How to Upgrade a Graphics Card for An HP Pavilion DV7 Notebook

By Ezekiel James

If you're looking to boost your laptop's overall video and graphics performance, replacing the internal graphics card, or Graphics Processing Unit (GPU), is necessary. The HP dv7 laptop ships with the GeForce 9600M-Series graphics card. In the case of the HP Pavilion dv7, you must completely dismantle the computer. If you don't know what you're doing, you can do more harm than good to your laptop. It's crucial to understand common methods to safely upgrade your laptop's graphics card.

Things You'll Need

  • Phillips-head screwdriver
  • Flat-head screwdriver
  • ESD Strap

Step 1

Turn off the laptop, close the display panel and disconnect all external devices. Unplug the main power cord, and place the laptop face down so the front edge is facing you. Slide the battery release button to the left, and remove the battery pack from its compartment.

Step 2

Remove the single, Phillips-head screw fastening the CD/DVD drive to the lower-left corner of the laptop. Grasp the face of the drive, and pull it out of the laptop.

Step 3

Remove the main hardware compartment cover near the center of the laptop's bottom case, and the secondary hard drive compartment in the lower-right corner of the laptop. The center cover is fastened with four Phillips-head screws, and the secondary HD cover is secured with two screws.

Step 4

Grasp the plastic tab protruding from the main hard drive, and slide the drive to the left to disconnect the HD from the motherboard. Remove the hard drive from the laptop. Repeat this to remove the secondary hard drive from the laptop.

Step 5

Disconnect the two antenna cables from the wireless card inside the main hard drive compartment. Remove all remaining screws from the laptop's bottom side. Flip the laptop over, and pull open the display panel as far as possible.

Step 6

Grasp the keyboard switch cover, and lift it off the laptop slightly. This is the plastic piece located above the keyboard assembly. Disconnect the thin, ribbon cable from the switch cover's bottom side. Remove the cover from the laptop.

Step 7

Remove the four Phillips-head screws from along the keyboard's top edge. Grasp the top edge, tilt the keyboard upward slightly and unplug the keyboard's ribbon cable from the motherboard. Remove the keyboard from the laptop.

Step 8

Locate the speaker assembly that runs along the top edge of the motherboard. Unplug the speaker cable from the motherboard, and remove the speaker device from the laptop.

Step 9

Disconnect the main LCD video cable from the graphics card in the upper-left corner of the motherboard. Unscrew the Phillips-head screws from each display hinge, and lift the display panel off of the laptop.

Step 10

Disconnect the two ribbon cables extending from the touchpad device to the motherboard. Lift the computer's top cover from the laptop's base to reveal the entire motherboard.

Step 11

Remove the Phillips-head screws fastening the graphics card to the upper-left corner of the motherboard. Lift the card out of the laptop, and set it aside.

Step 12

Repeat this procedure in reverse to install a new graphics card, and reassemble your laptop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Wear an ESD wrist strap to prevent serious electrical damage to your motherboard.