Repair your video card yourself

Have you ever encountered the fact that your video card stopped working? God grant, of course, that this never happened, but still! What to do, for example, if you hear that the computer is being booted, but there is no image on the monitor (black screen)?

What we usually do in such cases: substituting a workable graphics card (or switching to an integrated video) and making sure that the problems are with the graphics adapter. But what to do in this case? Can we independently repair the video card?

The good news is that “yes”: repairing the video card with your own hands is quite possible! The bad thing is that after such a repair there is no guarantee that the video card thus restored will work for a long time. Also, the repair itself can fail if we do not follow certain rules. But let’s take everything in order!

So, we have a non-working video card from the company “Nvidia”, the model “GeForce 9500 GT”.

The problem is what? The video card worked for a long time under severe temperature conditions, which led to its overheating. As a result, there was a fairly typical (in such cases) thing: the “blade” of the BGA chip of the video card.

Do not be frightened by the word “dump”, nothing has fallen off there πŸ™‚ Just because people call the resulting, as a result of prolonged overheating, violation of the electrical contact of the array of BGA beads with the printed circuit board card. Typically, this phenomenon occurs as a result of the presence of a small area of ​​cold soldering, which is subjected to prolonged and severe heating.

It can not be said that this is a 100% marriage of the manufacturer: there can be a lot of tin balls in the array and a violation (or oxidation) of contact of even one of them can lead to a complete (or partial) loss of the card’s performance. So overheating, whether it’s a video card or a CPU is a very unpleasant thing. Try to not allow it in all possible ways!

And in this situation, we have nothing to do but try to repair the video card with our own hands, on our own. So, first of all we need to take care of removing from the card all the plastic stubs on it, stickers (stickers) located on the back side. Everything that is in the area of ​​the graphics chip and can melt.

Video card from the back
Yes Yes! You did not mishear: it is to melt. After all, we will repair the video card by heating it and all the “extra” you need, for every fireman, to remove. Of course, perhaps nothing like this will happen, but just take it into your habit – it will come in handy πŸ™‚

Also we need to remove the fan and the cooling system. We do this by what is more convenient for us. Remove the cooling system

As you can see, the cooling system requires thorough cleaning, and the fan itself needs to be prevented, since its efficiency has decreased because of the lime adhering to the blades and the dust that has accumulated in the bearing.

The next step is to remove the heat sink of the GPU cooling system. How to do this, you can see here:

It would seem: what is difficult? But, as one movie hero in the movie said about the different evil spirits: “everywhere there is a catch!” Here it consists that often (especially if the chip was operated in a rigid temperature mode), having dried, the thermal paste firmly glues together the crystal and the radiator.

Categorically it is not recommended, in this case, to use the power of heroic and pull this thing to oneself or, as the experience suggests, to cheat something! So you can damage the crystal! There is a simpler and more elegant solution: we take an ordinary household hair dryer and, slowly, warm up the clutch area.

After a while (seconds 5-10), we begin to slightly sway the radiator from side to side, as in the photo above. Thermal grease, softening under the influence of temperature, will allow us to do this. A little warming up this matter, we easily separate our radiator from the crystal:

Try to clean out as much as possible and as accurately as possible from the remains of the old dried thermopaste as the “soleplate” of the radiator, and the crystal itself. Try not to scratch the metal surface of the radiator (this will reduce the coefficient of its heat transfer). Do not scrape, better warm up separately and wipe off the old paste.

With the crystal is also very accurate: if you can not remove some of the paste (like me, for example), then leave it. All that is erased – always delete! Otherwise, thermal paste under the influence of temperature, as they say, “bake” and then it will be very difficult to remove without damaging (chipping) the core itself.

Why did I highlight some areas in the photo above? Look, the big area is the chip of the graphic card itself, and the smaller one is the GPU (graphics processing unit). On the perimeter of the crystal, we see a white sealant (compound), which performs several functions: protects the crystal from getting under it dust and fixes it to the substrate.

What is the “trick” here and why does the repair of the video card with its own hands could end unsuccessfully, no matter what efforts we make? The platform (array) of BGA solder balls is not only between the chip itself and the PCB textolite, but also between the crystal and the substrate of the graphic card!

The harsh reality is that we can repair the graphics card ourselves (if we are still lucky) only if there is a violation of the balls’ contact directly between the printed circuit board and the substrate. In the case if the “dump” occurred under the crystal, then there is hardly anything we can do. Even such an operation as reballing (complete replacement of the array of balls with a stencil) in this case will not save, because this procedure is performed only for the “sole” of the entire chip, but not the crystal!

So, I hope, we learned the necessary minimum of the theory? We move on! To repair the video card at home, we will need a flux and a disposable syringe. I use the usual GFR (spirtoknifolnym), which is called: “GFR-flux.”

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