HP laptop problem - the story

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Justme

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Feb 27, 2021
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Hi All, I'll try keep it as brief as possible.
The Story....
Laptop stopped working. Took it to repair shop. They said motherboard not working and better to buy new laptop. They took hard drive out and put into caddy/encloser with usb cable. Said if I get another laptop just plug encloser into usb and should display my name, then click on that to open and copy files onto laptop.
But.,.. I managed to buy a new motherboard, exactly same as the original with matching part numbers etc. As I know nothing about the inside of a laptop I took a pic before I disconnected the old board so I could get everything connected correctly on the new one. There was no internal battery so I got a new one also.
The Problem.....
Switched the laptop on and got the HP logo screen as usual, then the lock screen image page, then the admin page with password required. The cursor in the password box only flashes a few times instead of constantly. When I try to type in my set password no letters/stars appear in the box. I've tried with the HDD left in the enclosure and connected to laptop via usb. I've also tried with it out of the enclosure and plugged back into it's place in the laptop. I've tried things I read about online like continually pressing the ESC key and F10 to open BIOS, holding down m/s key and various other keys, etc etc. I can get a page with options like 'Troubleshoot' , ' Restart' , "Reset pc'. I clicked on 'reset pc and keeping my files' with the HDD back in the enclosure. It went through the procedure taking a couple of hours including reinstalling Windows 10. I Powered up the laptop hoping everything would work now but it was still the same as mentioned above, got to the admin page but couldn't put in the password. By the way the laptop is powered directly with the charger as the big battery is u/s.
I hope I've detailed the problem enough for someone out there to help. Thanks.
 

Justme

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Feb 27, 2021
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Hello

Did you install the chipset drivers for the new mobo?
Thanks for the reply.
As I only use my laptop I really don't know too much about what I'm into now, so I wouldn't have even thought about that or even know how to do it.
I did a bit of reading online about changing the board so I felt confident enough to unplug the faulty one and carefully plug the new one in. What I got from reading about doing this was that the new board would have to be identified to the system in the bios . But, as I mentioned I'm not sure how to do that.
Any advice please. Btw, when I'm trying do I leave the HDD in the enclosure thing or plug it back in it's place in the laptop ?
Thanks again.
 

Bruce

Forum Regular
Moderator
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
2,123
314
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
the initial reason of the laptop not working has not been addressed.
they thought it was the motherboard - no guarantee there, so maybe now it is replaced, the next problem up the food chain is showing itself.

as to getting that admin password screen, that could be a few things, like maybe related to the original issues (say a virus), someone using SYSKEY to put a password on the system or even the PC repair shop, intentionally or because of their investigations, putting some user password on it.

now the proposed part at fault has been replaced, taking it back to them would be the obvious next step.

as you say, this isn't your area of expertise and you don't want to be accessing that hard drive (your only copy of all your files) willy-nilly.
plus working on laptops with all their screws and plastic moldings can be a right little pain.

and when you say it had no internal battery, to you mean the BIOS button cell battery or the main battery that powers laptops when not connected to mains?

to remove any chance of any previous person adding passwords to the system, a fresh reinstall of WIndows should be done, not keeping personal files or programs. and for that you'll need a new drive - why not take the opportunity to upgrade to a solid state drive. then you can keep the drive in the external enclosure forever as a backup unit.
 

Justme

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Feb 27, 2021
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the initial reason of the laptop not working has not been addressed.
they thought it was the motherboard - no guarantee there, so maybe now it is replaced, the next problem up the food chain is showing itself.

as to getting that admin password screen, that could be a few things, like maybe related to the original issues (say a virus), someone using SYSKEY to put a password on the system or even the PC repair shop, intentionally or because of their investigations, putting some user password on it.

now the proposed part at fault has been replaced, taking it back to them would be the obvious next step.

as you say, this isn't your area of expertise and you don't want to be accessing that hard drive (your only copy of all your files) willy-nilly.
plus working on laptops with all their screws and plastic moldings can be a right little pain.

and when you say it had no internal battery, to you mean the BIOS button cell battery or the main battery that powers laptops when not connected to mains?

to remove any chance of any previous person adding passwords to the system, a fresh reinstall of WIndows should be done, not keeping personal files or programs. and for that you'll need a new drive - why not take the opportunity to upgrade to a solid state drive. then you can keep the drive in the external enclosure forever as a backup unit.
Thanks for replying.
Regarding the password screen, it's the same admin screen I got when the laptop was working. However the cursor in the box doesn't flash constantly now so no chance to enter my usual password. I was hoping for suggestions to get passed that.
As the shop suggested I buy a new laptop they put the hard drive into the external dock and said all I need to do was plug into the usb on a new laptop and click on my name to open. So, I presume they used my name as a password.
Regarding the battery, I mean the small button cell one. The new board didn't have one installed so I bought a new one.
Regarding your suggestion to buy a new solid state drive, does it have to be HP or any brand. I presume it would fit and plug in where the original drive was?
From the sticker on the original packaging, I have a HP Notebook 15-af157na with AMD A8-7410 & 2TB hard drive.
 

Justme

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Feb 27, 2021
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if the old drive is a 2.5" SATA unit then yes, that sort of solid state drive will simply snap right in.
Thanks again Bruce.
Yes it's SATA and I presume 2.5" being a laptop. I checked prices of an SSD and I think I would be better buying a new laptop.
But I don't really want to do that before trying everything possible to get my laptop working again with what I've already got !
 

Bruce

Forum Regular
Moderator
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
2,123
314
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
you can get a Kingston 240GB A400 one for $AUD39 and a Samsung 500GB 860 EVO for $AUD83 - that's pretty cheap in my opinion.
and considering you have already started investing money on the old laptop with the new mobo, another $39 wouldn't be too bad - as you say, it would be good to get it going again.

but when do you draw the line in the sand - repair or replace.
personally, I think you should have left the old gal alone and moved on but that's just me! :)
 

Justme

PCHF Member
PCHF Member
Feb 27, 2021
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you can get a Kingston 240GB A400 one for $AUD39 and a Samsung 500GB 860 EVO for $AUD83 - that's pretty cheap in my opinion.
and considering you have already started investing money on the old laptop with the new mobo, another $39 wouldn't be too bad - as you say, it would be good to get it going again.

but when do you draw the line in the sand - repair or replace.
personally, I think you should have left the old gal alone and moved on but that's just me! :)
Thanks again Bruce. As my laptop has a 2TB drive I was pricing same memory ssd's with average prices 200+, up to about 400. Obviously I wanted to keep the same memory size but maybe I'll try the cheaper option you suggested. At least I'll be able to see if it works before drawing the line in the sand :)
 

Bruce

Forum Regular
Moderator
Support Team
Oct 8, 2017
2,123
314
Yeppoon, QLD, Australia.
while the new motherboard may end up being chalked up to experience, the new SSD will always be a good backup device, worst case scenario.
and the mobo could always be sold.
 

phillpower2

PCHF Administrator
Administrator
Support Team
Sep 9, 2016
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To avoid us having to ask for an update every couple of days we will close this thread until the OP has the time available to work towards resolving the issue, PM a member of staff when you are ready and the thread can be reopened.
 
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