Author Topic: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?  (Read 3146 times)

catccc

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Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« on: February 20, 2016, 09:33:16 AM »
So I have a relatively old laptop, it's an HP Pavilion DV4-1540US.  We got in in early 2010.  It's been totally sufficient up until a couple of issues recently in the last year.  I think they are unrelated, but I will mention them both just in case they are. 

About a year ago, the little pin the in charging cord got stuck inside the laptop.  I ended up successfully replacing the charging port with the help of a youtube video, and 6 y/o DD as an assistant.  Everything went well and the fix seemed to work.  I had one extra screw left at the end, but I like to think it doesn't matter.

A few months after that, we started having issues with the spacebar not working.  Then the backspace button, too.  I tried to google this and I resolved it a several times with repeating a keyboard combo involving the non-working keys.  Random, right?  Well, that fix stopped working, and now the arrow keys and the enter key have joined the the strike.  I snagged a usb keyboard that nobody was using from a relative, and we still use it, but it's a bit of a hassle.

Since the keyboard combo worked to fix it for a while, I feel like this is a software issue and not a hardware issue.  I am thinking of backing up everything and somehow wiping it clean (uninstall/reinstall windows?) and starting again.  Before I get into how this is done, can anyone comment on whether or not this makes any sense as a potential fix?

Syonyk

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #1 on: February 20, 2016, 06:02:59 PM »
Keyboard problems on laptops are almost always hardware.  Key combos might manage to free up a stuck sensor for a bit, but a keyboard replacement for a laptop that old should be about $10 on eBay and is almost certainly going to fix the problem.

As a quick way to test for software issues, you can boot Linux from a CD or USB stick and see if the problem persists there.  If it's reliable there, it's likely software, but if it's unreliable or not working there, it's almost certainly hardware.

Cwadda

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #2 on: February 20, 2016, 06:33:12 PM »
Hey there, I'm in almost the exact same situation as you. I have basically the same computer! It did really well for 6 years!

http://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/do-i-need-a-new-computer/

FIRE me

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #3 on: February 21, 2016, 01:29:08 AM »

Since the keyboard combo worked to fix it for a while, I feel like this is a software issue and not a hardware issue.  I am thinking of backing up everything and somehow wiping it clean (uninstall/reinstall windows?) and starting again.  Before I get into how this is done, can anyone comment on whether or not this makes any sense as a potential fix?

You could download and burn a Linux Live CD / DVD. The OS can run off the DVD drive without installing anything.

Then open LibreOffice and type away. Keep in mind that an optical drive access data about 100 times slower than a hard drive, so when running from the DVD drive expect LibreOffice to take many seconds to open and load. Once in RAM, it will perform as normal. If your keyboard problem persists, you have a hardware problem.

Also, you will probably have to change a BIOS setting, to enable boot from CD / DVD drive.

http://cdimage.debian.org/debian-cd/current-live/amd64/iso-hybrid/debian-live-8.3.0-amd64-kde-desktop.iso

catccc

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2016, 08:20:36 PM »
Thanks all, lots of good tips, I'll try to see if I can run linux to confirm it is a h/w issue!  So grateful I posted here first before potentially wasting my time.

Making Cookies

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2016, 01:46:51 PM »
Did you get it fixed?

Suggestion: Just install the Linux and use that! ;)

(Am big fan of Mint Linux KDE).

catccc

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2016, 09:47:36 PM »
Did you get it fixed?

Suggestion: Just install the Linux and use that! ;)

(Am big fan of Mint Linux KDE).

No, did not get it fixed yet.  I was told recently that if a sub keyboard works with it than it is definitely a hardware issue.  So maybe I'll just buy a replacement keyboard w/o testing it with Linux.  Because that seems complicated to me.  But taking out a part and replacing it with a new one does not...

zolotiyeruki

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #7 on: March 06, 2016, 08:04:00 AM »
Did you get it fixed?

Suggestion: Just install the Linux and use that! ;)

(Am big fan of Mint Linux KDE).

No, did not get it fixed yet.  I was told recently that if a sub keyboard works with it than it is definitely a hardware issue.  So maybe I'll just buy a replacement keyboard w/o testing it with Linux.  Because that seems complicated to me.  But taking out a part and replacing it with a new one does not...
I love Linux, but I think you're taking the right approach.  You can find illustrated, step-by-step instructions on page 72 of the service manual.  It looks like three small screws is all it takes.  Most laptops are designed so that the keyboard is easy to replace.

Spork

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #8 on: March 06, 2016, 08:18:58 AM »
You can try plugging a USB keyboard as a test. If you don't have a pile of them laying around I bet you could borrow one (out buy one new for $10.)

catccc

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #9 on: March 07, 2016, 09:15:47 AM »
sub.  ha.  That was supposed to be usb.  We've been using a USB keyboard for months.  It was only recently that I was made aware that if the USB keyboard works, than it probably isn't a software issue.  This makes total sense now that I think about it, but it just didn't occur to me before.  Just bought the laptop replacement keyboard on ebay.  Looking forward to putting the USB keyboard away.

Gibbelstein

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #10 on: March 07, 2016, 11:12:53 AM »
For what it is worth, the keyboard on my HP laptop of similar vintage occasionally just stops completely. I do a hard reset (unplug, remove battery, hold power button for about 30sec) and so far it has always come back.  Now, my problem involves the whole keyboard, but maybe this could still help you as well? 

However, the trackpad stopped working before the keyboard and this trick stopped helping with that, so I just always use a usb mouse now.  So, maybe it is just a matter of time.

catccc

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Re: Old HP laptop from 2010 having issues, any fix suggestions?
« Reply #11 on: March 13, 2016, 03:18:11 PM »
Thanks all for the input!  I'm replying to this thread with my newly replaced keyboard! 

It was a super easy replacement. 

And ended up putting it back together better than it was put together before the keyboard replacement.  I had an "extra" screw leftover after replacing the charging port a number of months ago.  Found its home on this fix, and now all screws are in the right place...
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 07:51:27 AM by catccc »