05-04-2018 02:44 PM
Three years ago I purchased an HP Spectre x360 13-4003dx laptop through the Microsoft store along with a Microsoft store extended warranty . A few months after purchase, it failed to boot. The Microsoft store simply swapped it out for a new one, and everything was ok. It was used very little over the next few years. Windows 10 updates went on no problem.
Last week when I went to use it, it turned on for a bit, but then died with no sign of life. Doing a hard reset didn’t fix it, and it showed no sign of power when plugged in. The charger was putting out the expected 19.5 volts, but I still purchased a second charger which unfortunately didn’t fix the issue.
I created a support ticket with HP and spent HOURS with HP support. They were very professional and helpful. Oddly, at one point, after doing a hard reset, the machine turned on long enough to have the technician walk me through an update of the chipset drivers, Intel management drivers and the BIOS (to .50).
Unfortunately, while still on the phone with tech support, the machine crashed again to a black screen and no amount of trying (with HP support ) will get it to power up. When you plug the power adapter in, no lights light up. It is just plain dead.
I was given the option to send it in for repair with the standard charge to fix it at $612.67 regardless of what they found wrong. I balked at that and after leaving the phone and returning several times, tech support offered me a 30% discount, still bringing the total to over $425.
I declined and didn’t think it wise to spend that amount of money for the following reasons.
- Given my personal experience with having two of these die on me, and especially given the fact that early failures on this particular model are very commonly reported due to motherboard failures, I frankly, have little confidence in the machine.
- If I did elect to have it repaired, the warranty offered was only for 3 months....not long enough with this machine’s track record.
- If it were the motherboard that was bad, would it be replaced with the same part or a redesigned part that would avoid the premature motherboard failure reported by many?
So, the question is what to do now.
I figured I’d do one of two things. Either take it to a local repair shop or disassemble it myself (I have some experience in electronics repair) hoping that it might be something simple (cheap) to fix, like a bad power adapter socket. At worst, I could retrieve the Ssd for use elsewhere and perhaps sell the screen on eBay.
Any ideas or insights welcome.
Solved! Go to Solution.
05-04-2018 03:07 PM - edited 05-04-2018 03:10 PM
You have thought through this with rare logic and I cannot argue with your conclusions. I can only add that the 13-4xxx series has had numerous reports of motherboards which mysteriously get burned capacitors at or slightly after a year of service. This particular model has been snakebit in other words. It is unlikely to be any issue other than a motherboard failure and with so many of them going out as you might imagine replacements in the secondary market are not inexpensive, which is generally true of laptop motherboards these days with soldered on processors. A lot of hardware has to go into making one of these motherboards.
These laptops are $1200 or so new. A replacement motherboard at $425 is actually not a terrible deal. You might save $125-150 off that if you scour eBay and other sources for a replacement and do the labor yourself. I doubt you can find a shop to do it for much less. There are also repair shops with advanced equipment who can actually replace capacitors and refurbish the board. You have to remove it and ship the board to them and they charge maybe $125 or so, They generally give a 60 or 90 day warranty. I have had good luck with such services with friends and relatives who cannot afford a new laptop.
There is no "better" class of motherboards. HP or anyone else could only replace it with one from the same production facility as the one that originally came with your laptop so it is prone to the same failures. Assume you would get about a year of use out of it. You might get lucky, however or it could fail in 90 days.
I would be happy to assist in a parts hunt or provide any other assistance you want, but I hope this information helps you make the decision.
Post back with any more questions or please accept as solution if this is the answer you needed.
05-05-2018 06:39 AM
Thank you so much for your thoughtful input and for understanding why I am reluctant to “throw good money after bad”, having had this model fail on me..... not once... but twice.
It’s always hard to know what to make out of customer’s complaints on line, since, of course, you only hear of the problems. But in this case, there seemed to be such a large number of failures reported, that it’s hard not to believe there was a basic defect in the way it was made from the start. HP should definitely know, and if true, should have done more for the people affected.
In some industries, if a disproportionate number of failures is recognized in the early production runs, alterations are made so that later production runs don’t have the same vulnerabilities. If I had an assurance that the replacement motherboard was devoid of the original problem, I would have paid the price. But, if the replacement is the same as the original, as you suggested, then I would be knowingly paying to buy a flawed product with an inadequate warrantee, given the circumstances. This is the essence of why this offer made by HP was inadequate, and why I am unhappy.
Few more questions, please:
- If I were to open the case, how likely is it that I would see physical damage on the motherboard, confirming that to be the problem? The internet has some pictures of obviously burned components on this board after it fails, but that might not always be the case. I’d hate to send the board out for repair if it wasn’t the problem.
2. Is the power adapter socket integrated into the motherboard or is it separate? I was hoping that it might be the problem with an easy (inexpensive) replacement. (This might be an example of "hope triumphing over reason")
3. Could you please provide a link/name for the kind of service center(s) you spoke of...that might be capable of repairing my existing motherboard?
This whole thing has me a bit upset. After spending so much money for a premium laptop that has seen very little use (and no abuse)....I didn’t expect it to fail once, let alone twice!
I am a computer enthusiast, who, over the last 18 years has built about 20 desktops for my family and friends. In that same period, I have also purchased (or advised purchasing decisions) for nearly as many laptops, mostly from one major brand. This has been my only experience with an HP laptop.
I am sorry to vent, but I am disappointed that the HP Spectre X360 didn’t end up meeting the expectations I had at the time of purchase.
05-05-2018 06:55 AM - edited 05-05-2018 07:07 AM
We can Monday morning QB the whole thing for sure but it is what it is. Examples from other industries do not hold sway here. The process of designing and having a laptop manufactured is nothing like other products. The production run time is very short and problems usually do not crop up during the production run. HP provides a warranty which it honors and expresses the full limit of its legal obligation. They actually do as good a job as any other laptop OEM in providing goodwill exceptions, but it is a publicly held company and they are not Santa Claus.
Here is the Manual:
See p. 49. The power connector cable is a separate part. It is cheap and a somewhat justified roll of the dice to order a new one and try it but my money is on the motherboard.
On these I have seen lots of pictures of burned capacitors so very likely if you acess the motherboard you might see physical evidence of motherboard failure which will make troubleshooting easier.
This is an example of the service I am talking about.
I have not used this one and if you are really interested I can go back and find the shop I last used in NYC who fixed my neighbor's MacBook very well.
Don't shoot the messenger here. I do not work for HP but like Farmers Insurance I know a few things because I have seen a few things and not working for HP I can be candid but also run the risk of getting shot as the messenger.
05-05-2018 09:26 AM
Thank you for the additional information. I really appreciate your efforts here.
I apologize if I came off sounding like a cry baby with unrealistic expectations. I fully understand the point of your last post.
Furthermore, I readily admit that my analysis may be all wrong. Perhaps this model doesn’t have an inherent vulnerability and my experience was a statistical fluke. I must also credit HP for spending all the telephone support time on an out of warranty product.
But, this undeniable fact remains. I spent top dollar for a high end laptop with the expectation of years of trouble free service. That was not my experience!
It is only natural that, in retrospect, I regret my purchase decision. I would hope there is understanding for my feeling that way.
05-05-2018 09:59 AM
Thank you. I appreciate Your understanding.
Unless any other options present themselves. I will probably disassemble the unit next week when I get home and inspect the motherboard for signs of obvouis failure. I will post back if I have anything to report, in hopes it might help others.
Your input has been very helpful.
05-13-2018 02:31 PM
I took the laptop apart and removed the motherboard. I didn’t see anything obviously wrong with it until I peeled back one of the white stickers. Doing so revealed the same scorched component illustrated so many times before.
So, if I can find a place to repair the motherboard for cheap, I’ll give it a go. Otherwise,I will give up on this model, which I’m convinced had some vulnerabilities inherent in the design/manufacturing.
Huffer, if you can find the info on the nyc repair shop that you had good experience with, I’d probably try them first.