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Replacing VGA Port

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Ryan P., Feb 20, 2011.

  1. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    I have an HP DV6308NR laptop.

    A while back I posted about how the display would randomly go black, and
    I would get the "device disconnected/connected" sound from Windows.

    I finally figured out that this was because the computer keeps believing
    that there is more than one display device attached, even though there
    isn't. A simple function+f4 always brings the display back.

    I thought it was a problem with the S-Video port, because I occasionally
    use the S-Video out for various things.

    I've recently discovered that the VGA port is actually defective. When
    I connect an external monitor, I get no "red" signal. I believe there
    is a "green" problem too, as any images displayed only contain yellows,
    blues, and blacks. I have tried multiple monitors and multiple
    cables... it is the port. Or possibly the GPU, I suppose...but S-Video
    and the laptop display itself are perfectly fine.

    Has anyone ever replaced the VGA port by itself without replacing the
    entire motherboard? Or do you have any other suggestions


    Ryan P., Feb 20, 2011
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  2. Ryan P.

    BillW50 Guest

    In Ryan P. typed on Sat, 19 Feb 2011 19:07:31 -0600:
    Hi Ryan... if you are good at soldering, it could be done. It might just
    need to be resoldered.
    BillW50, Feb 20, 2011
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  3. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    I am okay at soldering. What I'm worried about is the possibility
    that there are a bunch of small leads that will need to be soldered
    rather than one or two large leads.

    I suppose I should just take the laptop a part and take a look at it,
    eh? :)
    Ryan P., Feb 21, 2011
  4. bent pin? or pushed in so it's too low.

    Fix: pick up fine needle nose. Pull pin striaght/out.

    the wharf rat, Feb 21, 2011
  5. it's ummm 15 connectors on a through hole mount.

    Plus four tacks on the top surface to hold the shell steady.
    the wharf rat, Feb 21, 2011
  6. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    If only it were that simple! :) I've tried two known-good VGA cables
    and two known-good monitors. Each displays just fine on my desktop.
    Ryan P., Feb 22, 2011
  7. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    If it's thru-hole, then the chances of one of the connectors losing
    contact seems pretty remote. It also pretty much precludes the
    possibility of replacing the port if it has gone bad somehow.

    What about a USB to VGA adapter? Has anybody had any experiences with
    Ryan P., Feb 22, 2011
  8. Ryan P.

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Maybe not. Some people put a lot of strain on those sockets and there could
    be a dry solder joint. Maybe just re-flowing the solder at each connection
    will do the job. If the pins are fine that would be my first course of
    action (assuming a good eyeballing doesn't show up bad PCB tracks or a blown
    Not so much. If you're fitting a new port then flowing each connection and
    pulling it out with needle-nosed pliers is often possible
    (socket-destructive removal). Then it's a matter of cleaning up with solder
    wick / solder sucker, dropping in a new one and soldering.

    However, other than the aforementioned bent / reccessed pin / mechanical
    damage there's not much to go wrong with a socket. It's a passive mechanical
    component after all. If re-flowing the solder doesn't work and there's
    continuity between each pin and it's connection to the planar then the
    problem lies with the planar.
    Sorry, no. I know zilch about such a thing but I doubt it would be a passive
    device and also doubt that the current supplied at the USB port would run a
    'graphics card' so surely such a thing would run in software and require
    quite a bit of CPU power?

    Like I said, just guessing, no experience with... I might Google though if I
    get time, you've piqued my curiosity.


    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a
    monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also
    into you." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
    ~misfit~, Feb 23, 2011
  9. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    That sounds like my most likely course of action. Re-flowing is
    relatively simple.
    I'll be honest, and admit that I'm more likely to toast the MB that
    successfully remove/replace the part. :)
    I'm not looking for high performance... just a place to let
    spreadsheets and stuff sit for reference.

    Check this out: http://snipr.com/249qja

    Claims it'll do 1080P powered off the USB port... Somehow I doubt
    1080P off USB 1.1 would be very responsive, but again, I just want it
    for spreadsheets and stuff.

    For $12, it might be a good experiment. :)
    Ryan P., Feb 23, 2011
  10. Ryan P.

    UXD Guest

    Except that this device connects to a DisplayPort, not USB. Google
    DisplayPort, and you'll find it's a totally different animal.
    See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mini_DisplayPort

    Looks kind-of like USB, but the plug has two tapered corners, so it
    wouldn't even connect through a USB port, and USB doesn't provide

    - Paul
    UXD, Feb 23, 2011
  11. Ryan P.

    BillW50 Guest

    In Ryan P. typed on Mon, 21 Feb 2011 18:30:13 -0600:
    Screen updates are very slow. Okay for typing in notepad or something,
    but not much good for anything else.
    BillW50, Feb 23, 2011
  12. Ryan P.

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Indeed. Even I can do it! ;-)
    Right oh. As with all 'surgery' of this type there's a chance that it can go
    catastrophically wrong. That's why I weigh up whether I need whatever
    feature I'm trying to fix enough to risk the loss of the PCB.
    I see another poster pointed out that it's for DisplayPort. I did Google
    "USB to VGA" and "USB to D-Sub" and found a few devices. NewEgg (?) is a
    good place to look as there's user feedback. I found that even the
    expensive, 'name-brand' basic adapters are only any good for fairly low-res
    2D stuff. Still, that could do what you want it seems.

    Oh, USB 1.1? All the devices that I saw required USB2. :-(

    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a
    monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also
    into you." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
    ~misfit~, Feb 25, 2011
  13. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    Well, I was forced to take drastic measures...

    I left work early, came home, played around on the laptop, put it into
    hibernate, and then went to the circus.

    I came home four hours later, went to turn on the laptop, and got the
    dreaded HP black screen of nothingness, accompanied by a lack of an
    ability to boot. Having run into this before, I knew it for what it
    was... The inferior, yet environmentally-friendly, solder gave out on
    the nvidia GPU.

    Knowing that it was either re-flow, or get a new motherboard, I
    decided against the heat gun method, which worked for me on a previous
    laptop, I went with the oven fix!

    Take the motherboard, remove all wires, CMOS battery, etc, place in an
    oven at 385 degrees (F) for 8 minutes... turn off oven, crack open the
    door, let cool to room temperature on its own, reassemble. While it was
    cooling, I ran to Milwaukee PC to pick up some Arctic Silver thermal
    paste to use in place of the heat pad HP uses.

    I figured I'd either kill the motherboard, which was useless without
    the nvidia chip anyway, or it would work.

    I honestly expected it to fry everything... But here I am, typing this
    post on the very laptop who's motherboard came out of the oven not an
    hour earlier! I never would have believed it would work... And I
    certainly don't condone baking circuit boards (so anybody reading this,
    I'm not responsible if you melt yours!), but damn... that youtube video
    actually was reliable!

    $8 for the arctic silver, and one extra screw... that's all I lost in
    my laptop repair. :)
    Ryan P., Feb 25, 2011
  14. Ryan P.

    Bob Villa Guest

    Good going Ryan...and to our Super Bowl Champs! (I live in Rural
    Waupaca County)
    Bob Villa, Feb 25, 2011
  15. Ryan P.

    ~misfit~ Guest

    Congrats mate! Here was me thinking that it was a VGA port problem! (See

    I'm quite familiar with, at least the concept of, re-flowing BGA solder
    joints. I'm a ThinkPad man and often it's the cure for GPU BGA
    daughter-cards as well as southbridges. I've seen a few videos and read a
    few first-hand accounts but have never attempted it myself. I've only had
    one laptop affected by it and I got it cheap enough that the parts were
    worth enough to me and found homes for things like mPCI wifi cards,
    BlueTooth mudules, HDD's CPUs... blah blah blah.

    It's a thin line between whether it's best to part out a laptop or attempt
    to re-flow the planar. Actually I'm tempted to try to re-flow the
    southbridge on the T43 ThinkPad in question just for the heck of it. After
    all, I have nothing to lose, I've got my money's worth in parts. -)

    Again, well done. :)

    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a
    monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also
    into you." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
    ~misfit~, Feb 26, 2011
  16. Ryan P.

    ~misfit~ Guest


    This has been niggling at the back of my mind so I've just been back and
    re-read the first post and this time Googled the laptop model. I only joined
    the thread when there was talk about USB adapaters and / or re-soldering the
    VGA connector. After all, the title of the thread *is* "Replacing VGA Port".

    So your laptop has a circa 2007 nVidia GPU huh? You say that you've run into
    this before and that you "knew it for what it was", which implies that you
    knew about the problem that nVidia had with their laptop GPUs (in particular
    the RoHS solder formulation) in 2007 thru August 2008. In 08/08 nVidia used
    (and specced) a different solder formulation and the problem went away.
    However there's evidence that they knew about it long before that but
    continued to build and ship GPUs instead of doing an instant halt and
    re-call the moment it was discovered.

    I really wished that you'd mentioned all this before, rather than leave it
    as a post-script. I too am quite familair with this nVidia GPU debacle as
    it's hit a lot of people who've bought T61 ThinkPads and has been discussed
    to great length on forums.ThinkPads.

    So you're also familiar with the fact that there's a *huge* class-action
    case currently being bought against nVidia as it seems that they knowingly
    sold millions of defective GPUs (as mentioned above) to their 'partners'
    including (but not limited to) Lenovo, Dell, HP and Gateway. Lenovo were so
    effected (and pissed off) by the problem that they stopped using nVidia
    products completely and on model lines since 2008 went (back) to ATI / AMD.

    In fact, under certain circumstances Lenovo have been replacing effected
    planars free of charge even when they're years out of warranty (I assume
    they're planning on getting the money out of nVidia, there's a lot of
    secrecy around the class-action).

    I don't know what policy, if any, HP have in regards to this but if this
    thread hadn't been all about USB-to-VGA adapters and replacing VGA sockets
    (as evidenced by the subject) I would have advised you sooner to contact HP,
    talk to them nicely and explain that (as I now know) you're aware of the
    nVidia GPU debacle and are a victim of it and could they please fix your

    As you rightly state, the issue is with the formulation of the RoHS solder
    used *within* the GPU (as opposed to the solder used to stick it to the
    planar). Therefore re-flows can sometimes temporarilly fix it but it keeps
    coming back. The only way to fix it completely is to replace the planar (or
    at least the GPU part of the planar).

    You can reduce the chances of it recurring by not letting the GPU get too
    hot too fast or cool too quickly either. Unlike a normal situation where, if
    you've been using your GPU heavilly and the temp has got high you want to
    cool it quickly, this flawed solder formulation doesn't like that and will
    semi-crystalise under those conditions causing the problem to recurr.

    People with T61 ThinkPads have delved into the BIOS-level fan control and
    modified the fan behaviour so that, if the GPU *does* get hot (and they
    reach 90º+) then the fan brings the temp down as slowly as possible. This
    seems to help.

    (I guess you've been given all this info by The Engineer already but I have
    him killfiled so sorry for repeating it.)

    If that were my laptop I'd get in touch with HP and start politely (they
    might have a replacement programme in place but just not be advertising it,
    like Lenovo did) but, if needed be firm about having been sold faulty goods.

    Good luck.

    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a
    monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also
    into you." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
    ~misfit~, Feb 28, 2011
  17. Ryan P.

    ~misfit~ Guest


    "Symptoms, as listed by HP, oddly enough include such tell-tale signs of
    failure such as no video output on either the notebook's screen or an
    external monitor and a the device failing to start. "

    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a
    monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also
    into you." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
    ~misfit~, Feb 28, 2011
  18. Ryan P.

    ~misfit~ Guest


    Best of luck.

    "He who fights with monsters might take care lest he thereby become a
    monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also
    into you." Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche
    ~misfit~, Feb 28, 2011
  19. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    Originally, when my only problem was the missing red signal, my mind
    went to the port. I never even thought about the bad solder issue. It
    only occurred to me when, after I made the OP and then asked about USB
    adapters, my video completely died.

    When the issue happened to me for the first time, I contacted HP, and
    even though they had a special program for that particular issue, I had
    missed the cutoff date by about 4 months. After several phone calls and
    emails, they refused to budge on the issue, so I purchased a used mother
    board for $50 and simply replaced mine.... that was about 18 months ago.
    I hadn't ever used the VGA port on the new MB, so when I finally tried
    it and it didn't work, I assumed it was the port itself.

    When I dealt with the issue 18 months ago, there seemed to be issues
    with getting a class-action lawsuit going, and, frankly, I forgot about
    it. I'll look into it and see if I can jump on board.

    I replaced the cheap thermal paste HP used over the CPU with some
    arctic silver, and the thermal pad over the GPU with arctic silver and a
    copper shim.

    Maybe playing Half Life was what did the GPU in... plays darn nice and
    the system though. :)
    Ryan P., Feb 28, 2011
  20. Ryan P.

    Ryan P. Guest

    Yeah, I was just reading over that... As I'm not in a position to be
    without a laptop for 6-8 weeks, replacement would be an awkward process
    for me... I wonder if my ebay receipt for a new motherboard qualifies
    as repair expense?
    Ryan P., Feb 28, 2011
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