Bake your graphics card!

SGI hardware problems, solutions, tips, hacks, etc.
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jmc
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Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby jmc » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:28 pm

I have just successfully repaired my Geforce 8800GT by treating it like a pre-baked roll after it crashed my PC and since then showed extreme display errors and artefacts: 10 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius. :)

This is probably no news to many of you as it has been discussed in many PC forums etc... But has anyone ever tried it with broken SGI boards?

It's supposed to "renew" the soldering points on the card, so maybe it might work for some broken SGI boards... pinstripe of death or TRAM errors come to mind.

Anyone ever tried this method on old SGI boards? Not sure if I want to put my broken Indigo ELAN board in the oven though.. yet. :D

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PymbleSoftware
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby PymbleSoftware » Mon Feb 21, 2011 2:39 pm

Dr Wife doesn't like me in the kitchen to start with, between this and the the dishwasher trick I may never be allowed back in..

;)

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metallizer
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby metallizer » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:32 pm

I´ve already tried that, but with a mini electric oven, so no fuss in the kitchen.

it was a mac flashed PC Asus ti4600 with graphics artifacts.

First it lasted a month working correctly after the bake.
Then it lasted a week after the second attempt,
3rd time it lasted three days,
4th just 24 hours,
5th I decided to raise the temp to 220 degrees C, one cap blew and the rest stuffed.

in the end I had to buy another ti4600 and flash it.
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby guardian452 » Mon Feb 21, 2011 3:59 pm

save your oven for baking cookies.

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 1d8484bacb

For octane MXI tram I repaired that with a soldering iron- not a BGA and the lifted pins were reasonably easy to spot.

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bri3d
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby bri3d » Mon Feb 21, 2011 7:23 pm

I've (temporarily) repaired a lot of xbox 360s using a large toaster oven - since the design flaw that leads to their demise in the first place persists, it doesn't fix them forever, but it's a new lease on life for free.

I can't imagine this wouldn't work in a lot of situations. However, reflowing BGA via home equipment (like toaster ovens or especially heat guns) is horrendously imprecise, so I'd only try it with low-value hardware for which a real fix (via a reflow shop) isn't worth it, since screwing up with too high a temperature or the wrong rate of cooling risks destroying more joints on the board or even worse frying the components.

And personally I'd prefer the toaster oven approach to the heat gun approach - while it is exposing the entire board to heat rather than just the affected area (and such risks frying the whole thing) it's also quite a bit more precise and less likely to cause localized board warping. Plus a toaster oven doesn't get nearly as hot as a heat gun, so one slip of the hand doesn't blow things away.

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pentium
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby pentium » Mon Feb 21, 2011 11:43 pm

Tried it on a Quattro card.
The end result was the ASCII table covering my screen in a blinking, scrolling rainbow mess.
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby SiliconClassics » Tue Feb 22, 2011 5:04 am

I tried the Easy Bake technique with a V12 that was displaying colors improperly. It didn't have any effect, but it did melt the plastic bits of the compression connector, so beware.

However, I recently baked an L2 cache SIMM from an old Gateway 2000 486 computer, and it cured the machine's instability problems, so it's worth a shot.
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby skywriter » Tue Feb 22, 2011 10:47 am

in other news: stubbed toe, cured headache.
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby duck » Tue Feb 22, 2011 11:11 am

Hmm, sounds like this might work for the funky graphics chip in my 2006 MBP, perhaps it would be worth trying. Would mean baking the entire logic board though...

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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby guardian452 » Tue Feb 22, 2011 12:52 pm

For cache dimms or small or isolated parts (like a tram) I would say try the oven.
For laptop mainboards or other very integrated parts I would say use a heat gun - anything that has something on it that can melt.

Either way it's a real crapshoot.

jmc
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby jmc » Thu Feb 24, 2011 11:54 am

It is a crapshoot.. but I was amazed how well it worked. My graphics card was completely useless before the baking.. not only did it have a view lines through the picture but the entire screen area was a mess - you couldn't read anything.

Also make sure not to bake for too long... 10 minutes was perfect because the casing of the little "speaker" on the card was starting to get really soft. 3 minutes more and it would probably have molten.

So in a "nothing to lose" situation.. why not try.

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Ryan Fox
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby Ryan Fox » Fri Feb 25, 2011 12:38 am

PymbleSoftware wrote:Dr Wife doesn't like me in the kitchen to start with, between this and the the dishwasher trick I may never be allowed back in..

;)

R.



She was like 'Oh gawd you're not putting that in there!' Yip had an ear full when I cleaned up my Octanes and Onyx2 parts.
Y'know you can even pop the motherboards and cards in the dishwasher, blowdry or
briefly bake them to dry. :twisted:

BTW I did the exact same thing to my 1st generation XBox360. Its was completely dead
ROD was the least that was wrong with it. So.. I washed it in a chemical bath, and baked the bugger till well done at 190C for about 12 minutes , however I have already purchased a second console , I now have two, one for the bedroom and another for the lounge lol.
Its been over a year now and its 100% purrfect.
In some cases Toaster Oven Reflow Soldering works XD

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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby maaarcooose » Fri Feb 25, 2011 4:34 am

Hmmmm.....

I might try this with my broken Octane DIMMS.

Anyone tried it with memory sticks?

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MisterDNA
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby MisterDNA » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:38 am

Speaking from years of experience as a tech:

Through-hole mounted parts (including DVI connectors, for example) generally won't take a baking. They're meant for wave soldering at most and that's it.
Surface-mount parts will take a bake because that's how they're soldered in the first place.

Reflow temp for tin/lead solder is about 200C.
RoHS lead-free is about 260C.

The board should be as close to bare as possible when baking. That includes the heatsink/fan assembly. If it wouldn't be on the board while the solder paste is still in paste form, take it off during the bake. That includes large heatsink/fan assemblies on GPUs.


Heat guns work wonders when installed parts prohibit baking the board. Make sure you heat both sides of the board evenly, though, since they warp and BGAs hate that.
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Re: Bake your graphics card!

Unread postby skywriter » Fri Feb 25, 2011 5:47 am

all true. but people love magic, and hate reality. don't spoil their dreams.
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