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Mystery part


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#1
atlaqua

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part.jpg hello,

i found an hp pavilion xh485 at the dumpster of my apt. complex (i know...crazy) yesterday. barely a scratch is on it, the cd drawer was stuck, but i simply took apart and turned out to be dented on top so i fixed that, and it booted up millenium perfectly. it had 1 virus on it, but other than that and a few missing keys...it was flawless.

Here's my dilemma today after an over-confident "IT" acquaintance took it upon himself to take a look inside of her while i was not around (i'm not an IT and i dont pretend to be one--just a curious dork with a screwdriver).

now she will not boot up windows me. she simply hangs and the screen says to press esc, f2, or f10 for setup, bootup options. Pressing any key does nothing at all.

she started to feel really hot, and when i rebooted, a noise came from the fan area. I took her apart and the fan was caked with nicotine dust. I cleaned that up and the fan operates fine.

BUT, in the process of getting to the fan, I found a loose piece rattling around that i have no idea where it may belong, how important it is, if it is causing the current situation of no-boot, and no bios access.

I'm attaching a picture of the mystery part and i would appreciate any help in identifying what it may be, where it may go (i've looked everywhere on board) etc.,.

I'm not concerned about the any issues with windows at this point as i had planned to install xp anyways, but right now i can't get past initial "hp invent" screen. (cd wont boot xp because of present boot order, but can't change boot order because of the hang.)

I still can't believe it was at the dumpster!

lastly, i should add that i have no idea if the present situation of no-boot/no bios access is related whatsoever to the loose part.

hp pavilion xh485

AMD Athlon4 1.0 GHz Processor
512 MB RAM
30 GB hard drive
4x CD-RW/6x DVD combo drive
Trident CyberBladeXPm video card
15'' LCD, 1024x768
56K/10/100 Modem/Ethernet integrated combo card
ESS Allegro sound card
Touchpad with scroll buttons
Keyboard with shortcut keys, special function keys
2 USB Ports
2 PCMCIA Slots
Other Ports: 1 parallel / 1 serial / 1 video-out / 1 monitor / 1 ps/2
Floppy drive
Front info LCD with CD playback and volume buttons

Edited by atlaqua, 14 May 2005 - 04:28 AM.

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#2
neilp4453

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dont know your problem, but lucky you...I never get lucky. screw me.
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#3
audioboy

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that part looks to be a capacitor of some kind. no matter what it is, depending on where it came off of, it can cause all kinds of problems. it wouldnt be in the PC if it wasnt needed.
a laptop repair shop should be able to fix it up, and hopefully it wouldnt cost too much.

unless you (or your new best pal the "IT" guy) are used to working on circuit boards, I wouldnt try to fix it yourself.
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#4
atlaqua

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thanks for that feedback. The encouraging thing about the piece is it looks like its fully in tact. I just can't find where the heck it came from. I mean i have examined every millimeter of the board, and don't see anything obvious.
Because I found it at a dumpster and because the piece looks to be in tact, I was going to try to avoid taking it in to avoid the cost ("you just got a free laptop--what are ya, stingy?" resonates through my head).
I was just hoping that it would be a simple solder or something. It literally looks like it was attached by 2 wires, which appear to be in good shape.
I hope to see/hear from the guy that opened it up before me to just find out more info as to what he did. He does admit that when he had posession of it windows booted and when he handed it to me stated that he could not get the to the bios, but i wasnt really paying close attention at that time.


i'm not exactly sure what "white papers" are, but would i find white papers for this compuiter on the internet and would they tell me what this part is, what it does, where it may attach, etc. I just want feel confident that the job is way out of reach for me before I spend the cash i dont have on it. And, I guess I've always been a foolish risk taker.

Thanks for any additional feedback.
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#5
audioboy

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the problem with trying to repair it yourself is just like you said- you cant tell where the part is from!
yes, it woule be a simple soldering job, it is just 2 leads. the other problem you face is those leads are specific, one positive, one negative. installing it wrong way around would be bad.
it may have to do with the power conditioning for the board. check around the power supply.

white papers- youve been reading my other posts...white papers explain the official specs of things, what they are, and how they're supposed to work. referring to them is an extension of read the manual.

you could try to find schematics on that laptop, but its unlikely to be online. manufacturers dont usually post schematics so their competitors can see what they are doing/steal ideas, etc.
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#6
Samm

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Just so you know, that is an aluminium electrolyic capacitor, with a 47microFarad rating.

They are often used in DC systems to provide a 'clean' supply of power through the process of charging & discharging.

You can't be certain that replacing the capacitor will fix the problem. Because capacitors store an electrical charge, if one was to suddenly be snapped off & left to roll around inside the laptop, as soon as the two legs of the capacitor touched anything conductive, the capacitor would discharge itself through whatever it was in contact with. As you can imagine, this could potentially damage another component on the board.

In respects to locating where it came from, all I know is that capacitors are often (but not always) found in smalls groups, ie where theres one, theres often another 1 or 2 very close by.

Sorry, I realise this probably isn't much help!
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#7
audioboy

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Samm, you busted me! I work as an engineer, but I'm a systems level guy, I dont have any formal electrical training... :tazz:

what she said is quite correct, and the point about it rolling around in there is valid. I would still suggest a repair shop- they know where parts normally live, and have or can get schematics for a particular system.
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#8
Samm

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Thanks audioboy! And you're right as usual - a repair shop is his best bet.
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#9
atlaqua

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thank you sam and audioboy. that's great info. interestingly enough, i haven't solved the capacitor issue,but have come to discover that the adapter that connects the hard drive to the board wasn't correctly connected, thereby bending and breaking 6 of the copper pins. do they make a ribbon cable for laptop hard drives that are male on one end and female on the other? essentially that is all i'd need to resolve that issue.

i had managed to rig up a short-erm fix, which gave me the opportunity to attempt to boot up and i actually was able to get into the bios, change boot order, etc. but as soon as i could do that, my short term-fix went kaput and i'm taking a break from that machine for a while before i start to get really dangerous.

now, i'm wondering if the capacitor could have fallen into the computer from another. (?&^$%#^)

and you are correct-a repair shop would be the wisest move. I'm just very stubborn and cheap :tazz:

brian
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