HP Pavilion laptops suffer a variety of issues, including audio, video and webcam problems. There are currently four on-going battery pack recalls. Some of these issues can be corrected by installing the latest Windows Service Packs, updated drivers, or by flashing the BIOS. Many of these issues are hardware related, however, and require motherboard or laptop replacements.
Battery Pack Recalls
HP has issued four separate battery pack recalls. These recalls occurred on May 14, 2009, Oct. 30, 2008, April 20, 2006, and Oct. 14, 2005. The most recent recall impacted HP Pavilion models dv2000 through dv9000 manufactured between August 2007 and January 2008. The 2008 recall addressed faulty battery packs installed in HP Pavilion dv1000, dv8000 and zd8000 computers manufactured between December 2004 and June 2006. The 2006 recall pinpoints battery packs manufactured between Jan. 1 to Jan. 10, 2005, and installed in the HP Pavilion dv1xxx and ze2xxx series. Lastly, the 2005 recall targeted a vast number of HP Pavilion models that were manufactured between March 2004 and September 2004.
HP Pavilion laptops operating under Windows Vista Service Pack 1 (SP1) may be unable to use embedded webcams. HP recommends that laptop owners running SP1 upgrade to Service Pack 2 (SP2), which is available via Windows Update. Users with Windows XP installed should upgrade to Service Pack 3 (SP3).
If the user installs additional webcam software or has multiple instances of a webcam driver installed on the computer, the webcam may not operate at a fully functional level. HP provides instructions and links for testing the webcam after updating the BIOS and drivers and Windows Vista.
Broadcom Wi-Fi Chips
Broadcom wireless chips in HP Pavillion laptops (particularly those in the Pavillion 6000 and 9000) have caused serious problems with wireless connectivity. In some occasions, the wireless adapter does not show in Windows Vista or XP, even when the wireless switch is in the correct “On” position. This makes it impossible to manage a connection or to make a wireless connection.
HP has released BIOS updates for the motherboard, although some owners still report missing wireless adapter problems.
Video Card Issues
A number of HP Pavilion dv9xxx series laptop owners have experienced problems with corrupted and non-existent graphics capabilities due to faulty on-board video chipsets. These laptops have the NVidia GeForce 8600 installed. Since the video chips are part of the motherboard, the entire motherboard must be replaced. This problem occurs typically the first 12 to18 months of ownership, which means that the repair is typically not covered by the one-year warranty.
Owners with HP Pavilion dv4-xxxx models have reported audio issues related to the HDMI port. When users engage the HDMI audio port, crackling and popping occurs. Some users have had hardware replaced multiple times. After two repairs, HP provides the user with a replacement laptop, if the laptop is less than a year old.
Other HP Pavilion owners have experienced problems with error messages, no audio, and loss of the QuickTouch buttons. In this scenario, the computer’s audio becomes corrupted and ceases working, reporting a “No Audio Device is installed” error message. The computer may also report an error regarding the QuickTouch buttons, and the buttons will no longer function.
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