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Laptop Repair


TomsFocus
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For some completely unknown reason, my brain won't adapt to any new tech at all now...  Proven by buying a brand new identical phone, after trying 2 other new phones...yep, the identical one seems fine, so it must be an actual change, rather than 'newness'.  Any input on that would that be ideal...but not why I'm posting this lol.

After trying 3 different new laptops, I'm just going to have to try repairing my current one.  I've been searching for an identical used one on ebay for months with no luck.  Keep missing out on auctions, and they all look crap as well, I have no idea how so much wear & tear can happen to a laptop!  Carelessness I suppose, mine still looks perfect...just the hinge has seized which means it now can't be closed, and the screen keeps flickering and flashing etc when bent in most positions.  As it's fine in some positions, I'm hoping I can get away with just replacing the hinge(s).

It's a Pavilion G6 2206sa - looks like the entire thing has to be disassembled to access the hinges (what a terrible design!!).  

 

I've built up desktops back in the 2000's, but never tackled a laptop.  Small fiddly things really aren't ideal for me!  So the question is, am I likely to be able to repair it, or will it be too easy to bugger up?  Are there any special tools I should buy?  I'll need a plastic tool for removing the keyboard I think?

 

And lastly, I really don't want to have to do it twice!  Are aftermarket hinges ok?  Are used hinges all likely to fail soon?  Anywhere better than ebay to buy decent ones?  Are there any differences between the G6 1000 series and the G6 2000 series?  They're listed separately but look the same?

I don't care about the cost, but with my sudden health decline recently my whole 'life' is now on the laptop, so it's not really something I can do without atm!

Thanks
Tom

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If you've built desktops then repairing a laptop is not much different - the screws are just more numerous and smaller. I strongly recommend investing in a proper tool kit though, such as the ones from iFixit which are available on amazon. Also, make sure you have some thread lock handy as sometimes the screws will be held in with that to prevent them coming loose over time.

Work methodically and don't rush it, and you'll be fine. Make sure you keep several labelled trays or other containers handy for holding the screws, as they can all be different sizes. Make up a template of the laptop on a sheet of paper, then place the screws on the paper. Taking photos as you disassemble the laptop will also help with putting the screws back in the right place.

If the screen is flickering when opening or closing the display, there's a good chance it's the ribbon cable at fault. These usually have fiddly plastic retainers at each end that hold the flat cable into the socket. If you're lucky then it'll just be a case of re-seating the cable back into the socket and making sure the little plastic retainer is in place. I'd start by assuming it's the end connected to the motherboard that's at fault before you take apart the hinges or display. If you're unlucky the ribbon cable itself will be damaged, but that's surprisingly rare. Depending on how it's retained in the hinges, either you'll need to disassemble the hinge to replace it, or it'll be part of the hinge assembly itself.

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1 hour ago, erictcleric said:

If the screen is flickering when opening or closing the display, there's a good chance it's the ribbon cable at fault. These usually have fiddly plastic retainers at each end that hold the flat cable into the socket. If you're lucky then it'll just be a case of re-seating the cable back into the socket and making sure the little plastic retainer is in place. I'd start by assuming it's the end connected to the motherboard that's at fault before you take apart the hinges or display. If you're unlucky the ribbon cable itself will be damaged, but that's surprisingly rare. Depending on how it's retained in the hinges, either you'll need to disassemble the hinge to replace it, or it'll be part of the hinge assembly itself.

Thanks Eric. :smile: 

The LH hinge itself has seized and ripped the mounting screws out of the casing.  So the screen is almost 'flopping' about on just the RH hinge now and can't be closed.  I used it like that, kept open, for about a month before the screen started flickering.  So it's possible that the ribbon cable has been damaged now but I'm hoping not.  I suppose I could replace the ribbon cable at the same time, can't imagine it's an expensive part.  Any suggestions of where to buy parts or is ebay still the best option?

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if you regularly update your lappy its all gonna change anyhoo with 11 due out anyday now, many windows apps will not be supported so will be a learning curve for many. there are specialist brand spares carriers and a good googleing is needed, ribbons are usually click fit but access is a nightmare, i gave up repairing as things got smaller and my eyes got worse. https://spares2repair.co.uk/sound-vision/laptop-parts/cpu/fans/hewlett-packard/pavilion-g6 and other such places

 

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ebay's a good bet. Trying to source the ribbon cable on its own might be a problem, so probably best to find a donor machine (possibly just the display part will do). Obviously if you're just replacing the hinge then the unit doesn't even need to be working, so you might be able to pick up a donor device that's cheap because it has no battery, screen damage, etc. You might find that something from the same series with the same size display will work.

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It's a common problem on pretty much all laptops, but HP's are particularly bad for the hinges failing.

I've changed dozens, and you can usually find a 'kit' on either ebay or aliexpress which includes everything you need.

A laptop of this age is about as easy as it gets in terms of disassembly. Just need a Phillips screwdriver and a plastic prying tool (I used to use those guitar pick style ones when I first started out, a lot less flimsy than the others).

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19 hours ago, JImpster said:

if you regularly update your lappy its all gonna change anyhoo with 11 due out anyday now, many windows apps will not be supported so will be a learning curve for many.

Yeah, I don't intend to update to Win11 any time soon lol!  My problem is a more practical one though, with any new colour screen causing considerable eye strain instantly & then vertigo and nausea within minutes if I try to 'push though' it.  I don't understand why, and none of the medical professionals I've asked know why either.  It's just assumed to be yet another symptom of anxiety. :rolleyes:  I've tried laptops, phones, a tablet, even a Geo minim energy monitor this year.  Also couldn't play a new Xbox game that I was bought last xmas, or use the reverse camera & digital dash in cars that I tried around a year ago.  Even with my old phone, laptop and Xbox game I'm having to really limit the amount of time I use them now so it's having a huge impact overall.  It's also much worse under artificial light so that's going to be fun with the nights drawing in!

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Right, I've ordered a basic ifixit kit with bits that hopefully won't round off and some plastic separator tools.  I'm a sucker for a kit in a case! Can't stand individual tools rattling around and getting lost. :laugh:   Have ordered a pair of used hinges for under a tenner as I can't find new ones for this model.  And also ordered a new aftermarket ribbon cable for the sake of a fiver...348 have been sold so I'd assume they're alright lol! 

Just had a thought though, is it worth upgrading the RAM while I'm there?  Currently have 4GB so could upgrade to 8GB for around £30 here. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194060453640

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1 minute ago, TomsFocus said:

 

Just had a thought though, is it worth upgrading the RAM while I'm there?  Currently have 4GB so could upgrade to 8GB for around £30 here. https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/194060453640

Depends if you have 32-bit or 64-bit WIndows installed.

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2 hours ago, TomsFocus said:

I'm a sucker for a kit in a case! Can't stand individual tools rattling around and getting lost

I'm the opposite lol. I hate having to swap out the bits all the time, which usually get lost.

On the subject of fitting more RAM, what processor do you have? Fitting an extra 4GB of RAM won't be very noticeable if it's being bottlenecked by an old core 2 duo processor...

Either way, I wouldn't spend £30 on it. Should be half of that for 4gb. However, I'd imagine an SSD would be more advantageous for boot times etc. in your case.

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3 hours ago, Luke4efc said:

On the subject of fitting more RAM, what processor do you have? Fitting an extra 4GB of RAM won't be very noticeable if it's being bottlenecked by an old core 2 duo processor...

That's what I was wondering.  It's an Intel i3 3110M.  🤔

I was going to replace the 4GB RAM with an 8GB one at £30.  Wasn't sure if there'd be two RAM slots to just add another 4GB one.  I'm getting carried away now though, RAM is easily accessible from underneath so I'll wait to make sure it all works after a hinge change before that.

Don't want to change the hard drive as there's 8 years of stuff on it that I can't be bothered to sort through or copy across.  Docs & pics are backed up to an external SSD but nothing else is.

It's a shame you're not closer as you could have swapped the hinge for me.  :laugh:

 

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Copying a hard drive is shockingly easy these days. Get one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082TXV122. Job done. Clones the drive so you can just swap it over. If the new hard drive is bigger, just get a copy of Macrim Reflect too, and you can use that plus the linked hard drive dock to copy it without losing anything.

That RAM price isn't actually too bad - RAM prices have gone up a lot. Ebuyer has Crucial memory for £28.

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5 minutes ago, TomsFocus said:

It's an Intel i3 3110M. 

3rd gen i3 would probably benefit from 8gb of RAM tbh. 

Funnily enough I'm currently staring at a G6-2244sa, 2440sa and a 1161sa and they all definitely have 2 RAM slots. I don't recall seeing a g6 like this that doesn't have 2 slots tbh.

20211015_194655.thumb.jpg.0fd8c2c0e8e34c8ee6703a11da0da312.jpg

You can swap the data on the hard drive sector by sector, so the data on the SSD will be exactly the same as it is now. No need to re-image windows etc.  You just have to make sure the SSD is the same size or larger than your current drive.

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5 minutes ago, erictcleric said:

Copying a hard drive is shockingly easy these days. Get one of these: https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B082TXV122. Job done. Clones the drive so you can just swap it over. If the new hard drive is bigger, just get a copy of Macrim Reflect too, and you can use that plus the linked hard drive dock to copy it without losing anything.

Never knew something like that even existed!

I'll leave it for now though.  Hoping that eventually I'll be able to start on the new laptop as a 'clean break' so not worth the cost of an SSD plus a clone device to me at the moment.

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If you want to watch a good YouTuber on swapping these HP hinges instead of HP's own crappy video (that doesn't show you how to take the bezel off lol), then I highly recommend AdamantIT. The guy makes very high quality videos considering he's a one man band and isn't doing YouTube for a living.

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4 minutes ago, Luke4efc said:

3rd gen i3 would probably benefit from 8gb of RAM tbh. 

Funnily enough I'm currently staring at a G6-2244sa, 2440sa and a 1161sa and they all definitely have 2 RAM slots. I don't recall seeing a g6 like this that doesn't have 2 slots tbh.

20211015_194655.thumb.jpg.0fd8c2c0e8e34c8ee6703a11da0da312.jpg

You can swap the data on the hard drive sector by sector, so the data on the SSD will be exactly the same as it is now. No need to re-image windows etc.  You just have to make sure the SSD is the same size or larger than your current drive.

Well that's cleared up the RAM query! :laugh:

Also glad they're all that burnt copper colour...was worried mine had been overheating when I took a quick peek before!

I did find a better video for the swap but linked the short one here to save anyone reading wasting too much time lol.  Will have a look for that one tomorrow though, thanks!

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5 hours ago, erictcleric said:

Whilst you have the laptop open, it's a good opportunity to clean the cooling fans. An old toothbrush will do the job, although if you have an air duster or mini vacuum as well that'd be ideal.

i would be wary of using a vac as it can cause static, electronics mortal enemy. Make sure you get the correct ram even down to the timings on its clock or youll get random blue screens. if your making it future proof and upgrading consider an SSD drive. If installing a new drive, i usually go the route of just installing windows with none of the manufacturers bloat ware. I bought an i5 dell made various upgrades and now runs as fast as i need not the stunned slug i bought.

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13 hours ago, Luke4efc said:

If you want to watch a good YouTuber on swapping these HP hinges instead of HP's own crappy video (that doesn't show you how to take the bezel off lol), then I highly recommend AdamantIT. The guy makes very high quality videos considering he's a one man band and isn't doing YouTube for a living.

Just watched his hinge video.  Much better than the others I've seen. :smile: 

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9 minutes ago, erictcleric said:

Will there be a mod diary for this? 🙂

I suspect there's more likely to be a snivelling, whiny 'I can't do it' thread when the laptop is in a hundred pieces and I'm having a panic attack. :laugh:  

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