Razer blade issues and resolution

Discussion in 'Razer' started by twrelectronics, Apr 23, 2019.

  1. twrelectronics

    twrelectronics Newbie

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    I have repaired razer blade 14's 2013 all the way up to 2017 and have found issues with all of the years. I wanted to mention the most common ones here to hopefully help either raise awareness or help people so that they can repair their machines and not have to pay razer thousands of dollars to. You already paid Thosuands once for them right? No need to again.
    So The most notable issue with the 2016 and 2017's are

    1. A failure in cpu circuit that causes 2 in parallel fuses to blow. Symptoms of this usually present themselves as either the caps lock key lit up, no image on screen, or keyboard lit up, no image on the screen. sometimes you will get fan spin and no image on the screen. These fuses blow Presumably due to a current spike from the controller to the VRM's. These fuses commonly fail due to a shorted VRM in one of the cpu phases. IF you check the fuses and they are open, remove them, and check the pads resistance to ground. Usually one side will be shorted to ground indicating a shorted VRM. You can remove the VRM's and re-check the pads for a short, it should be gone. I usually recommend replacing the cpu controller and the VRM's which were bad, rechecking the fuse pads resistance to ground and if you are getting high resistance then it is safe to put new fuses on there and test. Sometimes, although rarely, the cpu is damaged however.

    2. The PCH on these models commonly dies. Symptoms present themselves as the device turning on normally but freezing on bootup into the operating system. It will hang everytime. I have tested this extensively and had to drag out my oscilliscope for this one. The PCH is missing several signals with these symptoms and some PCIE lanes. You can also verify this by trying to boot off usb, it also will freeze. This is due to an internal failure in PCH circuit and I have had a few replaced with BGA rework station and with successful resolution of the problem but this is not something I perform often due to the availability of brand new PCH being very difficult to find and expensive.

    3. There are some other somewhat common issues, charge controller going out due to somewhat poor dcinfilter or due to spike from ac adapter. (since charge controller is up front). sometimes the 3.3/5v regulator goes out or the small transistors right before the inductors in the 3.3/5v circuit fail. You can actually test if this is the case. If you are not missing your 3.3 or 5v rail completely and its only partially low-(can check on inductors after dcin circuit) then there is a good chance these tiny transistors are failed. With no power, Measure the resistance across each pin side to side, you should have continuity on all of them if they are good. If one is open or 0 ohms then it is bad and needs replaced. Also on the late 2016 and 2017 i believe the PCH circuit has a fuse, sometimes this fuse will blow which is due to the controller for the PCH getting shorted. replacing both usually fixes the issue but you can verify if this is the case by checking the fuse or in the case of some of the board revisions of 2016/2017 not having the fuse, check the cermamic capcitors to the right of the PCH for a short to ground, if they are shorted its prob the controller above it. remove it and retest resistances.

    4. There is a rare case as well which involves most all of the voltage rails being gone and the resistance on a lot of components equaling that of cpu circuit.(low or 0.01 ohms/0.02 ohms) You will typically have DCIN voltage but that is about it. There is an internal trace which blows inside one of the layers which shorts the rails to a low resistance line in cpu and it does not work. I figured this out because the low resistance line-when it has voltage injected into it, no components on the board will get hot really at all. The problem is internal and not repairable. Don't waste your time on these...

    5. On early 2016 and (2014-2015) there are a vertical rail of capacitors on back of board which are connected to DCIN. These commonly will short out and when they do, you will have no rails present on the machine. These do not exist on late 2016 or 2017 however. If this is the case, all voltages will be gone. checking these capacitors you will see a short to ground. Removing the vertical rail of the capacitors on the back of the board and rechecking the pads resistance to ground, the short should most likely be relieved. these are usually the problem when all rails are missing and you have a 2014-early 2016.

    6. If fans are stuck on maximum speed, most probably an issue with the keyboard io board. IT has sensors on it(PWM) if an issue with it, it will cause fans to get stuck on high permanently. You can take a look at this board by removing your battery and peeling away(carefully the black tape underneath the battery on the right side of the machine. But first! Make sure your keyboard cable is plugged in correctly. if its not, it can also cause fan speed to be stuck on max.
    Lets see-that about covers 2016-2017. Some additional problems ive found on 2013-2015 are

    1. Keyboard/trackpad quits working. This is due to the LPC or a small microcontroller which is programmed with its own firmware and that connects the trackpad and keyboard to the PCH on usb lane. Cant simply replace it, because it needs programming. You have to use razers programming on it or to pull it from a donor board so that its already pre-programmed.

    2. Just the other typical issues, charge controller failures, 3.3/5v reg failures, MOSFETS, diodes, in charge circuit etc...Nothing that really stands out as being super common, they just have a lot of issues overall as well.
    The 2015 is actually the most reliable and well built though, I would say. The 2018 blade 15 has been in here once before but that issue was not related to component level repair. I have not repaired the 2018's on component level yet but one thing someone told me was that the heatsink on the 2018 is not pure copper because a liquid metal thermal paste causes a major reaction with it. So be advised there.

    Thats about it. Yes I am pbhenry but changed my name over to twrelectronics. I have repaired these machines on and off for a few years now. Last summer I quit, but I keep coming back to it and is now just a small service that I offer on the side rather than what I do completely. I like to give a lot of free information out to people as well to help raise awareness with these machines.
    Hopefully it benefits someone. thank you!
     
    Punisher5.0, Eason, Joikansai and 4 others like this.
  2. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Prophet

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    Thanks for all your information. I have a question. How do you rate the possible durability of the display cable that uses a flat flex cable routed over the heatsinks in the latest RB15 advanced models, do you expect issues with this construction?
     
  3. saturnotaku

    saturnotaku Notebook Nobel Laureate

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    There's a thread in the feedback forum where you can ask the mods/admins to change your user name so you don't have to make a new account if you wanted to do so.
     
  4. Joikansai

    Joikansai Notebook Deity

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    Welcome back man. There’s tons users reporting battery bulging especially on late 2016, is that because of heat or another reason like flaw design or bad battery batch/connection?
    There are some users reporting webcam defect since it’s also beside display cable over vapor chamber it may be some sample but since my first batch still fine maybe it can be wrong.
     
  5. twrelectronics

    twrelectronics Newbie

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    To be honest, I only have seen a blade 15 in one time and I'm unsure if the construction is good or bad. I really don't feel too qualified to give an opinion on it just yet without seeing them some more. I have seen reports of screen flicker and screen going out on the blade 15 though. A lot of people brought that to my attention right on the release period of it, which was related to the cable. However the issues seem to have died down since, so it appeared to be quality control issues. I can't speak of the longevity of such a construction yet though. Its still a bit early.
     
  6. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Prophet

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    Thank you for your detailed experiences though! Lets see if mine will go on for the years to come.
     
    twrelectronics likes this.
  7. Beier34

    Beier34 Newbie

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    Hello
    I have a Razer Blade 14" 2017 with a shortet VRM (the second).
    Now i have a Problem with the 2 Fuses... What specs they have?
    Can anybody tell me the specs or post a link to the right fuses?
    Thank you...
    Nico
     
  8. Beier34

    Beier34 Newbie

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    Someone than can tell me, they may have !? What Amp the CPU / VRM circuit may need? Is 2x 2A enough?
     
  9. rinneh

    rinneh Notebook Prophet

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    Cotnact the thread starter directly?
     
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