Forum Thread

Graphics Card gone??? * most likely the issue, not fixing it*

BostonGirl 21,113 5,745 July 9, 2012 at 06:16 AM
I have a friend of mine's laptop and it's booting to a black screen. I can hear the HD and fans running, won't work on external monitor either. I got it to boot to Windows a few times yesterday. Just wondering if there's anything else I can do? Sound like the graphic card?

Gateway NV53 running Win7

things tried:
Reseat RAM/ Tried New RAM
Tried starting without HD in
Had an issues with power button which I fixed
Not working on External monitor( hmdi or vga )
Tried booting from boot disc( dvd is reading)
Held power button down for 30-60 secs to reset( with out battery, etc)

Not sure what else to try. I read try to reseat the CMOS batt or replace the Thermal Paste. But not sure that would do anything. I also haven't taken it fully apart to see if anything is loose.

Thanks Smilie

23 Comments

1 2

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

#2
If you are 100% sure that the ram is not the problem (if you can spray contact cleaner into the slots, that would be good), then the problem seems serious, a hardware failure, it could be the graphics portion on the motherboard, in which case, unless your a super techie who knows how to replace blown caps, etc, we're talking about a new mobo ro new computer, depending on costs.
It is also clear that the problem is NOT a connection to your screen, as you don't get any image from your VGA output either.
Playing around with the CMOS battery is useless in this case, as is changing the thermal paste.
In short, if you can't fix it by diddling around with the ram, then it's the mobo.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2006
Slickdeals Janitor
21,113 Posts
5,745 Reputation
Original Poster
#3
Yea, seems like the graphics card, which of course means new motherboard.
Just wondering if there was anything else I could try.Frown

The weird thing is, the few times I got it working was right after I switched the RAM around. I tried every combo of them, 2 slots 1 RAM, switched the slots then switched the ram. I tried a new RAM stick. Blah.

I'm going to try them again, 1 by 1 and see if it does anything. I'm not very hopeful at this point.laugh out loud

Is it worth replacing the mobo, it's like 100-150 on ebay? New computer with same specs in HD right now for $300.
( I don't know why people buy Gateway..lol)
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Quote from cupcake42 View Post :
Serra is mean! Frown BG is nice! heart
Quote from lowpro View Post :
Is your Mom available?
#4
Quote from BostonGirl View Post :
Yea, seems like the graphics card, which of course means new motherboard.
Just wondering if there was anything else I could try.Frown

The weird thing is, the few times I got it working was right after I switched the RAM around. I tried every combo of them, 2 slots 1 RAM, switched the slots then switched the ram. I tried a new RAM stick. Blah.

I'm going to try them again, 1 by 1 and see if it does anything. I'm not very hopeful at this point.laugh out loud

Is it worth replacing the mobo, it's like 100-150 on ebay? New computer with same specs in HD right now for $300.
( I don't know why people buy Gateway..lol)
If you have no contact cleaner, try a bit of alcohol in there, being careful to not pour large quantities in.
Naturally, you should disconnect the laptop and remove the battery if you're going to shlop lots of alcohol into those slots.
Try just one stick of ram at a time, alternating slots too.

With regards to swapping out the mobo for $150 vs a new machine that is equal to yours for $300, the new one sounds more tempting to me.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2007
L10: Grand Master
6,143 Posts
2,278 Reputation
#5
Does it have discrete or integrated graphics? I'd flip a coin between bad MB and bad graphics card. More likely graphics if there's a discrete card, and more likely MB if graphics are integrated.

I'd say not worth it to fix - sell it as a broken machine on ebay & put that $$ to a new machine.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2008
L10: Grand Master
6,316 Posts
1,470 Reputation
#6
I would reset the bios. Pull the battery out and the cmos battery, hold the power button down for 5-10 seconds and put it back together. It really does sound like the motherboard though unfortunately Reaper
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2006
Slickdeals Janitor
21,113 Posts
5,745 Reputation
Original Poster
#7
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
If you have no contact cleaner, try a bit of alcohol in there, being careful to not pour large quantities in.
Naturally, you should disconnect the laptop and remove the battery if you're going to shlop lots of alcohol into those slots.
Try just one stick of ram at a time, alternating slots too.

With regards to swapping out the mobo for $150 vs a new machine that is equal to yours for $300, the new one sounds more tempting to me.
I'll try some alcohol and see what it does..it looks pretty clean though.
I'll ask her what she wants to do. I feel bad because I told her yesterday it was running, but did say don't be too happy just yet..laugh out loud

Quote from Jeffbx View Post :
Does it have discrete or integrated graphics? I'd flip a coin between bad MB and bad graphics card. More likely graphics if there's a discrete card, and more likely MB if graphics are integrated.

I'd say not worth it to fix - sell it as a broken machine on ebay & put that $$ to a new machine.
It's integrated which means I'd have to replace the entire mobo. So yea, she'll just prob get a new one.

Quote from nizzy1115 View Post :
I would reset the bios. Pull the battery out and the cmos battery, hold the power button down for 5-10 seconds and put it back together. It really does sound like the motherboard though unfortunately Reaper
Thanks, I'll give that a shot. But yea sounds like the mobo.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by BostonGirl July 9, 2012 at 06:51 AM
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,662 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#8
Quote from BostonGirl View Post :
Yea, seems like the graphics card, which of course means new motherboard.
Just wondering if there was anything else I could try.Frown

The weird thing is, the few times I got it working was right after I switched the RAM around. I tried every combo of them, 2 slots 1 RAM, switched the slots then switched the ram. I tried a new RAM stick. Blah.

I'm going to try them again, 1 by 1 and see if it does anything. I'm not very hopeful at this point.laugh out loud

Is it worth replacing the mobo, it's like 100-150 on ebay? New computer with same specs in HD right now for $300.
( I don't know why people buy Gateway..lol)
I wouldn't replace the motherboard, since your not 100% sure that is the problem, and it's not exactly easy to do. New machines are cheap and powerful.

The question I had was you said you got it to boot to windows, how did you know? the sound?
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Vague questions receive vague answers . . . . . .

Sign up for a Slickdeals account to remove this ad.

#9
Quote from BostonGirl View Post :
I'll try some alcohol and see what it does..it looks pretty clean though.
I'll ask her what she wants to do. I feel bad because I told her yesterday it was running, but did say don't be too happy just yet..laugh out loud
I know the feeling all too well.
Customer comes here complaining of a similar problem, I clean the ram, it works, the client goes home and is back a few hours later with the same problem.
Sometimes, the mere act of jiggling stuff around in there while removing and reinserting the ram, is enough to get it working again, for a very short while.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2006
Slickdeals Janitor
21,113 Posts
5,745 Reputation
Original Poster
#10
Quote from LiquidRetro View Post :
I wouldn't replace the motherboard, since your not 100% sure that is the problem, and it's not exactly easy to do. New machines are cheap and powerful.

The question I had was you said you got it to boot to windows, how did you know? the sound?
The actual Windows came up, I was able to run programs and go on the net. It actually ran pretty good , aside from all the junk files on there. The graphics look fine too.


BTW, I can replace it if I have to. I'm not concerned about that, just not sure it's worth it since it's half the cost of a new one.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by BostonGirl July 9, 2012 at 06:59 AM
#11
Quote from BostonGirl View Post :
Yea, seems like the graphics card, which of course means new motherboard.
Just wondering if there was anything else I could try.Frown

The weird thing is, the few times I got it working was right after I switched the RAM around. I tried every combo of them, 2 slots 1 RAM, switched the slots then switched the ram. I tried a new RAM stick. Blah.

I'm going to try them again, 1 by 1 and see if it does anything. I'm not very hopeful at this point.laugh out loud

Is it worth replacing the mobo, it's like 100-150 on ebay? New computer with same specs in HD right now for $300.
( I don't know why people buy Gateway..lol)
You can try the method below if none of the above suggestions work. It will take a good 6 hours and require taking the laptop completely apart and put it back together and have the risk of breaking lots of things if there are no service manual present.

Press and hold the heat sink on the video chip (Radeon 4200?) while turning the laptop on and see if that increase the chance to get the video to work. If it does then remove the motherboard from the laptop casing, remove any removable components, wire and daughter cards (speakers, bluetooth cards, memory, PCI-E cards, PCcard/Expresscard bracket, hard drive housing, dummy SD card, etc) and wrap the motherboard with aluminum foil and put it in a pre-heated oven at 350F for ~30secs. Test the video without touching the heatsink and if it works, put everything back together and test it again.

Google or youtube search with keywords "bga reflow" for details of this method.

Note: Try to give the motherboard a good support in the oven and don't let any aluminum foil touch any plastic parts of the board (ex. D-sub 15 pin vga header and alike). Some did it without the foil and had good results.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Last edited by teetee1 July 9, 2012 at 07:07 AM
#12
Quote from BostonGirl View Post :
The actual Windows came up, I was able to run programs and go on the net. It actually ran pretty good , aside from all the junk files on there. The graphics look fine too.
Computers sometimes do that, dying slowly, as opposed to instant death.
It's really a pain in the butt.
The intermittent problem is always the most difficult one to resolve, and it's time consuming too.
At least you know that if it can't be resolved with the ram, it IS the mobo.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Dec 2006
Slickdeals Janitor
21,113 Posts
5,745 Reputation
Original Poster
#13
Quote from teetee1 View Post :
Press and hold the heat sink on the video chip (Radeon 4200?) while turning the laptop on and see if that increase the chance to get the video to work. If it does then remove the motherboard from the laptop casing, remove any removable components, wire and daughter cards (speakers, bluetooth cards, memory, PCI-E cards, PCcard/Expresscard bracket, hard drive housing, dummy SD card, etc) and wrap the motherboard with aluminum foil and put it in a pre-heated oven at 350F for ~30secs. Test the video without touching the heatsink and if it works, put everything back together and test it again.

Google or youtube search with keywords "bga reflow" for details of this method.

Note: Try to give the motherboard a good support in the oven and don't let any aluminum foil touch any plastic parts of the board (ex. D-sub 15 pin vga header and alike). Some did it without the foil and had good results.
Bigeye
Yea I don't see me doing all that. but thanks, interesting to know that method. I'm going to read about it just for fun.
Quote from RockySosua View Post :
Computers sometimes do that, dying slowly, as opposed to instant death.
It's really a pain in the butt.
The intermittent problem is always the most difficult one to resolve, and it's time consuming too.
At least you know that if it can't be resolved with the ram, it IS the mobo.
Gateway are notorious for having mobo failure at the 2 year mark. I know someone else who's gateway laptop went right at the 2 year. Plus some people really abuse laptops.laugh out loud
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
#14
Quote from BostonGirl View Post :
Bigeye
Yea I don't see me doing all that. but thanks, interesting to know that method. I'm going to read about it just for fun.

Gateway are notorious for having mobo failure at the 2 year mark. I know someone else who's gateway laptop went right at the 2 year. Plus some people really abuse laptops.laugh out loud
I think BGA packaging for video chips and the pressurized clamp design for memory modules are the two major reasons why they fail so easily on >13" laptops because of the motherboard flex. It has more to do with users tend to pick up the laptop at one corner all the time and cause the laptop weight to bend the board and break the tiny solder balls/joints over time. The facing down memory module design and overheating the chip from clogged air vents (with dust) only worsen the problem.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Joined Aug 2005
L10: Grand Master
12,662 Posts
4,824 Reputation
Pro
#15
Quote from teetee1 View Post :
I think BGA packaging for video chips and the pressurized clamp design for memory modules are the two major reasons why they fail so easily on >13" laptops because of the motherboard flex. It has more to do with users tend to pick up the laptop at one corner all the time and cause the laptop weight to bend the board and break the tiny solder balls/joints over time. The facing down memory module design and overheating the chip from clogged air vents (with dust) only worsen the problem.
Yes. I actually helped fix a friends HP laptop this way. It would work but you had to heat it up first. He used the trick of putting it in a hotpad for about 10 min and then it would start. This was not a good long terms solution, so we stripped it all down (Quite the process) and baked the motherboard in the oven. I think it was like 345 for 8min. Let it cool, put a copper shim on top of the gpu, with thermal past (HP built it with a cheap thermal pad that worked poorly) put it all back together and its been working for about 2 years since.


BTW OP Gateway laptops are just rebranded (Cheaper probably) Acer machines.
Reply Helpful Comment? 0 0
Page 1 of 2
1 2
Join the Conversation
Add a Comment
 
Copyright 1999 - 2016. Slickdeals, LLC. All Rights Reserved. Copyright / Infringement Policy  •  Privacy Policy  •  Terms of Service  •  Acceptable Use Policy (Rules)  •  Interest-Based Ads
Link Copied to Clipboard