How to Troubleshoot an HP Pavilion Motherboard

Written by billy kirk
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How to Troubleshoot an HP Pavilion Motherboard
Several components must be removed to access the motherboard. (laptop image by Jorge Figueiredo from

HP Pavilion motherboards can suffer from a disconnected video cable or connector issues at the motherboard's actual base within the Pavilion's enclosure. In both cases, the motherboard will cease to operate properly until the cables are reconnected properly and the Pavilion's connectors are locked down. HP Pavilion motherboards can also suffer from general motherboard failure that requires full motherboard replacement. In order to troubleshoot for and then fix or replace the Pavilion motherboard, the battery, RAM, wireless card and the notebook's top assembly must all be removed using a Phillips-head screwdriver.

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver

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  1. 1

    Turn off the HP Pavilion laptop. Ensure the power adaptor cable is not connected to the computer. Turn the HP Pavilion over and notice the battery at the top centre of the unit. Directly below the battery is the release. Slide this to pop out the battery.

  2. 2

    Begin removing components to access the motherboard. Below the battery the hard drive and RAM compartments reside, with a black plastic hatch covering both. The hard drive compartment is to the bottom right, while the RAM is directly beside it to the left. Remove the screws on these hatches with a Phillips-head screwdriver, then take off the plastic compartment hatches.

  3. 3

    Pop out the RAM modules using your fingers. Grab the hard drive by its right side, pull it up and lay it aside. This will reveal the wireless card beneath.

  4. 4

    Take note of the two black antenna cables that come out of the wireless card and run into two connectors. “Unlock” the connectors by flipping them into an upright position, then remove the cables. Take out the wireless card.

  5. 5

    Remove all the visible screws on the bottom side of the HP Pavilion laptop with your screwdriver. Set these aside, as you’ll need them for reassembly.

  6. 6

    Flip over the HP Pavilion laptop and take out the keyboard. It’s now loose and you can lift it out. As you do, notice the keyboard cable that runs from its bottom to the motherboard at the notebook’s base. Disconnect this cable from the connector the way you did with the wireless card’s cables, then set the keyboard aside.

  7. 7

    Troubleshoot for the video cable connector on the motherboard. With the keyboard removed, you’ll see this cable running into a connector on the motherboard, with the connector located just under the left display hinge. If this cable is loose or disconnected, this should be the problem with the motherboard. Reconnect it and then replace all the components and screws you have taken out, then try powering on your computer to see if the motherboard problem is resolved. If not, continue disassembly.

  8. 8

    Remove both the screws that are under the two display hinges. Remove the monitor assembly of the Pavilion by lifting it up.

  9. 9

    Remove the top housing of the HP Pavilion laptop that surrounds where the keyboard used to reside. You can lift this out now that the top assembly is gone.

  10. 10

    Check the two cables running from the bottom of the motherboard. If motherboard failure has occurred, this could be the culprit. To get at these cables, remove the large screw that sits at the far bottom right of the motherboard.

  11. 11

    Lift the motherboard partially up now that the screw is gone. This will reveal the cables, which run from the motherboard’s base to two connectors. If these cables are disconnected, plug them back in. This should alleviate your motherboard woes.

  12. 12

    Remove the motherboard completely if the HP Pavilion laptop still does not operate after these troubleshooting measures. Break the computer back down just as before, then disconnect the motherboard’s two base cables from the connectors after you remove the motherboard’s screw. Lift out the motherboard and replace it with a new one.

Tips and warnings

  • Ground yourself or wear an electrostatic discharge wrist strap when working with internal computer components.

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