How to Troubleshoot an HP Pavilion Notebookby Billy Kirk
As with any complex piece of equipment, a lot of things can go wrong with a computer, and this holds true with the HP Pavilion laptop. While it may be impossible for the average consumer to account for every possible error with their Pavilion, there are a number of more frequent problems that can be troubleshooted for. A few steps that require no advanced computing knowledge can eliminate a host of potential problems and possibly reveal the error that is afflicting your computer, whether the error lies in the power supply, monitor, motherboard or elsewhere.
Check the power source for your HP Pavilion notebook. Make sure the AC adapter is plugged into the wall socket or surge protector securely. Also, attempt plugging in the adapter into another power outlet, in case the outlet you are using is blown or not functioning properly.
Ensure that your HP Pavilion battery is still in good shape. All batteries deteriorate over time and begin to lose their charge-some may nearly lose their charge completely. An average cycle for a laptop battery is 1000 charges. If the battery of your Pavilion may be the culprit, flip over the unit and examine the underside of the computer. You should see the horizontal outline of the battery at the top of the bottom side of the computer, and the battery latch just below it. Slide this latch to the left to dislodge the battery and replace it.
Check your HP Pavilion notebook's monitor brightness settings if the screen appears black or not powered on. Even if your Pavilion is indeed powered on and the battery is working, it is possible that the brightness settings were accidentally all the way turned down, resulting in a screen that appears to be "dead". The brightness settings will be located on the top of the keyboard, along the numeric keys and just below the actual laptop screen.
Observe the Pavilion's behavior and check to see if the mouse and/or keyboard are working correctly. If not, you may have to update your drivers for these devices. Visit the HP Support section to download new drivers (see Resources). Click on the corresponding driver file, wait for the download to complete, and then double click to install. A restart will be required.
Look closely at the monitor for your HP Pavilion notebook. Is there a faint image that you can see on the screen, but the screen is otherwise not appearing to work properly? The LCD "lid close" detector could be malfunctioning because the LCD lid close switch may be stuck into the "closed" position. This would result in the backlight for the LCD not working. The switch is located near the LCD hinges, and it should be able to be fixed by some slight manipulation and tapping of the switch.
Observe your monitor and look for any video irregularities. If there is a problem with the display outside of the backlight, it could be one of a couple issues. To troubleshoot, use a S-Video cable to connect your laptop to an external monitor, such as your living room TV. If the TV displays the information on your computer correctly, you have isolated the problem to just a monitor issue. However, if the TV does not display your data correctly, the problem lies with the motherboard/video subsystem of your computer.
- check In the case of a motherboard failure, do not purchase and install a new motherboard, as the cost for a new motherboard will often match or exceed the current value of your computer. The wisest (and ultimately, most cost-effective) choice is usually simply purchasing a new laptop.