Note on archived topics.
06-30-2014 11:20 AM
I purchased my laptop about 3-4 years ago.
A few years ago, my computer exhibited the same problem where it looked like the case was being pryed open. I never really took it apart or did anything since I use it more like a desktop than anything else
Last night I took it apart and found the following:
The right side hinge and support structure is very robust. The screen hinge attaches to the laptop base through a metal tab on the base (which has a screw insert on the bottom). The force is distributed very well in this area. On he left side, I saw that there was no metal support. The screen metal hinge screws right into a brass looking insert which is just pressed into the plastic base. On my laptop, the left side insert pulled right out of the plastic, and was basically prying up on both halves of the base, causing the gap when you close it.
When I was trying to rotate the hinges, I found that the left and right hinges took a TON of effort to rotate. in the closing direction: If the insert is OK, there should be no problems since the hinge is "pushing" itself into the plastic base. But when you open the laptop, that screw insert wants to be pulled out. in doing so, it breaks the plastic and causes it to pry the case open, causing the gap.
I think this was an assembly error, not a design problem. It looks like they intended the right side to bear 90% of the force, while the left side just acts as a pivot. I think the left hinge stiffness was set way too high from the assembly line. If you look carefully at the screen hinges, you can see a nut which is covered by the silver looking plastic hinge covers. You need a 1/4" drive socket set and a 5.5 mm socket. I was able to do it with a shalow socket, without an extension.
I ended up loosening this nut so you could easily turn it by hand. Now all the force is taken by the right-side robust hinge, where the left side just acts as a pivot.
I tried to use a metal epoxy in the area, but the stuff I had was too old and didn't bond well. Hopefully I can find a junk computer and just get the replacement base.
To fix this, you can get a new bottom case for about $100, then loosen the nut on the left hinge so that there is minimal force going through that joint (you should be able to rotate the left hinge without he-man strength).
It also doesn't help that the left side hinge sees the highest temperatures. The thermal cycling along with the pretty weak cooling system could make that joint more likely to break.
By the way I took it apart originally becuase my laptop temperatures were crazy high doing non-intensive tasks. The cooling system was pretty bad. it only takes a small build-up of dust to block off the exit for the hot air. Be sure to clean this area if you notice that you can cook an egg on your laptop.
07-07-2014 10:47 AM
I'm having the same problem with my dv7-7338ea. The left hinge has been creaking for a while, when I started up today the casing on the base surrounding the hinge has cracked. Do HP have any UK-based approved repair outlets, or should I take it back to the store I purchased it from?
07-16-2014 01:21 PM
I just sent you a private message. If you are not sure how to check your forum messages, this post by SiobhanF has instructions.
I hope this helps,
Good luck and have a great day!