Linked by Howard Fosdick on Mon 31st Dec 2012 20:26 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Last month, I explained why I use generic desktops and laptops running open source software. They're reliable and inexpensive. But this presumes you can fix them. I believe that even those with no hardware training (like me), can identify and fix most hardware problems. To prove it, here's a quick guide. Feel free to add whatever I've missed.
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RE: Best trick
by WereCatf on Tue 1st Jan 2013 17:51 UTC in reply to "Best trick"
WereCatf
Member since:
2006-02-15

That sounds exactly like the urban legend that has been circulating around for atleast ten years now, and therefore I'm gonna call bullshit on that.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Best trick
by martijn on Tue 1st Jan 2013 19:44 in reply to "RE: Best trick"
martijn Member since:
2010-11-06

Did you read my post? I said I actually fixed my mainboard, not that I just read this on the net.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Best trick
by kompak on Tue 1st Jan 2013 20:12 in reply to "RE: Best trick"
kompak Member since:
2011-06-14

I actually fixed one PS3 found from the trash and a laptop in a similar way. However as with freezing a hard drive it usually doesn't last for very long. Especially if the machine is running very hot. In some cases it may last for years but usually just few weeks before you need to repeat the treatment and eventually it loses it effect completely.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Best trick
by Alfman on Tue 1st Jan 2013 20:26 in reply to "RE: Best trick"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

WereCatf,

It might be an urban legend, but it sounds plausible to me. That is how they manufacture the boards in the first place. However I don't think I've ever come across any mainboards that were shoddy enough to have cold solder joints in the first place. If it were physical damage, it would be apparent on the laptop.


It's possible that the reassembly itself fixed the problem rather than the oven. Laptops often have poor connectors which might need to be cleaned and reconnected a few times at just the right angle. But in any case I applaud martijn's success.

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Best trick
by DonQ on Tue 1st Jan 2013 21:41 in reply to "RE: Best trick"
DonQ Member since:
2005-06-29

That sounds exactly like the urban legend that has been circulating around for atleast ten years now, and therefore I'm gonna call bullshit on that.

It sounds like urban legen, but does the trick often. My colleague has restored many video cards and motherboards this way (although some of these have lasted only few weeks afterwards).
Some causes:
1. tin whiskers, sometimes building up between (and shorting) contacts, will melt
2. heat may fix cold solder joints
3. heat may restore lost contacts in some chips (old NVidia 8400/8600 mobile GPU chips come into mind)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Best trick
by umccullough on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 00:40 in reply to "RE: Best trick"
umccullough Member since:
2006-01-26

That sounds exactly like the urban legend that has been circulating around for atleast ten years now, and therefore I'm gonna call bullshit on that.


Bullshit or not - I may try this on an old laptop board I have that seems to have a cold solder joint issue.

It only turns on and stays on when I push down the front left wrist rest - and I've taken it down to the bones and reassembled it with no luck. I've concluded there's a short somewhere on the mainboard that twisting the case ever so slightly "repairs".

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[3]: Best trick
by Alfman on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 04:28 in reply to "RE[2]: Best trick"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

umccullough,

Hmm, that's odd. Ideally you could run it when the case is off and identify exactly which component is causing the problem. But with laptops this could be a challenge.

I've soldered a new power connector into a laptop where it had been damaged, but I'm not sure I'd ever feel compelled to stick one in the oven. ;)

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Best trick
by henderson101 on Wed 2nd Jan 2013 10:33 in reply to "RE: Best trick"
henderson101 Member since:
2006-05-30

Well, similar method fixed an XBOX Elite that was RROD. Reflowing the solder is a short term fix though, if the root cause of the issue isn't addressed. It's usually something to do with excessive heat and lack of cooling. The XBOX, I re-greased the CPU/GPU heat syncs and it booted and ran last time I tried it (but as we have a newer model now, it was mainly a project to experiment with console maintenance rather than anything else.)

Reply Parent Score: 2