can't predict if you'll call HP and talk about your machine appearing to have the same issues as those in the recall. Some will not try this approach and suffer a big repair bill.

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I'm waiting on the guy with my warranty to get back
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 6, 2009 1:14 AM PDT
In reply to: My predictions.

He took Friday and the weekend off because of the holiday, so I'm just waiting for him to return my call to see what has to be done. I'm not sure if he can do anything remotely, if it would have to be shipped in (if I would be paying the shipping or the warranty would)or if there is someone near me now that I could take it to to repair under my warranty.

Once I hear back from him and know what is going on I will decide from there. If he can't do anything for me I will call HP and see what they say. I'm just so sick of dealing with HP support right now, I'm trying to avoid them for a little while. If they won't do anything and my warranty doesn't cover anything, then I will probably just get a new laptop from a different company. This is my second HP/Compaq laptop that has died within 3 years after showing no signs of having issues. I've had pretty good luck with HP printers and desktop PCs, but both laptops I've had recently just died in under 3 years without any warning. I could see it if the computer was treated badly, but since I use them as desktop replacements I don't even take them off the desk but once in a great while. I've heard a lot of people not liking HP, but I just figured it was your normal issues and I always had good luck, but I'm not so sure I want to give another laptop a chance. If I recall correctly it was the motherboard that went out on my last laptop as well. I took it in to my guy that does the repairs (didn't have a warranty on it) and he was able to restore my old data and replace the motherboard, it was like $250 but I was pretty happy with that because the cost to replace it would have been much greater. Got it home, used it for a day and it went out again and he basically said it wasn't worth trying anything else. Fortunately he refunded all the money back so I could get a new one.

Thanks again for all your help!

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A comment about shipping.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 6, 2009 1:31 AM PDT

If it comes down to that. PAY for it. I can't count how many times I ran into someone that owned a finely crafted 8.5 x 11 inch doorstop that used to be a laptop over them refusing to chip in for the shipping.

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I will definitely pay for the shipping
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 6, 2009 2:32 AM PDT

If that is all it would take to get it repaired, I'd be really happy. My biggest concern is going through all the hassel of shipping back and forth and then the same thing happening as the last time.

I'd be very pleased if I could get this computer back because it does what I need so well. I haven't really had time to look into other options so I have no clue what to replace it with and the laptop I'm working off of now is driving me nuts it is just way too slow and small.

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He just got back
by Ms.Gadgettes / July 6, 2009 2:59 AM PDT

He feels the issue is either the motherboard or the LCD panel, so I'm going to ship it in and see what happens.

Thanks again for all your help!

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Finally heard back on the computer
by Ms.Gadgettes / August 26, 2009 2:47 AM PDT
In reply to: He just got back

The guy I mailed the computer to called me to let me know a few days ago that the problem was the motherboard and he was just waiting to hear back from the warranty people to get it repaired. He called a few days later to tell me they got back said they wouldn't let him repair the computer and were going to call me with the options and just wanted to give me a headsup on what they were going to offer.

So, a few hours after he called, I get a call from them. The guy I spoke with was very rude and talked really quick as if he either didn't want to spend the time with me or was trying to trick me into making the wrong decision. So this is what they offered me:

*I can mail them in my old laptop and then once they received it they would contact me with the refurbished laptops I can choose from. I told him that I wanted the laptop to be sent to the guy that is fixing the computer because he was going to remove all the information from the hard drive, put it on the new computer and then mail the old one in, the guy said, that is not an option.

*After arguing with him about not wanting to send it in, I then told him I just wanted the computer to be fixed and originally planned because I didn't want a refurbished computer and not know at all what I would be getting. He said that is not an option, the motherboard costs too much money and it would cost more money to repair it than it is worth since it is almost two years old.

*Since repairing it wasn't an option and I didn't want a refurbished computer, I told him I would just like the money so I can get the computer I want. When I got the warranty they made it sound as if they would give you the money for a new computer if it couldn't be repaired. But, again he told me this was not an option. He said that they would only give me a refurbished computer or a small amount of money on the card if I kept the computer, or a little more if I sent it in, but didn't know how much that would be. I asked him why I had to insure the laptop for between $1500 - $2000 if they were not going to replace it with a computer in that price range or repair mine and he would not answer.

So after arguing with him on the phone for some time and telling him I didn't want a refurbished computer and didn't want to mail my laptop into him with my information still on it he finally says, oh, my mistake the laptop would be new. I then asked for my options since they had all the details of the computer and I want to know what they are going to replace the computer with. He says they cannot tell me what my options are until they get the computer and can look it over. They know what the specs are, I don't see why they can't give me an idea before hand. If they go on the condition of the computer, obviously the value will be low because the motherboard is bad.

The guy that is working on the computer is now taking the matter into his hands and working with the company directly, what will happen, I don't know. But I'm definitely a little upset. I paid for a warranty because I paid over $1500 for this laptop and now they are telling me it isn't worth $600. Plus, they won't let me know what it will be replaced with, just claim it will be of equal or greater specs, but are giving me no idea of what it will be. So, now I'm a little worried that if I do end up mailing it in, they are going to come back with a list of computers that are budget models and won't be able to handle what I need and I still have a feeling I will get a refurbished one in the end. I still don't like the idea of sending them the laptop with my information on it because they sound like a scam company, but it looks like I won't have an option unless I want to lose the money for the warranty and not get the computer repaired. Once they get it and give me the offer I have a feeling if I don't like any they are then going to charge me some outrageous amount of money to mail my laptop back.

So anyway, I'm pretty upset with all of this. The guy I've had repair all my computers over the years isn't happy either. He was in the process of getting a new company when I bought my laptop, so he hasn't worked with them too much either and is now planning to drop them... I have to say, Apple is sounding better and better just so I don't have to deal with companies like this one, I know they have their problems too, but at least they usually take care of you and are decent about it. I hate to lose the guy that has always fixed my computers, but now that I have to mail them in and everything it is too much hassle.

Anyway, just thought I would post an update. Thanks again for the help you provided me!

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Thanks for the update. Always good to hear the story ...
by VAPCMD / August 27, 2009 1:24 PM PDT

good, bad or otherwise.

By the way.... was the warranty with HP or a third party ?


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It was a third party
by Ms.Gadgettes / August 27, 2009 3:52 PM PDT

The guy I take my electronics to for repair has been working on things for my family for a long time. I used to get warranties from the manufacturer and then he started working with companies like Staples, Circuit City, etc. where you would by the warranty from the store and then when you needed repair it would go to him. I found this out after buying a warranty, either for my TV or a computer, not knowing he was offering warranties at the time as well. So when I called the warranty to get some work done on the product he was the person they sent out to my house. At that point he told me I could just start buying the warranties from him and it would benefit us both because he would get more money from the warranty and I wouldn't have to pay as much for the warranty.

So, that was a no brainer and from that point on I started buying all my warranties from him when I bought new products. Everything worked great and any time I had an issue I either dropped the product off at his shop or he came to my house and took care of everything and we were good to go. Fast forward a little to the time when I got my DV9000 and I contacted him for my warranty. He informed me that the company he had been working with for years was going to stop offering warranties, they would still cover what was already under warranty, but they would not be accepting any new ones. He was a little bummed as was I knowing they were a great company and that was hard to come by. It took a little while and he finally settled on a company. Of course, this company charged a significant amount more than the previous company and only offered the warranty for 3 years instead of five. I went ahead and bought the warranty and up until the point where the computer stopped powering on completely, had no real issues and never had it in to him for service.

So now, almost two years later we are finding out that this company is not only nothing like the previous company that he worked with, but pretty much sound like scam artists. I really haven't got to talk to him about it yet, but I'm curious if this is the first real issue he has had with them. From the sound of it, this is because he was not expecting them to work like this and when I called him the day after they contacted me to tell him what they said, he was furious, to say the least. He is normally a very calm person and I heard things come out of his mouth that I would have never expected. So, I'm thinking all the repairs he had prior to this were minor issues and they went ahead and took care of them, but when the issue becomes a little more costly they decide they don't want to do it.

I still haven't heard back from him on what they are going to do, but I'm pretty sure it isn't going to be anything good and can pretty much assume I'm either going to end up with nothing or some cheap, refurbished laptop that barely works.

Getting an Apple computer is sounding more and more tempting now. Their customer support and warranty seems to be my best option. I hate dealing with manufacturers now adays because they never seem to understand the issue and you just spin your wheels trying to get anywhere, I never hear anything good about electronic store warranties and having to do most of my repairs by shipping computers back and forth isn't really the best option, plus, I don't know what he is going to do for warranties in the future. I know Apple isn't going to be a smooth ride every time either, but I just feel at this point, it is my best bet.

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I just talked with my computer person again
by Ms.Gadgettes / August 28, 2009 10:04 AM PDT
In reply to: It was a third party

He said the company called him and they discussed some things. The guy from the warranty company was telling me guy that I told them I was going to ship the computer to them without any question. Fortunately, I was able to get a hold of my repair person first so he knew the truth, otherwise the guy was trying to get him to mail it in to them saying I approved it.

For some reason they couldn't finish the call and the guy from the warranty company had to call back, when he called back my guy was working on unloading a large TV from a truck and the guy just told the lady that works in the store he would call back, but has not done so.

So, I am now going to wait until next week to see what the guy from the warranty company will do. My repair man said that he will do his best to make them send the computer first or will require something in writing before we would have to send the computer first. He completely agrees with me and says there is no reason why they need the computer before they can tell me my options for a replacement.

I did ask him if he was having other problems with this company. He said they have had a few disagreements in the past for things he was working on, but were eventually able to work it out on every single item. He said this was the first major problem he had with them and he has already stopped selling the warranties and is contacting everyone that he has sold one to so he can offer them a refund because of what he has found out.

I will post as soon as I hear back next week or when I get the final answer of what will be done. I will also ask my guy for the name of the company so others might be able to avoid them in the future.

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