HP EliteBook 840 laptopLast weekend, my son returned to me the used HP EliteBook 840 G3 laptop that I had gotten him for college. He no longer was using it and it was buried in his old bedroom under some of his belongings. He did tell me that the laptop no longer started and that it had a low battery screen. Once I had some time, I inspected it and sure enough, the laptop would not even light up the display and so it seemed it was dead. I spent a couple more hours trying to figure out what it was. I opened it up and tried a variety of options, such as removing the internal battery and disconnecting the CMOS battery. Nothing seemed to work. I even connected an external display to see if that would work.

3 Long, 2 Short Beeps No Display

Finally, I removed both memory SODIMMs and found that it was one of the SODIMMs that was bad. The original Samsung memory would cause the computer to startup with the 3 long beeps, followed by 2 short beeps. The second SODIMM was a new Corsair module that I had added when I bought the laptop originally. Apparently the HP BIOS will not display a screen if one of the memory modules is bad. I have only seen memory go bad one other time on a Dell server. However, I assumed that if the memory module was bad, the BIOS would still boot and display an error. HP does not do that.

I ordered a new 8GB SODIMM and a new battery. The original battery would not charge, so that definitely needed to be replaced.

The laptop was on Windows 10, so I decided to wipe it and install Windows 11. Since this is an old laptop, HP no longer supports it and so the HP Support page will not list any updates for Windows 11. However, I the laptop runs Windows 11 fine. There is a Windows Updates issue where it keeps trying to install the Conexant driver.

Additional Notes

For the issue with audio driver Conexant, I had to run the Windows Update Troubleshooter and force that particular update to no longer show up in Windows Update. Audio is working on the laptop, so the installed driver works fine.

The other issue I noticed was that the battery would not charge past 78 percent. For this, I had to go into the HP BIOS, hit F1 and choose to go into the setup. Under the Power Management, you have to choose to allow HP to manage the battery and then it will charge to 100 percent. The default option tries to save battery cycles.

This laptop also had the LCD screen replaced. The screen ended up going bad shortly after I originally bought it. In all this laptop has lasted a lot longer than I expected. I am not fan of the HP BIOS and I know the Dell Latitudes are pretty cheap when bought used, but they tend to run hot. Next time I will probably try to get a Thinkpad.