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Big Problems with Wireless in HP Pavilion Notebooks

Several months back, I bought an HP Pavilion DV6000 and reviewed it here on PCMech. I gave it a pretty good review. I was happy with it. But, that review has garnered a LOT of traffic. So much, in fact, that it now finds itself as the ninth most popular article on the website according to the “Most Popular” list on the homepage. Now, why is that? Mainly because of all of the user comments complaining about various things failing on the unit. Most prevalent among them: wireless.

notebook.jpgThen a reader by the name of David (not me, I promise) pointed over to the Berlind’s Testbed blog, by ZDNet. He talks about how he has seen a lot of complaints about failing wifi in the Pavilion notebooks and that the HP support forums are being flooded with such complaints. Take a look at this support thread at HP for the wifi problem on the DV6000. I caution you, the thread is PACKED with comments and may take a while to download if you are not on a fast internet connection.

The same blog from ZDNet asked HP about it and eventually got a response where HP admitted to the problem with the wifi on these Pavilion models. Apparently, HP posted a BIOS fix in the support forums to this problem, however it is said not to work very well and doesn’t solve the problem for most users. In fact, most users who have had this fixed ended up getting a motherboard replacement or a replacement system. This is a hardware problem, not something that can be fixed with a mere BIOS update.

Is HP Support Really Supportive?

There has been a lot of expressed disappointment and anger at HP over this. Not only because the problem exists in the first place, but because HP has been completely silent on the issue (up to very recently) even while their customers are flooding the support forums with this issue. The perception has been that HP does not monitor it’s own forum. And, quite frankly, recommending a BIOS update for a wireless card failure is practically laughable.

But, HP’s support is on the verge of laughable anyway. Just yesterday, I had to call HP because of a failing battery in – you guessed it – my DV6000. While the Indian guy I spoke to was quite nice, he ran me through diagnostic steps that were kind of stupid. I have also wrote in the past about my experience dealing with HP support on my laser printer. This is admittedly completely subjective on my part, but it seems as if HP technical support has a habit of grasping at straws and ignoring common sense when it comes to troubleshooting. Perhaps they need to use their heads more than the corporately written flow charts that their technicians no doubt use.

Reality Check

So, while I am writing this article based on other people’s observations, the volume of posts about this problem, both on PC Mechanic as well as on HP’s site, indicate that there is a fairly widespread issue of failing wireless cards in the HP Pavilion notebooks. I hope HP takes proper responsibility for this. If you have the problem, just make sure that you contact HP before your warranty expires. HP is really good at throwing hardware at the problem, so chances are you will get a free replacement.

The harsh truth is this: You can’t buy an all-in-one notebook computer with those kinds of specs for ~$800 and expect it to be the highest quality in the world. The attractive price tag given the specs is why so many people are buying these Pavilion notebooks. But, just buy it knowing that it will have a failure point.

Update May 30, 2010

Comments for this article have been closed. This was done because people were using as a means of getting HP support. This article is not an official HP support channel for problems that may occur with the HP products. If you would like to contact HP for support, please visit HP Customer Care at, thank you.

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30 thoughts on “Big Problems with Wireless in HP Pavilion Notebooks”

Jim says:
When is HP going to acknowledge that this is a huge problem, and they should fix these problems. I have a HP tx 1000, that I paid good money for ,a it now just sits collecting dust.I think that a huge class action may be in order.
vasile says:
I have same problem with a wireless adapter at one DV6000. When it”s happened i work in a room at 22 degree celsius. I think that the temperature difference between the environment and the laptop caused the problem. I have no wireless icon on network connection.
Raymond says:
dont ever trust HP anymore,, I’m really disappointed.. T_T

I’m asking for their responsibility to fix my Pavilion tx1000 regardless of its wireless and stupid motherboard..
Lots of users already complained about this..
But it seems that no actual action from HP..

They even ask me for money to fix a mistake that they made !!

Marites says:
I bought hp pavillion last march and after a month it gives me problem regarding the wireless that it cannot pick p wireless signal, i called HP Support and after the third call i finally talk to the american lady told me to do recovery on my computer and it did fix the prblem but after 4 days the problem happened again and i called them again and they cannot help me anymore. I should have read all this reviews before i buy the HP laptop, this is very frustrating and the support is not helping at all they give you very stupid troubleshoting process. buying this laptop is a huge waste of money. Please people do not buy hp laptop anymore its not worth it. and maybe make sure you read all the reviews before buying thier products.
Allan says:
I owns a HP dv6207tx, and I have the exact problem with the posting on HP Support, but no answer/solution. Warrenty is expired, what can I do? the problem is:

If anyone knows the fix please let me know. Thanks. HP support is not good at all.

Ray says:
My dv6436nr is having the same problems as everyone else. I purchased it in July 2007 and the original problems began in oct 2008. I sent it back to HP and they replaced the motherboard and sent me a new power cord. I was out of my 1 yr warranty and this particular laptop was not covered under the Warranty Servie Enhancement Program for whatever reason, but HP fixed it for free anyway. Two months ago it started doing the same thing again: the wireless adapter would disappear from the device manager and the wireless would work about 2% of the time. I called HP about 5 times and eventually was elevated to a Case Manager. Although she was really nice, she said the could not do anything for me. Tonight…I got the black screen of death. When I push the power button, the key lights will glow for 1 second then nothing happens.

I am in the process of filing a complaint with the Attorney General’s Office for the State of WA for fraud and unfair business practices by HP. HP is very aware of he problem with the dv2000/6000/9000 laptops, but has done little to fix it. I’m so tired of waiting for HP to do the right thing, that I am going to go at them. Pending the decision by the AG’s office, I plan to file a small claims suit seeking the return of money that I paid for the laptop. Only when HP realizes that cannot weasel out of doing what’s right by their consumers will they step up. Let your voice be heard and contact your AG office now. The more people that file a complaint, the more likely an AG will move forward with a lawsuit.

Alex says:
Not happy with HPDv5 – wireless no good.
Any suggestions?
VirtualAdept says:
HP had extended their warranties on a number of units up to 2 years because of this issue. Doesn’t help though if you’re outside the warranty by a few months. My wireless is no longer recognized by the system.

Now, you can go get a USB wireless but, the unit will most likely fail within a few weeks. Why you ask? Because HP and a lot of other manufacturers switched to lead free solder on their connectors. With these chips running as hot as they are, combined with dirty fans, inadequate air flow, and in my opionon, crap thermal pads, the solder starts to crack and connections become unreliable as the processors heat and cool causing expansion and contraction.

Thermal dynamics being what they are, the solder doesn’t shrink and expand as fast as the rest of the surrounding components thus causing breakage.

If you call HP’s crappy support and told that it can be repaired for $399 but they’ll cut you a break at $250, tell them you’ll take that $250 and go to another company.

However, if you have a heat gun, some Thermal Artic Silver 5 paste, some aluminum foil, and some patience, you could try to ‘Reflow’ the solder connections on the processor. Basically heating the surrounding connections to the point that the solder melts and closes the cracks. There is a Youtube video of someone doing it on an IBM. Same issue.

I have a dv6000 and this did the trick. Works on xbox 360’s with the rings of death as well so I’ve been told. The issue though is heat and air flow. If your laptop is already toast, it’s worth a shot if you’re going to buy a new unit anyway.

Bulgarikus says:
HP DV6000/DV9000 Series AMD platform are one of the hottest notebooks.If your GPU fried you must preheat VC GeForce Chip.Sucsses is very little (2 of 10) couse they have silicon fix and can’t move.About Wi-Fi Problem no solution with Preheating…
Cheryll says:
Anyone experiencing problems with the Pavillion DV9339 laptops associated with failing video cards and subsequent “frying” of the hard drive?
not hardware specialist says:
About wireless

what do you expect when graphic GPU is almost on top of
wireless adapter and GPU can go to 130C heat.

So if laptop does not get hot adapter can be ok, if laptop is used to get hot more likely adapter will fall.

So logically thinking this problem should be more conman in hot climate regions and in summer times ;)

ali208 says:
I moved from Louisina to Kuwait. You know the middle east where if its 100 outside its a cool day. My wireless didn’t crap out of me until I lived here during the hotest months… Thanks for dumbing it down. I’m a tard when it comes to comps I’ve been googling fixes for this for a while and this is the first time I read a … how come (well one that I understood) This whole time I thought it was an update that screwed it up (have had that happen before)
Kassidy says:
Im in the same boat… Just spent $1100 on an HP Pavilion dv6-2154ca… piece of garbage, only 1 month old and doesnt work at all, i called HP, they gave me a run around, then put me on hold and never came back to the phone… So i guess im screwed?? haha im so done with HP
Michael says:
In short: I work at PawnShop in LA. I get all kinds of laptops. And HP laptops fail at about 95% of the time, not only wireless but video too. I started noticing that after owning 2 HP laptops which both acted up w/ video. Comparing to other brands that I use, HP is the worst investment I’ve made.
Yunus Rajabiy says:
Hello everybody. I have HP DV6000 laptop and it used to have Vista. The wireless stopped working and the orange light at the switch wouldn’t turn blue anymore, for some reason. I upgraded the operating system to 7 Ultimate. The problem still persisted, even after downloading the proper drivers w/ hp wireless assistant. I can’t get any support from HP because of the expiration of the warranty. Thanx you PCMech! For letting me post my opinion.
Name (required) says:
I work at PawnShop in Downtown LA. I get a lot of used HP laptops. And I’ll tell you that they are 95% disfunctional. I Started paying attention to this after using couple of them myself. I then with disappointment told the UNSUPPORTIVE HP support system that I would never use their products. The only reason I used HP was because of the body. The internals must be all lowgraded, because various functions act up at least 3-4 times when you own it. Even Dell laptops (I used to abase) work like soldiers. I own 6 dell laptops and none of them going bust. Dell needs to hire a better body designer then it’ll look better than inept HP.
Steve says:
HP Pavilion dv6907ea

Wireless gone crazy on this . Blue light works but suggests “limited access to wirleless” …all other household PC’s work fine.
HP claim no reported issues, checked BIOS, drivers etc all fine. HP repair agents want £268.00 to remedy……probably best to invest that in a Dell.

Fred says:
Thanks for all your comments. I went through all and will try a few good tips you have given.
This is for a client of mine. From now on, i will not repair any HP products. I haven’t had a good sleep since the night I accepted the laptop to fix.
Kimberly Liebrich says:
My wireless went out on my HP Pavillion 6000 2 times! The first time it was covered under warranty–but last night it went out again. Tonight I went out and bought a USB Network Wireless adapter for $40 and it works great! I’m done with HP after this!
Rich says:
I just had this problem today and I called HP support, of course he told me that my warranty is out and I need to pay $250 to get it repaired. I complained that this was my second time having my MB replaced, but to no avail the guy told me he cannot do anything about it. I followed Renee Neal’s forum link, but first I turned off the wireless in the bios by pressing F9 . I load windows normally then downloaded the broadcom driver for XP ( I know its weird I am using vista). Restarted the computer then pressed F10 again then I enabled the wireless. Fortunately when I booted up the red light is gone and I have wireless again. I am with jessie…I will never by HP/Compaq trash products ever. This will be my first and last HP computer.

I hope this helps.

Rich says:
I spoke too soon…after I turned my computer off and turned it back on. The wireless is not working again. I will never buy HP again.
Brian E says:
All you had to do is go to the HP wireless LAN assistant and turn off the wireless and then turn it back on and the goddamn thing will work fine
Jessie says:
I purchased a HP Pavilion, 2 years ago, first my wireless card stoped working. I bought a USB wireless adapter and that worked great for a few days, then my computer died and the motherboard went out. I called HP several times and they told me they could fix it for $399. I will never buy an HP again. The same day my laptop went out, my HP home computer died as well, something with the operating system. What junk!
mae says:
I have been having the same problems, with the card being orange as though its not turned on, it is not all the time just every so often. Enough for me to think it was windows updates etc causing the problems..then finally I found this site with others having the same problem.
When i called HP of course my warranty was expired but the guy did tell me that b/c they have been having this problem they had extended my warranty…until….two months convenient. When I asked why they don’t back the computers when there is a problem among many of these models..(sort of like car companies fix recalls even if your car is way out of warranty) he made some comment that if i had called about this problem before my warranty was out they would of fixed it then…even if was not i supposed to surf the web for various recalls on my laptop on a daily basis?

I will NEVER buy anything HP again. Not that they care. tried the F10 thingy did not see where…to change from disable to enable…but oddly enough just hitting the f10 then restarting…i have a blue wireless light yay!! lets see how long it lasts.

Gemini II says:
My wireless just died on my if I buy a wireless card and replace it will that fix the problem or will I just be wasteing my money? HP said they can fix it for “What they said is a small fee” $250.00 plus shipping cost.
frank32 says:
buying a new wireless card may not solve the problem, since the problem has to do with the motherboard.
I have an HP dv-6000, after the wireless died on me -and being on a budget – all i could do was to buy a USB wireless adaptor, even though it sticks out and takes one of the USB slots, it does the job, and i only paid 30 bucks .

The $250.00 repair fee is just an estimate, once they get it in the may charge you twice as much, if the problem is related to the motherboard, that is what happened to mine.

Jason says:
My dv9000 recently started having the same problem. Although, mine goes amber if it’s shut down or if it goes into power-save mode for long periods of non-use. I have to restart it over and over again going into system configure and messing around in order to get it to work again. Nothing seems to consistently work though.

To keep this from happening, once I get it started, I go into limewire and download large files. Even if the comp goes into powersave mode, the wireless won’t shut down. This way, when I wake up the next morning, the thing still works. Obviously, this isn’t very convenient, but it’s a trick that works for me.

ExHPuser says:
HP once was a producer of high quality electronics, and now appear to be coasting on their reputation. I have no reason to suspect that their current line of laptops is any better than the garbage we bought two years ago.

Register a complaint with the BBB:

Register with the Nvidia class action suit:

And register a complaint with the Atty Gen’s office in your state.

Jean-Louis Lassez says:
For what it is worth:

A few years ago I had the same problem with a Dell. Loosing randomly the wireless connection. I did not call Dell, I called the ISP provider. The guy told me to shut the computer then cut the power to the wireless box. Wait for a few minutes (I mean one or two), then restore power to the wireless box, then to the computer. The problem was fixed….until a couple of weeks later it started again. The procedure worked each time. The guy had mumbled something about something getting too hot. And I realised that I was keeping the wireless box on 24/24. So I shut it at night. Then I never lost the connection again.

So, about a year and a half after I bought this HP pavillion, I had the same lost connection problem, which arrived at very inopportune moments, particularly when I was going to win this to the poker world champiosnship:). Anyway that pissed me off lost a lot of time until I rememebered the problem with the Dell. I tried it and I have ben a few days without any connection lost. I am going to wait a bit longer before declaring victory though. But I would be interested in having feedback on this, has anyone tried it?
Cheers says:
i have Wi-Fi problem in my hp pavilion db 7,when i work from Vista the light of wi-fi is always orange(this mean it`s turned off) and i can`t turn it on , but when i work in windows 7 everithing work properly button light blue, and if you wont can turn it off. I think this problem is in windows soft… ani way hp is shit becouse if you want to start windows xp… :) just try it ,next time ill buy dell or sony ,becouse hp support don`t give me any good ideas how can i fix problem whith wi-fi or how can i work in xp os in my hp.i spend all my free time,in this laptop for a last half year,so guys if you have a lot of free time buy Hp pavilion dv7-its time killer :)
HP Madness says:
Reechard TG, you may want to try using winsock repair utilities such as LSPfix.exe or winsockXPfix.exe. Those two are freeware that you can download off of several sites. Sometimes in removing the malware, the winsock chain might become corrupted. Those programs repair winsock. I’ve also read that winsockXPfix.exe is just a program of entries resetting winsock, which you can entered a command yourself in command prompt. I would go with those packaged fixes in the programs.

They work for many but with the wireless device problem, I’ve learned it’s a much more complicated case. What is most sly about the issue is that I would come upon a “fix,” but the connection wouldn’t last (so far no more than 2 straight days). And the previous fixes wouldn’t work any further. Then, I would have tweak the laptop (Compaq Presario FU572US, BTW) with other tricks.

So what tricks have worked – albeit temporarily? Initially security scans not only revealed the missing wireless device (Broadcom), but also connected – only until the scan was finished. This lead me to believe there was some kind of suspicious object in a running process that lost the wireless device. Then, the scans didn’t work at all for a connection except just bringing out a missing wireless device, which couldn’t connect.

I’ve used Super AntiSpyware’s repair utilities for restoring System File Checker, Safeboot key and Network Connection. That, too, was temporary. I’ve tweaked with wireless zero configuration in services.

The constant is I have to reboot into safe mode nearly always if a normal boot results in a missing wireless device. The connections following a safe mode boot back into normal is inconsistent.

So far, I’ve had lingering wireless device, even in a normal boot, after one session of stopping wireless zero configuration during a connection. I did learn that after 10 minutes or so, pages won’t display even though the connection was still good. I would have to start WZC and then the pages would load as a normal connection. (Keep in mind, I got that connection after coming out of safe mode to normal mode.) Since that session, I’ve been able to shut down and start up in normal mode without going to safe mode first to produce not only a detected wireless device but a stable connection. But I’ve also been following an advice about holding the power button for 3 seconds for starting up. I think I misread that advice, though, since a second read, it was more about dealing with a possible static electricity build-up with the wifi card from the battery. I leave the battery out and use the AC adapter for the power source.

So, maybe it’s the wireless zero configuration. With my series of temporary fixes, I’m thinking more about getting another laptop that is not HP – maybe Toshiba or ASUS, which was recommended by one of the afflicted HP owners. It seems from the comments from various forums, the motherboard will eventually die. But I will keep checking these forums for someone else’s solution.

Steve A. says:
After a long time in business, I am semi-retired but still do PC service by referral.
One ~3 YO HP desktop had problems I repaired and it necessitated a reinstall of Windows from the 8-disk set.
After having the installation hang 3 times at the same point, I checked all of the original CDs and found two with unreadable sectors.
I called HP and found the only option was a replacement set for ~$80 which I consequently ordered.
The new set of 8 had a disk with bad sectors.
I again called HP and was told there is no warranty on CDs at all but they would send me a second set for $25.
This set too had TWO bad CDs but out of the 24 total, I finally managed to restore the system and wrote off the additional time and some of the expended costs.

I have used HP (now ‘Agilent’) test equipment since 1960 and own a good bit of it still.
It has never needed any extraordinary service and the down time I have suffered was minimal.

HP computer related stuff however, I will never again accept for service of any kind.

Dee Clay says:
Here’s just another one, out of warranty by 36 days, wireless device not recognized……tried everything……with no positive results…… HP is junk and the support is laughable… Never again will I purchase from hp and I’ll make sure everyone I know, knows what junk they are.
Pat says:
I had a 17″ HP laptop, which was working just fine. I sent it back to the factory for a recall on the hinges. After three weeks without a word, I called them.

They told me that I owed them $750.00 because they found some internal problems. They said I needed a new mother board, processor, keyboard, and RAM. They weren’t going to send it back to me until I paid them.

After arguing with them for about an hour, they relented and sent my computer home. It hasn’t worked since.

I’m with you – I will never buy another HP.

Comments are closed.


Nov 21, 2007

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