problem: nvidia 8600m gt on my dell xps m1530 started acting up few days ago. it happened all of a sudden. i remember waking up that morning to find my machine acting all weird, & my yahoo account hijacked by some virus. the virus also sent spam mails to my yahoo contacts. changed password. no dice. so i deleted my contact list. hahahahaha. mofo virus. me 1 virus 0. but i digress.
समस्या: मदरबोर्डमा भएको ग्राफिक्स कार्ड बिग्रियो। केही दिन त न काम गर्न पाइयो, न इमेल-फेसबुक-टुइटर राम्रोसँग चलाउनै पाइयो। लगभग ४.५ वर्षसम्म दह्रो काम दिएको, नबिग्रेको कम्प्यूटर बिग्रँदा लास्ट झ्याउ हुनी रैछ।
in an attempt to fix the problem, i rolled back the graphics driver, upgraded it. but no luck. i formatted my machine (this was also done to get rid of the virus) with hopes of solving the issue. again, no luck. so i took it to a computer shop. they gave me a quote of $356.38 (229.99 for motherboard; 110 for install; and tax). thugs. motherboard for xps m1530 costs around only $100 (refurb). and installing takes about an hour. i could easily save around 250$ if i were to do it myself.
but then i stumbled against this and numerous other videos/blog posts with similar experiences+success stories. i thought of giving it a try before buying a new motherboard. i took pictures of the whole process to document success/failure. let’s begin the tour!
समाधान: पैसो धेरै लाग्ने भयो बनाउन (लगभग ३५०$)। यतिमा अर्को २००$ थप्ने हो भने गतिलै नयाँ माल किन्न पुग्छ। त्यसमाथि तेत्रो वर्ष चलाएको ल्यापटप साथीजस्तै लागेर नयाँ किनिहाल्न नि मन लागेन। त्यसैले इन्टरनेटमा भेटेको एउटा रिस्की उपाय अपनाउने विचार गरेँ। उपाय के त भन्दा भट्टीमा पोल्ने।
started: 2:34pm. finished: 7:05pm.
first, few shots of the problem (click to enlarge):
then i disassembled the laptop to bake the motherboard. having never opened a laptop before, i followed this video.
then came the baking part. i wrapped everything else but the graphics card, and another chip (2nd processor? i have no idea) in aluminum foil. the idea was to prevent other parts from excessive/direct heat (200C, for about 10 min). although i don’t think the foil does anything, as heat travels through conduction, and aluminum is a metal. maybe it’s a superstition thing. but the idea is to re-solder the metal solders and connections that might have loosened up after several years of use. anyway. went the motherboard inside the oven.
नेपालमा ओभन नभएको ठाउँमा यो गर्ने हो भने मेरो विचारमा मस्त घाम लागेको बेलामा जस्ता पाताको ठ्याक्क मुनि, वा कागजमा बेरेर जस्ताकै माथि २० मिनेट जति राख्दा हुन्छ होला। वा हिटर छ भने हिटरको अलि माथि नै तामाको तारले चारकुना चिनेर झुण्डाउने।
i let it cool down for about 40 minutes after it came out of the oven:
then i assembled everything. and wallaaah!! here are the results. compare them with the pics at the top of the post.
great successss! 😀
i’ve owned this laptop since november 2008. have had exactly zero problems until this issue. great machine. i’m also emotionally tied to it: got me through BS, MS, several projects, national-international travels, etc. & i was (am) hoping it would get me through PhD as well. looks like it will, as i will be hanging on to this piece of beauty for some more time. hopefully for at least a couple more years. we’ll see.
समस्या सुल्झेको छ अहिलेको लागि। 🙂 कत्तिको दिगो हुन्छ हेर्न बाँकी छ। १-२ वर्ष टिकिदिए काइदा हुन्थो।
update 1: July 31 2013:- yes, just after 9 days, the problem re-appeared. i baked the board again, this time at about 405F (207C) for about 14 minutes. and good news is that it is working again. will be getting a new motherboard too, as the method seems to be temporary only. or perhaps my graphics card’s life is almost up.
update 2: August 1 2013: bought thermal grease/compound (named arctic silver 5) and applied it on processor chip and nvidia chip. when the fan is not running, the temperatures of processor and graphics chip average at about 55C and 65C, respectively. when the fan is running (3080rpm), their temperatures drop to 42C and 57C, respectively. while i’ve heard that the thermal grease can take a few days to ‘settle’ and run smoothly, i take this as a good sign.