Intermittent problem, HP ProBook 6550b (Windows 7, 32 bit)

Here is my dilemma: my computer intermittently will not start. I will push the power button, the lights come on on the base of the laptop, but the screen does not come on. I have attached an external LCD (via VGA cable) and it does not come on either (when it decides to malfunction). The fan will run, but I have no display whatsoever. Other times, it starts and runs marvelously! When it runs right, it is a really great computer for what I want to use it for. Unfortunately it doesn't always work!

Okay, my question... What could be wrong with it?

My attempts at a solution:

The aforementioned external screen for diagnosis...

I have done a "hard reset" with seeming success, but only temporary success.

I have replaced the hard drive (cloned and replaced with a similar drive).

I was going to search for updates... but it wouldn't turn on. I will try that eventually... if it decides to be nice and turn on.

So... what did I miss? What else could it be? Will upgrading this to Windows 10 help? Thanks!


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
This sounds like the motherboard or, less likely the CPU, may be failing.

Did your notebook used to overheat? I've had one HP notebook once. Their famous for overheating. Mine got so hot that something on the graphics card literally melted. So, yeah, now i've got the most expensive paper weight i've ever had.

But i didn't meant to scare you, don't give hope. But it really seems hardware problems, so you're better taking it to tech support. Meanwhile it would be wise to keep it at a nice temperature. Maybe those times it ran nicely it was cold or something.

Well... thanks for all the replies... I was hoping that perhaps it was a bad stick of ram or something, but I don't have any ddr3 laying around to test, and I can no longer get it to turn on at all... From my online scourings that seemed like a long shot anyway.

Yes, it did tend to run hot. That probably was the issue. It had an i5 CPU in it, and it ran fast enough for what I was doing (Photos, documents, browsing, etc. No videos or games or anything like that) but it seems like it is now a paperweight.

Thanks for the help! I have been looking into a replacement already (desktop this time... ) and will make sure it runs cooler!


Windows Forum Team
Staff member
I have seen on occasion computers appear to do nothing including not even show BIOS with a jacked up HDD. You could at the very least remove all your RAM and hard drive and try and boot. If the motherboard is working it will simply start beeping because there is no memory.


Windows Forum Admin
Staff member
Premium Supporter
Microsoft MVP
Have you tried removing the battery for 30mins?

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