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Discussion Starter #1
I bought this DirectCUII HD6950 card probably 5 years ago, and it's been one of those electronic (or mechanic, e.g. thinking of some old cars) parts in the house that will just refuse to ever die, and barely, but will always work. I've struggled with its cooling at the beginning, then I managed to somehow break a Display Port connector into it, also it's slightly bent over the years due to the heavy heatsink (which probably also damaged the Mobo port, I'm not sure though), and so on. It's been through a lot of torture, but hadn't given up until a point around two months ago.

It's been on my "Things I will probably fix when I have the time" shelf since then, and only recently I decided that I would sometime check out what's really happened to it. But before that I thought I would ask around to see if any of you guys had pointers on where I should begin, or what I should try first before I brainlessly go down to the basement and grab my voltmeter, heat gun, and whatever tools I can find.
Note that I don't want to buy a new card, it's not that important, even though the current Intel HD3000 just doesn't cut it for some games, I can live without them.So even if I can't fix this card, well, "tough luck".

Anyway, here's what happened:


Once when I was playing some game, I noticed that the fans on the card started spinning really fast while making a lot of noise. So my first thought was to alt+tab from the game, and check whether it's overheating again, I didn't have proper software at the time, so I used AMD's CCC overdrive (I think). The temperature was just fine, around 70°C, so I decided to set the fan speed to manual, and lower it to see if it's just a driver/software problem, I immediately got the answer; as soon as I tried to set the fan speed, the screen suddenly went black, thus in a panic moment I jumped to the power button and shut the PC down.

After that I unplugged the power cable, then plugged it back in and tried to boot again, just to see what happens. Right as I pressed the button, the card fans were already spinning on max speed, however aside from that, everything else was "completely normal", there was signal coming from it, I saw the boot screen, and even the windows (7) loading screen. But after that, right when the welcome screen was about to appear (it didn't), the card caused the PC to shut down entirely, as if it wanted to draw too much power from the PSU. I repeated this once more, with the same result. At this point I thought it was a some kind of PSU failure, so I removed the card, and switched to the CPU's intel HD3000, and I'm using the computer just fine like this since then, while the card rests on my shelf untouched.

Before I take take it apart I will probably try to reseat it, to see if it just didn't contact properly, and I'll try the second Mobo slot, to check if the other's damaged. More than likely that these won't solve the problem, then I will try to find the part that is faulty, which I believe (hope) is on the PCB, and not inside any of the chips. I haven't noticed any burn marks or anything, but I haven't looked for any yet either.

I will update this thread whenever I make some kind of progress, I'm just curious what your opinions on this are.
 

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Well, you said you don't care to buy a new GPU. So junk it and use on-board and live with it. Only other way to save a card is bake it but there's not guarantee. My 5870 is dead after I baked it like 3 times.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Yep, I've realized there's not a lot I could do, as there is no circuit diagram about the board anywhere, and even then it'd be loads of tedious work to find the problematic part. So instead I chose the easiest way and put it into the oven altogether, 7 mins at around 190-195 °C. And the card's good as new, well, apart from the smell. In fact it's probably even better now that I cleaned and refitted the heat sink along with new thermal paste, as it runs on lower temp now. Hopefully it'll run fine for at least a year more like this, if not more.
 
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