How to fix motherboard with failed NVIDIA chip

posted in: Motherboard | 211

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.


211 Responses

  1. Stripped an Acer Aspire 9300WSMi down to bare bones but motherboard has two nvidia chips on-board! Which one do I need to cook, or shall I just do both?

  2. jojogreg

    I have sharp mebius laptop white in color with the problem of no display and a 4 long beep error when powering up.i tried replacing memory module 3times but the problem still exist.Disassemble the laptop and found the motherboard with built-in memory on it.I have no choice and thinking that if the culprit is the memory there’s no way that this can be repaired.But i have to do other option which is the video chip try to reheat it if possible the display can be restore but got no luck,but the worse is after reheating the video chip the laptop is dead no more power at all.whew..the problem is worsen..Can you pls.tell what happened after doing a reheat works in my laptop?why is that the unit is now dead set already?pls help..thanks..

  3. im having trouble with my lenovo G550 its 144 degrees celcius

  4. @ Fadi,

    and then I got new problem (overheat)and the laptop turn off itself automatically and this problem drive me crazy plase help me to fix this prblem

    On some HP laptops it’s necessary to apply thermal grease on the processor AND thermal pad on the GPU. Did you have thermal pad installed on the GPU when you disassembled the laptop? Didn’t you forget to apply it after the motherboard replacement?

  5. I replaced the motherboard by new one and I applied some thermal paste but I didn’t put any copper shim which is important as the people said

    and then I got new problem (overheat)and the laptop turn off itself automatically and this problem drive me crazy plase help me to fix this prblem

  6. how many second used the gun
    you mentioned 50second will melting the solder if the solder melting you mean solder it again.

  7. Mohamed B

    Thanks very much, I bought heat gun from home depot and used it without liquid flux (because i couldn’t find it). The motherboard work again perfectly. This the second time to fix my motherboard, first time i sent it for repair via ebay and second time, i fixed it by myself.

    Is there any way to avoid this to happen again? do i need to use laptop cooler pad?

    Thanks again.

  8. kenny merang

    My acer emachines d620 laptop got the same issue, I tried using hair dryer(220/50hz),(750W) and heating up the AMD graphic chip for about 12 minute ++ and it work.

  9. thank you so much

    I had this problem before and i fixed

    then I got the same thing and they told me to change the motherboard ?

  10. kenny merang

    thanks for the very detail solution, I wonder if it work if I’m using other devices for heating purpose i.e hair dryer ??
    pls advise..

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