The video card oven trick

Discussion in 'Computer Science & Culture' started by Repo Man, Apr 29, 2015.

  1. Repo Man Valued Senior Member

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    I'm setting up a computer to give to a fellow student who doesn't have one. I'm using parts that I had, and parts that were donated. The motherboard I was given was a Socket 775 Asus, and it does not have onboard video. I didn't have a video card for it, so I had to ask for someone to donate one. Someone has come through on that, but I have to wait until it gets here.

    As I'm an impatient person, I began to try and think of a way to set the computer up and test it out while I wait for the donated video card to arrive. Out in my junk pile, I had two older EVGA Nvidia cards ( a 7950 GT and an 8600 GTS) that had failed. I had given up on these years ago, and they've just been in a box with dead motherboards, only being saved in case I needed to use the fan or maybe salvage some of the capacitors from them.

    I had heard about the oven trick but it never occurred to me to try it. But I had nothing to lose, so I gave it a shot with both cards. I followed the procedure in the above video, then put the fan assemblies back on and tested them out. Both cards now work flawlessly; I've run 3D Mark 06 numerous times, played YouTube videos, and haven't had a single issue! I wasn't really expecting this to work with either of the cards, much less both of them, so it was a very pleasant surprise.
     
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  3. Kittamaru Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. Adieu, Sciforums. Valued Senior Member

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    The only reason I could see that this would/should work is if a soldered connection failed, or has poor contact - this would, in essence, be like reflowing the board (reflowing refers to resoldering the existing, or replacement, components to the board).

    One thing I'd recommend - if you follow that video to a T, please add one step - add new thermal compound to the heatsink!
     
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  5. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    I would of considered that initially too, however there is probably more relationship with creating thermodynamic entropy to de-polarise cards that haven't likely been stored in ideal conditions. (static, dust, temperature, moisture, prolonged electromagnetic exposure etc)

    Think of it a bit using heat to cause a permanent magnet to lose it's magnetic capacity.

    Incidentally 375f is 190c (solder melts at around 180c) so don't bake too long if you do this.
     
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  7. billvon Valued Senior Member

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    ?? Huh? How do you "polarize" a card? What gets polarized?
    Are you talking about demagnetizing a card? First off, CMOS IC's don't care much about magnetic fields. You need an extremely strong field to cause a problem. Secondly, the Curie temperatures of the materials that could conceivably contain a magnetic field on a board (iron, nickel) are all well over 600F - so that wouldn't do anything anyway.

    The reason it works is that, over time, thermal and mechanical stress can cause fractures within the solder bond between the BGA balls (BGA's are ball grid arrays; they are the big IC's you see on the board) and the copper lands on the board. In many cases, reflowing all the solder on the board can restore the connection. In some cases, the BGA ball itself, or the copper land itself, fractures; the oven trick will not help in those cases.
     
  8. Stryder Keeper of "good" ideas. Valued Senior Member

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    objective achieved... discussion

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    These points are exactly why this is a Science forum. My devils advocate to "alternative and mostly incorrect theory" has spawned this great interpretation of what you see happening, which you posted here and will likely aid the lay person.

    If the posed inferior levels of the incorrectness of my post didn't get your potentially O.C.D. neurons firing, I don't know what would. thanks for your welcome addition.
     

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