*HP EliteBook 8740w Owners Lounge - PART 2*

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by Aikimox, Sep 7, 2010.

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What is your EliteBook 8740w config (select one from each category)?

  1. Non-DreamColor2 screen

    94 vote(s)
    35.7%
  2. DreamColor 2 Screen

    111 vote(s)
    42.2%
  3. Dual-core Processor

    63 vote(s)
    24.0%
  4. Quad-core Processor

    136 vote(s)
    51.7%
  5. ATI M7820 Graphics

    119 vote(s)
    45.2%
  6. Nvidia FX 2800M

    42 vote(s)
    16.0%
  7. Nvidia FX 3800M

    47 vote(s)
    17.9%
  8. Nvidia FX 5000M

    26 vote(s)
    9.9%
  1. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    If it were the CMOS battery, wouldn't my clock not function, and wouldn't the BIOS settings be off or not saved? For example, I have the trackpad disabled in BIOS on purpose, and it's still disabled. I guess it's worth a try just to replace it. Is it an easy installation?

    Basically the frequency of the problem increased over a few week., And in order to troubleshoot it I borrowed my neighbor's ThinkPad AC adapter. It started up normally every time. I then bought an authentic IBM/Lenovo adapter off of Amazon, and it worked normally for a day or two, and then the problem reappeared. Very confusing and frustrating.

    One interesting clue is that if I do a restart rather than a shutdown, the computer starts up normally.
     
  2. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    You can't simply borrow and adapter and think it will work OK - it must be of the exact voltage an at least the same power output as the adapter the computer came with.

    Maybe your problem is with the power switch circuitry. Try this procedure to drain the power switch capacitors and reset the switch
     
  3. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    Of course one must use the proper adapter. :eek:
    I asked my engineer neighbor, whose later iteration Thinkpad uses the same adapter with identical wattage, amperage and voltage ratings.

    Early on I did the procedure you indicated to drain all charge. Not much help. The one disclaimer is that I have been running my T0P with AC forever. The battery died last year. While troubleshooting, I ultimately removed the battery. Can't the machine operate and start up normally without a battery?

    I grew weary of the whole discussion of OEM (expensive) vs 3rd party batteries , and gave up looking.
     
  4. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    :vbthumbsup:
    It certainly should!
    You know your best bet for your Thinkpad would be to locate an identical motherboard - that being said at its age it's going to be quite a challenge! I got the replacement motherboard for the 8730w from the damaged one I purchased a few years ago for the screen. The HD connector was ripped out, so I had to jerry-rig a HD connector from another manufacturer into the fingers from the existing connector and it's worked great so far. If you're interested in how I did it let me know
    I get your meaning... What bugs me the most about the 8740w is the fact it won't boot without a very specific battery pack (in the nVidia 5000M configuration). I think HP did that to avoid possible lawsuits from overheating batteries, precisely because the DC2 and 5000M equipped version is such a power guzzler (I manage barely more than one hour with a good battery, and it gets hot).

    That being said, a battery is crucial if like me you live in an area subjected to frequent power failures. Ties you over until the power comes back. When it's windy we may have 10 power failures of a few seconds per day. Same when there's an ice storm.
     
  5. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    So you think it's the motherbord.? I can get the same one, but the T61P MB has a more powertful CPU and Nvidia GPU, for which modern drivers are available. Plus it takes more RAM and can run 64 bit. Supposedly it's an easy swap. I hesitated because, without knowing the problem, I didn't want to throw money away. Recentky I located and installed a new NMB keyboard.

    Right now my T60P is plugged into a UPS. to avoid power outs.

    If I swap the 5000M for a K5000M do you think I's still be restricted by the battery? Does HP even make batteries for the 8740W?
     
  6. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Go ahead and get the more modern motherboard, but you'll have to reinstall Windows. Which means backing up your apps and data. I recommend making a partition solely for your data and backed up installable apps, and use the main partition only for the system and any apps that need installation. I would recommend you get as many apps in portable version as possible, as they are much easier to install and move, it's a simple drag and drop, and you get much more control and can easily work with the OS with no fear. Installed apps were designed for central control by the enterprise and are not user friendly at all!

    In other words: get a new mobo and install Windows from scratch but make sure you make two partitions, one for the system to deal only with the UI and hardware related stuff and the other for your data, portable apps, app installers and any disk image backups you may wish to keep for restoration purposes.

    No idea if swapping the video card will resolve the issue. That and downgrading the BIOS, which is said to be impossible because the later BIOS revisions are encrypted, but should nevertheless be possible for a determined, talented hacker. I've got my idea on this, just haven't looked into it further.

    As for HP making batteries with the proper controller, yes they do.... They're around USD175, though. I was thinking of reusing the controller of my failed battery and assembling a new one with it, but I would need a spot welder and so far it hasn't been a priority for me.
     
  7. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    What do you think of the fact that the laptop starts up just fine with restart, but not when shut down and started anew?

    Don't you have an arc welder in your family? :)
     
  8. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    Definitely power related - when you restart the motherboard doesn't power off. If you can identify the power subsection on the motherboard you should be able to identify the culprit component, but it will take patience. Diagnosis points to a bad capacitor around the main switch...

    I do, but I don't think something that's able to blow a hole through 1/8" steel is quite appropriate to spot weld paper thin nickel to a highly flammable LiIOn batteries - at least that's not what we're trying to do :cool:
     
  9. MobileArtist

    MobileArtist Notebook Deity

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    So it definitely sounds like a motherboard issue, right (putting aside the question of what MB component is the culprit)?

    I should have realized when making my welding joke that such a meticulous mind as yours (e,g. ac adapter controversy) would correct me. I stand corrected...spot welder. You need a spot welder in your family.

    But an arc welder working on the battery would be far more dramatic.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2018
  10. 83bj60

    83bj60 Notebook Evangelist

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    The few things I know about this type of problem all point to the problem being on the motherboard, especially since you seem to be having the issue with two different adapters and the fact it works fine during warm boot. As for the joke - sorry about that; I don't have much of a sense of humour :vboops:

    Getting back to the adapter and your description about wiggling it several times to get it to boot, I wonder if I may not have overlooked the obvious, a power supply input socket issue such as a bad contact with the sense pin, as sockets are a common failure point on motherboards, with pins coming loose, traces lifting and fracturing and such. In this scenario, your power pins are OK but the sense pin trace is coming off the motherboard. Does the laptop behave in the same way when you cold boot it with the adapter off, i.e. on battery? I don't remember if you've ever mentioned it...

    You may want to take a look at this web page - it's very informative on how laptop motherboard power supply subsystems work. Hopefully that will get you in the right direction.
     
    Last edited: Mar 15, 2018
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