HP Pavillion dv7 problems :(


I'm at a loss for what to do, as I can't find anyone who is having similar problems as me when I search for answers.

Please bear with me, because I don't know that much about computers (internally). If anyone needs any more information, I would be happy to provide it... if I can find it lol.

Anyway, I've had my HP Pavilion dv7-1245dx Entertainment Notebook PC for almost two years. It's a 64-bit, 4.00 GB RAM, AMD Turion X2 Dual-Core Processor, in that ugly copper color (I didn't pick it). Over Christmas break, my computer was telling me that I had a battery failure (same battery the computer came with), and that I needed to get a new one. My warranty didn't cover a new battery, so I had to shell out for a new one. I bought 2 HP 8-Cell batteries from Best Buy. When I installed the battery, my computer didn't recognize it and gave me the same battery failure message. However, the battery charged and discharged perfectly fine (better than the battery that came with the computer), so I didn't do anything about it.

My computer has a tendency to get really hot, and the fan is incredibly loud. I clean out the vents with compressed air and when I use it in bed, I keep it on a laptop table designed to help airflow.

A few days ago I was in bed watching a movie with my laptop on the laptop table. I check my battery pretty consistently so that I know approximately how much time I have before I have to get out of bed and plug my computer into the AC Charger. When I looked at the battery last, it was near 40% remaining. A few minutes later, the computer simply shut off. The fan wasn't making any loud noises that made me think it was overheating, but I'm not sure. It refused to turn back on until I plugged it into the AC Adapter, when it gave me the message that my computer hadn't shut down properly and how I wanted to restart, blah blah. I thought that maybe I wasn't paying close enough attention and that I maybe misread how much battery life was left.

When the thing restarted, I checked the battery and it said "38% remaining, charging". Now I thought that maybe it was the battery. Since I didn't have much to do, I shut down the computer and stuck in the 2nd battery that I bought a few months ago. I let it charge overnight like you're supposed to and then the next morning booted it up and unplugged it so that the battery could discharge. I charged and discharged it a couple of times throughout the day, and it seemed to be working just fine. Yesterday (2 days after I installed battery number 2), my computer again shut off after a while when it was unplugged, this time the battery was around 50% remaining.

I'm completely dumbfounded! It's not like I unplug the computer and it immediately shuts down without the AC Adapter. It just won't use all of the battery, and only occasionally. I've never had any problems like this in the 2 years I've had the thing.

Any and all suggestions are welcome. I've been looking for an excuse to get a new computer, and if there isn't a cheap solution to this problem, this may just be a reason. I'm a student so I need to bring my computer with me places, but I can't if I can only depend on the battery lasting a whole 45 minutes! Not to mention that the beast eats battery really quickly, anyway.

Look forward to some theories!

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  1. Hello sarizar;

    Have you run the HP System check for notebook PCs yet?

    What type of power plan do you have setup for your laptop?
  2. WR2 said:
    Hello sarizar;

    Have you run the HP System check for notebook PCs yet?

    What type of power plan do you have setup for your laptop?

    I ran the HP System Check and it didn't tell me there were any critical issues. There are a few updates I need to install for my Quick Launch Buttons and my Wireless Assistant.

    With my old battery, once I unplugged the AC cord it would switch from 'HP Recommended' to 'Power Saver' automatically. Since I've installed the other batteries, it no longer does that automatically. I'm in the 'HP Recommended' power plan most of the time, and switch it to the 'Power Saver' if I remember when I unplug it (not a lot of the time).
  3. Hi, I think you have two problems here.

    1. The intermitent shut off is likely caused by overheating due to a clogged heat sink. Basically it is a series of about 40 thin meta; fins about a 1/8 inch apart that the fan blows air across to cool. This will clog with lint, hair and dirt that is sucked in by the fan. Don't use canned air to blow into the fan! You can damage the fan and only force the dirt further into the computer. Since the heat sink can't cool, the computer overheats until a certain tempature is reached where it trips an automatic shutdown. This can lead to the cumputer seeming to shutdown randomly, but really depends on the load on the computer and ambient temperature. Unfortunately you have to do a complete dissasembly to get to the heat sink. It is not as complicated as you think. Here is an excellent step by step disassembly procedure:

    You only need a micro phillips screwdriver, a guitar pick, about an hour or two, some patience and a careful touch.

    Dissasemble to the motherboard and remove the cooling fan. You don't have to disconnect the cables from the motherboard if you are careful, but you do need to remove all the screws. Clean off the lint (might look like what you find in a dryer screen) making sure to clean between all the fins. Reassemble using the reverse procedure.

    2. The battery problem is not as easy. I have the same problem and have been looking for the same solution. I have tried just about everything and I don't believe it is the battery. I've tried the unistall the ACPI controller, new battery, new AC adapter, battery check, blah blah. After doing the above disassembly there was no indication of a bad component. I, like many others who have encountered this problem will never buy another HP. This was actually me gining HP a second chance. I had similar power issues with the first.
  4. This topic has been closed by Mousemonkey
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