How to fix motherboard with failed NVIDIA chip

posted in: Motherboard | 210

In this post I explain how you can fix a motherboard with failed NVIDIA graphics chip. This repair might apply to some HP/Compaq laptops and probably some other brands. If this repair works for you, please mention the brand and model number in comments after the post. This will help other readers.

This method should work for the following models: HP Pavilion dv2000, Pavilion dv6000, Pavilion dv9000, Compaq Presario v3000, Presario v6000, HP Pavilion tx1000, Pavilion tx2000.

By the way, I just fixed my son’s Xbox 360 with red ring of death (error 74) using exactly same technique.

MOST COMMON PROBLEM SYMPTOMS

1. Laptop turns on with garbled video on the internal screen and external monitor.
2. Laptop turns on but there is no video on the screen or external monitor.

MY UNDERSTANDING OF THE PROBLEM

The graphics chip soldered to the motherboard. When the laptop runs hot for a long time, the graphics chip separates from the motherboard and video fails.

HOW TO FIX FAILED CHIP

Before I tried baking the motherboard in an oven or use bubble-wrap. But today I’m going to fix it using a heat gun.

Basically, I’m going to heat up the graphics chip with a heat gun to solder it back to the motherboard (reflow). I think this method is more reliable and the repair should last for a while.

WARNING!

There is no guaranty this method works all the time. While doing this repair you may damage the motherboard and make it unrepairable.
Proceed at your own risk and don’t blame me if after this repair you’ll get a very expensive door stop. :)
If you don’t feel comfortable doing this repair, take your laptop to the repair shop.

HOW I FIXED THE MOTHERBOARD

First of all, you’ll have to disassemble the laptop and remove the motherboard.

In my example I’m using a motherboard removed from HP Pavilion tx2000.

In most laptops the graphics chip located under the CPU heatsink (and it has NVIDIA logo on it), so there shouldn’t be a problem locating the chip.

I’ll be using an Ecoheat heat gun EC-100.

In order to figure out how to position the heat gun and for how long, I tested it on a penny with a small piece of solder on the top.

The heat gun has a switch on the handle. There are two positions for the switch. Position 1 – slow. Position 2 – fast.
I used position 1 – slow.
I positioned the heat gun about 1 inch away from the penny and turned it on.

After about 40-45 second the solder started melting. After 50 seconds the solder melted completely.

To protect the motherboard from the heat I used a regular cooking aluminum foil. I cut off a piece of aluminum foil and folded it a few times to make my protection shield thicker. After that I cut off a square opening right in the middle, same size as the NVIDIA chip.

If there is thermal grease on the chip it has to be removed. You can remove thermal grease using alcohol swabs.

It’s not necessary to make it perfectly clean. Just make sure there are no large chunks of the grease on the chip.

UPDATE: Some people mentioned that I should have applied some liquid flux underneath the chip for better results. I’ll definitely do it next time when I have to fix another motherboard.

I found this video explaining how to apply liquid flux under the chip. This video was made for Xbox 360 motherboard but should apply to any laptop motherboard too.

Finally, I positioned the heat gun above the NVIDIA chip about 1 inch away and turned the heat gun into the position 1.

After 50 seconds I turned it off and let the motherboard cool down for about 20 minutes.

Don’t forget to apply new thermal grease on the graphics chip when you install the heat sink.
Some laptops use thermal pads instead of grease. If that’s the case with your laptop, make sure the thermal pad positioned correctly.

After I assembled the laptop back together, the video started properly!
The NVIDIA graphics chip problem fixed!
Will it last for a long time? I don’t know. Still testing.


210 Responses

  1. Meghan Fish

    Thanks! Repaired a Compaq Presario V6000. First the wireless adapter failed, a week later the screen had no video. Reseating RAM helped, but the next day the problem returned. Reseating RAM did not help this time.

    I saw various videos on GPU reflow so I thought I’d give it a try using a Porter Cable heat gun from Lowes ($30) and two layers of aluminum foil around the rest of the board.

    I kept the heat gun on medium (mine didn’t have an actual temp setting) and made circles around the chip for probably 90 seconds. Let it cool ~30 mins before I hooked up the basics to test it – wireless card and video started working again.

    Good Luck!

  2. BROWN HONKY

    thank you it worked on my HP SLIMLINE

  3. Miksata

    Fixed my Fujitsu CELSIUS H250 NVidia problem (blank screen) with the heat gun. Thank you!

  4. eddie3000

    I am using a Samsung R70 laptop fixed using this method. Hope the fix last a long time! I used some liquid stuff for improving soldering results, put as much as I could under the nvidia chip. Then heated for 40seconds with my heat gun at position 2. Let it settle for a few minutes, tried it out before reassembling the laptop, it worked. I then cleaned the old grease and put new grease, and reassembled the laptop. The entire process took me about two hours. I am happy I don’t have to buy a new laptop, at least not yet.

  5. Spiro

    Excellent!!! I repaired an HP dv9000 !!!
    Thank you vm!!!

  6. Sumedh

    I am having issue with my HP Pavilion DV6700 laptop.
    Sr. Nodv6812nr

    Problem: Continuously blinking LED lights (No beep) and no display on screen.

    I have done all basic troubleshooting but no joy

    After pushing to power button, it gives the continuous LED blinking lights on the keyboard and nothing on the screen.
    I have tried removing and reseating the hard drive and the memory modules with no change.

    Any suggestions would be very much appreciated.

    Also let me how how to connect laptop hard drive to my desktop(I have SATA Port on my Desktop)

    Please do the needful.

    Many Thanks
    Sumedh
    Pune (India)

  7. cj2600

    @ Connery Johnson,

    I’m a little confused… Do I apply the liquid flux underneath the chipset, and then remove and put new thermal grease on top of the chipset prior to using the heat gun?

    1. Remove old thermal grease from the chip.
    2. Apply liquid flux under the chip.
    3. Heat the chip.
    4. Apply new thermal grease and install heatsink.

  8. Connery Johnson

    I’m a little confused… Do I apply the liquid flux underneath the chipset, and then remove and put new thermal grease on top of the chipset prior to using the heat gun?

  9. tx2500z

    I have a tx2500z and it shows a bunch of green dots moving to many places at times. It it likely that this method will fix it? Windows always shows “Nvidia driver fails” no matter which driver I installed.

    Thank you.

  10. Omondi

    I have a Lenovo Thinkpad Product ID:28472MU with display problem. It can’t display both internally and externally. How do i fix it? Thanks.

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