Is a recovery drive sufficient to reinstall Windows 10 after replacing my HP Spectre laptop motherboard?

maruchan

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Nov 9, 2016
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I've tried to look into HP warranty options, but am now contemplating a DIY fix. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Here's my story:

I have an HP Spectre x360 laptop which worked great until a couple of weeks ago. The battery was running low so I plugged it in. In response, the fan ran on high for a few seconds, then the whole computer shut down and wouldn't turn back on. The charging indicator LED also refused to light up when plugged in. It had suddenly shut down maybe 2-3 times in the previous months, but always powered back up again.

HP phone support told me to try holding the power button with F11 for 40 seconds to attempt a power drain, but that did nothing. Because I'm out of warranty, they said I could send it in to fix on a contract basis for over $500, which is almost as much as I paid for the computer and too much for my student budget. The only available post warranty would cost an additional $200+ and only last 1 year.

I researched the issue and found that some people had experienced similar problems. When they sent their computers in under warranty, they were generally told that the motherboards needed replacement. Only one person said that the problem was the power jack, but mine was replaced previously and wiggling doesn't seem to restore power, so I'm not convinced that's the issue I have. Most disconcertingly, some reported sending the computer in multiple times for service and having more motherboard issues. As a result, I think this is the most likely culprit and am not convinced that simply forking over $500 for repairs without warranty would be a wise use of money. http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Notebook-Boot-and-Lockup/HP-spectre-x360-13-4005dx-will-not-turn-on/td-p/5296988

On a whim, I opened the case and disconnected the battery, hoping that a hard physical reset would enable a fresh boot like it does for my Samsung tablet, which fortunately contains my notes. This didn't do anything immediately, but when I left it charging overnight and came home the next day, the charging indicator was blinking! I was able to power up normally, but noticed that the battery was still around 4%, so although it was able to turn on, there was still an issue with charging. I turned it off immediately hoping that the remaining juice could be used to get to convince HP support that it was working well enough to sell me a post warranty (which I found out they won't because I had an open case).

However, following this glimmer of hope, I again found that my Spectre was refusing to charge, as indicated by the absence of the charging light. Repeating the same procedure worked once more but has not been subsequently successful in enabling the machine to boot up.

I'm now fairly sure that sending it in for repairs would be a waste of money, and I found the HP parts store where I could hopefully order a new motherboard for far less than $500. Before I get into this DIY repair attempt, I'd like some input on the following questions:

1) Based on my symptoms, does it seem like replacing the motherboard would fix the problem? Alternatively, is there a way to find out whether or not another component is defective?

2) If I replace the motherboard, would my recovery drive be sufficient to restore Windows 10 on the machine? I unfortunately did not register my computer with my Microsoft account which apparently enables the transfer of the license to a new motherboard in the same system- a feature of the anniversary update.

I'd be very grateful for any guidance you are willing to provide. Please help me fix my beautiful 3 pound brick!
 
Strangely sometimes the small things create big problems. Also, a bad cord can cause power shutdown, with battery power remaining, if the cord has a short in it or other damage. This happens when the cord is unable to both charge the battery and power the device. So it shuts down. It then only works when it is running on cord alone (no battery in, if your device will run that way - some won't) or when the device is turned completely off, then it will charge the battery.

You can test that option. Without getting a new cord. Plug it in to charge, when the laptop is completely off and see if it will charge the battery or not.

Another way is if you can test your cord on a different device (if you know someone with a similar device) and/or borrow their cord to test on yours. If it works, then you just need a new cord. If it doesn't, then we are back to other parts being the issue.

Now, that said, do you get ANY signs of life?

I would hate to have you go through all the trouble of getting a new motherboard and it not be the problem. It is possible it is, but if you can try the others first I would
 
Try the following and see if they will help, before resorting to motherboard replacement.

1. First make sure the device has been charged, as much as you can get it to charge that is.
2. Unplug your charger cord.
3. Remove the battery.
4. Press and hold the "Power" button for 30 seconds and see if the device will turn on.
5. If it does, great, if not yet, no big deal. Now plug back in the power/charger cord. (If it didn't turn on without the cord in, it should turn on once you it is in. Yes, sometimes they will turn on, or try to turn on, even with nothing attached/plugged in.)
6. Now put the battery back in.

If this doesn't help, then test the power cord to see if it is good. Either try your cord in another device, or try another devices cord in your laptop.

Should that not be the problem, then check the battery to see if it needs replacing.

 

maruchan

Commendable
Nov 9, 2016
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1,510
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Hi, webworkings. Thanks for the reply.

As I stated in my original message, the device now refuses to charge and holding the power button for 30+ seconds, with and without simultaneously holding F11 as instructed by HP tech support, does not turn on the device, likely indicating a hardware failure somewhere. Removing the battery and reinserting previously enabled the device to boot but not to charge. Now, removing the battery and reinserting does neither.

I do not have a way of testing the power cord on its own, but I believe that a power cord failure would not cause the symptoms I experienced (sudden shutdown with battery remaining, etc.), so I hesitate to nurse the suspicion that this as a cord issue, and am rather unwilling to buy a new cord for a computer that may not be worth fixing, simply to test whether or not the cord was the issue.

I do not have a way of testing the battery in isolation, but it was working fine previously and had enough juice left that the device should be able to power on, even if not for long.

Unfortunately, I also don't have a way of testing the motherboard. However, intuition tells me that something more critical than the power cord and/or battery needs to be replaced. I'm leaning towards motherboard, but if you can direct me to a procedure to confirm this or exclude other possibilities, such as the power cord and battery, I'd greatly appreciate your help.
 
Strangely sometimes the small things create big problems. Also, a bad cord can cause power shutdown, with battery power remaining, if the cord has a short in it or other damage. This happens when the cord is unable to both charge the battery and power the device. So it shuts down. It then only works when it is running on cord alone (no battery in, if your device will run that way - some won't) or when the device is turned completely off, then it will charge the battery.

You can test that option. Without getting a new cord. Plug it in to charge, when the laptop is completely off and see if it will charge the battery or not.

Another way is if you can test your cord on a different device (if you know someone with a similar device) and/or borrow their cord to test on yours. If it works, then you just need a new cord. If it doesn't, then we are back to other parts being the issue.

Now, that said, do you get ANY signs of life?

I would hate to have you go through all the trouble of getting a new motherboard and it not be the problem. It is possible it is, but if you can try the others first I would
 
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