HP 6930p owner's lounge

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by przemke, Oct 16, 2011.

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  1. przemke

    przemke Notebook Geek

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    Hey there all,

    Haven't found such thread about this nice "elitebook" model so I'm starting this one here. Hope will turn useful to share and discuss experiences/questions etc between users of it :)
    Just throwing some links for beginning:

    Reviews:
    Review HP EliteBook 6930p Notebook - Notebookcheck.net Reviews
    HP Compaq EliteBook 6930p User Review
    HP EliteBook 6930p
    http://kikuyumoja.com/2009/10/19/hp-6930p-vs-dell-e6400-review/ (nicely compared with dell E6400)

    Specs:
    Detailed "quickspecs"

    Driver&stuff download:
    HP EliteBook 6930p Notebook PC- Download drivers and software - HP Business Support Center
    Maintance/disassembly guide


    Mods:
    - Direct comparison of LED WXGA screen and WXGA CCFL by user jke
    - What you need to change the LCD to an LED WXGA+ model - another lenovo model number is probably 42T0634
    - NightLight mod by Indrek (removing diffusor to get better light from that LED)
    - Modified BIOS allowing wider wlan/wwan number of cards to work
    WARNING: user reports that since bios f.20 from HP it will not be possible to downgrade/whitelist. Therefore DO NOT UPGRADE to that newest bios (there are no other improvements, it has only this security block added)
    - Another modified bios by nando4 allowing to overclock the CPU a little.
    - Hardware mod (TME-unlock) by nando4 allowing to overclock - used on 2530p but same chip mod so should work but not tested, do at your OWN RISK!
    - Getting HDMI to work through a port replicator/docking station - see post by adriaticnyc on second page

    Known issues:
    - problems with latch open mechanism
    repair guide by jke
    - screen flickering - probably the LCD cable needs to be replaced - several guides on youtube and cables on ebay
    - touchpad buttons quickly wear off (buy whole top cover on ebay and replace)
    - bad responsiveness of the volume slider
    fix by jke
    - disconnections with Intel Wifi Link 5100agn on windows XP (probably driver issue, try generic drivers from intel- just ask me)
    - loose battery in the early models - I guess a bit of tape to the side of battery compartment should fix it
    - Be aware of the hard disk password set in bios - looks like that starting from this model it is set with the use of onboard TPM chip therefore it can be only accessed/modified with the same laptop model (or maybe newer ones, cannot confirm).
    - do not use thermal paste instead of thermal pad on the ATI graphics chip - it will be overheating
     
  2. TonyJZX

    TonyJZX Notebook Enthusiast

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    i have one of these

    its a lovely laptop but mines been thru wars with multiple drops and water damage

    still works

    and yes, the latch on mine is broken and the battery hook is gone

    suffice to say the water indicators inside will make any warranty claim void but its still works

    the first of the elites, i think its a classic
     
  3. przemke

    przemke Notebook Geek

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    Yes, the physical durability seems really good.
    Mine dropped badly (really) too few days ago. No signs of damage except for the dvd drive which is broken now (doesn't read, only burns but with errors) - there are mechanical parts so this (and hard disk) are first to go in these cases.
    I was lucky the samsung HD is fine as the 3d driveguard feature wasn't loaded (better to have it on if we expect more drops ;)
    no probs with the battery hook/loosening here
     
  4. jke

    jke Notebook Enthusiast

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    Thx for starting this thread which may also be of interest to many as there are currently a lot of 6930p for sale on eBay.

    My main issue is the WXGA+ screen which has a too high resolution for me. I'd love to trade it in for a WXGA LED version.

    And in terms of having a worthy successor to the 6930p: HP still fails to provide us with a Dreamcolour display on the 14" range as well as backlit keyboards on the 14 "p" versions, so I am currently thinking to upgrade to a 14" Dell.

    The durability though of the 6930p is remarkable. I've meanwhile opened it many times and it's still running fine. And the display lock can be fixed anyways. The keyboard also is the best I've used in a while.

    Oh, and another known issue, but which doesn't seem to be limited to the 6930p: the 3G/WWAN modem will only work when the battery is inserted. Apparently "to prevent misuse", like when someone tries to remove the SIM while the machine is connected to a mobile network. It's an issue because I am one of those ppl who remove the battery when the laptop is on my desk to prevent it from being overcharged (as there is no smart discharging circuit on the HP).

    Two more issues:
    • The volume slider which sometimes doesn't work as it should be, probably due to excessive use of glue between the plastic cover and the pcb. See fix here.
    • The touchpad buttons quickly wear off. Mine was done after a few month. Can be fixed/replaced but shouldn't happen with a business laptop that comes with 3yrs of warranty.
     
  5. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    Agreed on the durability, this is one tough machine. Hardly any flex whatsoever anywhere. Mine's a late 2009 model, so it never had any problems with the display lock or battery either. The keyboard is also brilliant.

    My only problems with this laptop are the lack of a middle mouse button (for scrolling with the trackpoint), and the lack of a digital video output on the laptop itself. The former can actually be achieved at the cost of right-click functionality by using the Synaptics settings panel, but unfortunately it affects both the trackpoint and touchpad buttons.


    Something to try if the NightLight seems a bit dim - remove the diffusor for better keyboard illumination. Certainly made a difference in my case, and compares very favourably against a backlit keyboard (specifically, my girlfriend's E6410).
     
  6. TonyJZX

    TonyJZX Notebook Enthusiast

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    i think i'll buy another one of these

    here's my story... i used to work for a HP consultancy and we prepped these things for high end clients

    you could immediately see that this unit was the culmination of everything HP had learned and when they say "Elite" they mean it

    sure it has bugs but overall its a great unit

    i bought one myself after using these and its quite possibly the best unit i've ever used

    i'd like to buy another one off-lease... i only want the 1,400 x 900 screen... i don't care about the ATI video and i know hdmi is an impossibility
     
  7. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    Going to try and tap into the collective knowledge here...

    What would be the best way to get an LED WXGA+ screen into a 6930p? Reason I'm asking is because I'd like to improve my laptop's power efficiency a bit, and an LED screen (along with some other mods I'm planning, like switching to an Intel GPU and a P-series CPU) should help with that, but the IllumiLite screen's WXGA resolution is too low for me.

    The way I see it, I have three options:
    • Get an IllumiLite screen and swap the backlight with my current one (WXGA+ CCFL). This way I'd only be using stock HP parts, which seems like less potential incompatibilities. However, the IllumiLite screens seem pretty rare. Also, the HP service manual specifies only one inverter type for the 6930p. Presumably an LED screen would require a different power/controller board, but I'm not sure what part number to look for. Or if the LEDs are powered directly from the motherboard, will they work with any 6930p motherboard or will I have to look for some specific version? Also, without the inverter, what powers the NightLight?
    • Get a non-HP display. Dell E6400 and Lenovo T400 both are contemporary models that, IIRC, offered a matte WXGA+ display with LED backlighting, and the displays should be available on eBay. Would I run into problems with mounting and connecting the panel, though? Does HP whitelist display panels, like they do wireless adapters? Also, there's the question of powering the LEDs, as above.
    • Get an LED conversion kit from lcdparts.net and mod my current panel. Should be the cheapest option (especially with P&P applied) since I'm not buying a whole new panel, and they also provide a converter that replaces the existing inverter. However, their website cautions that this might break the brightness control if it's currently PWM-based (as opposed to analogue). Anyone know how the 6930p's brightness control works? An additional concern is the NightLight, which the converter doesn't have a connector for.

    Any thoughts?
     
  8. jke

    jke Notebook Enthusiast

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    Hi Indrek,
    that's an interesting challenge! Talking about the swap of the GPU means you'll only exchange the motherboard, right?
    I'd go for an LED-version of the 6930p that already comes with the Intel GPU and all components and then only try to swap the LED itself with a WXGA+ type if necessary. Experience, no, but trial and error from my side.

    From my last test with an IllumiLite Intel GPU vs my CCFL WXGA+ with the ATI GPU, the difference was about 1h battery runtime (both P8400).

    I think there are four parts that are required:
    • the LED display
    • the "inverter" (control) board
    • the flat ribbon cable from the LED to that control board
    • the round cable from the control board to the mother board

    The "control" board is what powers the night light and it looks like this: pcb 4 the LED | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

    I can't help on the numbers because I don't really understand this numbering system by HP and how they often issue different numbers for the same part.

    The LED and CCFL type are interchangeable and share the same connector on the main board: intel vs. ati gfx on the HP 6930p | Flickr - Photo Sharing! (my pic)

    Another issue I still need to figure out are screen sizes which may be slightly different. Also, I believe that most LED-"Illumi-Lite" 6930p only came with Intel GPU and no camera.

    I didn't know there are conversion kits available.
     
  9. Indrek

    Indrek Notebook Virtuoso

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    Right. Ever since I built my desktop that now handles all graphically demanding games, my requirements for my laptop have shifted from more GPU power to cooler operation and longer battery life, hence the desire to switch to the Intel GPU.

    I thought of that as well, but IllumiLite configurations are hard to find. However, unless I can either get confirmation that non-factory-option screens will work, or get lcdparts.net to make a 6930p-compatible converter board, that's probably the route I have to take.

    Thanks, that's about what I was expecting.

    Thanks for the pictures! So the Illumi-Lite models have a controller board in-line with the display cable, splitting off power to the NightLight, while CCFL models have a Y-cable from the motherboard, with one end going straight to the display panel and the other to the inverter, which feeds the NightLight and CCFL tubes.

    If you could find the HP part number on that control board, that would be great! HP's standard nomenclature is 6+3 digits separated by a dash.

    Also, the same connector for LED and CCFL displays is great news. This means that any 6930p motherboard should be able to take both types of displays, and the difference is only in powering the backlight.

    Also, re your comment on Flickr about the heat pipe - it does look much beefier on the ATI model. I'll have to see if I can keep it on the Intel motherboard. Will probably have to isolate the end that would otherwise go on the GPU, so it doesn't short out against anything.

    The NA quickspecs specify at least one model with IllumiLite display and ATI graphics (KS135UA#ABA).
     
  10. gouldmine

    gouldmine Newbie

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    I have same problem with worn touchpad buttons but I can't find a supplier for replacements. Are you able to advise?

    Thanks
     
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