HP Pavilion Laptop Owners with Bad Power Jacks....

Discussion in 'HP' started by intrepid_dw, Jan 23, 2005.

  1. intrepid_dw

    intrepid_dw Guest


    I have, like many of you, been the unfortunate owner of an HP
    Pavilion-series laptop with the infamous weakling power-jack problem.
    If you're wondering, this problem is usually typified by symptoms like:

    * Spontaneous and instantaneous power-downs of the laptop for no
    apparent reason
    * Refusal to start or charge a properly inserted battery
    * Movement of the AC power adapter plug causing power "glitches"
    * "Clicking" noises emerging from the area near the power plug

    There are other permutations of the power problems, but this represents
    the general theme. I owned a zt1175 that started behaving this way, and
    was stunned to discover that once the unit stopped booting up, the only
    solution was a new main board at a cost of about $600 - the plug had
    started arcing internally and essentially fried the rest of the power
    system, and ruined other components in the process.

    I've learned that my zt1175 isn't the only one with this problem.
    Apparently, myriad variations of Pavilion models suffer from this
    chronic design flaw, which apparently HP steadfastly refuses to
    acknowledge or support.

    I personally think HP should be responsible and accountable for the
    defects in their products. I am trying to determine if there are any
    other HP laptop owners who have seen their systems come to an untimely
    demise because of their power problems, and if sufficient interest is
    shown, explore the possibility of some type of class-action against HP.

    I have opened an email account at to collect
    information from individuals willing to provide data about their HP
    Pavilion laptop power problems. If you are a cuurent or former owner of
    an HP Pavilion laptop that has exhibited any of the power problems
    described above, and you're willing to share, please send the following
    to the above address:

    1. Your actual name
    2. A real return email address at which you can be contacted.
    3. The specific HP laptop you have/had
    4. How long you had it
    5. The specific type of power problem you encountered
    6. Steps you took with HP or third-parties to have it repaired.

    Now, I realize some of you will say, "yeah, send all this stuff to some
    unknown guy on the Internet, and you'll get a flood of junk mail." Not
    so. I am not a spammer, I'm not a junk-mail relay or anything, I'm just
    trying to get info from customers as dissatisfied with HP laptops
    arising from a problem that shouldn't exist in the first place. If I
    don't get enough response, no one will ever hear from me again, and the
    project will die on the vine. If I do, the project will proceed in
    steps as I learn what to do next at each step.

    My point in all this is to make HP accountable for their poor,
    chronically defective hardware design. They should fix the laptops, or
    provide new/refurbished ones to current owners.

    -David Whitney

    Note: REplies to the email address posted above
    () are discarded, as the account is no longer
    active. If you send info to the HPLaptopUsers address, I'll respond as
    soon as I can.
    intrepid_dw, Jan 23, 2005
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  2. intrepid_dw

    intrepid_dw Guest

    The address to which laptop info should be sent is HpLaptopUser
    @yahoo.com. I post that again because it appears the original message
    did not retain the address properly...

    intrepid_dw, Jan 23, 2005
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  3. intrepid_dw

    intrepid_dw Guest

    The address to which laptop information should be sent is HPLaptopUsers
    at yahoo.com. The original posting did not correctly capture the

    intrepid_dw, Jan 23, 2005
  4. intrepid_dw

    primatech Guest

    As the power socket is mounted on the system board it is subject to a
    great deal of stress when users knock or pull on the power jack. This
    problem is not something that is unique to HP/Compaq laptops.

    HP (as with most major 'manufacturers')will treat the repair as a board
    replacement issue. They will at best fit a repair/exchange board at
    much less than the new part price (but still costing quite a lot).

    If you take your Pavilion to a reputable laptop repairer (not a board
    jockey) they will, in most cases, be able to resolder the connector,
    which is often all that is required.

    The laptop needs to be completely dismantled to do this job, so you will
    be up for a reasonable labour charge.

    Care should be taken when you have the AC adaptor plugged in to the
    laptop. FWIW I suspect (but I could be wrong :)) that the problem
    mainly arises where users are heavy handed or careless with the use of
    their laptop when the AC adaptor is plugged in.
    primatech, Jan 24, 2005
  5. intrepid_dw

    intrepid_dw Guest


    I appreciate your response. I have to respectfully disagree with you
    that it is common across laptops. I have a Dell Inspiron 9100 laptop
    that is designed to receive the AC power jack fully 80% of its length
    into a snug receptacle. It doesn't wiggle. The AC power connector to my
    previous HP laptop barely went in 50% of its length, and often just
    fell out/off because it did not fit securely on the male portion of the
    jack. Further, the hole in the case designed to receive the connector
    is fully half-again as large as it needs to be. That means there is
    inherently "play" in that connection. Combined with a poor jack design
    (as has been described to me by other tech people, so its not an
    arbitrary opinion on my part) and this is a recipe for premature

    As far as "heavy-handed" use goes, my Pavilion never left my house - it
    was a unit I used for the convenience of not having to be tethered to a
    desk to do various development tasks. It was never dropped, bumped, or
    handled in what I would describe as a "rough" way.

    Unfortunately, what most users (a group in which I must include myself)
    discover is that when the power failures become chronic, it is no
    longer just a matter of a badly soldered or loose power plug. Internal
    arcing from the power jack has scorched elements of the power control
    module, thus frying it "beyond economical repair." And this was not a
    hack shop; it was a reputable repair center recommended to me.

    As far as the generality of the problem goes, I can only offer this.
    Another acquaintence (actually, at least three) of mine who has had a
    Gateway (the specific model escapes me at the moment) laptop for years
    longer than I, takes it to and from work every night, has traveled
    literally around the world with it, and has had no such power
    connection problems.

    I realize two or three data points does not a conclusion make, but I
    must make the inference that *someone* is designing their jacks/power
    systems more intelligently than HP. And if such problems were truly
    ubiquitous across all manufacturers and brands, there would be more of
    a general outcry rather than the ones I see that tend to be most
    frequent around HP.

    At a minimum, users paying anywhere from $1600 to several thousand
    dollars for a laptop shouldn't really have to be so inordinately
    concerned about the fragility of one component, one that would thus be
    so chronically delicate as to mitigate against the utility of having a
    laptop in the first place.

    intrepid_dw, Jan 24, 2005
  6. intrepid_dw

    Pippa Guest


    The problem does NOT mainly arise when the user is careless or heavy handed.
    My Pavilion never left the desk it was put on after coming out of the box,
    and I had only 3 months of use before it failed.
    HP knows that this is a worldwide well-known problem with Pavilions, but
    they choose to deny it.......
    Even when the laptop is still under warranty HP likes to give you a hard
    time; their Pick up & Return policy does not work, because they seem to
    forget the part where they are supposed to fix it.
    I've had the motherboard replaced twice now, the first time I got it back it
    did not work at all, the second time it worked for about an hour and then
    made a sort of electric buzz and then closed it eyes for good.
    Replacing motherboards with ones they got out of other returns is not a good

    Now, I'm still waiting (after 11 days) for a reply from them to either fix
    or replace it again.

    Pippa, Jan 24, 2005
  7. intrepid_dw

    Dewaine Chan Guest

    Got a lot to do with the type of the connector that is used. Just fixed a
    Gateway Solo 1400 with the same problem. Upon opening the Laptop, this is the
    worst connector I've seen. It is helped in place by one little piece of metal
    that just from plugging and unplugging the cord, the connection started to loose
    up and ended up with gap that caused arching. Thing is that if they replaced
    with the same bad design, you will get the same problem soon or later.

    I've seen a lot of Desktop type of motherboard with capacitors leaking on
    systems that are a little bit over a year old too. Everyone is trying to save a
    few pennies on components that they don't really bother much with good quality
    parts. Sad modern day costing by the bena counters.

    Unfortunately, it is not easy to get class action status.
    My two cents.
    Dewaine Chan, Jan 28, 2005
  8. intrepid_dw

    Ben Myers Guest

    It's not just the bean counters. People who shop on the basis of price without
    regard to product quality, service, warranty, spare parts, and tech support
    deserve exactly what they get. Buy cheap and you get cheap. If everybody wants
    low price, the name-brand manufacturers cut every corner to get a low price and
    twist the nuts of the suppliers to get ever cheaper parts... Ben Myers

    Ben Myers, Jan 28, 2005
  9. intrepid_dw

    Pippa Guest

    The Pavilion cost me 1500.- euros which is 1959.- USD!
    Maybe that is cheap for you, but for me that is a whole month netto wages...
    I was not looking for cheap, that's why I bought this one and on it's own it
    is a good machine but totally let down by the connectors HP puts in it and
    the way they run their tech-support; a guy sounding like a 12-year-old who
    doesn't understand what you are talking about should not be employed.

    By the way, I finally got the shop to take it back and bought a Toshiba for
    the same money.

    Pippa, Jan 28, 2005
  10. intrepid_dw

    Ben Myers Guest

    You're right. 1500 Euros is not cheap. Sadly, the same mentality prevails
    across the board in the computer industry. Yeah, the emphasis is on cheap
    desktop and tower computers, but the designers and marketeers responsible for
    notebooks get caught up in the cheaper-is-better mindset. Add to that the fact
    that neither HP nor any other name brand company builds its own computers any
    more. They all rely on contract electronics manufacturers (CEM), but twist the
    nuts of the CEMs at the same time. I would claim that there was an inadequate
    review of the hardware design, construction and maintainability of the HP dog of
    a notebook that you had there... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jan 28, 2005
  11. intrepid_dw

    Dewaine Chan Guest

    We did not said you bought a cheap laptop. What Ben is referring to is that everyone
    is trying to cut cost to maximize profit. When I was a product design and testing
    engineer for IBM back in the late 80's & early 90's, we used to have an engineer
    doing what is called MTBF (Mena Time Before Failure) on the product based on
    components Spec. I left IBM in the mid 90 and have not worked for other
    manufacturer. I have been in the support end since then. I definitely have seen a
    drastic changes on components used on Desktop computers. All PII and low end PIII
    (slot 1) motherboard (MB) I've dealt with since I came out on my own 2 1/2 years ago
    never have bad capacitors. I actually stripping those old system to get the
    capacitors off to fix the new MB that are just a year or two old. It is true that
    new MB's are cheap but a lot of time, people hate to having to reload the OS and all
    the applications. I just bought an IBM Netvista PIII 933MHz system with bad
    capacitors on the MB today. It is fun time tonight reworking the MB.

    Dewaine Chan, Jan 29, 2005
  12. intrepid_dw

    jiffylubed Guest

    I am just like many others -- bought a HP Pavilion zt1135 and had
    (have) power jack problems. I did use my know-how to repair it once
    with solder, but the problem roots deeper than the solder. By the time
    that you notice that the power jack has issues, the internal components
    of the jack are more than likely melted inside. My repairs lasted about
    a month -- then the inside of the power jack gave out. I transplanted
    another power jack onto the motherboard -- but that proved to be
    unhelpful. Now, after 3 repairs; my laptop is dead and 1,200 dollars is
    down the drain.
    I stand by HP merely because of the name and the typical quality of
    craftsmanship that you buy. It's too bad HP won't do the same. A
    reputable company such as HP should realize the flaws in their design
    and find ways of making it better. Instead, they shrug off such
    attempts by satisfied customers wanting to get their machines repaired.
    A re-inforced DC Power Jack would not be too much more to put onto each
    Mainboard -- and in the long run, they'll get their money back. Toshiba
    is going down a good road. A friend of mine purchased a new toshiba
    satellite, it's plug is designed for fall out should it be bent in the
    wrong direction or put undue stress on the jack.
    For someone to say that it's isolated to someone who's careless
    shows a complete lack of common sense. I am about the most careful
    person with my laptop that you could ever meet. I love that damn thing
    -- but it's time to let it go. It's a shame. Buyers beware -- this is
    bad craftsmanship and you too -- could be out of hundereds, if not
    thousands of hard earned dollars if you buy this product!
    jiffylubed, Jan 29, 2005
  13. intrepid_dw

    Ben Myers Guest

    Don't confuse the Hewlett-Packard from the old days with today's
    Hewlett-Packard. The high quality manufacturer of instrumentation was spun off
    as Agilent. The mindset that thought in terms of engineering for high
    reliability departed to Agilent. What remains are people who sell schlock
    manufactured by others way far away off shore... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Jan 29, 2005
  14. What's funny is they chose the slogan "Innovating the HP way", which was
    nauseating to most people in the company. I guess slapping an HP sticker
    on an iPod isn't seen as real innovation by people who lack the vision of
    David Kinsell, Jan 29, 2005
  15. intrepid_dw

    RedpIll Guest

    yea, old george (bush) is busy trying to make class actions illegal. good
    ole' george.

    RedpIll, Feb 6, 2005
  16. intrepid_dw

    Drew Guest

    My laptop is going back for the second time because of the plug
    defect and I don't plug/unplug all the time, just occasionally.
    It's still under warrenty.

    Drew, Feb 6, 2005
  17. intrepid_dw

    hbond Guest

    My duaghter has a similar problem with her HP laptop. I purcahsed a
    new powwer jack (2 for $40), but I can't seem to separate the bottom
    portion to replace it. I have removed all the visible screws, but it
    seems to be stick near the printer port. Any suggestions????
    hbond, Feb 7, 2005
  18. intrepid_dw

    smb Guest

    Have you taken off the keyboards? There are more screw under them.
    Under the keyboard my laptop has two medal bars accross the top. the
    left one is over the right one and I needed to slide the right bar out
    from under the left one to proceed.
    I also need to replace my power jack. But, I can't find where to buy
    a new one. Any ideas? Also, how are you going to attach the jack,
    solder it?
    smb, Feb 9, 2005
  19. intrepid_dw

    Bob Niland Guest

    Has this been reported on the OmniBook 5000CTS?

    I was just given a "dead" OB5K that exhibits all of the above.
    Sometimes it will actually boot briefly to Win95.

    Any known user field fixes or hacks?
    Bob Niland, Feb 9, 2005
  20. intrepid_dw

    hbond Guest

    I emailed hp tech support and they sent me a link which I clicked on
    to order the part.
    hbond, Feb 10, 2005
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