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Has anyone done a successful "reflow" of video chip?


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#1 lemarche

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 09:18 AM

Has anyone done a successful "reflow" of video chip?

On a laptop most likely (or "all-in-one"), or maybe a desktop with heat /dust problems with video chip integrated on the motherboard?

 

About my same exact problem,

->>Black Screen on boot of HP Pavilion MS200 Series, without any BIOS /Windows logo<<-

(link to OP in this forum here)

I have found 2 tutorials concerning the reflow of the video chip to solve the issue:

- on a MS200 series specifically here (in Spa.)

- on a HP all-in-one (100-5000) here (also in Spa.);

 

After some lengthy research, I have found that my PC symptoms seem to have become a common problem on HP computers (and Compaq) due to taking lead off the soldering of the PCB due to European legislation (very interesting article in Spa.).

 

In one of the comments in the article above, someone (17nov2016) complaining about his Black Screen problem mentions that his computer would work randomly after first-time Black Screen problem, before dying completely:

***just like*** what happened to me (see OP).



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#2 dc3

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 02:48 PM

What leads you to believe that the IC needs to have the solder reflowed?

 

You can find good instructions here to reflow the solder.  You will need to remove the motherboard from the case in order to have better control of the heat being applied to the IC.  You will need to wrap the motherboard except foo the solder side of the IC to keep the other board components from over heating.  You will want the heat on high and the speed set to low.  If the fan speed is too high it can actually push the solder away from the pins. 


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#3 lemarche

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 03:38 PM

What makes me think the solder is bad:

 

- the computer does not POST (no beep when usually was 1 beep with my Phoenix BIOS), which points to a motherboard problem (the GPU is integrated on the mo-bo);

- BIOS reset is not "responding";

- I had heat problems since summer 2015 and did not act on them, which could have led to the melting of the GPU soldering (after opening up my all-in-one last week, I found dust clogging the fan, which was not visible from the outside; HP does not recommend opening up all-in-ones to clean up the dust... which really is crappy advice in my opinion);

- HP laptops and computers are known for getting this specific problem (needing reflow /reballing);

- before my display died completely, it would work randomly after a certain number of starts... which seems to be another classic symptom of this problem. It took me a while to figure that one out, where that symptom came from, but finally found several reports of people with reflow problems reporting same behavior just before PC display died /PC failed to boot for good.

 

Now, am not sure if solder problems can be seen visually. If they could, then I could be sure beforehand, before I apply some reflowing myself.



#4 dc3

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Posted 05 February 2017 - 04:22 PM

If the computer has been overheating for the last two years there's no telling what all has been effected.  The CPU is one component that generates a great deal of heat and is susceptible to failure as a result.  Unfortunately the only way to properly diagnose this would be to use another CPU to see if it works.

 

A computer not successfully completing the POST is indicative of a number of things since the POST looks at all of the peripheral hardware.  But since you can not even start this computer much less enter the BIOS I don't see any way to test the components you could normally test.

 

You have three topics open here at Bleeping Computer regarding this problem and another at the HP Support website.  It looks like you have just about run out of options here.  You will most likely need to take this to a shop where they may have the parts around to test for failed components, or save the money and purchase another computer.  In the eleven years I've posted here this is only the second time I've suggested that a member should consider getting another computer.


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#5 lemarche

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 05:01 AM

"In the eleven years I've posted here this is only the second time I've suggested that a member should consider getting another computer."

 

Am I that unlucky ??!!..

 

Well yeah, I have already decided to bring it to a repair shop this week to see if it needs reballing (which in my non-expert opinion it probably does). There does not seem to be a clear cut way to tell if the video chip needs it without removing it first I think (unless you are a computer technician I guess), which explains the emptiness of answers on non-profesionnal forums.

 

It s ok, if reballing works it will be less than 80$, but I did not want to bring it to a shop from day 1 of breakdown because I wanted to take it as an opportunity to understand better how the all-in-one works, and to try and diagnose (and maybe solve) the problem myself.

I have learned quite a lot the past 2 weeks about computers hardware, so am happy about that, and also about the fact that I know my options beforehand before going to a repair shop.

 

Agree it could be CPU as well. Shop will test it probably as well when I ll tell them about heat problems (CPU will probably be stuck to heat sink so they ll see anyway it had heat problems).

 

I don t see why my problem would be so special that it happens only a couple of times every 11 years ! In 11 years I would have expected many more people having a failing motherboard and getting advice to buy another computer (or at least buy a new motherboard, which is the 2nd option I am considering, well before buying a new computer...).



#6 lemarche

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Posted 06 February 2017 - 08:22 AM

Ok, last update ! ! !

 

After finally bringing myself to give the PC to a repair shop, I realized while describing the first non-booting problems to the repair shop guy:

that while I managed to boot the PC only during the first 2 days after my first Black Screen, my non-success to do so thereafter may have had to do with my patience running out and me not trying "enough", or at least not in the same way that in the first 2 days...

 

So, I closed back the PC inside its plastic cover, and let the PC "run" (with Black Screen and HDD not spinning) for about 30 minutes (this time I tried a new thing to speed up the process: screen facing down on a bed cover to keep the heat up), and sure enough, it started again !!!

 

This is definitely the straw that breaks the camel back towards a reballing problem ! What other component could start working when expanded with heat other than PCB connections?



#7 lemarche

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Posted 07 February 2017 - 07:53 AM

Did the same test this morning:

 

- after 10min face down on bed cover: no start;

- after 20min face down on bed cover: start;

 

Basically want to see if there is a "reliable" pattern to get it started...

If yes, am not sure if bringing it to a repair shop for "reballing" would be a good idea, since reballing brings the whole motherboard under heat stress (obviously the hottest part being the area around video chip). 



#8 lemarche

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Posted 12 February 2017 - 07:31 AM

Update after end of 1st week where I managed to finally boot the PC again (after almost 3 weeks down, since Thu. 19th Jan., 2 days after first BlackScreenOfDeath problem=BSOD):

 

Mon.: started after 30min face down on bed cover (after pressing off/start again);

Tues.: started after 20min face down on bed cover (after pressing off/start again);

Wed.: started on first boot, standing normally on desk;

Thurs.: started on first boot, standing normally on desk;

Fri.: started on first boot, standing normally on desk;

(Sat.: did not try)

Sun.: does NOT start again..!

 

No BlueSOD the whole time, except one:

when trying to run Windows back up tool on Thu., BlueSOD leading to BlackSOD again and PC not switching itself off.

Which reminded of the 1st 2 days after first BlackSOD 3 weeks ago, where I would trying backing up my data when managing to boot PC, and Windows back up tool would often crash the PC and lead to BlueSOD->BlackSOD&PC not switching off.

Which is one of the reasons I thought it was rather a software issue in the first place.

 

Have given up using Windows back up tool, and have moved to Cobian to do incremental back ups. All data is safe as of Fri.

After the BlueSOD crash of Thu., managed to reboot the computer after 1 hour and numerous off/start button tries.

 

But this morning, no luck... So strange !!!...






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