So I received my fixed HP laptop back today. Surprisingly quick considering it took nearly a sixth of the time it took before.
What they did: replaced the entire motherboard. I’m fairly happy with that fact seeing as these motherboards are defective.
The major change I noticed, aside from the disappearance of the loud grinding noise that sometimes woke me up at night, is how much cooler my laptop runs now that the fan is brand new. On idle, it runs about half as cool. Anytime else, it runs about 10-15 degrees Celsius cooler. When running intensive video, generally 10 degrees less. Regardless, it’s a highly noticeable change for my lap.
Lesson learned: clean laptop fan out regularly.
Note: this doesn’t change my hatred of HP, but makes me optimistic for my productivity to take a boost.