A problem affecting many of HP’s newer laptops, including the dv9000 (dv9XXX) and dv6000 (dv6XXX) series of machines is that you’ll get nothing but a back-lit black screen on boot. More specifically, the touch-bar lights will turn on and the hard drive light will blink – the machine will actually appear to be booting into an operating system, but the screen will remain black. This problem usually occurs when the video card fails to work because it has overheated and is no longer soldered to the motherboard. It is a common problem, and the normally recommended fix is to re-flow your gpu (video card) and motherboard.

Reflowing is a simple enough process in theory, you simply have to heat the solder up enough to allow it to re-bead, and then cool it off again. In practice this normally requires the disassembly of the entire laptop and using a heat gun on the gpu. Alternative methods include literally baking the motherboard and gpu in an oven at 385°F for 8 minutes, or, possibly even more startlingly, wrapping the machine in a blanket.

The latter alternative is the one that I recommend if you lack the desire or know-how to take apart your entire machine. I’ve tested it, and it actually does work. Of course, if you do it on your machine, you do so at your own risk…

Basically, the process involves only four broad steps:

  1. Remove the battery and hard drive. Battery removal is simple enough, and hard-drive removal only requires loosening two Philips-head screws.
  2. Plug the laptop in, turn it on, close the screen, flip it upside down and wrap it up tightly in a thick blanket or two.
  3. After an hour and a half or so, unplug the laptop from the wall, unwrap the blanket, and allow it to cool for an hour or so.
  4. Reinstall the hard drive and battery. Turn right-side up.

If all goes well and your gpu is still good, then when you turn your laptop back on it should boot right up. Now, seriously consider investing in a laptop cooler to help prevent your machine from overheating again.