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Old 04-24-2007, 08:07 PM   #1
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Default Something to check before you toss your desktop computer

OK, I'm bored. Thought I'd share this though, as maybe it can save someone the expense of a new PC, or perhaps you know of someone with a broken PC who will let you have it for free. More than likely you've seen a newer PC sitting in someones driveway, headed for the dump.

Some time back there was a company that was making a new formula for electrolytic capacitors. It was flawed and incomplete. Somebody stole the formula, and sold it to major electronics companies.

The result? Millions of bad capacitors in everything ... computers, microwaves, stereos.

They are easy to spot (bulged or leaking), and if you are patient, easy to replace and inexpensive to buy.

Here'* a site that describes everything you need to know. I've followed the procedures there, and have repaired 4 fairly high end PCs.

http://www.badcaps.net/
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:11 PM   #2
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cliff notes?
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by harofreak00
cliff notes?
If you have these symptoms:

Motherboard fails to POST.
Memory Test Fails.
Fails to fully boot (or even install) Operating System.
System randomly and frequently freezes.
Random & frequent 'Blue Screens of Death'
BSoD or hard freeze under heavy drive activity (Either RAID, SCSI, or standard ATA)
CPU temps abnormally higher than usual under typical or less load.
*CPU VCORE & other system voltages are erratic or far out of tolerances.
Resetting the system after a freeze and the system will not repost.
(You have to completely power down then power back up.)

Look at all the capacitors, specifically the larger ones.


If they are bulged (the tops should be absolutely flat), or at an angle on the board (probably due to blow out from the bottom) - you more than likely have bad caps.

From there, pull each one using some solder wick, and a 450 degree (celsius) soldering iron. As you pull each one, make notes of what came out of where, and it'* capacitance/voltage values, and most importantly, it'* polarity (if you mount one 'backwards', you'll probably get an impressive display of a capacitor imitating a firecracker).

Order new caps from badcaps (I got mine 2 days after ordering, I think I spent around $20 for a full set of about 10 to 12). Also don't go to radio shack for replacements - they most likely won't have the right value caps, and even if they do, they aren't rated for use in motherboards.

Solder back in, power up.

You have to be patient - the solder traces are tiny. Worst case is you ruin a board that didn't work anyway, but it'* best to practice on an old motherboard if you have one.
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Old 04-24-2007, 08:53 PM   #4
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Yup, I have a PC that suffered from that which I got off of eBay. Dell Optiplex SX270

Bought it off eBay for like 200 bux, it still had the balance of the Dell next day service contract on it, so I had Dell out a day or two later to swap in a new mobo!

And... Dell will cover all Optiplex SX270 computers that have this problem for either 5 years from date of purchase or until 31 Jan 08.

http://warrantypartsdirect.dell.com/...m/T1910000.ASP
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