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Nvidia Laptop Motherboard Cooking

Some may have heard of a quick fix to GPU failure on some Nvidia graphic cards: shove them in the oven for 10mn @200°C. But how about the laptop IGP that burn out, can this same treatment be applied? Yes, but with a twist. I got my inspiration from this post on the kioskea.net.

I began with an Acer 9300 series laptop that exhibits classic Nvidia IGP failure symptoms: 3 beeps at startup, one long, two shorts and black screen. On the blog linked above it's been said that a fix could be to wrap the lappy in a blanket, turn it on and leave it overheat (or cook in its own juice, however you prefer it) until in shuts down. Using the blanket method the lappy usually overheats in 15-30mn, or so they say. After cooling off it should boot just fine, at least until it brakes again.

I didn't do it like that, here's why: you'll toast the HDD too and I genuinely think it may be fire hazard if the lappy doesn't cut off... and the third reason is that I really like to fiddle with lappy motherboards.

So what I basically did is to dismantle the lappy, remove the motherboard, remove the fan from the HSF assembly. What was left was
  • the broken motherboard
  • the monitor connected to the board
  • speakers (so I hear the board beeping)
  • power adapter

I left it running passive until it overheated and shut down. It took some 10 minutes and by that point the adrenalin was flowing, there was burnt plastic smell. At some point I couldn't just sit idle and watch it roasting, I had to touch the HS to see it it really heated: it did, and I felt by how much. I'd bet over 100°C.

The aftermath: it cooled for some 15mn, then I just powered it back up and what do you know: it worked. It booted and I managed to install a copy of Ubuntu 10.04. It may hold for a while or it may not, as with OCing the mileage may vary.

Below are some pics from the process.

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