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HP DV4-4141 Disassembly/Reassembly -- any 'how-to" tips?


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#1 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:02 PM

Being full of confidence after having spent that last couple of weeks tinkering/disassembling/reassembling 3 other laptops with a degree of success, today I tackled the HP Pavilion DV4-4141 US Entertainment laptop.  It's turning out not to be very entertaining after all.

 

It's the 2nd HP Pavilion in the series of doorstops littering my house that's apparently not repairable.

 

The first was a DV6-6500 that was purchased before the 4141.  I took it apart last week, to discover a dust clog the size of Nebraska in the cooling fan area.  It powers up (somewhat) now, with just single blink of the lights (indicating a CPU failure) and a single screeching noise from the fan which tells me I did something right by cleaning out the dust.  I don't know if I'm motivated to buy another CPU and give it another shot -- it was really just practice before tackling the one I really want to work.

 

But so far I've got two laptops working better than new, unfortunately neither of them are HP products.  Which does not bode well for my success rate with fixing HP laptops.  I'm batting zero with HP.

 

Today I cracked the case on the 4141 after getting no hits on youtube showing disassembly, and nothing on the HP site in regards to support for DIY repairs.  DailyMotion might have a video but I didn't think to check -- and Google doesn't always return hits for the competition.  Anyway, the 4141 has been overheating since it was purchased and I've never used it much as a result.  It has "coolsense" built in but that does nothing to inspire me to believe that it won't catch on fire because it gets really really hot if it runs for over an hour.  Here's what happened when I took the screws out of the back:

 

With no visual guide, I was relatively certain all of the screws were out so that there would be nothing impeding prying the bezel off the keyboard.  Turns out the bezel isn't really a bezel at all.  The keyboard, and the top layer, are all one piece.  There is lots of plastic soldering underneath and no way to replace the keyboard if that were the issue.  Thankfully it's not.  When I was trying to figure out how to get the keyboard layer off,  I could sort of see that there were ribbons clipped to the motherboard and the top layer, but couldn't lift the top high enough to see about getting the ribbon cables unclipped before the whole shebang self-extracted the clips.  I wasn't using a lot of force, just trying to lift the layer up to get to the clips.  So there it was in all its glory.  The motherboard exposed with just a couple of little screws holding it down into the bottom section of the case.

 

I took the screws out and the board popped out pretty easily compared to the other boards I've had to wrestle with.  Another confidence builder!  I could see there was a giant dust clod in this fan as well, which seems odd because it's not gotten anywhere near the use of any of the other laptops I've had.  Maybe it's a dust magnet instead of a cooling fan. 

 

After removing the fan I took off the sink and CPU and there was barely any thermal grease on the CPU at all.  That might be why it was overheating from day one.  Is HP trying to save money by skimping on thermal grease?  The last HP, I forgot to mention, had thermal "CEMENT" on it.  So hard I had to chip it off the sink side.  I was afraid to do that with the CPU and it doesn't matter because it's probably toast anyway.  Anyway I wiped off the smidgen of grease from both components of the 4141, gave the fan a good cleaning, put a decent amount of grease on it and put it all back together.  So far so good.

 

Since I hadn't seen how the ribbons came unclipped, I had to do a little bit of study to figure out how to put them back together.  And after spending 6 hours trying to clip on the last two ribbons, I GIVE UP.

 

My fingers are kind of pudgy, but come on.  A two year old couldn't fit these pieces together, even if they could be coached as to how to do it.  The ribbons do NOT REACH from the top layer to the motherboard unless the two parts are already snapped together.  And after they're snapped together, even a two year old couldn't fit their fingers between the two layers to snap the ribbons.  I've tried by going through the access hole under the bottom where the hard drive goes, and there's "space" but it's not enough space for the connecters to remain in the "receiving" position if the layers are snapped together.  Even my little dental pick tool can't fit in that space.   I need four hands to guide the little misshapen ribbons into position anyway.  But there aren't even four millimeters of space in which to do it.  And the ribbons are too short to reach.  Seriously ... is HP skimping on ribbon, too?  Just another centimeter would probably be enough.  But that times x a number of laptops would bankrupt HP?

 

Before I started, it was a fully functioning unit although it smelled like a burning hunk of plastic when running.  Now, I can't make it do anything because I can't get two stupid cables to clip to the motherboard. 

 

Now I'm googling non-video sites for "HP DV4-4141" (just as it's described on the bottom of the case) and get NOTHING.  Did I buy the only one?  I know, I know... "measure twice, cut once."  I should have looked for model information BEFORE starting in.  But I was full of false confidence after having torn 3 other laptops apart.

 

Have I unwittingly built a permanent door stop?  Does anyone have experience with the ribbons on this HP model?  If so, I'm dying to know how you got them back on, if you did! 

 

 

 

 



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#2 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:20 PM

Not sure it will help but here is the service guide for the dv4

 

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02987282

 

And a teardown guide.

 

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/disassemble-hp-pavilion-dv4-laptop/



#3 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 07:37 PM

Not sure it will help but here is the service guide for the dv4

 

http://h10032.www1.hp.com/ctg/Manual/c02987282

 

And a teardown guide.

 

http://www.insidemylaptop.com/disassemble-hp-pavilion-dv4-laptop/

Thank you John, the manual looks like it, but I've seen the "insidemylaptop" site and though the unit is similar it's not exactly the same.  The manual also says the keyboard is removable and if I can find my camera (might have to be tomorrow to start looking for it, have too many projects delayed due to this weird laptop situation) I will post images of what the underside of the keyboard layer looks like.  But I believe the manual is a step in the right direction.  I searched HP using the part description and came up with nothing.  So thank you again.



#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 08:04 PM

I am not sure it will help but you can go to HP Partsurfer and input your model number. Then google that part number. That may get you in the right direction.

 

http://partsurfer.hp.com/

 

I did a google on zif connectors. It shows different examples.

 

I think I know what you are dealing with in regards to the keyboard. Does the keyboard/bezel one unit which includes the trackpad?



#5 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 09:51 PM

I am not sure it will help but you can go to HP Partsurfer and input your model number. Then google that part number. That may get you in the right direction.

 

http://partsurfer.hp.com/

 

I did a google on zif connectors. It shows different examples.

 

I think I know what you are dealing with in regards to the keyboard. Does the keyboard/bezel one unit which includes the trackpad?

Yes it's all one piece.  I took photos of the front of the keyboard showing it's all one piece and the backside of it showing the rivets and the melted plastic 'solder'.  I also have an image of the motherboard that shows the location of the clips and a description of the difficulties therein.  They will appear just as soon as I can figure out how to make this happen:

"Media you have uploaded to the community is available here for sharing."

Will look up the part numbers on the partsurfer site.  Thanks again John.



#6 JohnC_21

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 09:59 PM

You can upload your images to a third party imaging site that will give you the URL links to post.

 

http://postimage.org/



#7 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 21 January 2016 - 10:08 PM

Well that broken jagged icon tells me imgur might not be my preferred hosting site.   And after hitting "enter" it tells me I'm not allowed to use imgur at this site.  Since I got that suggestion to use imgur from a "how-to" post here, they might want to update their how-to info. 

 

John I used your suggestion and that one was rejected by this site as well.  I have spent too much time today on four clips, will have to upload the images tomorrow after work.  The way the laptop is exploded now, I get two doorstops for the price of one.  If I unscrewed the monitor, there would be three.  So that's something.


Edited by CompletelyClueless, 21 January 2016 - 10:12 PM.


#8 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 01:44 AM

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#9 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 01:47 AM

j9ate9.jpg



#10 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 01:51 AM

So there ya have it.  The one-piece keyboard that doesn't come off, and 4 ribbons that if they had only been cut about a half inch longer, I could reach (maybe not my fingers but somebody who has tinier fingers!) to slide the ribbons into their clips.  Anybody have any experience with this model?



#11 JohnC_21

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 08:30 AM

This person had a similar problem with a d5. I don't know if will help. From your picture and description of the keyboard it seems to be part of the coverplate itself and not removable. HP must have did a change to the build and not updated any of their service manuals.

 

This "design for manufacture" keeps costs down during build but it creates a servicing nightmare. All the laptops I have seen lately have the battery buried and not easily replaceable as they once were.

 

I believe this is similar to your model but it looks like there is more slack in the ribbons.

 

Edit: I went to hp partsurfer and the top plate is shown here on Ebay so it does look like the keyboard itself may be held in with double sided tape as the poster in my first link said.


Edited by JohnC_21, 25 January 2016 - 08:55 AM.


#12 mjd420nova

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Posted 25 January 2016 - 06:26 PM

HP I've worked with their equipment since the 1960's and have seen some strange mounting arrangements but none like you describe.  The keyboard or other half of the top would have screws through the board to mount the plastic piece.  The ribbon cables should have a slip up and away slot with a guide the locks it down.  They appear to be missing in the photo.  The cables may be held by some tape or strap as they should be long enough to reach with the shells split.  I have had to use some long (18 inch) forceps to reach tight spots but care needs to be take with those flexible(?) ribbons and how they insert and lock in place.



#13 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 03:43 AM

I got interrupted when the third image was loading and forgot to go back and make sure it did before posting after the images that you saw.  I will go back and attach the third image, which shows the backside of the keyboard with the tape layer across it, as well as the ribbons in discussion.  Oh I guess I'll attach it here since it's too late to edit the other images for continuity's sake.

http://imgur.com/H23yidL

 

so ... I have tried tweezers, needle nose pliers, and hemostats to try to guide the cables in but there's nothing to "grab".  I have even wrapped a very thin slice of surgical tape around the cables because it releases easy and it helps to have something to guide it with but spending hours trying to coax a ribbon into a little slot and wishing I had four hands to hold the ribbon in one place with two of them and use the other two lay the clip into position on top of it.

 

I wish I knew a friendly octopus. 


Edited by CompletelyClueless, 27 January 2016 - 03:50 AM.


#14 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 03:56 AM

This person had a similar problem with a d5. I don't know if will help. From your picture and description of the keyboard it seems to be part of the coverplate itself and not removable. HP must have did a change to the build and not updated any of their service manuals.

 

This "design for manufacture" keeps costs down during build but it creates a servicing nightmare. All the laptops I have seen lately have the battery buried and not easily replaceable as they once were.

 

I believe this is similar to your model but it looks like there is more slack in the ribbons.

 

Edit: I went to hp partsurfer and the top plate is shown here on Ebay so it does look like the keyboard itself may be held in with double sided tape as the poster in my first link said.

This Dv4-4141 seems especially nightmarish.  Each one, as unique as a snowflake.   Maybe they were assembled by students who got a gold star if they could build it with the least expensive parts.  And when I say students, I mean kindergarteners.  With very tiny hands with long skinny fingers.  They must not have updated the service manual for anything over DV4-4000 because, well, MONEY. 



#15 CompletelyClueless

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Posted 27 January 2016 - 06:12 AM

There is an update as to resolution, "sort of".  It's probably unorthodox but it works.

 

There is a tiny card held on by a tiny screw and a retainer that's about 1-1/4" x 7/16" that connects to the ribbon shown on #4 above. Before starting anything else, I decided to unscrew the card and put the ribbon in the clip without any hindrance.  Then I connected ribbon #1 (always been the easy one) then #2 and #3. 

 

I closed the front keyboard case and snapped it thoroughly, closed the laptop and flipped it on its back.  In the slot where the hard drive goes, there is some of the above-mentioned famous black tape that I hope HP hasn't bothered getting a patent for.  In that slot the tape is not glued down and it has a slit in it.  Through the slit, fold the paper back and reach very very carefully to connect to the little card back where it it belongs.  Don't breathe hard or move any muscles except the one driving a tiny screw into a tiny hole.  There is a little phillips head-like male end that goes perfectly into the female end on the left side of the tiny card, whereas the screw goes in the hole on the right side.

 

After putting all the other screws back into the case I powered it up and it works -- so far without overheating which was the problem from day 1.  Since I added enough thermal grease under the sink to help it to keep from overheating, I'll see what happens next time I throw in a movie it growls and sounds like a jet taking off -- which is the tip-off that it's getting too hot.  That, and the burn marks. 

 

Thank god it's over.  For now ......... :wacko:


Edited by CompletelyClueless, 27 January 2016 - 06:15 AM.





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