Baking the Motherboard

Discussion in 'Computing and Networks' started by DerStrom8, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Hey everyone. Got an interesting proposition for you guys!

    I came across an old HP Pavillion DV2500 laptop with a supposedly fried video card (I turn on the laptop and I get nothing but a black screen). Since the video cards are built into the motherboard, I figured I'd probably have to spend a fair amount of money to replace the motherboard entirely. However, I came across a few bits of documentation saying that this issue (damaged video card) was extremely common in the HP DV series, and that an easy, cheap fix is to put the motherboard into a 400 degree F oven for 10 minutes. Somehow this is supposed to fix the problem.

    My question is do you guys think it's worth a shot? The way I see it, if I'd be spending a few hundred dollars for a replacement motherboard anyway, why not try this supposed cheap fix? I wouldn't lose anything if it didn't work--I'd still have a motherboard with a damaged video chip, right?

    Anyway, if any of you have ever tried this, how'd it work out? Have you heard of this fix before?

    Any opinions or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

    Best wishes,
    Matt
     
  2. bertus

    Administrator

    Apr 5, 2008
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  3. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Thanks a lot bertus! Just registered and started a thread over there. I'll let you know what they come up with.

    Regards
     
  4. electronis whiz

    Well-Known Member

    Jul 29, 2010
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    i have hered of similar isues with HP laptops. one of my friends was talking to sombody about doing something similar. the problem was supoably that the chips and other parts were geting so hot that they were degrading the solder points. i think it could work, but i also saw you do that you'l loose alot if not all your electrlitic caps, also i,d strongly sugest removing the CPU from the motherboard, witch in some cases is not even posible. i'd try some other tricks first though. if you can find sombody with an SMD soldering station that would be the best option. some of these are just really hot air and others use a special IR lamp on thermistat to melt the solder. i'd sugest looking around to see if anyone by you has such a divice (try a local electronic shop, coledge, etc. they may have some SMD divice you could use. i always desoldered smd parts by just using a normall soldering iron ~30 watts. part size kin of makes a difrence on how to do this. small caps, resistors, etc hold iron horizontal to board with the heating element part as clos as posible to the part with out touching anything. after 30 sec or the solder should soften or melt. biger parts, ICs, etc apply heat under the board in as close to the above conections as posible. but don't touch the board as you may melt off the traces. this works well if you can put the board horizontaly and iron directly under because heat rises, and the solder would flow down to the conections.
    if those don't work i'd say try something like an old frying pan or iron, as these would only heat the conections and not all the other parts also.
     
  5. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Hey Electronics Whiz.

    I have already checked, and the CPU assembly can be safely removed from the motherboard. If it couldn't, I wouldn't even consider baking it. There are too many small plastic parts/wires in the CPU that could be damaged at 400*F. Anyway, removing the CPU and cooling fan won't be a problem.

    Unfortunately I live out in the middle of nowhere, so this is pretty much out of the question. There's almost nobody up in my neck of the woods who does that sort of thing :eek:

    That's a good point, about the small components. I think as long as I set the board up an inch or two, it'll allow enough even air flow to prevent burning of the components. Also, 400*F for 8-10 minutes probably won't cause too much damage, I don't think.

    I really wish I had a better way to do this, but I'm not sure I trust the frying pan idea. For one thing, frying pans aren't level, and it's critical that the board stay level during the process. Also, it seems to me that the heat transfer won't be even and might cause more harm than good. To be honest, I think I'd opt for baking it in the oven before frying it in a frying pan :p

    Regards
     
  6. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    I just found this video that does essentially the same thing, except it's a lot faster and doesn't require filling an oven with toxic fumes: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=crJOEGioLTg

    Has anyone used the torch technique? Do you have any tips or tricks? Obviously you need to cover up the parts that could melt/burn, and you have to keep the torch constantly moving, but are there any other suggestions?

    I might be able to get my hands on a heat gun. Any chance that would work just as well?

    I've also been meaning to ask--I have a Weller temperature-controlled soldering iron. It's old, but still gives off really good heat. Is there any way to use that thing instead?

    Sorry for all the consecutive questions. I guess I'm a little excited with this project. The guy who handed me this laptop said that if I can fix it I can have it. It's a really nice machine, and if I can get it to work again it might become my main computer. It'll need a few upgrades--RAM, OS, etc--but other than that, i really like the look and feel of it.

    Regards,
    Matt
     
  7. be80be

    Senior Member

    Jul 5, 2008
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    Hi DerStrom8

    Use a cheap heatgun I wouldn't put the thing in the oven that i cook food in would use

    [​IMG]

    just don't hold it in one place and I seen a video where they placed a heat sensor to keep a eye on the temp.
     
  8. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Great, thanks Burt. I'll see if I can get my hands on a heat gun, as I am also a little leery of using my oven :p

    Cheers,
    Matt
     
  9. JohnInTX

    Moderator

    Jun 26, 2012
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    It seems on the PS3 that the BGA graphics chips get hot and desolder. Like your mobo, YouTube has lots of bake it, wrap it in towels and shove a hair dryer into the vent kind of approaches in an effort to reflow the solder under the BGAs without setting the house afire. I guess it works sometimes and a few reported that they only had to repeat it every couple of months or so!!! WOW!!!

    I called my PCB assembler (Labor Techtronics, Inc. in Dallas TX) and asked if they could reflow the PS3 mainboard (in their many-dollar, designed for the task SMT/BGA soldering/reflow system) and they indicated it would be no problem and not too costly to do. After the holidays, I'll pull it apart and let them do it. I expect you could find an assembly outfit that would do the same via post.

    The boards were originally assembled using precise temperature control and heat management in machines designed especially for the task. The cycle is non-trivial. Consequently, I personally don't put much stock in the oven, hair dryer, gas torch:eek: shake-n-bake methods.

    Good luck with whatever you try and let us know how you did!
     
    Last edited: Dec 27, 2012
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  10. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    Thanks John. I'll be documenting the process, whatever I decide to do. There really aren't any places in my neck of the woods that have solder reflow capabilities. My best chance is to do this myself (one of the many disadvantages of living out in the middle of the woods :p). I'm thinking the heat gun is probably the route I'm going to take, since it's easily controllable and is only directed at a small point, so there's no risk of blowing surrounding electrolytic caps or anything ;)
     
  11. Metalmann

    Active Member

    Dec 8, 2012
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  12. droggie

    Member

    Oct 21, 2012
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    I've tried this with two Dell laptops and have had success with both.
     
  13. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    You have had success? With the baking or with the heat gun?

    I may be able to borrow a heat gun from a friend of mine, but I won't be able to talk to him for another few weeks, while I'm back home in VT. He's a coworker of mine in MA.
     
  14. droggie

    Member

    Oct 21, 2012
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    In the oven. I've heard stories about success with the heat gun, but I was told the oven spreads the heat on the area more equally than a heat gun; unless you were to have like six heat guns directed at the mono.
     
  15. DerStrom8

    Thread Starter Well-Known Member

    Feb 20, 2011
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    That's just it--I DON'T want the heat all over the board. I only want it over the chip. There are too many sensitive electrolytic caps that would be damaged by heat. That's why I'm a little leery about using the oven.

    I'll probably just purchase a motherboard. I looked them up and they're much cheaper than I expected--only about $50.
     
  16. droggie

    Member

    Oct 21, 2012
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    If that's the case then I would just purchase another mobo. Like you said they are relatively cheap and you can use the other peripherals if needed.
     
  17. thatoneguy

    AAC Fanatic!

    Feb 19, 2009
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    A toaster oven new is $25 and use it only for reflow. They can be found at second hand stores for even less.

    I've seen several videos of people adding a PID controller to toaster ovens with good results, not reflow oven quality/speed/control, but functional for under $150 total.
     
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  18. Sparky49

    Active Member

    Jul 16, 2011
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    Why not get a cheap rework station.

    Dave Jones did a review of one for the eevblog.
     
  19. Conner

    New Member

    Jan 21, 2013
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    your idea is too good and I appreciated of your good thinking… wish you best of luck.
    O great opportunities for every one and I appreciated of your work.
     
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