Replacing the dead motherboard in an HP DV6253CL: worth it? (or…HP should have told me about the lemon I bought.)

Last year, during our spring break, I went on vacation in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.  The second evening we were there, we were using my HP dv6253cl laptop to plan our next day.  Well, the laptop died and, instead of going out and having a day of fun, I was out buying another laptop (fun did ensue afterward) and spent the evening setting the new machine up while my son and his cousin had fun.  Fast forward a few months and I discovered that that dv6253cl came from a very troubled line of laptops from HP.  Things were so bad, in fact, that HP extended warranties and even had a recall.  Problem was, THEY NEVER LET ME KNOW.  I ALWAYS register my computers, for that very reason.  And, of course, my machine was just beyond the extended warranty range as well…HAD I KNOWN, however, I could have gotten the bloody thing repaired.  Thanks, HP, for letting me know I had a lemon for a laptop.

Anyway, I put the machine aside and figured that, at some point, before it got too old, I would sell it on eBay and be happy with what ever I could recover.  Well, being the procrastinator that I can sometimes be, I didn’t do anything with the device. 

Recently, I was contemplating a netbook or a dirt cheap small-ish laptop when my wife suggested I look into repairing the dead HP.  So, one thing led to another and, via a totally unrelated search that led me to eBay, I found a distributor, Legend, that carried replacement HP motherboards and had the dv6253cl motherboard.  I clicked the ‘buy it now’ button.  That was Monday morning.  The motherboard was in my laptop Wednesday night.  Legend shipped it the day I purchased it and the board works just fine.

Disassembling the laptop was not that difficult as I found a very helpful YouTube video that showed not only how to take it apart, but how to actually perform the replacement.  It was pretty easy and took me about an hour, considerably longer than the ten minutes in the video, but I wanted to be careful.  As it turns out, I had three left over screws.  I hope they are not important.

After putting the laptop together, I powered it on and…nothing.  It lit up and promptly powered down.  So, I remove the top and keyboard, made sure nothing was shorting, put it back together, reseated the memory, etc. Powered it on and got the same response.  Well, I noticed, upon trying a third time, that the DVD drive was sounding bad.  I unplugged the machine and took the drive out, made sure it was ok and put it back.  Powered the unit on and, tada, it APPEARED to want to boot.  Problem, though, is that the screen was blank.  Remembering I had seen numerous videos on YouTube about dv2000, dv6000 and dv9000 series laptops from HP that had this mysterious ‘blank’ video problem, I did some research.  Well, as it turns out, the backlight on my laptop is dead.

The laptop actually works just fine. I have an external monitor connected to it at the moment.  It is working just fine.  However, and you knew there was more, right?  This laptop was the machine that I was originally ‘evaluating’ Windows 7 with, so, it still had the release candidate which is now expired.  I got the files off of it that I wanted and I am now in the process of putting Vista back on the machine. Of course, with the motherboard change, the restore disks do not seem to want to work, I get something about the restore disks are not for this particular machine.  Whatever. I have a legit copy of Vista to put on the machine, so that is what I am going to do.

I have not yet replaced the CCFL tube.  I’m undecided if I want to go cheap and just put another CCFL in there or if I want to replace it with LED lighting.  At any rate, my old laptop is functioning once more.  It’s been a small adventure and only time will tell if it were really worth it.  I’m not sure that it is since, for another seventy dollars, I could have purchased a new netbook.  At least this thing is big enough to type on and the screen does not require me to squint.  And that is always a good thing.

UPDATE:

Turns out, the CCFL tube was fine, I had to replace the inverter board.  That was pretty easy to replace as all of the screws are on the front of the LCD bezel, you just have to remove the rubber ‘feet’ covering up the screws.  The laptop is fully functional now and the total cost was about $160.

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4 thoughts on “Replacing the dead motherboard in an HP DV6253CL: worth it? (or…HP should have told me about the lemon I bought.)

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