Kind of a Guide: How to Bake Your GPU for Fun and for Profit!

Discussion in 'Hardware Components and Aftermarket Upgrades' started by Commander Wolf, Nov 26, 2009.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell?

    Reputations:
    2,962
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    216
    Well, GPU baking has been brought up a few times, so I figure I might try to expand on it. I don't at all consider myself an expert on the topic, and as such, this isn't really a definitive guide, but more of a "let me share what little experience I have with y'all because it might help some people out".

    Most NBR users probably know what GPU failure looks like. Maybe you've got some applications aren't quite working right, or that same BSoD that won't quite go away, but then you start seeing the artifacts that still show up on your external display, and you know you're screwed. These days a GPU failure generally means replacing a motherboard, often at a fairly steep cost if you're out of warranty.

    But wait! Don't chuck that out of warranty motherboard just yet! Especially with graphics processing units of a certain company whose name begins with N and ends in vidia, GPU deaths (including the famed 360 RRoD) are often caused by the failure of the solder joints that connect the GPU package to your motherboard. If you could reconnect those bad joints, you could potentially save yourself a whole lot of trouble.

    And that's where your grandma's oven just might come in handy.

    I'm going to show you how you might use an oven to try and fix a motherboard with bad GPU solder joints. I'm going to describe a method that has fixed three motherboards for me, but the results are not guaranteed. Keep in mind that this isn't something you should try if you're under warranty. It isn't really a dangerous process, but you can completely fubar a motherboard if not done properly.

    Again, try this at your own risk.

    NOTE: Apparently this process will not work on really old motherboards (before the mid to late nineties). Again, I don't claim to be an expert here and don't really know much about this. Ask K-TRON for details.

    [​IMG]

    So here is our victim today; this is a Dell Latitude D600 that was part of a lot I picked up on eBay. It's fairly old, but the concept is the same. You can tell it has a GPU problem because of the artifacts that show up on the external display. You should really try to make sure that your GPU is the root of your problem, because as I said, this can mess up your motherboard.

    The first step here is to remove the board from the laptop. If you've got a Dell, they've got service manuals for your browsing pleasure online, and if you've got an HP or a ThinkPad, they're pretty good with service manuals as well. Everything else I don't really know about; consult your respective sub-forum for details.

    NOTE: Please remember to remove the CMOS battery as well. It WILL explode if you try to put it through the oven.

    [​IMG]

    Anyway, here's the D600 board completely exposed.

    You may or may not want to peel off plastic shielding. I've never actually had any of it melt on me, but different manufacturers may use different materials, so your mileage may vary. Stickers don't need to be removed; as a certain famous novel as taught us, paper doesn't burn until 451F, and we aren't going that high.

    [​IMG]

    Here's the GPU in question as well; it's a Mobility Radeon 9000.

    Once you've got your motherboard removed, you want to preheat your oven to 385F. Why 385F? I don't actually know. I got this figure online, and it's been working for me, and it will probably work for you. If you go too low, the solder won't melt enough to fix itself, and if you go too high, it'll turn into a runny mess and fubar your motherboard and oven. Make sure the oven is actually at 385F before you load your motherboard.

    [​IMG]

    While your oven is warming up, you want to prep your motherboard a little bit more. As you can see, I usually prop my motherboard up with a couple balls of aluminum foil. Why this is necessary is again beyond me; the Google said it works, and it works for me. I think this may help if you want to use a convection bake, but I've been using a regular bake, so I can't say much about that. You'll also want to make sure the board is as level as you can make it.

    The tin foil underneath is to catch anything that might melt off if this whole process goes bad.

    [​IMG]

    Now that your oven's preheated to 385F, you can put the motherboard in!

    While the chatter online said to bake the board for five to ten minutes, five minutes did the trick for my first two boards. This one looked a lot worse than those, so I went for seven and a half, just to be safe. If you cook it too long, you can once again melt stuff off the board, and that's just not very pleasant. Once your five to ten minutes are up, turn off the oven, open the door, but leave the board where it is until it's nearly at room temperature.

    Once it's cooled, you can reassemble your machine and see how it went!

    [​IMG]

    As you can see, mine didn't actually quite get there the first time. This board actually went right back into the oven for another seven and a half minutes. If you aren't seeing any progress at all, you may want to try using a slightly higher temperature or a longer bake time. With only three boards under my belt (and all Dells to boot), I can't really give any definitive guidelines, but if you take the temperature and bake time up a little bit at a time, you should eventually get a good result... assuming your board was fixable in the first place.

    [​IMG]

    Here you can see that my board was indeed fixable. After the second seven and a half minutes, it turned out alright.

    To sum it up:

    1) Remove motherboard completely
    2) Preheat oven to 385F and prep your board for baking, making sure it's elevated and level
    3) Bake five to ten minutes and let your motherboard cool in place
    4) ???
    5) Profit!

    Again, try this at your own risk, but if you do, do post if it works or not!
     
    capitankasar likes this.
  2. moral hazard

    moral hazard Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    2,747
    Messages:
    7,812
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    206
    Great guide:)

    I would first make sure the motherboard is lead free.

    Also, instead of sticking the motherboard in your oven, try using a heat gun (~$20 from your local hardware store).
    300C for a min or so should do it.

    For anyone who is going to try this, go to youtube and watch the many vids posted of this. You should also watch how the pro's do BGA reballing/reworking/reflow.
     
  3. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell?

    Reputations:
    2,962
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    216
    Heh, the first time I tried doing this kind of thing, it was with a heat gun and a T43. Well, to say the least, it didn't work. Without some sort of fancy temperature sensor, there's just no way to tell just how hot the GPU/components are getting, and we ended up destroying pretty much all the surface mount components around the GPU.

    So I just find the oven method easier to control, but yeah, if you know what you're doing, the heatgun is a totally viable alternative.
     
  4. TwiztidKidd

    TwiztidKidd Notebook Evangelist

    Reputations:
    372
    Messages:
    487
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    31
    Locate and remove CMOS battery.

    CMOS battery could be soldered to the motherboard sometimes and it must be desoldered and removed from the board before baking.
     
  5. Serg

    Serg Nowhere - Everywhere

    Reputations:
    1,980
    Messages:
    5,331
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    206
    Nice guide, but I feel kinda weary of baking my mobo.

    Exactly, what happened to your GPU?
     
  6. Commander Wolf

    Commander Wolf can i haz broadwell?

    Reputations:
    2,962
    Messages:
    8,233
    Likes Received:
    59
    Trophy Points:
    216
    Lol, I'm sure most people do. I'm just throwing it out there so I can reference it in the future :D

    Wouldn't know. It was part of a lot of parts computers and came like that. I'm curious as to how it got so bad too...
     
  7. Serg

    Serg Nowhere - Everywhere

    Reputations:
    1,980
    Messages:
    5,331
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    206
    I am surprised a "baked" mobo would come back to life...it is quite strange.

    Still great thing to have around, +rep!
     
  8. notebooker-hp

    notebooker-hp Notebook Consultant

    Reputations:
    12
    Messages:
    190
    Likes Received:
    0
    Trophy Points:
    0
    excellent,

    Thanks a lot for this guide,I heard this "baking" thing before,but the difference is that you meantioned many important details and your great effort puts it all.I will always keep this thing in my mind.


    My gpu is 5 years old,it will of course be dead one day and I will try this method.
     
  9. moral hazard

    moral hazard Notebook Nobel Laureate

    Reputations:
    2,747
    Messages:
    7,812
    Likes Received:
    5
    Trophy Points:
    206
    See the problem was that every time the GPU heats up it causes the solder to expand, then as it cools the solder contracts. This caused the BGA solder to crack, means there is a bad connection from the board to the chip.

    When you heat the motherboard in the oven, you reflow the solder and the connection is fixed.

    This is called the "oven trick".
     
  10. miro_gt

    miro_gt Notebook Deity

    Reputations:
    433
    Messages:
    1,751
    Likes Received:
    4
    Trophy Points:
    56
    lollol, this just made my day, lollol
     
Loading...
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page