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I fixed orange light HP/Compaq wireless problem

By javeous
Jul 4, 2009
  1. cpl21

    cpl21 TS Rookie

    Holy cr@p

    I have been a repair tech for almost ten years, and I just took in a laptop that had the orange light of death issue, as everyone else is/has been experiencing. I spent almost 30 minutes in a chat session with Compaq... having them 'walk me through' all of the tests that I have already performed (thinking maybe I missed something). I had already been through all of the HP support pages, so I already knew what they were going to tell me. I also already knew that there was an extended warantee (just did not know when it started/ended). They quoted me $400 to replace the mb, which I knew the client would not want to do... heh... I would not have recommended it as you can buy a cheap new laptop for about that much. So, I was just going to recommend that they purchase a cheap USB or PCMCIA adapter (after more research, it looks like the PCMCIA port stops working if the wireless adapter stops working (on the same circuit)). As I was browsing ebay for a cheap adapter, I did one more google search and found this forum. I was HIGHLY skeptical that this was going to work, and was more concerned that I might brick the laptop... but figured it was worth a shot (I'm sure that this thing has gotten hotter then 80 degrees based on the dog hair that I blew out of it.

    It took me a while to get it up to temperature (I actually had to hold a towel under it to get it to come up to temperature). It went past 75 degrees and continued up to 80 degrees. It sat there for about three of four minutes, and then.... viola!

    I had the networking devices in the device manager already open so that I could watch.... and I was EXTREMELY amazed that this actually worked. Has been running stable now for about an hour, and I'll keep it for a few days just to continue to test.

    Anyway, thank you very much for posting your findings and results for the rest of us! Simple solutions to a complex problem are always very exciting :)
     
  2. Toran

    Toran TS Rookie

    Hi, I'm a software engineer and I was searching around for the solution to this orange light problem. My wireless stopped working after my computer crashed while installing a wireless printer. I registered just to say this fix worked for me. I got the CPU temp up to 76C in about 9min. Just like the others it went and installed the drivers. Ill update you guys if and when it stops working, but until then I really think this is a legitimate fix, as absurd as it sounds. Though like the others, I can't recommend trying it unless you are willing to fry your motherboard.
     
  3. Rehman

    Rehman TS Rookie

    I think i found a fix the cold solder join for wireless is very close to the GPU. The fix that javeous mentioned works but after restarting the system same problem orange light what i did was i used a pen torch on the GPU just like you do for the blank screen problem but what i did was i heated the gpu for extra couple of minutes and after that my WIFI is working just fine from couple of days i hope it stays that way if it stops working i will let you guys know
     
  4. Rehman

    Rehman TS Rookie

    I have a v6000 which is having trouble with sound no audio output device found just like WIFI the audio device is not detected. Anyone here willing to help i would really appreciate it
     
  5. davesurfer

    davesurfer TS Rookie

    Stress heat test works!! WIFI is on and works.

    Hey, I was just as skeptical as everyone else but I thought I'd register here just to say that the stress test solution works! (for now, it's been working for about 20 minutes, I will update in a few days)

    I covered my heat exhaust vents with a blanket. I downloaded and ran everest ultimate and stressed only the CPU. It took about 15 minutes for the temp to get to 80, then I left it for another 20 minutes (temp climbed to about 82 in the last 3 minutes or so). After this I stopped the CPU torture and let it cool down. Within seconds the orange wifi light turned blue and I was connected to my wifi and could obviously go online etc.

    Pretty incredible really! I first thought that it was a dust problem and the high RPM of the fans would blow out stubborn dust...but then why would it start working AFTER the CPU starts to cool down? Well, who knows but it works fine now. Thanks Javeous!! :)
     
  6. davesurfer

    davesurfer TS Rookie

    Still works fine...

    Here's an update for anyone else that was wondering about this heat fix.

    It seems to work fine as long as my laptop is on all the time (warm). Once I shut it off and leave it for a couple hours or so the wifi quits again and I have to do the heat fix again.

    So for the last week or so I've just been leaving it on. I don't like doing that because the hard drive starts getting a little too warm for my liking. I've ordered a Cisco Linksys Expresscard N card w w w.linksysbycisco.com/APAC/en/products/WEC600N and will be installing that instead. USB adapters can be installed but takes up one of the only two USB ports available.
     
  7. markib05

    markib05 TS Rookie

    Ur a freaking genius man.

    Read blogs for over 14 years never inspired to ever create an account or post results till today, kudos homie.

    I've had tons of friends who bought the AMD version of dv6000 series laptops and almost all of their network cards fail at some point, all intels seem to tough it out.

    Here's what i did as listed from previous posts.
    1. Ran windows update made sure it was all up to date.
    2. i got all the chipset updates, bios updates, graphic card updates, and then the brodcom network card drivers from the HP website. Installed all except broadcom which was previously installed anyway.
    3. put my comforter under the laptop bundled it up snug, opened device manager on one side, broadcom driver folder on one side, network manager on one side, and everest.
    4. ran the stress test for cpu only got to 15 minutes and about 84C and then it slowed down, so i ran bubbles screen saver pushed it to 19 minutes, temp got to 89.4C. (i did get a lil burning smell but that's the feathers in the comforter heating up)
    5. pulled the blanket out fast put my text book underneath to let it breath.
    6. the entire time i was searching for new devices in device manager, thought i had failed miserably.
    7. as my system cooled down about 2C from 89 to 87 all of a sudden windows says "new device found, searching for drivers". I click find new devices and its there and drivers auto installed. Ran broadcom install anyway as backup.
    8. Been letting my system cool down since and its still working.

    I will let it cool to normal temps and then shut it off, reboot and see what happens, ill repost on results.

    SCREW HP corp warranty policy.
     
  8. markib05

    markib05 TS Rookie

    The network adapter worked fine for a few hours then after a windows update and restart it stopped again.

    Like others have posted i think the machine cooled down to much. When the temperatures reach about 70C the card enables again, if it drops under once activated its ok, but if put into hibernate, standby, restart or shutdown while its temps are far below 70C you will lose the card again.

    I want to try heating to GPU unit with a pen torch but its a risk im not willing to take yet.

    Good luck all.
     
  9. xcript

    xcript TS Rookie

    Wow - this worked for me, too! Thanks, OP!

    I'm running Ubuntu Linux. I loaded the cores with cpuburn (burnK7) and monitored the temps with "sensors". Covered the vents with a sock, let the CPU hit 80+ for 5 minutes or so, then killed cpuburn and removed the sock. Rebooted after 5 minutes of letting the laptop sit and to my astonishment, the light turned blue when the machine booted up!

    Redonkulous! =P
     
  10. frankcox

    frankcox TS Rookie

    Post removed
     
  11. logisticsct

    logisticsct TS Rookie

     
  12. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    "Dirty contacts" mean that the connector contacts are oxidizing... Caig Industries makes professional contact cleaners and other chemicals. I use their products all the time. I am glad to hear the "real" cause of this HP loss of Wireless connectivity. Being a component-level Electronics tech, I knew there was a hardware cause to this issue
     
  13. logisticsct

    logisticsct TS Rookie

    Ahh, Yeah I saw a bunch of black specs on a few of the contacts..wonder why it is oxidizing?
     
  14. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,984   +168

    The copper plated connector metal was probably not formulated well by the Chinese manufacturers for this particular HP model...
     
  15. frankcox

    frankcox TS Rookie

    Check this out.

    It seems to happen quite a bit . this fellow in CT. had a suggestion that was at least part of my trouble with a machine that was given to me for parts I am trying to resurrect.
    Do a search for /the-notorious-hpcompaq-wireless-orange-light-of-doom-resolved
    as I have only made 1 other post here and they won't let you post a link until you have 5 as if that would stop someone determined to spread havoc.

    He said he has fixed the problem on 3 HP laptops just by cleaning the contacts on the wireless card with a flat head screwdriver.
    Mine was very dirty. The machine registered an IRQ7 fault and when I disassembled it the r11 jack{modem port} was totally broken off and I cannot buy one from HP as they no longer make parts for it an "obsolete" computer. Do you know what other HP that they still make parts for would have the same jack or who else would have them? HP just gives you a link to a used parts place that does not have them.

    I don't know if either of these problems was causing the keyboard and mouse to freeze completely under windows and the machine to run dreadfully slow on Puppy Linux 431 but I hate to put it back together without the modem port although most people don't need it.
     
  16. frankcox

    frankcox TS Rookie


    Do a search for this :
    If you’ve ever encountered the HP Wireless Orange Light of Doom you already know how annoying it can be. For those of you who don’t know what the HP Orange light is: Basically the internal wireless card in the machine stops working and no longer shows up in Windows Device Manager and the machine appears to no longer have a wireless card.

    or look up:
    LOGISTICS CONSULTING
    LOGISTICS CONSULTING on Facebook

    I can't post urls yet but basically this tech has simply cleaned the contacts on the wireless card with a flat head screwdriver and they have worked fine ever since.
     
  17. cw2cold

    cw2cold TS Rookie

    i tried this on my laptop and it worked then my wireless card disappeared from my device manager but the light was still blue any help on y this is happening
     
  18. reddevil

    reddevil TS Rookie

    awesome

    Man I don't know how or why that worked, but I am impressed. If you are anywhere near the GR area and need some auto repair I can hook you up with some free wrench spinning
     
  19. frankcox

    frankcox TS Rookie

    Which Fix

    Did cleaning the contacts with a screwdriver work or the heat treatment?

    The bad copper makes more sense to me and that would explain the heat fixing it temporarily at least. Hp should replace the thing if that is it , that would be a perfect example of a factory defect that should be repaired w/ or w/out a warranty.
    I will not hold my breath .
    I have a friend who is an expert in metallurgy. Perhaps the contacts could be tinned with silver solder?
     
  20. reddevil

    reddevil TS Rookie

    @Frankcox

    I tried cleaning the contacts for the wireless card and got no results. I did put the card in another laptop to be sure it was functioning. Typed in "everest ultimate" into my google browser and downloaded AIDA64 Extreme Edition. Once I had that I used masking tape to cover the vents for the cooling system ran the "system stability test" located in the tool bar. About 10 min into it I changed my screensaver to the "bubbles" and previewed it as soon as the bubbles came on the wireless came to life. I was able to turn it on and off with the switch but after a shut down I had to do it again....only took 5 min this time but it seems to be when the bubbles come on is when the light turns blue. If i need to do this again I will tun the bubbles on as soon as the CPU gets up to 80.

    That program is a free trial version to download I actually ordered a mini usb wireless adapter the night before I did this and think I could have kept my $10 in my pocket
     
  21. reddevil

    reddevil TS Rookie

    update

    a few days after doing this I had a complete failure of the motherboard. I shut it off one day and the next time I tried to turn it on it would start to power up and then shut right off. After doing some research I found that people have been baking their motherboards in the oven to "reflow" them. with nothing to loose I gave it a try 385deg for 10 min and it came back to life.

    I did video the procedure I used and will be posting it on youtube shortly.
     
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