More Info On Replacing An HP Laptop Motherboard

We asked John, who wrote to us earlier this week about replacing the motherboard in his HP laptop, to send us a link to the listing he found for $150. Below is his response.

Several readers also contacted us to point out that HP extended the warranties on a number of models recently due to motherboard failures, so John or other readers may have more options than they initially thought.

First, to satisfy everyone’s curiosity, here are the motherboard prices John found. As some of you speculated, the $150 he originally mentioned was for one on eBay, not from HP:

Here you go. Actually, if I return the broken board they will sell me a refurb for $133 and a new board for $228.95. The $150 boards were on eBay. And you know they’d send HP the defective board for the “core credit”. AND you know that Best Buy would NOT pay near what I’d have to pay for the board being that they are the only licensed HP reseller in my area.

http://h20141.www2.hp.com/hpparts/Search_Results.asp?mscssid=BB31E5F3F21343B380DA714B5C2DCD3A&SearchInc=PartNumber

A reader named Mark read the post and wrote in to tell us he recently had his own problems with an HP laptop, and discovered the extended warranty news:

My HP laptop just went down as well and after a tech support rep at HP told me it would cost $50 for ANY phone support, as my laptop is out of warranty, I did some searching online.

Please check out:
http://h20000.www2.hp.com/bizsupport/TechSupport/Document.jsp?&objectID=c01087277

It details a trend of motherboard failures and a two year warranty extension for this specific problem.

(Thanks to IT Insider, Erick, and everyone else who also sent in this info!)

Finally, we got some interesting inside info from John, a former CompUSA repair tech who offered an explanation to why Geek Squad‘s quote was so high:

I just wanted to let you know how it is from the service side of things. I worked on the repair side at CompUSA. Generally this is how it worked, we would order our parts from a third party. They would refurbish the parts and put a limited 30 day warranty on the part. When we order parts from them, Motherboards would generally cost between 500-1000 for laptops. I don’t know how Best Buy has it set up, but I would venture it is similar. This takes the cost of doing the business of finding a part and knowing that it will work off of the retailer. And if the part was bad we could send it back and get another part at no additional cost to us. So if we were to go on ebay we would probably have to pay shipping for a part that we have no clue if it worked. It makes sense to me that this is how Best Buy does it too.

Comments

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  1. SW says:

    The link to HP will work for some. As a proud (laced with sarcasm!!!) owner of a dv9000 series HP I have learned this lesson all to well. HP only extends the warranty on AMD based models. Again as a proud (even more sarcasm) owner of a Intel Duo Core model. HP flat out refused to work with me. The executive email I had sent out, resulted in a call back from corporate. Corporate would take a look at my laptop and charge for parts and labor. List price from HP for my motherboard is $480, while a motherboard from a different model of DV9000 with twice the video memory was $380? I too went the ebay route and replaced it myself for $200 with the 512 Video ram as opposed to the 256 I originally had. I have stated to HP I will never buy any of there products for there lack of making this issue whole. And I urge others to do the same. HP you should be ashamed of the shoddy products you brought to the market. Sony or Toshiba will get my money next time. Personally I have a Viao that is close to 10 years old and spent a year in Iraq, and it still works like it was brand new.

    • EqualOpportunityCrasher says:

      @ShadowWizard38: Ugh, I have a dv6000, which, mainly for others, has had some bad problems. It’s worked great except for the wireless and ethernet always screwing up. Trying to fix it, I flashed the BIOS with an update they recommended. Well, works fine, then 8 hours later, I get the BSOD. I was freaking out. Had it diagnosed, told me it was the MoBo. I did a livechat with someone at HP who told me I was SOL. Called their normal customer service line, same thing. I was livid. Finally, I called up HP on their special dv6000 line (I’m not kidding here, they actually have a line for warranty issues just for the dv6000) and it turned out to be the best customer service experience ever. Even though it was out of warranty and out of the extended warranty they had for it, the guy did everything he could to help me, to the point of even telling me that if we couldn’t get it fixed, to just send it in to HP and they’d repair it, no charge. Finally, we managed to get it fixed and back up and running. Although it was a hell of an experience, HP ended up being pretty cool about it. That said, I probably won’t buy another HP anytime in the future. I hear Lenovo and Acer are actually pretty good with customers and quality, so it looks like my next laptop will be a Lenovo.

      • SW says:

        @EqualOpportunityCrasher: It seems like customer service is either hit or miss. I have read in the many boards dedicated to this issue that people with the same model of dv9000 were given the fix, while others were flat out refused. I was obviouly one of the latter. Didn’t even help when I pointed out that they have fixed this issue for others with the Intel CPU.
        Glad you actually had a positive experience with them. In the end it’s HP’s loss. There is not a thing they could do to win back my trust or loyalty. Even worse for them is I work in a highly technical field, and I have made it a mission to denounce them as much as possible to friends, family and associates.

        • EqualOpportunityCrasher says:

          @ShadowWizard38: Yeah, I completely understand that. I’m just sad to see their quality and customer service going downhill. My last laptop was a Compaq and it was an amazing little machine. Because of that, I decided to go with a new HP. The body is absolute garbage and it gets quite warm. Within a month of owning it, the trackpad started wearing off, and just a few other issues. It’s for that reason I won’t buy another laptop from them. They used to be great, and I had a decent experience with them, but I need a better manufacturer that builds something strong and stands behind their product.

    • Michael Ortega says:

      @ShadowWizard38: Ditto here, I have had nothing but bad experience with HP. Support just wants to pass the buck.

    • rellog321 says:

      @ShadowWizard38: I swore off HP when the specs on thevideo card in the laptop I bought turned out to be a blatant fabrication…. Sorry, but when you charge a premium for something, it better well have the specs and capabiities you advertise it with. Never got any satisfaction from that incident, so to this day I steer as many people away from HP and Compaq as I possibly can…

  2. Tian (www.tian.cc) says:

    I am so glad I have a Lenovo T61. Never had a problem with it. It is a great laptop. I would highly recommend it.

    • shepd says:

      @Tian:

      My work machine is a Lenovo T61. Never had a junkier laptop in my life. POSTs HDD errors on boot every other boot, windows freezes every few hours, and the wireless drops out every few minutes. It also throws an extreme amount of DMA errors and other random pukes when running Linux from an SD card.

      I’ve worked with IT to get them to fix it, but they feel a BIOS update and wireless driver upgrade was all it needed. It isn’t. My personal opinion (backed by 20 years of IT experience): The southbridge is shot. Needs a motherboard unless you’re super handy with BGA rework…

      Oh well, doesn’t matter, I get paid to take it back and forth between my desk and IT. :D

      • FrankReality says:

        @shepd:

        I think your next step is to take the hardfile out of it, have an serious accident with it such as dropping it down a concrete stairwell or bouncing it off pavement in the parking lot, then put the hardfile back in it.

        Then take it to IT for “repair”, which pretty much means “replace” if you do it right. You take the drive from the old one, and transfer it to the new one and you’re good to go without having to reload.

        Where I work, they’ll send out a replacement without the hardfile – you transfer the hardfile and memory from old to new and send the busted one back, then they send the busted one for remanufacturing/repair.

        BTW, I have two T60s and use a third T60 at work. Other than the hardfile crapping out on the work machine, they’ve worked fine.

  3. Zclyh3 says:

    This is why you buy extended warranties?

  4. celestebai says:

    My dv9000 AMD computer completely shut down, only bios beeps when I tried to turn it on. HP said they would charge for phone service, or I could mail it in for free with the box they would send me, they would diagnose it for free, and let me know if there was a charge. I said fine, sent it in, and got it back with no phone call a week later, complete with brand new motherboard and everything still on my harddrive. (Though my drive was encrypted, so they wouldn’t have been able to format it, either way, not sure if that had anything to do with it.) Anyway, I was extremely happy that I had a new motherboard with absolutely no cost associated with it. Worth a try to send it in. Now if only they would come out with a cooler for the power supply…

    • kane08 says:

      I have the same model (dv9205us) and had mobo issues last summer. I dropped it off at the repair shop and they said it would cost $200 to replace, so I paid and had it fixed.
      It died again over a week ago and thanks to the initial Consumerist post about HP laptops, I found out there was a recall, so I called them for repair. They sent me a laptop shipping box free of charge and I sent it back the same day it arrived. I just got a call this evening and they say it was the monitor bezel and case that was cracked. The customer service rep stated that it was still under warranty (although it ended last spring). The laptop was never abused and sat on a desk for the last year and I can’t figure out why they’d replace it for free, instead of charging the $300+ it should have cost, but I’ll take it.

      • SW says:

        @kane08: If it was an AMD based dv9000 there are actually two recalls. The first been a defective chipset on the motherboard. Free fix. Second is the left hand hinge replacement, which is for all dv9000 models not just the AMD. Because of the over heating it would weaken the hinge and it would crack/snap. If I were you I’d argue to get my $200 back due to your inclusion in the recall.

  5. Brazell says:

    My GF just bought a DV5-1235 from BestBuy last week and she was really concerned about getting a long-term warranty. The warranty’s were $300 for 3-years, no questions asked replacement policy, which I thought was just too expensive… the laptop cost $700, so asking for almost 50% of the price f the unit, bumping it up to $1000 was just too much.

    There’s still a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty, and I told her, if it breaks after a year and it’s unfixable, I’ll buy her a new one… haha, so I’m the warranty in this case.

    • AI says:

      @MichaelBrazell: Best Buy does NOT offer “no questions asked” replacement policies. Trust me, or read the pamphlet. The employee was lying to you if he used those words. They will ask many questions, and sit on it for 60 days, guaranteed.

  6. jayphat says:

    $500-$1000 for a motherboard that is $228 from the manufacturer? No wonder CompUSA is a failed business model.

    I am sure the reliability of a brand new motherboard wouldn’t be questioned either.

    • bender123 says:

      @jayphat:

      As a former tech, this is not exactly fair to say…Laptops are not like Desktops. There is no ATX case standard and there, as is obvious, many different permutations of laptop shapes, sizes, etc…

      Many times, a company would not sell us the new boards, because they would keep a supply for their own warranty issues. Once a model was discontinued, they do not keep manufacturing the mainboards that go into them, because that would be a waste. About 70% of the time, for a laptop over 1.5 years old, refurbs were the only option available to us. So, yes, $228 is cheaper, but in many cases, it just is not possible.

  7. FDCPAGuy says:

    So that settles it the $150 boards were not ‘new’ they were from ebay and were system pulls I am sure. The $133 refurb doesn’t count as new either. The $228.95 post core credit is as good a comparison as you can make. So I guess the $650 in labor headline was a bit sensationalistic no? Don’t worry consumerist I don’t ever think of you as objective journalists. Might I suggest that if the OP wants to know the break down of labor and parts that he ask his BestBuy to look in their systems. They can see the break down between part cost and labor in their systems and I know this from experience. There is also a chance that more than the motherboard went and there are more parts in need of repair. Anyhow something about this story strikes me as not totally forthcoming and just meant to grab headlines. Why else give the original article such a flame baiting headline?

    • Chris Walters says:

      @FDCPAGuy: What are you talking about? There was no mention of either the $150 or the $650 figures in the first headline:

      “How Much Should It Cost To Replace The Motherboard On A Laptop?”

      See?

      *shakes head*

      • secret_curse says:

        @Chris Walters: You just can’t please some people. I thought it was nice that you put in the blurb from the CompUSA tech that pointed out a logical reason for parts being really expensive from big box retailers.

  8. argosreality says:

    Considering the incident of failure of any NVIDIA based laptop motherboard (our store see’s about 3 a month and we’re fairly low volume for that kind of repair) I’d never consider getting a refurb board on ebay as a replacement! Granted, its cheaper but a new laptop is cheaper than BestBuys replacement.

    Having said that, we can get most HP replacement motherboards (and that often includes processors since they’re not always user replaceable) for between $200-350 sourced from a third party. They’re warrantied, through us (a fairly large company) and typically cost between $50-100 to install. Having said that, you can send it out to be repaired for slightly cheaper.

    This is why extended warranties, while often a crap shoot and a waste of money can actually be a damn good deal. Especially ANYTHING with an NVIDIA chipset (I dont trust them saying they fixed the problem with newer chipsets)

    • NotYou007 says:

      @argosreality:

      Yes, NVIDIA had a major issue with a graphic chipset. It is well known and it gave everyone from Apple, Sony to Dell major headaches.

      Of the Dell motheboards I’ve replaced, mainly the XPS 1530 for the problem I’ve yet to run a return call for the same issue so maybe NVIDIA did correct the problem.

      The Dell XPS 1530 was infected with NVIDIA’s problem for many many months but it was not Dell’s fault as NVIDIA did not want to admit it was their problem.

    • itinsider says:

      argosreality: Having said that, we can get most HP replacement motherboards (and that often includes processors since they’re not always user replaceable) for between $200-350 sourced from a third party.

      Exactly. We have no clue if the processor on his unit user replaceable.

      As well as the fact that he will simply be getting another motherboard prone to failure. Going with a new laptop will most likely be a wiser decision in the long run.

  9. NotYou007 says:

    Geek Squad should be renamed Joke Squad.

    That is all.

  10. HPCommando says:

    From a 10+ year live HP Authorized Service Provider:

    If you buy Presario/Pavilion, you will get the cheap side of HP.

    DON’T BUY PRESARIO/PAVILION.

    These are “Consumer Grade” products, and don’t have the strengths nor the backing that the Commercial/Small Business (NOT the “SO/HO” line!!!) product lines have.

    The Commercial/Small Business lines have similarly priced units that can beat or match the Presario/Pavilions, and also offer at the time of purchase the “Accidental Damage Protection” for a small fee. This will not only extend but boost your warranty from HP, and not some fly-by-night insurance policy. It is sometimes extendable to up to five years total warranty time.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have a HP dv9535nr (Intel Centrino Duo with NVIDIA GeForce 8600M) that has failed twice (no picture/no boot up) and another time where the keyboard failed. First time was during the warranty and HP fixed it for awhile by replacing the motherboard. Then it failed again and I had to take it to Best Buy. They’ve had to ship it out twice and had to replace the motherboard both times.

    3 motherboard failures in under 2 years is insane. At this point, I’m just waiting for it to fail within the next year so I can get Best Buy yo get me another laptop. Sometimes extended warranties can be a great thing. Especially when companies aren’t forthcoming on their screwups like NVIDIA and HP.

  12. blazergst says:

    I am hard on my laptops since I work in harsh environments that include: rain, snow, sand, and free falls. Lugging a full size laptop on 40 foot tower atop a 50 story building is a pain not to mention the danger factor. Office Max/Depot (both bad customer service so they blend in my mind) had a sale on the Acer Aspire One for $198. I got 2, when the first dies I will use the second when the second dies I hope to mix the parts to make a whole one again. For $200 + tax even if they only last a year I figure I did well. Only 2 things that bug me about these netbooks is typing, I never hit the space bar hard enough to register and the lack of DVD drive.

    Oh and the first one to make a netbook with a DVD drive and 2 hours of movie battery sub $250 will get an instant 4-5 sales from me . Hand them to the kids for long drives with a movie loaded.

    Always get extras when kids and technology are in the same sentence. :)

    • madanthony says:

      @blazergst:

      If you are that hard on laptops, you should consider a ruggedized laptop like the Panasonic ToughBook – they are designed to survive spills and drops, with a heavy metal case, gel-encased hard drive, sealed keyboard, ect.

      They aren’t cheap, but I would bet they would hold up way better than a Netbook, which is pretty much the most fragile computer money can buy.

      • blazergst says:

        @madanthony: An entry Panasonic ToughBook is about 1800 and that is not really the “Tough” model. I could get 9 crap netbooks before I would have paid the $1,800. Look at it like a tech refresh every 2 months. :)

        I have had the netbook about 2 months now and it has survived rain, sand and other dirt like objects, 1 fall +15 feet, and life at the bottom of my truck bed for an 8 hr drive (off). It’s looks like I took a belt sander to it but I really am not after pretty.

        You think thats bad you should see my G1 phone…

    • TheSpatulaOfLove says:

      @blazergst:

      What madanthony says makes sense regarding the ruggedized.

      Now on to the kids thing – I think you miss the whole point of a netbook. I don’t think it’s likely you’ll see an optical drive in one soon. If you want to do the movie thing, download Handbrake and convert the DVDs you bought into a lower quality (but adequate for the screen size) version and load them on to the drive or an SD card. I did this with my old Ipod and my 4 year old thinks it’s the greatest thing since sliced bread. That netbook should last quite a long time if you bought the SSD version and loaded the movies on SD cards.

  13. Charles Aquino says:

    I’ve summarized and compiled a list of articles and resources regarding this issue: [yetsosimple.blogspot.com]

    I do computer repair, and amongst the 3 family members and 2 friends with a defective HP Laptop w/ Nvidia GPU, they all have the same problem. Sure there are “fixes” for these issues to help prevent them from frying your motherboard. But your best bet is to fight them back!

    Join the class action here: [www.sfmslaw.com]

  14. David Schwartz says:

    It sounds to me like these companies are “sort of” in the laptop repair business and pass the costs of their half-in-half-out business model onto their customers. Just another reason it pays to shop around.

  15. Psychosocial says:

    HP customer service is terrible. I would NEVER buy a notebook from them again. Stay away, far away…
    Instead check out notebooks from
    Asus
    MSI
    Lenovo
    Maybe even Dell now?
    Just say “no” to HP.

  16. Brady Cox says:

    Laptop repair is time consuming, not to mention a PITA the first time you take apart any specific machine. Each model is slightly different and you have to be careful not to break any of the plastic pieces holding the unit together.

    That being said, it would be wise for BB to charge a flat rate for something like this instead of hourly.

    Then again, they probably want you to say “Screw it, I’ll just buy a new one.”

  17. John Henschen says:

    So you all know, I’m THE John from the laptop story. HP’s PR firm has contacted me. I wrote them an email this morning asking what they were willing to do.

    This laptop is NOT considered part of the recalls you’re talking about. Its a dv9627cl (HP Pavilion dv9500 p/n GS723UA#ABA) and according to the list and the people my wife spoke with at HP, it is not a recall item.

    • bmorg003 says:

      @John Henschen: Here is the service manual for your laptop: [www.laptop-guide.co.cc] it should walk you through the process of repairing it yourself (How to tear it down, ESD Precautions, etc…). According to the service manual there are a few models that offer discrete Nvidia 8600/8400 (Nvidia graphic and MCP/Northbridge chips are the subject of the extended warranty), but it is an add-in part (easily replaceable and not part of the board). The Intel models all seem to feature the Intel PM965 or GM965 chipsets (Northbridge) and are not part of any recall/extended warranty that I am aware of. If you have a clean work area, some static bags (and labels) to put parts in and some time, it’s not really that difficult to replace (just read the service manual). Of course it might make you feel a little better to get the board yourself and take it to a local Mom & Pop shop (or local Techy kid that you trust) and have them do the work for you. I’m sure there are plenty of people (here) who would be willing to help you and would charge a “much” fairer price; Goodluck.

  18. tackhouse1 says:

    Just to provide perspective. I have a HP ZT3000 laptop that is going on 6 years old and I have never had a problem with it. In fact, after all these years of regular use (and jet setting with me around the country), the original battery still provides me with 2 hours of use.

    Not sure if I would buy another HP to replace it, but not all of their laptops are bad.

  19. Brett42 says:

    The extended warranty is only 12 additional months for a total of 24 months after purchase. I found this out the hard way when I was trying to help out a friend with a dv9205.

    Based on the repeated mention of fan speeds in the article, it looks like they know they have an overheating problem caused by inadequate cooling, which based on the operating environment and usage patterns could easily take more than 2 years to turn up. I tried explaining this to a case manager on the executive customer service line mentioned in an older article, but all I got was “HP has made a business decision about this issue, and just because you’re unhappy about it isn’t a good enough reason for us to fix it.”

  20. Justbecos Kelvinlee says:

    I had changed the motherboard of my old HP and I took pictures so that I remembered were all the screws went. Some of you might find it helpful if you are changing the motherboard. [www.bubbleshare.com]

  21. whuffo says:

    I’ve got one of those AMD / Nvidia based HP laptops. HP says they extended the warranty on them, but they refused to honor the warranty on mine. Yup, bad motherboard. HP support was just amazing; their support rep hung up on me. Then he called me back and hung up on me again – just to make sure I got the message.

    No more HP products – never again. It’s not worth it.

  22. mmeehh says:

    This is what is covered in this enhancement should be recall

    Using the Service Tag on your notebook, determine if your notebook is one of the series in the table below.
    Click on your series in the table to see the complete list of included notebook product numbers.
    NOTE: After clicking on the link in the table you will be taken to a different Web page.

    If the product number of your notebook is listed in that table then return to this page and continue to Step 2 for further instructions.
    If the product number of your notebook is not listed in that table then your notebook PC is not included in the Limited Warranty Service Enhancement program.
    HP Pavilion notebook PC series Compaq Presario notebook PC series
    dv20xx v30xx
    dv21xx v31xx
    dv22xx v32xx
    dv23xx v33xx
    dv24xx v34xx
    dv60xx v60xx
    dv61xx v61xx
    dv62xx v62xx
    dv63xx v63xx
    dv64xx v64xx
    dv90xx
    dv92xx
    dv93xx
    dv94xx

    Where are the notebook series and product number located?
    The service tag, located on the bottom of the notebook PC, contains the notebook PC series and product number.

    1 – Product number
    2 – Series
    Step 2: Identify the symptoms
    If your computer’s product number is listed above, and the notebook PC experiences one or more of the symptoms listed below, contact HP during the Duration of the HP Limited Warranty Service Enhancement to determine whether you are eligible for a free repair.
    The following symptoms apply to Pavilion dv2000 and Presario v3000 notebooks:
    The notebook does not detect wireless networks and the wireless adapter is not detected in the Device Manager.
    There is no video on the computer LCD panel or external monitor.
    The following symptoms apply to the dv6000, dv9000 and v6000 series notebooks:
    The notebook does not detect wireless networks and the wireless adapter is not detected in the Device Manager.
    There is no video on the computer LCD panel or external monitor.
    The notebook has no power and no active LEDs.
    The notebook does not start.
    The battery charge indicator light does not turn on when the battery is installed and the AC adapter is connected.
    The notebook issues a single beep during boot indicating no power.
    The external monitor functions but there is no image on the notebook LCD panel.

    and yes other models have the same issue with same crappy boards but are not covered because hp has determined that their failure rates are lower so too bad give me 398.00 for repair and yes you are getting same s crappy board that failed in the first place

  23. mmeehh says:

    another note to people who have purchased “new” hp g60 and g50 series these are re-engineered dv6000 and dv9000 junk that was pulled and reskinned same shitty notebook

  24. thecavemankevin says:

    I run a computer repair company http://www.tcdor.com and we as many others have seen many of these over the past year or so. Many were covered, but now many are not. Either they are not part of the extended warranty or they are out of date (one even by a day).

    I use to be a huge fan of HP laptops, but no longer. Due to these issues we recommend customers look elsewhere (Dell, Toshiba etc..)

    While we have not ordered from this site, it seems to be one of the best in terms of price for new boards:
    [laptops-motherboard.com]

    the computer doctor of richmond