Towels are a laptop’s best friend? (HP TX1220US)

Chris Brooker
August 7, 2009

You might have heard last week that my laptop died :(. I would turn it on, the lights would light up, but then nothing, no beep, no POST screen, nothing. It would just hang like that forever.

It was a very sad time and I didn’t know what to do. I checked and the warranty had run out and the extended warranty on from my credit card had also run out. I was completely on my own.

I hit the forums to see if anyone had had similar problems. Turns out it’s quite a common problem, damn!, but it usually manifests sooner and would be covered by the warranty. The problem is related to the nVidia chipset getting micro fractures in the solder preventing it from making a solid contact with the motherboard. There is a recall on this particular problem on many, many HP laptops, but they won’t admit it for my model.

As I had nothing left to lose, I decided to try the forum suggested xBox360 Red Ring of Death towel trick. For the 360 the trick goes, take the 360 wrap it up in towel blocking all vents, turn it on, and let it bake. This overheating  causes the solder to slightly melt and reestablish the connections broken by the micro fractures.


(In this photo I have the screen turned 90 degrees for better towel coverage [it’s a tablet])

I grabbed my laptop, removed the HD, DVD drive, etc anything that could be damaged by the heat. Wrapped it up completly in the 2 towels and turned it on. I let it sit there for about 6 hours. The towels had gotten very hot. As soon as the sun through the window touched the “package” the extra heat caused it to shutdown from over heating. I took it out and let it cool.

I came back later and with little expectations, I turned it on. At first it looked the same, then, all of a sudden it POST’d! I couldn’t believe it!

It’s now been a week since I did this trick and have used my laptop for at least 20 hours total for scretches as long as 6 hours, with no problems what-so-ever.

I’m so very happy to have my friend back!

UPDATE (Nov 24, 2009): This trick has now resurrected this laptop twice! It’s still working to this day.

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