*HP EliteBook 8760w Owners Lounge*

Discussion in 'HP Business Class Notebooks' started by wkuballa, May 24, 2011.

  1. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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    The HP 8760w Fan was also racing and doing strange things when in the HP 8760w, so I did not suspect it of being a problem at that stage. It was only when that Fan was moved into an HP 8770 (that I was also playing with), and it seriously upset the HP 8770w.

    On closer inspection, the HP 8760w Fan was less willing to spin than the Fan from the HP 8770w, and both were not as free spinning as a Brand New HP Fan, so one thing I would always change now when having any issues with either Model, is the Fan. It is a motor, after all, and spends a lot of time spinning, so it's almost inevitable that the bearings will deteriorate over a few years of use.

    In terms of the HP 8760w Hardware, from the fun I have had, I would say the most likely cause of problems goes like this:

    (1) Graphics Board - by far the most trouble, but these do tend to be the hardest working component. 4x LED Flashes, but I've had three defective Boards, and never saw any LED Flashes at any stage. One was burned out, so dead as a door nail, but two other Boards were working, looked fine, tested fine, but both were causing issues with Kernel-Power Event ID 41 issues, i.e. instant Shut Down problems.

    (2) Fan - just change that, because it's one of the least costly parts. Rule it out.

    (3) MotherBoard/System Board. Two duff HP 8760w System Boards, one just played up even when everything gradually removed, no LED Flash Codes, no Boot (other than Boot Looping without Display or POST), I "bread boarded" that, and it was a problem even when nothing connected. The other MotherBoard was beter behaved, but just 5x LED Flashes, no Boot to POST, no way to run any Tests.

    It can be many things, but my bet is (1) or (3). CPU or Hard Drive or SSD or RAM etc can all cause issues, but having swapped out all, and not seen any impact I just kept going back to (1) or (3), or both.

    The HP 8760w is more fussy about components, epecially Graphics Boards, so if faced with an HP 8760w with big issues like System Board/MotherBoard, I would seriously consider updating it to HP 8770w specs, which would mean getting things like MotherBoard, USB 3.0 Daughter Board, Palm Rest & Keyboard, and possibly CPU and Graphics Board.

    I will be doing just that to my HP 8760w, but will take my time and find the Parts needed at the best prices.

    HTH

    Viking
     
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  2. BabyBell

    BabyBell Newbie

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    Thanks for the help. I'll start with looking at the fan as gpu temperature seems a bit on the high side at times and some of the other bits if I can find the parts. Haven't been able to track down a UK source for a motherboard yet but I'd like to keep the machine going as it has DreamColor.
     
  3. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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    The "Dreamcolor" ("DC") could be a snag if going from HP 8760w to HP 8770w spec, because I think I have read that people on this Thread, or this Forum rather, have had no joy getting the earlier DC to work via a later HP 8770w MotherBoard.

    I'm not sure if those people tried modifying GPU Drivers when trying, but I know the HP 8760w BIOS works on a White List, i.e. it prefers to only work with Components that HP specified for it when new, so in terms of GPUs, one is limited to an AMD, and then three nVidia Quadros (3000M, 4000M and 5010M etc).

    I have both DC Models (8760w DC and 8770w DC), but both are faulty, so I cannot yet say if the above is true. Sod's Law I seem to have four defective MotherBoards at the moment, so nearly had the HP 8770w up and running, but it elected to die on me yesterday after running perfectly for a couple of weeks.

    The HP 8770w is better in that respect, and will work with other GPUs, albeit the Driver Set-Up Information File may need to be modified.

    People explain how on this Forum, but it's basically a case of identifying the GPU's details via Device Manager, such as HP Model (my HP 8770w was 176C), and the HP PCI reference (mine was 103C), and then the GPU reference.

    Load the required Driver, which will burp and say no such Hardware, but will Install onto the C:\.

    Within that will be an Information/Setup File, so open that in NotePad, and if it doesn't list that combination, you just edit a line to add ones to match your machine and GPU. Then if Windows 10, you need to do an Advanced Boot to turn off Device Driver Security:

    Settings > Update & Security > Recovery > Advanced Start-Up > Restart Now

    Then from the menus, navigate to the one that turns off Device Driver Security and let it Boot, then re-run the now modified Driver, but do this from the C:\ Files, not from the downloaded File, or that will over-write what is on the C:\ that you just modified.

    That allows non-standard GPUs to work with an HP 8770w, but I don't know if that would work with an HP 8760w given the BIOS White List issue.

    Whilst testing my little pile of scrap HP bits, last night I tried an admittedly suspect HP 8770w MotherBoard in the HP 8760w chasis, but got the old 5x LED Flashes, so at least it was telling me the MotherBoard was defective. It didn't get to POST (Power On Self Test), so did not get as far as an HP Splash Screen or BIOS Screen, so nothing even via VGA Out. Therefore still none the wiser if the rumours are true that an older DC won't work with a later MotherBoard.

    That was using the HP nVidia Quadro 4000M GPU, so one known to work with an HP 8760w DC Display, but the HP 8770w MotherBoard may have some issue with the older DC Screen. I just cannot say at the moment, because I have yet to see anything on that older DC Display!

    Just for reference, two differences I noted last night between the HP 8760w and the HP 8770w:

    The first is that the HP 8760w has a Modem Card (sits under the USB 3.0 Card), Cable and RJ-11 Jack at the back, whereas the HP 8770 has none of this, the RJ-11 Jack is blanked off at the back in the Case, although the MotherBoard does have provision for a Modem Card, in the same place, albeit up-side down relative to how one might fit that in an HP 8760w.to the same area. The HP 8760w Card does fit, so if you need a Modem, that ought to be possible if updating an HP 8760w with an HP 8770w MotherBoard. The Cable needs a little re-routing, but it should work.

    I no longer use or need Modem functionality, so would not keep that feature when updating, and would just unplug the Modem Card, and coil the Cable out of the way (or remove the RJ-11 Jack entirely, and take out the Cable).

    The second seems to be that the HP 8770w has provision for an mSATA Cache SSD Card (mine had a 24GB mSATA SSD fitted), whereas the HP 8760w has a blank area there. It's just above where the WiFi Card sits. I gather that this cannot be used as an additional Drive, it will only work as a Drive if it is the only SSD fitted. So, if one fits a 2.5 inch SSD in the Primary Bay, then anything in the mSATA Slot will just get used by the HP BIOS as a Cache Drive. IOW, don't invest money in a big mSATA SSD, because if any other Drives are added, it will cease acting as a Boot Drive, that's if it's even possible to configure it to Boot an Operatng System.

    Others may advise you better on this, just passing down what I have read.

    At the moment, I think I may have GPU Boards that are more operational than I thought, and it's looking more like MotherBoard issues.

    There are a few web reports of people with similar issues to mine, such as Boot Loops and sudden Shut Down issues, but none have updated to say if they fixed things. I now think it's most likely to be MotherBoard, even when it still seems to be working, and pointing at other Components.

    The HP 8760w came with a fried nVidia Quadro 4000M 2GB, and a tits up MotherBoard. I Imported a replacement from China, which seemed to work, then I had issues when fitted into the HP 8770w that I put down to the GPU, but now think it may well have been the MotherBoard.

    The HP 8770w came with an nVidia Quadro K4000M 4GB which did work, but the machine was having instant Shut Down issues, which seemed to go away when I swapped that for the nVidia Quadro 4000M 2GB. But came back when I tried to connect an external Display.

    I thought it was the nVidia Quadro 4000M 2GB, but now think the HP 8770w MotherBoard is the true culprit, after the machine died on me.

    Busy testing what I can. It's totally dead, so I'm thinking it has to be MotherBoard. No LEDs, no Fan spin, nothing. I initially thought it may be the Power Button Board, so swapped that to the other machine, and it seemed to work in terms of powering on and off, so that's not it.

    Basically, the HP 8770w has good RAM, a new HP Battery, a new HP PSU, a well tested CPU, a new SSD, and no power is getting through, which I think is now pointing at the MotherBoard, which was supposed to be New, but I didn't buy it, so cannot say for sure if it was new, or if it was a defective replacement unit sold as working. I had to Commision it, which is fun, so it seemed to be new, but all of the issues I had point to it being dubious.

    So, I am after a new, or very well tested, pair of HP 8770w MotherBoards at a reasonable price!

    None in the UK that I can find, although HP has Stock at around £400.

    Some in China, for around £100 delivered via DHL, claimed to be new, or at least from the same factory that makes them for HP (just Google and you'll find them).

    Many in the USA, but all used and "tested", looks to be around £75 delivered, but may take a while unless the Sellers can be persuaded to ship via a faster carrier.

    If I had the budget, I'd just buy a new Workstation, but as I don't, I am obliged to play with piles of scrap bits!

    Hopefully some of the above will help you to find a way to get your HP 8760w working. If I find out anything else useful, I will update.

    I must say, I seem to have hit every branch of the bad luck tree that I fell out of when embarking on this!

    Viking
     
  4. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Quick further thought, if it's a case of keeping the older HP 8760w "Dreamcolor" display ("DC"), against updating to HP 8770w specs, then I'd say keep your machine as an HP 8760w.

    The DCs are seriously impressive displays. I have seen the DC unit on the HP 8770w, and it's something one would want to keep using, if at all possible.

    For design/colour work, it's very handy to be able to set colour space (Adobe RGB, sRGB etc), and soft proof colour critical images, even if it's probably not as accurate as a fully calibrated screen. It's certainly a hell of a lot better than using a standard screen where what you see, may not be a faithful representation of the actual image file you think you are looking at.

    Years ago, when people asked me if that was important, I said have you ever walked into a TV Shop, and seen the 30-40 TVs switched on, and all showing different flavours of the same images? I then asked which one would you use to colour proof a client's critical colour image!

    Anyway, I digress, I wish I could say that the older DC will work with an HP 8770w MotherBoard, but I have yet to get anything to display on my HP 8760w's DC display. I will have a play and may swap a few more bits over to see if I can get some life to the HP 8760w DC display. I may fit the currently dead HP 8770w MotherBoard, just to kill a couple of birds with one stoe, as it were, to confirm that MotherBoard is dead, or to find out that it isn't, and to see if it can push a signal to the HP 8760w DC display.

    I suspect I will not get very far, either way.

    Tempted to order a pair of HP 8770w MotherBoards from China, or possibly one HP 8770w and one HP 8760w, just to try and keep both DCs working.

    If anyone reading this has managed to upgrade a DC HP 8760w with HP 8770w internals, please let me know? Specifically, can an HP 8770w MotherBoard and suitable GPU drive an HP 8760w DC display?

    Viking
     
  5. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Firstly, I need to explain my madness, and that revolves around having a miniscule budget to get a machine up and running! All else may make sense once you understand that basic issue.

    I acquired a faulty but otherwise very clean and tidy HP 8760w i7 Quad Core "Dreamcolor" ("DC") for what seemed a bargain price. Sadly, it had rather more problems than hoped, including a fried NVIDIA Quadro 4000M 2GB GPU and a particularly sick MotherBoard/MoBo. Indeed, I have yet to even see a signal from its DC, so do not know, yet, if the DC even works.

    Finding parts for the HP 8760w has not been easy, especially given the HP White List which rather limited which GPUs I could look at. That was mainly why I went for a "new" HP NVIDIA Quadro 4000M 2GB from China, which was one of the few GPUs the HP 8760w should get on with.

    Whilst seeking parts, I fell across a rather nice, but faulty, HP i7 Quad Core 8770w DC with an HP NVIDIA Quadro K4000M 4GB GPU, so it seemed like a good idea, at the time, to invest in that, with the aim of making one good machine out of the two.

    Sod's Law dictated that both machines were so pretty, that I could not bring myself to cannibalise one, just to make the other, and vice versa. Indeed, as it happens, neither would contribute enough good parts to make one good machine, and/or the parts needed were not directly compatible, so that's why I am still playing with them both!

    Of the two, the HP 8770w DC was by far the better, because it at least Booted, and so I had something to go on! The HP 8760w, by comparison, has yet to Boot. The main issues with the HP 8770w were that it kept shutting down, so much so that the previous owner had invested in a new HP MoBo, but to his dismay, he found the problem persisted. He kindly let me have his original MoBo, because he was not sure now that it was faulty, given that the problem wasn't cured by a new MoBo.

    I acquired the HP 8770w without a Hard Drive, so had to add an SSD and an Operating System (Windows 10 Pro 64bit), then I have tried to cure the shutting down issue, by working through all of the known Windows 10 power management parameters that are known to cause similar issues.

    It wasn't that, and I'm now fairly sure it was the GPU, but I also have my doubts about the "new" MoBo too. When I fitted the 4000M GPU, the HP 8770w went stable, and I thought I had cracked it, but then it went haywire all over again, after trying to hook up an external display, so that was either the 4000M GPU, or the MoBo.

    I then changed the GPU for a new 2000M, hacked the Driver to get that to work, and the machine was stable again, and also managed to power an external display without issue...until the other morning when it failed to Boot. Totally dead, no LEDs, nothing.

    HP 8760w Upgrade Update

    Whilst scratching my head with the HP 8770w, I decided to see how far I could get with the HP 8760w.

    As I had a spare HP 8770w MoBo to play with, namely the original MoBo from the above HP 8770w, I thought I might try fitting that to the HP 8760w, just to see how far I could get with that.

    Not very far, is the answer!

    When fitted, along with some parts from the HP 8770w, such as Palm Rest, USB 3.0 Card and Keyboard, that MoBo just Flashed LEDs x5 at me, i.e. the MoBo was telling me it was scrap.

    When testing it, I used the CPU from the HP 8760w (INTEL i7-2630QM 2.0 GHz Quad Core), which does fit an HP 8770w MoBo, but it is not a CPU linked to the HP 8770w model. But, as it was only a test, and I didn't want to trash the correct HP 8770w's CPU (INTEL i7-3610QM 2.30 GHz) which is still in the HP 8770w (fitted into the "new" HP 8770w MoBo in that machine).

    I did consider moving additional parts from HP 8770w to the above test HP 8760w (such as the CPU), but elected not to do so, and instead went back to the HP 8770w to see if I could work out why that machine had elected to die on me.

    HP 8770w Update

    This was working perfectly for 2 weeks, then the other morning it was dead, not a peep.

    I did wonder if the HP 8770w's Power Jack Cable was properly plugged into the MoBo so, I unplugged that, and re-inserted it, but it looked absolutely fine before and afterwards. Likewise, that would not affect the Battery, which connects directly into the MoBo.

    IOW, even if the Mains Power Jack was not well connected, the new HP Battery certainly was, so the Machine would have had power from one direction or the other, with both meeting in the middle, as it were, namely the MoBo, and that's controlled by the BIOS, or at least it is when Booting.

    I also treble checked Ribbon Cables for the Palm Rest (x5) and also for the Keyboard (x3 because it's an illuminated unit, so has an extra one), and these were 100% inserted and treble checked.

    I also re-seated the RAM, which at the moment is 8GB in the two Primary Slots under the Keyboard (2x 4GB 1.35 Volt).

    As an aside, I've always found getting the Keyboard Ribbons back in a complete PITA, but found an easy way this morning, and that's to rest the lower Keyboard into the Palm Rest, then rotate it towards you and lie it flat, face down, with the space bar end next to the hole, and the top closest to you. That leaves the Ribbons totally accessible, and it's then much easier to get them in, i.e. without having to struggle holding the Keyboard at the same time.

    Obvious when you think about it, but I didn't think about it, or rather I didn't RTFM!

    Anyway, that method ensured the Keyboard's main two Ribbons were very well inserted and locked with the white plastic clips. The longer brown thin Ribbon for the illumination is just inserted close by the Fan, and doesn't have a White Clip, indeed, the connection for that is in the same location on the HP 8760w MoBo as on the HP 8770w MoBo.

    The main difference between the HP 8760w and HP 8770w Palm Rests seems to be one of the smaller Ribbons linked to the TouchPads, which is a 4-wire on the HP 8760w so quite thin, but a 6-wire on the HP 8770w, so noticeably wider.

    So, I swapped back the parts I had borrowed to test the HP 8760w.

    Likewise, the potential power connection and Ribbon connection issues don't fully explain why the HP 8770w died on me.

    What happened next, probably does start to explain a few things!

    When re-assembled, the HP 8770w decided to come back to life again, and it Booted!

    However, the first thing I saw was a White BIOS Screen Message that informed me that there was a BIOS Error along the lines of "Check Sum Error". It then auto-recovered to fix that, but before I could make a note of the exact BIOS Error.

    Nevertheless, it re-Booted fine after that to the Windows 10 Pro 64-bit Login Screen.

    Before anyone suggests this, I can say that I did replace the BIOS Battery (HP Part for both HP 8760w and HP 8770w is 651948-001) with a new one when I first acquires the HP 8770w a few weeks ago. HP calls the BIOS Battery the RTC Battery (i.e. Real Time Clock I think that stands for). I mention this, because a flat BIOS/RTC Battery can cause BIOS issues.

    For references, the BIOS/RTC Battery is the little round flat Battery with twisted Red & Black wires and a small White Connector at the end, that lives in a little round aperture that you can see from the base once the cover has been removed. The BIOS/RTC Battery splugs in just to the left of the mSATA on an HP 8770w, so just above, and to the left, of the WiFi Card.

    This BIOS/RTC Battery should be 3+ Volts, and a new one is usually 3.3 Volts.

    The BIOS/RTC Battery is intended to provide just enough juice to keep the BIOS Settings safe when the machine is not being used so, if it's flat, or below 3 Volts, then you may get BIOS issues.

    However, this is not something that most people should worry about, because a healthy BIOS/RTC Battery can often last the life of the machine, so they don't usually need to be replaced except on older machines, or where a machine has been left switched off for a particularly long while.

    HP BIOS F.67

    Perhaps foolishly, on the HP 8770w, I had updated that machine to the latest HP F.67 BIOS, that being the one HP recently rushed out to fix the Intel Security Bug.

    I'm now wondering if it was the BIOS update that caused the HP 8770w to die on me?

    That would make sense, because everything else looked fine, and most of the key components were either new, or have been tested to buggery over the last few weeks and passed every test.

    In summary, I have had no joy getting any further with my plans to upgrade the HP 8760w with HP 8770w innards, but the main HP 8770w is now alive again, and it looks to be a BIOS issue that stopped it from doing anything.

    The lesson here could be to avoid going for the latest F.67 BIOS for the time being, until HP release a new version that has picked up any issues in relation to the changes made to address the Intel Bug.

    That was close, because I was all set to order an HP 8770w MoBo from somewhere, but will hold off doing so now that the HP 8770w has come back from the dead!

    In a nutshell, I have two main options in terms of the HP 8760w:

    (1) Keep it standard mainly to try and make sure that the DC screen is kept working (assuming it does work, which I don't yet know), rather than risk fitting HP 8770w parts only to find they do not work with the older DC. So, I need to sort out an operational HP 8760w MoBo, CPU and GPU - then hope the DC screen works! The main disadvantage is this limits which GPU I can use, because of the HP 8760w White List issue. I have the GPU, albeit it had some issues when fitted to the HP 8770w, and I think the CPU works, so I mainly need a MoBo, which is quite hard to find. Indeed, harder than with the HP 8770w.

    (2) Upgrade it to HP 8770w spec to give me a wider range of GPUs that can be used, and hope these later parts will work with an older DC screen or, if they do not, then I will need to source either a later DC screen, or a basic FHD display, albeit that will not then be a DC which makes option (1) look the more sensible, GPU issues aside. But HP 8770w MoBos are in much better supply, and having some flexibility with GPU options is attractive.

    Obviously, all of these efforts only makes sense if the machine being repaired is otherwise clean and tidy, and worth fixing and/or has a DC display that makes fixing it worth the effort. Thankfully, both of my machines are tidy, and are both DC, so both are worth at least some effort to get them operational again.

    My main mistake was not sticking to one Model and/or buying two machines that both have DC screens and so both looked just too damned nice to pull apart for parts!

    The differences between the HP 8760w and HP 8770w are sufficient to make swapping bits, and/or testing bits, not that easy. Had I had a pair of one Model with the sole aim to get one working, my task would have been a lot easier. But, I would still face the very real prospect that older parts could fail, so if I am to end up with at least one 100% operational and 100% reliable machine, then I still need to stir in some new parts to ensue that it is indeed reliable.

    If budget was not an issue, I would advise being prepared to buy either a new Motherboard, or a new GPU, or both.

    If budget is tighter, then all you can do is try to find the best parts at a good price. Preferably new, but you may need to import from China or from the USA.

    As these machines age, MoBos do seem to be an issue, as much as GPUs, so I'd caution against buying used examples of either.

    I know I ran every test going on the HP 8770w, and nothing failed any test, so when people say "tested" I would take that with a large pinch of salt.

    GPUs also seem to be just as problematic as these machines age, so any GPU that is pre-used could be a false economy. Bottom line is you could be buying more problems, but I do know that budget is a huge limiting factor, so it mainly boils down to money. If you have it, then the best advice is probably to cut your losses, sell the machine as faulty on eBay, and put your money towards a new machine.

    My budget is limited so, right now, I have yet to achieve the objective of getting at least one machine up and running and capable of doing some work. Likewise, I do not have the option to just give up on these machines and buy new. Unless I win the Lottery that is!

    The HP 8770w is nearly there now that the recent issue has been identified as a BIOS problem. I will re-check the BIOS./RTC Battery in case it's a dud, but after that, I'm not sure - yet - how to address the BIOS issue if there is some instability with the F.67 BIOS.

    I don't think I can roll back to an earlier BIOS.

    I will update on both the HP 8770w, and also the HP 8760w upgrade plan, as and when I have anything further of interest to report.

    Viking
     
  6. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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  7. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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    Further to my potential issues with BIOS F.67, it looks like there is a new BIOS for the HP 8770w, namely BIOS F.68:

    HP Notebook System BIOS Update F.68 Rev A (30/04/2018) SP87465.exe 11.1MB

    That could be the update to tidy up the rushed BIOS to fix the Intel Bug issue?

    I may be wise to update the HP 8770w if so, to potentially cure the BIOS issue I encountered that stopped the machine from Booting?

    Viking
     
  8. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I can advise that the HP 8770w BIOS Update from F.67 to F.68 seemed to go ahead without any issues.

    This should apply to the HP 8760w as well I would think, but please do check this before going ahead with this update onto an HP 8760w.

    Main point to note is to have a USB Stick to hand, because the BIOS Update gives you the option to Back-Up as part of the BIOS Update.

    Run the SP87465.EXE File, preferably as Administrator, when it will present a licence to accept, after which it will open a box to ask if you wish to Back-Up, and invites you to insert the USB Stick, and leave it plugged in until the update completes after a re-Boot.

    If your USB Stick is not showing, there is a Refresh Button, click that, and you should see your USB Stick appear, then click Continue, and the BIOS Update goes ahead.

    The Back-Up creates a Folder entitled "HEWLETT-PACKARD", inside of which is another Folder "BIOS", and inside of that it creates two more Folders, namely "Current" and "New". To Back-Up F.67 took 1280 sectors (I think it said, 1280 units of something anyway!), and the same number to Apply F.68.

    There was one Re-Boot with some flashing of the illuminated keyboard etc, and then it just re-Booted as normal. Everything is reporting that the BIOS is now F.68, so no obvious signs of any issues, but the F.67 BIOS Update also went as planned.

    I don't know what caused the HP 8770w to die on me, but it does look like it was something to do with the F.67 BIOS, which I think was one that HP rushed out fairly quickly to address the Intel Security Bug.

    I'm guessing here, but I suspect that BIOS F.67 is probably one to avoid, but F.68 should be a safer bet, primarily because HP had a couple of extra Months to draft that, so it's likely to have ironed out any niggles that could well have been what caused my HP 8770w to die on me (temporarily, thankfully).

    Unfortunately, I can't say for sure what did cause my HP 8770w to go all dead, but BIOS was well up on the list of suspects. given that all of the Hardware was working fine when I shut down, but nothing came back on the next morning, literally nothing, which I think points to something very early in the Boot Sequence, such as no Power (there was both Mains and a new HP Battery), or a faulty Power Button Board (which worked as expected when I swapped that to the HP 8760w temporarily), or a failed MotherBoard (worked fine before shut-down, and seems to be working fine now), or a BIOS issue between these primary components.

    The BIOS is - I think - effectively right there at the start (AKA Basic Input Output System) so, if there is a problem with the BIOS, then nothing much happens because a machine needs the BIOS to wake up before the bigger noisier bits can get going. I recall that the BIOS Chip is also known as the CMOS, or "Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor" which is what stores the BIOS Code/Data, which is also tied in with the Real Time Clock.

    Please forgive this very general summary, but I think it will be agreed that BIOS/CMOS/RTC are all part of the same basic thing that gets the machine started, so I'll just refer to that lot as the BIOS for this discussion, although it's made up of a combination of components, code and a small battery.

    The code is the issue, and by that I mean what ever makes up BIOS F.67.

    IOW, from shut down, there should nevertheless be a little Power between Main Battery & MoBo/BIOS, Mains Power and MoBo/BIOS, BIOS/RTC Battery and MoBo/BIOS, and Power Button Board and MoBo/BIOS, plus also probably between the Ethernet RJ-45 Jack and MoBo/BIOS in case Boot on LAN is enabled.

    Then, when Pressing the little Power Button to initiate a Boot, that should then send a small low voltage/current signal to the MoBo and, specifically to the BIOS CMOS Chip, which should then wake up if it has 3 Volts of its own Power from the BIOS/RTC Battery, after which it can send a signal back to tell the Power Button Board to illuminate the Power Button LED. At the same time, the BIOS should be sending signals elsewhere to allow Power to flow around the MoBo to kick things into life.

    When I pressed the Power Button, nothing seemed to happen, but there probably was a signal to the BIOS, but the BIOS (F.67) just wasn't interested, and/or did not have any 3 Volts of its own Power, so didn't respond.

    I did check the BIOS/RTC Battery, and that was reading over 3 Volts, so it was not that.

    I suspect that BIOS F.67 had got stuck somehow, and no matter how many times I pressed the Power Button the next day, didn't un-stick it!

    However, when I removed components to switch testing to the HP 8760w, and after I switched the components back, something woke the BIOS up or triggered it out of what ever was locking it up, and the HP 8770w then Booted when asked.

    The BIOS must do a self-test, which is why it took me straight to a BIOS Screen telling me there was a Check Sum error, i.e. some check that differed between Shut Down a few nights ago, and the above Boot a few days later.

    The BIOS auto-fixed what ever was wrong, but I was very glad to see that the newer BIOS F.68 was available because I had a feeling that BIOS F.67 could fall over again at some stage.

    I could be wrong, but the above sounds plausible to explain what happened?

    The HP 8770w was totally dead, no LEDs, no Fan, no Beeps, no Display, literally a dead thing, despite having power everywhere it needed it, and despite what I am now fairly sure all fully working components.

    I stand to be corrected, but the above observations may help if someone else hits similar snags with BIOS F.67.

    I regret I do not know what I did to tease BIOS F.67 back to life, but it was probably the fact that I left the machine fully disconnected for 2-3 days, with no Battery, no Mains, no BIOS/RTC Battery, and with some major components removed, such as Palm Rest and button/Touchpad components, Keyboard, RAM, mSATA 24GB Card and also the USB 3.0/e-SATA Board.

    Taking that lot out must have totally dissipated any residual current in any Capacitors, such that when I put it all back, the BIOS Chip woke up enough to clear from the CMOS Random Memory Area, and that allowed it to start, when it spotted some error that it reported as a Check Sum Error, which it thankfully auto-fixed.

    IOW, this was a bigger version of the "...take the battery out and hold the power button in for 30-60 seconds to reset the CMOS/BIOS..." trick!

    I'd say patch to BIOS F.68 ASAP if you are currently on F.67. Likewise, if on an earlier BIOS, just skip F.67 and go straight to F.68...or wait a few weeks to see if BIOS F.68 stays top of the pile, suggesting it must be reliable if it doesn't need a revision. Ah, that reminds me, F.68 is also on Revision A. So, check that's still the case in a couple of Months, after which it should be good to go.

    Viking
     
  9. BabyBell

    BabyBell Newbie

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    Cheers Viking for all the extra info on things to look out for.

    While my machine is still working I think I'm going to be content with it as it is and not change anything until it fails. I can live without using the docking base for now. I bought it thinking it would let me attach 3 monitors but it turns out not to be the case without changing to an AMD graphics card. During a quiet period I'll strip down the machine and reapply some thermal compound to the heatsink and check out the fan. I'm also on a very old version of the bios (F.29)

    Additionally, every secondhand motherboard I've seen listed only seems to have 2 memory slots whereas mine has 4 so I can only assume they are much older boards.
     
  10. Viking_2018

    Viking_2018 Notebook Enthusiast

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    I agree, if something is not broken, don't fix it! I had to try a BIOS update on the HP 8770w because of the very elusive shut down problems, so ended up with BIOS F.67 because of that. From hindsight, I'd have left the BIOS alone at what ever it was on, F.61 I think. Just my luck that the "Intel Fix" BIOS F.67 was a bit flaky, but at least the very latest F.68 seems OK, so far.

    WRT your HP 8760w MotherBoard having four RAM Slots, that's not so much an age thing, as the fact/likelihood that you have an i7 based Quad Core CPU, which can indeed address two sets of RAM Slots, so can handle a maximum of 32GB DDR3/DDR3L PC3-12800H (800 Mhz), i.e. 4x 8GB = 32GB max.

    The MotherBoards with just the two RAM Slots are not so much older ones (relatively), as ones intended for i5 based Dual Core CPUs, which can only address two RAM Slots, so the maximum RAM is "just" 16GB, i.e. 2x 8GB.

    As far as I am aware, you can fit a two RAM Slot MotherBoard, and your i7 Quad Core CPU will fit and work, but will be limited to 16GB RAM maximum, which may well be sufficient for many purposes. I'm old enough to remember when 1GB of RAM was an almost unobtainable wet dream, so I remain very delighted at having Laptops now that can handle 32GB of RAM!

    Anyway, the two RAM Slot MotherBoards should work, so that may give you an option, albeit with the RAM limitation.

    Remember that the HP 8760w is, I believe, limited in term of GPU Boards that it can work with, and the only AMD based GPU was this one:

    647176-001 HP AMD FirePro M5950 XT-GL 1GB GDDR5

    Whereas the options for NVIDIA Cards were:

    647177-001 HP NVIDIA Quadro 3000M, N12E-Q1 2GB dedicated GDDR5 video memory
    647178-001 HP NVIDIA Quadro 4000M, N12E-Q3 2GB dedicated GDDR5 video memory
    647179-001 HP NVIDIA Quadro 5010M, N12E-Q5 4GB dedicated GDDR5 video memory

    I now have the HP 8770w in an HP Advanced Dock, albeit the smaller one with just 1x DVI and 1x DP, but with USB 3.0.

    USB 3.0 is a way to attach extra Displays, via USB 3.0 to HDMI or DVI Adapters, but I don't know how good that would be for, say, Games or Flight Sim use.

    I assume you are after the AMD Eyefinity type of set-up?

    I gather NVIDIA offer a similar set-up, but here what I know is now running on empty!

    If you Google and/or look on YouTube, there are examples of people with HP EliteBooks driving 5x Monitors, so it's doable, but I can't say how effective that might be, other than for, say, basic admin or static type of work using Spreadsheets etc.

    Today I will attach an external Display to the HP 8770w, probably via the Dock's DVI Port, or via the DP Port (I have an HP DP to DVI converter, but only a Passive one, so have yet to say if that is effective). I was able to drive the same Display via the HP 8770w's own DP Port, using the same DP to DVI Passive Adapter.

    I think for a more demanding use, I'd need a Active DP to DVI Adapter, which seem to be around £25, against £5 or so for a Passive one.

    When you get to do the Thermal Paste, and only because I have just done this a few times, this is the order of play (buy a good precision screw driver set, avoid the nasty cheap ones):

    (1) Power down, unplug Mains Power, Remove Main Battery, Press Power Button for 10-30 seconds to dissipate any residual current. Likewise, if you have it, work on a Anti-Static Mat, with one of those wrist straps to earth you to the mat (OK, I've never used one!).

    (2) Remove Rear Cover, and Remove any RAM. The Hard Drive(s) can actually stay put, unless you want to remove it/them just to be safe, In which case on the Primary Drive, you will also need to remove the Smart Card Reader unit on top of it, and that has a small Ribbon Cable to the MotherBoard, just carefully flip the Plastic Lock, it hinges outwards, and rotates, so just use gentle force to un-clip it, and you should see how it opens.

    (3) Unscrew the retained cross-head Screw that holds the DVD Unit in, that screw can stay where it is, because it's a captive example, so just needs to be undone until it spins freely. Next to it you will see a small opening with some of the DVD's bright metal case, so just use a screwdriver to gently lever that, and the DVD unit should pop out of the side, where you can then slide it right out.

    (4) Then unscrew the three marked cross-head screws for the Keyboard, these are also captive, so can be left in the lower Case once spinning freely. I then gently insert a screwdriver between the fan blades, and gently press the back of the Keyboard, until you hear/feel a slight click, which means the Keyboard can now be removed.

    (5) Flip the Laptop over, and open the Display as usual, then you should be able to get your finger nails under the top lip of the Keyboard, and then rotate it towards you gently. but be aware it will still have 2 to 3 Ribbon Cables attached. On the HP 8760w, the two main ones in the centre (one very wide, one fairly thin), are both retained via White Plastic Clips, which you will need to gently pull upwards, until they can be rotated slighly away from the Ribbon, and then the Ribbons will just pull out. If the Keyboard is illuminated, there will be an extra thin, brown looking Ribbon Cable that goes over towards the Fan, and that just pulls out. Double check Ribbons, but the Keyboard should now be clear to be removed totally. On a Quad Core CPU, you will see the Primary RAM Slots near the Fan.

    (6) Next job is to disconnect the Palm Rest's Ribbon Cables. I'd firstly disconnect the Ribbon Cables, as you look at the Laptop, there is one top left towards the Fan, which is the Power Button Board connection, and just pulls out. Then over to the top right is a larger Ribbon, which is retained via another White Clip (up and rotate), which connects the four Button unit (WiFi, Sound, Web and Calculator Buttons). Then towards you at the bottom of the Keyboard hole, there are three others, which on an HP 8760w may be retained by additional White Clips, the HP 8770w uses mostly push in Ribbons here without White Clips. Remove these Ribbons, which are for the Touchpad and Finger Print Reader. That should be the Ribbons all disconnected.

    (7) Next task is to remove the Palm Rest screws and, to do this, 14x Screws below must be removed. But before that, remove the Black Push In Blanks for the two Card Readers one next to the front LEDs, and one just under the eSATA/USB 3.0 Ports. WRT the Screws, to avoid losing them when removed, I use sticky tape loops to retain these, usually stuck to the handy flat surface of the DVD Drive unit! Just loop sticky tape, and the heads of the screws can be stuck to that tape in order, which will make re-assembly very easy. There are 4x small cross-head screws where the Battery would sit, remove them all. Then remove two more next to the DVD Drive slot. Next, around the sides and bottom of the unit, there are two sets of FOUR star-head/Torx screws, basically, one set on the left, one on the right. Remove them all and stick down, as above onto the DVD Unit in the order you remove them.

    (8) Next task is to unclip and remove the Palm Rest itself, so flip the Laptop back the right way, and then it's just a case of teasing the Palm Rest out, you can pull the middle a bit, or use, say, a guitar plectrum or old credit/debit card to insert into the sides. Once you unclip a small part, it should then start to come out, so use finger nails and/or old credit/debit card to help it out. Lift from the rear, pull towards you, DOUBLE CHECK ALL RIBBONS disconnected, and then it should lift off. At this stage, I'd also disconnect the BIOS/RTC Battery below, which is the little round thing near the DVD Screw/WiFi Card.

    (9) Now you are in business, and can start work on the GPU and CPU cleaning and Thermal Paste re-application. First to come out is the larger GPU Heat Sink, which includes the Fan. That has 4x Captive Cross-Head Screws on the Heat Sink, I just do that in reverse the order, so 4, 3, 2 1, plus undo a further two more Black Captive Cross-Head Screws either side of the Fan. But do also disconnect the Fan's connection to the MotherBoard at this stage, and only then. Lift that all out in one piece, but you may need to gently persuade the GPU Heat Sink to detach if the old Thermal Paste is a little unwilling to let go. At this stage, you can replace the Fan, if you have bought one that is.

    (10) Next to come out is the CPU Heat Sink, which is done by just undoing the 4x Captive Cross-Head Screws. Again, I just do that in reverse the order, so 4, 3, 2 1. Again, this may need a little gentle rocking to break any seal made by the old Thermal Paste.

    (11) Now you can clean up the CPU and GPU, and also the two Heat Sinks. There are many guides on the web how to do that, in my case, I just use Isopropanol, lint free cloths, and/or Arctic Silver Thermal Paste Remover and also their Surface Preparation Liquid. The main issue is not to scratch the Heat Sinks, nor contaminate the surfaces of either the Heat Sinks and/or CPU/GPU. So keep fingers away, and don't use anything to scrape off the old Thermal Paste or you risk making scores that could affect cooling. I use Arctic Silver 5 Thermal Paste, but there are many others. I tend to apply a small amount to the Heat Sinks, and rub that in with a Lint Free Cloth, to "tint" the Heat Sinks. This just fills in any small holes on the surface of the Heat Sink, ahead of applying the main Thermal Paste to the CPU/GPU.

    (12) Now you can apply Thermal Paste to the CPU and GPU, but do Google that, and apply it how you feel is appropriate. The main thing to remember is that "less is more" so all you need is a small grain of rice or pea sized plop in the middle, although some guides say that the CPU may need it spreading. Just do not use too much, because a small amount in the middle, will go a very long way when the CPU/GPU Heat Sinks are fitted and tightened down. I also use Arctic Silver Thermal Pads for the GPU Board's components, which you can get on eBay/Amazon, and just cut to size. This helps to cool the Board's chips and other main components. Others may advise if that is worth doing, or not.

    (13) The rest is just to reverse the above steps.

    (14) TREBLE CHECK all steps as you go. But the above probably took longer to type than it takes to actually do! I can now do that in maybe 30 mins, but I have had some practice, sadly,. what with all of the testing of my HP 8760w and HP 8770w faulty units.

    When done, your CPU and GPU Temperatures should be nice and low, both between 30-40 degrees C after booting, and probably less than 60 when working. Just use Speccy, CPU-Z and/or GPU-Z, or Core Temp Applications to see what temperatures your machine is running at.

    I do hope that helps, or helps someone.

    Viking
     
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