How to fix motherboard with failed NVIDIA chip

posted in: Motherboard | 220

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.



220 Responses

  1. my hp pavilion dv5-1250 ev have desktop white bat if i connect a old desktop i see very good

  2. @ Kat,

    I can sometimes see a faint image of my screen background and desktop icons in certain light…could this mean the problem with my screen is different than the one stated here

    Yes, your problem is different. If you see the faint image, most likely your problem related to one of the following:
    1. Bad connection between the video cable and inverter board.
    2. Failed video cable.
    3. Failed inverter.
    4. Failed LCD screen (bad backligh lamp).

    It fell a short distance in it’s bag, from the knee down I’d say (strap slipped off my shoulder).

    If the laptop stopped working after you dropped it, most likely the backlight went off because you damaged the backlight lamp (it’s located inside the screen). This is just a guess.

    Here’s how you troubleshoot LCD screen backligth problems.

    I don’t know your laptop model. Newer laptops come with LED-backlit LCD screens. These screens don’t have inverter boards.

  3. @ Mac,

    This should not be try unless you are prepared to buy a new computer if it fails.

    This is absolutely correct. Try this fix only if you have nothing to lose.

  4. I can sometimes see a faint image of my screen background and desktop icons in certain light…could this mean the problem with my screen is different than the one stated here. It fell a short distance in it’s bag, from the knee down I’d say (strap slipped off my shoulder). Just need to be sure that my black screen with no video on a separate monitor when a tv/appliance/puter store plugged it in briefly on the weekend could be the same as this situation before I embark on something totally foreign to me. if there is a different fix and you have instructions, please point me in their direction…thanks! K

  5. This Has to be the most dangerous way to do it there is great chance you will dislodge other components on the mother board the chip is mounted on the board by a heat press plate. if you put
    flux the solder will run between the pins . also the manufactures do not use regular 40/60 solder it is lead free solder so it contains more Tin. so when reheating, the heat should be applied to the four sides and not the center. the center should have a small
    weight place on it about 10 grams of a non heat conductor.
    ie a small metal dish with water will work for very short burst of heat. a short piece of aluminum pipe closed at 1 end.
    be warned that too much heat will also separate the laminates of the mother board which can be up to 16 ply.
    This should not be try unless you are prepared to buy a new computer if it fails. Never put a mother board in the Oven as this will damage the motherboard for sure.
    (a toaster with butter and jam would be better than burnt CHIPS :)

  6. This worked for me also. I used a slightly hotter heat gun from a longer distance away.

    Also, while I was in there, I removed the aluminum block over the nvidia chip, and replaced it with two pre-1983 pennies (ground smooth and soldered together). I used silver thermal grease for the pennies and the cpu.

    So far, so good.

  7. I repaired Fujitsu Siemens Amilo PA2548 couple of months back with the heatgun trick (I heated GPU and Chipset chips) but today it failed again. All of the sudden power went off and when I tried to power it on again just blank screen and fan was spinning at max speed, just like when it failed first time.

    Did heatgun trick again for the GPU only but it didn’t seem to work, then I heated chipset and laptop powered on again with picture and all. So it seems that NVidia NForce chipset chip is the culprit in my case and not the GPU as I initially thought.

    Now just to wait how long this fix lasts… No high hopes.

  8. @ david,

    My HP dv2500 the laptop turns on but the screen stays black and I have no idea what’s wrong with. Please help anybody, I would really appreciate it.

    First, I would try removing memory modules one by one. Test laptop with each module separately. If there is no video with each module installed separately, most likely this is motherboard failure. Bad graphics chip?

  9. My HP dv2500 the laptop turns on but the screen stays black and I have no idea what’s wrong with. Please help anybody, I would really appreciate it.

  10. tallygsm

    Thank you very much, have tried this and works

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