This article describes a reflow procedure that can be performed at home in a conventional household oven for a common laptop motherboard repair of the broken graphics chip.
What is a Reflow?
The term ‘reflow’ describes a process of briefly melting (reflowing) the solder on an electrical circuit board, in this case a laptop motherboard.
Why would you perform a Reflow on a laptop motherboard?
The solder used in laptop motherboards tends to degrade over time, becoming brittle and weak. It can change from being a solid block of solder into more of a honeycomb structure. This weaker solder joint can fracture causing tiny broken connections in the circuit, invisible to the naked eye. The idea behind performing a reflow is that it melts the solder, allowing it to form a solid block again and joining up the electrical circuit.
When would you perform a Reflow?
There are a number of scenarios where performing a reflow can be successful. A typical example is a laptop motherboard which is receiving power, lights come on to confirm this, but it just won’t power up. It is possible that a crucial connection has been broken by weakened solder.
Another common example is a laptop that will appear to power up, but there is no graphics output to the LCD panel or to an external screen. In this case, it is likely that there is a broken solder joint around the graphics chip (GPU).
Please be aware that a reflow is a repair method of last resort. In other words, you would only ever try this on a laptop motherboard that was so completely faulty that it would otherwise need to be replaced. If performed incorrectly, a reflow can damage your motherboard even further. But on the other hand, if the motherboard is broken anyway, and would otherwise be thrown out and replaced, then performing a reflow won’t make the problem any worse.
Certain makes and models of laptops seem to be more prone to these GPU problems than others. It seems to be particularly common in the NVIDIA chips used in some HP laptops, especially the following models; Pavillion dv2000, dv6000, dv9000, dv9500, dv9600, dv9700 and Compaq Presario V3000, V6000.
How do you perform a Reflow?
This might sound a bit crazy, baking your laptop motherboard in an oven, but if performed correctly, it can achieve the same end result, remaking the solder connections which may have been broken.
It is very important that the motherboard is completely stripped down before attempting this procedure. Remove the CPU, heatsink & fan, RAM, BIOS battery, wires, speakers, stickers, plastic sticky guards, foam spacers, absolutely everything that can be removed from the motherboard.
Then preheat your household oven to approximately 200°C or 385°F. If your oven does not have a digital temperature display, perhaps use an internal oven thermometer to make sure the oven is in the right temperature range.
Roll up some kitchen foil into balls, between half an inch and an inch wide, and place them on a baking tray. Place your motherboard, with CPU socket and GPU facing upwards, on top of the foil balls. It is a good idea to wrap additional foil around the more sensitive parts of the motherboard, like areas where there are capacitors and the CPU socket.
If the reflow is being performed because of a faulty graphics chip (GPU) then perhaps wrap the rest of the motherboard in foil to protect it, leaving just the GPU exposed on both the top and bottom of the motherboard.
Then place the baking tray with the laptop motherboard on it into the preheated oven.
Make sure your kitchen is well ventilated at this stage, turn on the extractor fan to full power and/or open an outside door and windows. This will help to take away any fumes. Ideally, you should leave the kitchen while any fumes are still present.
A couple of times during the procedure, have a quick look through the oven door (without opening it) making sure there is no smoke or flames visible. This is unlikely to occur, but can happen if stickers were left on the motherboard.
After 8 minutes, turn the oven off and open the oven door. Do not remove the motherboard from the oven at this stage, it could be very hot and it is a better idea to allow it to cool down gradually. Take care not to inhale any fumes that might be present.
After 20 minutes to half an hour, remove the cool motherboard from the oven and begin rebuilding your laptop. If all has gone well, it will boot up and the problem will be fixed.
If the problem remains, you could try the procedure again, leaving it in the oven for a couple of minutes longer or at a higher temperature.
After performing a reflow in an oven, I recommend cleaning the oven thoroughly, then turn it on and allow any fumes that may have built up to be completely removed.
This is especially important before cooking food in the oven again.
How long will a Reflowed laptop motherboard repair last?
It is impossible to say for certain how long a repaired laptop motherboard will last. It may be a few weeks or a year, there is no way to know. The problem with the solder fracturing does tend to come back again though eventually. However this technique might at least allow you to get your laptop up and running again for a while, long enough perhaps to save up for a new laptop.
*** Disclaimer: ***
Putting your laptop motherboard in a household oven is potentially dangerous and is a method of absolute last resort when trying to fix a fault. This method of performing a reflow is well documented across various sites on the internet, and although many people have had success with it, it may not work in every case. We will not be held liable for any damage, either direct or consequential, that you cause to your motherboard, to your oven or to any person or property as a result of attempting this procedure.
Please – Be safe and be sensible!
I came up with this same idea when my iPhone x had cellular problem and cannot read sim card. Look up the problem on the internet and find it is a severed connection between two layers of motherboard. (iPhone x motherboard has a dual layer sandwich design) I took out the motherboard and put it on a baking sheet. 320F first time and iPhone went from no cellular to no booting at all. Second time at 385F and everything including cellular works again. Accidentally ripped display flex cable and had to get a replacement screen.
Worked on mine, brought it to 450 F and turned it off right away.
I reflow with a professional reflow oven, this isn’t bad but it could be better.
Make sure all stickers and foam and heatsink paste is removed. Especially look out for any backup battery that may be on the board!!!
Ideally don’t just go straight for 200C, let it start at 150C, then turn up the heat after 1-2 min or so, this is to give it more time to adjust and not stress components or the board, After that turn oven up to 230. 200 does not guarantee a reflow if they’re using higher temp solder. Hopefully this should take no longer than 5 or so mins to reach temperature.
Once its actually at temperature (if you have an accurate readout on digital, or an oven thermometer) you can turn it straight off, the solder will melt as soon as it hits that temp when the board is already hot so the reflow should be complete as soon as that temp is reached.
Then just allow to cool with the door open.
Everything else is pretty well said, only last thing is:
**ABSOLUTELY DO NOT MOVE IT WHEN IT IS STILL ABOVE 200** Or solder joints may still be molten and you could trash it.
Ideally, buy an oven thermometer, and look up “Reflow soldering thermal profiles” and you will get many graphs of what look like nice little mountains, showing how long and how hot it should be. That should give you the best chances.
Too low wont do anything, too high for too short a time wont do anything. This sort of solder doesnt “soften” its more or less solid or molten, and reflowing only works when it becomes molten. Pre heating the board is absolutely crucial for this to be a success, as the board steals the heat away when you heat it too quickly. Everything else has already been said, if this doesnt work try one more time, maybe a little hotter, if that doesnt work cut your losses, it may be a different fault.
I have an hp dv 9000 series laptop that I have done this several times, though I only set the oven to 300 degrees for ten minutes. I figure I don’t necessarily want to melt the solder but more soften it to the point it barely melts back together. The first time doing this it lasted about three years, the second time about 3 months lol. I discovered that these machines have an alternating fan speed that the pc decides what speed based on whatever. I noticed the fan never really reached a peak speed yet the laptop was hot. I ended up wiring a USB cable directly to the fan since a USB port is 5mv the same as the fan, and plugged it directly into a USB port. After doing that, putting new paste and reflowing in the oven it has been working for 5 years. Though I do take it apart now every so often and clean the fan and circuits with alcohol. Thanks for the great thread.
This didnt work, I tried it to the “t” on directions, I had the 5 caps lock thing flashing, and yes this was a last resort, but now i cant even get those lights, and it just runs the fan and blinks the screen, Im thinking that it was too hot at 385 for 8 mins, should have stopped at 6 i think and it would have maybe worked, I think 2 mins too long did it in. I dissappointed yes, but since its this or the big hammer, i thought id give it a shot. Oh well, I have a spare of the same model maybe I can cobble a shitty one still, as that one has only 1 good memory bay, but the board is ok otherwise, but the monitor is shot on that one too, so it transfer what parts i got and hope i can still get 1 good out of it all………..had hopes, crap!
no five blinks is a super dead motherboard that any kind of heat is not going to fix. Nice Try, but heat is better suited to 4 blinks, not five.
A few sites mentioned bad joints on either the North Bridge or the Video CPU chip and some recommended a reflow of those connections or the whole motherboard.
A few sites mentioned bad joints on either the North Bridge or the Video CPU chip and some recommended a reflow of those connections or the whole motherboard.
In case anyone is wondering how long this works, my first reflow in the oven lasted nearly 5 years. 2nd time around lasted 6-8 months. Going in for a third but still, this was a laptop put in the recycling bin that I salvaged (actually two of them) and still going after reflows with this method. They are both HP DV9000s
A few sites mentioned bad joints on either the North Bridge or the Video CPU chip and some recommended a reflow of those connections or the whole motherboard.
I did the heat gun once and two months later tried the oven bake method. WARNING – Apparently my bios chip got damaged. It would only partially boot up and through the long process of playing with settings I discovered that the ‘Legacy USB’ had to be turned off fr it to complete boot up.
It failed a third time so I did the heat gun again but used flux this time and I replaced the tiny soft heat pad on the GPU with a larger soft heat pad.
I’m not fixing it a fourth time.
I’ll be trying this on a failed 07 alpine gps unit. Thanks
I have a bunch of what looks like protective plastic covering over parts of my motherboard, should I take those off before sticking it in the oven?
Baking an old laptop is one of the weirdest things I ve ever done with a piece of consumer electronics.
I did the reflow procedure using a heat gun and it did work but only lasted about 2 months before the problem returned. Figuring ‘what do I have to lose?’ I tried the oven bake method. It’s working again BUT something happened to it. It’s gone from a 30 second boot (has a 240Gb SSD) to nearly 2 minutes. Figure the bios chip may have gotten damaged because the UEFI diagnostics and F2/F10 responses are marginal but once Windows is up it works fine. This was my first laptop (HP G62-340US, Athlon II, P340 2.2Ghz dual-core, 12Gb ram) and it’s 6+ years old. It’s my backup PC so I’m planning to get another NEW Win7-64 machine for daily use while I can and let this G62 retire or die peacefully.
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Excellent tip!!!!…I tried it this week on my Sony Vaio laptop (SVE) and so far so good, its now working perfectly again. After some previous heavy gaming for 2 years, my laptop gave me the blue screen of death and failed to start windows (VIDEO_TDR failure). Rather than throwing it in the bin, I searched for a solution and decided that this method was worth a shot. I disassembled the motherboard from the laptop with all recommended items removed as above and then put it in a preheated gas oven on full for 8 minutes on a baking tray supported by rolled up aluminium foil. Then I let it cool for 20 mins with the door ajar. Then, the next day came the anticipation of assembling the laptop again. I had taken photos and made notes while taking the laptop apart, so it was a case of doing the” same thing in reverse. I also removed all the dust from the fan, the motherboards and inside of the case with a toothbrush and applied fresh thermal paste to the graphics card and cpu heatsink areas.
After assembly, the computer booted up but I had a black screen. I reopened the case and pressed down the connector for the screen which was loose and low and behold the laptop was working normally again.
When a computer overheats it may also damage the RAM, so swap these chips if you can if the reflow doesn’t work.
my laptop doesn’t work due to overheating.when I press power button it gives me nothing except blue light for few seconds.my laptop is packardbell
This procedure would likely fix hour issue.
Well after 3 weeks, the problem came back. I have since done another reflow using the same gas oven but this time I let the MB get hot over 30-40 minutes. The temperature of the oven I realised never became hot enough to melt the solder but I expected it to expand and soften the damaged joints and repairing them for good.
My laptop is running again as normal and won´t be afraid to reflow it again for longer should it fail again.
Also of interest….I ran out of thermal paste so I searched for an alternative. Using nappy rash (diaper) cream works and lasts for 6 months. Toothpaste (75%) and Vaseline (25%) mix was also recommended. Try this if you can´t find the real deal.
Just a quick update, my laptop is still working as new and I’m typing on it now. If the first reflow only lasts a few months, do it again and it will probably come back to life once again. It’s always worth installing a CPU and GPU monitor software to check temperatures now and again and to remove the dust out of the cooling fans at least once a year.
Hello all, 2016 Jan 30, I followed this guide to reflow my gpu…after playing game my laptop got lines of colors and had to force shutdown. After that it would boot if kept cold, but get those lines again after getting to windows load up screen….After reflowing it in October, the laptop still works.
Remember, after reflowing add thermal paste, helps a lot…although my laptop if gets too hot, still will give me the colors, rarely thought. and if I force shutdown this time, it’ll come back normal and stay up. Not like before.
thanks alot dude.
I have a HP DV7 3079 laptop that is 7 years old. It had kept running hot until one day I couldn’t get it to boot. It would turn on, but nothing but a blank screen. I had read about the overheating issue, so I would just let it run hot for a few hours, turn it off to let it cool and when I turn it back on, it would work.
I was able to do this about 5 times over the course of a couple months and then it flat out quit on me.
So, I took it apart. I’m not a computer repair technician by any means and had never really opened a laptop up, but I had nothing to lose. I was just worried I wouldn’t be able to put it back together.
It was quite as difficult as I thought. I stripped the motherboard and cleaned the original thermal paste off with rubbing alcohol. Then I put four 1″ sized balls of aluminum foil on a cookie sheet and placed the motherboard on top (CPU side up) and set it in the oven and THEN turned it on to 385. I read some of the comments below about not placing it in a preheated oven as it would be too hot.
I let it sit for 9 minutes then took it out to cool overnight. I put new thermal paste (Arctic Silver) where applicable and put it back together.
BOOM! It works flawlessly!
Anyway, I hope this bought me a few months so I can decide what to replace this laptop with. So, thanks to whoever put this out there to discover. Saved me some cash, I learned a lot more about computer innards and it felt pretty good to fix something. 🙂
I disagree Danno. I think baking the whole thing is better than heating just one part – good even heat distribution throughout, with no differences in temperatures between parts. If each part is at a different temperature then some will be expanding, while others not, causing cracks – rather all expand, or contract together at same rate due to same temperature throughout.
that sounds good but it leads me to thinking about the expansion rate of different materials and if i should think about that or heat them separately and completely cooling the pieces before re assembly.
btw my reason for looking into reflowing is because i need to replace some surface mount components and the more i try with a soldering gun the more i screw up the circuit board(s)
That’s why you use a SMD hot-air gun instead of a soldering iron for SMD components…
This worked for me…All HDMI ports quit suddenly on my 3-year old LG 47LE5400. Looked up board, $280 if you could find one. I did. One. Decided to try this before buying the new board, 385 for 10 minutes, let it cool, plugged back in, JOY, all 4 HDMI ports now respond properly! Great tip! Be careful with the screws, don’t put any force on ANYTHING, and look carefully at the connectors to be sure you don’t screw anything up when removing the main board..but might as well try this before spending a wad on your broke TV…
Glad i found thus method. My acer aspire has been out of action for months. Still a little concerned about the fumes described that should be avoided in the instructions and one post stating it will affect future oven use for cooking food.
Im really keen to try this method so can someone give me some feedback on this?
Found this article the other day. Have 2 laptops that have not been working. Power lights come on, but immediately turn off and then back on repeatedly. Could not find any other problems except for the motherboards, so I am attempting a reflow on both motherboards today. One from an Aspire 5520 and a Satellite A205….I’ve taken the motherboards out of the oven, after baking them for 8 minutes at 385F and now cooling them for about a half hour. It’s about time to reassemble both laptops….I assembled the Acer, and it started without a hitch. Even the DVD drive shows up now in the BIOS and Windows, where before it was gone. I had purchased a new battery for the Acer and now can use it. Thanks for the article. Going to try theToshiba now. Peace out!
Well, after a break I assembled the Satellite A205, and once again it too started up like a champ. This one also used to freeze up with the power cord plugged in. Not any more. Everything is working fine even while plugged in. Thanks again.
This fixed my Aunt’s laptop. Amazing.
400 degrees at 8 Mins.
I won’t forget this 🙂
can i use microwave oven in conviction mode? please help me
Microwave ovens will usually “add” some microwaves, even in grill/convection mode, to speed the process.
These intense radiowaves are almost certain to fry components.
I used a heat gun for reflowing a PS3 CPU.
This actually worked.
I have a HP dv6-6000 notebook and a week or so ago the GPU seemed to have died. I assume it was the GPU because the notebook would boot normally up until the point where it’s loading showing the Windows logo, and after that it would just go black. Same with Linux, just a black screen and nothing more. The only thing which worked was booting Linux Mint in recovery mode, which automatically switched to software rendering.
Anyway, with the warranty expired and nothing to lose I figured I might as well stick it in the oven for a bit. Took it apart, tore of any and all stickers and cover foils, took out the CPU and put the mainboard in the oven for 9-10 minutes at 200°C.
After letting it cool for a bit and reassembling, it booted normally again. I also put some new thermal paste on the CPU and GPU as the old stuff was totally dried up and brittle. Let’s see how long it lasts before breaking down again. Thanks a lot for this great guide!
Excessive heating is the cause of failure of the BGA chip solder. Heating in an oven at 200C for 8 min can fix it. While you have it in bits remove the lint ball from the fan and heat exchanger fins. This will give it a better chance of lasting longer.
Also, re the Acer 5516 motherboard I should note that besides removing the stickers and the obvious (cpu, fan, etc.) I desoldered and removed the CMOS battery from the motherboard before putting it in the oven, and soldered the battery back on to the mb after it cooled. And re the TV tuner sticks, I disassembled them and reflowed just the circuit board with coax connector attached.
In the past I’ve done the oven reflow on non functioning usb tv tuner sticks and it worked on all of them althought the plastic inside the coax connector melted; doesn’t seem to matter as I can still connect coax cables to them and the tuners are functional again. Yesterday, I did the reflow on a non-booting Acer 5516 laptop motherboard (after removing most of the stickers) at about 385F for about 10 minutes. After it cooled I reassembled the laptop, and to my surprise it booted, but after about a couple minutes the screen froze with vertical lines at the bios page and then became non booting again. So today I tried it again but at about 400F for about 10 minutes and the laptop is so far working great! During the first attempt I also stuck a non booting MSI motherboard in the oven but several of its capacitors have become bulged and leaked from the top due to the oven heat; other capacitors were fine, so perhaps the heat pushed the bad ones over the edge.
I have performed this process a couple of times. The last time I did it was in January of 2013 on my HP Pavillion. After performing the reflow I gave the laptop to my daughter and it has been used and abused ever since and it’s still running like a champ.
Hi Travis, I have an HP Pavilition to with the same problem, black screen. Could u tell me exactly how u did it?, Oven? heatgun?, time? degree? Thanks really!!!!
Can I use a microwave oven?
ha, just kidding. 🙂
thanks for a great write-up
my gpu on hp pavilion dv5 stopped working (black screen).. i have no heatgun and it’s old NB so i decided to try to use an oven 🙂 i removed everything from board i mean cpu, ribbon cables, foils etc.. i extra covered capacitors with alu foil, plus i covered whole board with alu, only the gpu and chipset was uncovered from both sides.. i set my oven to 210-215°C, because is fanless and i exposed my board for just under 10 minutes (last 2 minutes i switch to upper heater (grill mode :D) to expose chips from the top side.. after cooldown and reasseble NB i couldnt believe, it worket… but.. rarely im getting random blue screens 🙁 first day it happened 3 times.. maybe it was a mistake to expose chipset, i should expose gpu only, who knows.. today is second day and it’s ok for now… gpu is completely fixed, i had problems with hdmi, wake up from sleep, before i completely lost video.. this is ok now, but those blue screens..
Good tutorial, but one thing confuses me. You recommend reflowing the solder at 385F. That would make sense for Sn-Pb (Tin-Lead) solder but it’s not used any more.
Today’s solders are the much-more brittle Lead-free variety. Their melting points are 420-460F. 385F is not hot enough for a reflow.
See www kester com/kester-content/uploads/2013/06/Alloy-Temperature-Chart-15Feb11.pdf
If you don’t heat the solder sufficiently to reflow it you get an “annealing” effect. This relieves some of the strain in the solder joints and may be enough to close small gaps, but it won’t be reliable.
I’m going with 450F.
SnPb is still the go to for many companies outside of the EU. It’s allowed in the US for commercial use only, but there are restrictions on which things can use it.. most of the shit I get that I melt down later whether it’s an SMD component or whatever, is still old style lead solder, melts at a really low temp. As long as it is internal solder, it’s OK in the USA.
Idk just saying I’d try the lower temp first, then do higher incrementally to see if it is indeed lead free solder.
After cooking three motherboard in the oven and actually fixing them. I forgot mine was in there tonight overcooked it ten minutes all kind of parts fell out. Dud!
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Other than the oven, what else can I use to heat it???
My dell inspiron 1546 was doing the same thing; run for about 15-20 secs and would shut off with no display.
This worked for me.
I have successfully repaired my laptop motherboard using this technique. Thanks for sharing this.
After the repair process, everything is working fine except few keys on the keyboard are not working and the battery is not charging (I left the battery inside the laptop unused for more than a year). Any thoughts about these problems?
they chemicals do not get released unless there is and open flame.
My HP Pavilion dv6 was practically dead – after I pushed the power button I could hear the fan starting but the screen was dead and only the light on the wi-fi key (f12) was orange and the caps lock was blinking every 3 seconds or so. The methods which involve pressing the power button without battery and charger didn’t work, for no matter how long I was pushing that button.
So I decided to do what this site describes and it worked perfectly! Right after I assembled the laptop back it just turned on and booted normally! Kinda wasn’t really expecting it, it was more like an act of desperation. I can’t thank you enough guys!!
This is a good guide, except for one thing.
DO NOT USE YOUR NORMAL FOOD-COOKING OVEN FOR THIS!
By reflowing your board, the board will leach toxic chemicals and elements, including lead, which will bind to the oven walls, and any food cooked in the oven will get traces of lead and other toxic chemicals for it.
Once you have used your oven to reflow a circuit it is not safe to use that oven for food. You should replace the oven.
A heat gun turned down to low (too much air can blow components around) and some clear package tape partially covering the air intake (raises the heat if needed) gives you precise control over the reflow area. You can use foil over the tip in a funnel fashion to increase control (make sure excess hot air can escape before entering funnel to protect the gun).
I have modified a hair dryer to work in this fashion.
did the reflow on my HP pavilion dv7 motherboard. When i preheated the oven i already inserted the motherboard. When it reached 200 C i let ‘bake’ for 9 minutes. after that i turned off the oven and let it graduatly cool down.
A month later and my laptop still works better then ever!
Turn the xbox 360 on, and wait till the 3 red lights are flashing.
Press and hold the sync up button (the small white one), while holding that button press the eject button.
The LEDs will now blink the first number in the code (as described below).
Release the eject button and press it again.
The LEDs will now blink the second number of the code.
Release the eject button and press it again.
The LEDs will now blink the third number of the code. Release the eject button and press it again.
The LEDs will now blink the forth number of the code.
Release the eject button and press it again.
The LEDs will go back to the 3 red flashing lights.
You should be able to determine the difference between the 3 flashing lights and the error code lights by the rate in which they flash.
Here is how you interpret the LEDs to get the code number:
All four lights flashing – 0
One light flashing – 1
Two Lights flashing – 2
Three lights flashing – 3
Reply with the final code and I will tell you exactly what part is failing and how to repair it successfully.
Worked great on a Toshiba satellite 655d. Still running after 4 months. Tried it on a xbox 360 motherboard with 2 RROD with no luck but will try again for a few extra minutes.
Also, if the problem is repeating it might be due to overheating from dried up thermal paste on the CPU and GPU not conducting heat to heatsinks , so its wise to replace the thermal paste on the CPU and GPU as soon as possible if the oven process initially works!
Just did this for my broken XPS m1710 GPU and it really does work!
I just did it with my old Acer 5020 laptop motherboard. I was getting a black screen each time I watched a video. 8 minutes at 120°C did the job!
i did it. its working.
first i cleaned the board, cleaned off the all the dust with a toothbrush and took off battery and heat shields.
i went 10 mins at 400 preheated, set it up on a baking pan face up with some alum foil ball supporters. as i put it in the oven, i put a bit of solder next to the board. it took 3 mins to melt the solder. then after 9 mins i physically opened the oven and blew across the board, which i figured would help the melted solder to spread. then i let it sit for another min.. then i opened the door, turned on a fan and it was cool within a minute.
hope it lasts
Kyle is spot on. Do not preheat oven, the rapid temperature change can damage the board or some components. What has worked every time is protect everything that is sensitive as described above, put the board in the oven, turn on to 400 degrees for the non-lead solder used for many years now that has a higher melting point. 400 is a minimum for the solder and a max for safety of other components. When the oven reaches the target temp, turn it off. You can open the door right away to start the cooling or wait a minute or two. It does not need a long bake. That will damage electrolytic capacitors. They can explode in 10 to 20 min. Do not touch the board or remove it. Let it cool before handling due to flowing solder.
I taped all vents in my dv7 3165 and left it on for 5 hours- shut it down for 1/2 hour And it worked to retrieve my files- shut it down after that and it hasn’t worked since- I’m going to try the baking method and if that don’t work I will DO the 12 guage shotgun method and post it on youtube.
DO NOT PREHEAT THE OVEN!!!!
preheating the oven can cause cracking of the motherboard, as it will raise temperature too quickly, put it in then turn the oven on, once preheated, cook for 7 mins, then turn off and allow to cool naturally.
I’ve been doing this to dv6000s for over a year now.
I really don’t know what to do with my Hp dv1000
nice video. One question I think that I messed up one of the two connectors for the usb/power jack board. Is it the long or the short set of wires that runs the power? If it is the short one then I think that I can run the power and just not hook up the usb wire. Or do I need to connect both in order to power the board?
I place a small amount of weight on the gpu when baking seems to help.
Why was the temperature of 200c and the time of 8 minutes chosen?
Second attemp with another faulty mobo I can confirm that the oven method worked ! Wrapped mobo with foil ( very important ) and carefully removed the foil that was covering the GPU. I have a gas oven and had no idea of the temp but I chanced it as I had nothing to lose. 10 mins cooking I removed board and left to cool at room temp for about 30 mins. Connected it back up and the HP logo displayed. That was that.
I’ve just fixed an 5 years old nVidia 8600GT from an Aspire 5920G.
Preheating until 170ºC. Insert the graphics card into the oven set to 200ºC and ‘cook’ it for 9:30-10 min. FInally, left cool down for 30 min.
I controlled the temperatures with a IR temperature gun, I think that this is very helpful in order to do it securely.
The graphics card revived and it’s still alive until now, 2 weeks after. Now I try to use it the coolest possible, reducing its MHz with nTune (the easyest way).
have one question my laptop motherboard has the bios battery solderd on it ,do i need to unsolder this or can i leave it on it ?
If the BIOS battery is soldered on, just leave it there. Cover that part of the board with foil.
Tried the oven method on a dv9500 mobo but unfortunately it only changed the gray / white screen to a blank one. Before I cooked the laptop there was disk activity booting into windows i presume but thats not happening anymore. i am receiving power to board and i get the4 bleeps alerting me that the ram is not installed.Cooked it twice now dont know if its completely gubbed.
Great ! It worked 🙂 I wrapped the whole mainboard with aluminium foil, excepting the gpu top and bottom, pre-heated my oven to 200 deg celcius, and put the board into it for 10 minutes. After 10 mins, i switched off the oven, open the door and let it cool. Then i re-assembled the laptop, put two pieces of copper shims under the CPU and CPU, and screwed. I disconnected the fan from the board, switched on the laptop for 2 minutes, then removed the heat sink again and put some more thermal paste. connected the fan to board, and finally my Acer works like a charm 🙂 Thanks for the tip bro!!
Well, had an acer aspire 5535. I just changed the mainborad of the laptop and it worked great! But after a couple of weeks, same problem again. Gonna try this method with both mainboards and see if it works 🙂
Computer Repair Tips,
Thanks for clearing that up, I just wanted to know for definate the the components on the bottom were OK being as it is my first time doing this.
So what about all the components on the bottom of the board??? Sounds stupid but wouldn’t they all drop off when the solder melts? Comment back please cos I’m about to attemt one for the first time.
It would be highly unusual for any components to fall off the bottom of the board. Even if the solder in those places was sufficiently melted, it would still require some small amount of pulling to remove a component from the board.
My USB port fell.
Hello Luke. I have a computer repair lab, and for several years I have practiced the technique described here, albeit with small variations, with excellent results: 8 out of 10 cases are successful. The components below will not fall because of its low weight and the surface tension of tin in its liquid form, the same reason why small drops of water on the roof do not fall. Recommendation: Before baking, wash the motherboard with paint thinner and put it in the oven in this way before it dries; the thinner will play the role of flux, and it will not be necessary to clean anything afterwards. Also put small screws of the same length down into the four corners of the motherboard taking advantage of the holes built in, in order to keep the motherboard level. Finally, not any oven is the most suitable, it must be one with precise digital control of temperature, since the exact value is not 200 degrees celsius but 197, and that can be the difference between a computer repaired and a computer ruined forever , since the capacitors do not withstand so much heat. The 9-minute time is fine.
Had a previous post on August 4th, now the laptop is not starting up again, ready to try the 2nd reflow, the first reflow last for 3 months.
if you put some flux liquid ,
How long have it to be in oven ?
Thank Goodness, I have been looking to get some reflow course then I found this site, thank you for turning me to a gormet chef, let get baking.
Still a working Laptop after 1st reflow 2 months ago.
I do computer support as a business…. mostly tutorial work, virus removal and computer tuning for seniors. I usually don’t open up computers but when my own hp pavilion dv9500 gave me the black screen of death last week I didn’t want to chuck it right away. I paid $1400 for it and was hoping I’d get a little more life out of it. I’ve used it a lot for five years with no problems. Mine has an Intel processor; a friend of mine bought the dv9000 with AMD about the same time as mine and his video/motherboard failed within the warranty period so he got a free repair from HP. I was aware that this was a potential problem for mine but hoped it wouldn’t surface.
About a year ago I noticed the cooling fan was on more than it used to be; I considered taking the whole thing apart and cleaning the fan area but was lazy and didn’t want to break anything. A couple months ago it started crashing during heavy graphics usage while playing Battlestar Galactica Online. I thought it was the BSG Online interface but now I think it was probably the Nvidia chip connection starting to go. Last week it crashed a couple times; then it would not get past a mostly black screen with greenish/yellow vertical lines, all the lights on the keyboard blue but nobody home. Seemed like the classic symptoms of Nvidia video card death.
Anyway after reading all the posts here I was apprehensive of this actually working but I figured I had nothing to lose; checking out the replacement motherboards online for $100+ made me guess that many of them had probably been reflowed anyway (why not, the warranty on them is only 30-60 days, perfect guilt-free profit on a reflow for those churning them out). I figured if that was what I was going to get I might as well try that on mine first.
I disassembled the machine following a handy video I found on youtube for my model of hp. I noted that there was a lot of dust in the air handler area, this probably meant the whole thing had been overheated for long time. I stripped everything off the board that I could. I wrapped the board in aluminum foil but left the video chip exposed on both sides. After preheating the oven it was still below 375F so I turned it up to 420F and put in the board with chips facing down for about 9 minutes (it seemed like the best way to get full exposure to the Nvidia connections on the bottom of the board). The thermometer showed 400F when I turned off the oven, cracked the door open, had the fans going to get the fumes out, and let it cool.
A day later I put everything back together. The system came on, wanted to use a restore point, and voila — back in business. I immediately copied all the data off both drives in case it was a temporary fix. Left the thing on, copying 80 gigs of data to an external drive, went to bed. The next morning it was still on — and working. But the wireless wasn’t. Popping the panel off, I realized I hadn’t reinstalled the thin plastic protector that had been between the wireless card and the rest of the board. I found the protector in the trash, inserted it under the wireless card and… I’m writing this now using the wireless network. I guess many of these components must be pretty heat sensitive.
All I can say is … thank you for sharing this technique and for all the helpful comments. I never would have guessed that I could reflow a failed motherboard in the kitchen oven. I’m hoping this will last for another year (or even two) while I save up for the next machine. It probably won’t be an HP.
Another great method is with an airflow station …. set to 450 C for nvidia large chipset… smoothly move around for 2 min. from up to 3 cm !
Works everytime, well 90% of the time…but still the only last thing to do before throwing them into the trash can…
Bob – that’s one of the funniest things I’ve ever read.
Try this method 3 weeks ago, I put my Toshiba satellite L655D motherboard into the oven (make sure remove the battery on the motherboard, rams, other stuff, if u dont’, then the battery will be explored while u put into the oven) , turn on the oven to 385degree for 8 mins, after 8 mins,turn off the oven, leave it inside for half of an hr. After the motherboard cool down, put everything back. Restart the laptop , the screen comes back on, solve the blackscreen problem. Its still a working laptop for now, make sure place the coolant on the GPU, proccessor chip, etc. That helps to reduce the laptop tempurature, avoiding to overheat the GPU again. Not sure how long it will be last tho, hope it can be last over years til u get a new one.
Thank you so much.I cannot believe make iron sheet because its destroy in motherboard.
Computer Repair Tips – I think I got the wrong end of the stick. I thought this would make it go faster like when it was new but it didn’t. Some of the blue bits that look like sweets have gone black. I tried putting it in the freezer over night to undo whatever I broke but that hasn’t helped – I just got condensation on it when i took it out and the lines on the bottom have gone green now. Should I try it in the oven again?
Just buy an smd rework station and do it the right way. You can get them for about $100 now
Just wondering if the oven method will work for my laptop.. this would be the second reflow.. any idea? I’m scared that i would totally loss if i try the oven trick..
This is a great fix – worked for HP Pavilion DV5 ‘black screen’ problem:
The laptop lights would come on but the the screen didn’t display an image. Wouldn’t work with an external monitor either. The Caps Lock and Num Lock lights would flash once every few seconds. Other than that nothing, no life, dead, etc…
Oven baking the motherboard for 9 minutes at 200C solved the problem and the laptop is now working fine! Thanks!!
(HP’s site says this error comes from the CPU, but I baked mine with the GPU uncovered, and the CPU socket ((CPU REMOVED)) along with the rest of the board covered with foil – and its solved it no problems!)
We use an electric grill in the shop. About 400F for 20-30 minutes. Works great.
I would warn against trying this. My laptop was working fine until I baked the motherboard in the oven – now it won’t boot up at all 🙁
Bob – Why on earth would you bake a motherboard if your laptop was working fine?!? Baking a laptop motherboard is a repair method of last resort when your laptop will not work at all, and all other methods of repair have been tried.
i did this to my toshiba p305d-s8900….did it for a little over 8 min. it worked!!!! i cant believe it actually worked. i understand the concept, and ive used a heat gun on a few 360 boards, but i didnt think it would work on a laptop mobo. im amazed. the computer wouldnt turn on before i did this but the light would come on like it was but it never did. did this worked first time. still cant believe it! you just saved me 170$ for a mobo from ebay!!!!! thanks
Hp Pavillion dv2000, WORKED!
I baked the motherboard for 9 minutes at 200° celsius.
I did remove all components and stickers, wrapped the board in aluminum foil and cut over and below the NVIDIA chip.
Baking you MB really works. My hp dv2535 was driving me off the wall and was about to throw it out the window. Luckily came across this reflow thing and woilaaa….
Thanks whoever came up with this, you are legend man.
Baking works great, I have done hundreds of reflows / reballs, and even though not all work, many do. For those of you getting upset because it didn’t work, or broke soon after keep in mind that solder is metal, and the more you heat and re-heat metal the more tempered it becomes. Also Solder will not stick after a while of being heated and cooled and either flux or fresh solder must be applied. This can be done by using a heat gun to heat the chip and remove it, then clean up all the pads on the chip and board, apply new paste with the correct ball size and re-attach the chip through reflow techniques. It is a lot of work, but if your willing to give it a try it can save you money. Otherwise selling it off or trading is a reasonable alternative.
I just like your idea baking the motherboard. But knowing this is an dangerous case.But I think it would not be applicable in everybody’s case.
I used this on my desktop motherboard. The “South Bridge” had, well, gone south. The PC wouldn’t boot anymore. After “reflowing” it, it now boots fine.
I give it two thumbs up.
I used wine bottle corks instead of balls of tin foil. The corks got a bit roasted, but held up.
I tried heating the graphics chip by placing an iron on the chip placing a thin sheet of paper in between for about 25-30 minutes and guess what my laptop is breathing life once again
The laptop only lasted about a week after a reflow. Overheated again. Installed some 3d games and it overheated. I will reflow it again just to try one more time.
I can confirm that this worked perfectly using the instructions provided on a HP Pavillion DV2000
Baked it saturday. Now it is a working laptop.
Baked it in 9 minutes in 200 degrees and let it cool down.
Oven worked for me. 10 Minutes at 200c sat on 4 balls of tin foil. Let it cool down, connected up and Bingo! Up and Running. Whoever came up with this fix is the Dogs Bollocks. Thanks
I Just did this on a Dell XPS M1210 yesterday morning. Preheated to 385. I put the motherboard on a cookie sheet on top of 3 balls of tinfoil so it was not sitting directly on the cookie sheet. 8 Min in the over after preheat. at the 8 min mark I opened the oven door and turned off the oven. I took it out aprox 5 min later. Put everything back together and BAM – IT WORKED!! I left the paotop on for 4 hours lesterday and it worked perfect. Before the fix I would get TONS of colored lines arcoss the screen after 5 min of the laptop being turned on – then it would lock up.
I didnt think this would work as it was a last resort before purchasing a new motherboard but IT WORKED!!! SEEING IS BELIEVING!
i posted previously, and this is a follow up: the laptop (sony) worked fine, for two month and then the screen/graphics when out again, will do this reflow again but at this point want to take a torch to it… has any one done that? please post your experience and what you did. but oven works so far temporary… i wonder if there are ways of improving it? like different time or temp?
Just did the reflow on a toshiba L350D with a bad graphics or southbridge chip. I did 9 minutes in the oven, and let it cool slowly. Assembled it up and – BAM – works a treat. I recommend this guide to anyone with such a dead laptop!
this guide is okay, but one thing to ensure you don’t break your boards. when your done with your baking and are ready to turn it off DO NOT open the door. leave it and let it drop to room temperature slowly. if you open the door you will cool it too fast and break things.
im gonna try this tomorrow, i just bought a laptop on a pawn shop, after a week and ha half the problem started, i was playing a game and then werid grey and RGB colors in the screen showed up, i tried with a hairdryer and didnt work, weather wasnt helping. i dont have money for a heat gun so this is my last shot, hope it works, at leas for selling to another pawn shop, the werid thing is when i turn on the laptop, while pressing the WSDFVC keys (where the graphic chip and the screen cable, the screen shows backlight with no color, ther turns in red, green, blue, grey, black and then blank (sorry for my bad english, i speak spanish)
Fascinating video! – I have seen this done numerous times with GPUs (8 series Nvidia mainly) but haven’t seen this successfully performed on a MB before – good work!
Patience is a virtue!! This procedure does work – eventually. I tried an 8 minute bake the board worked for about 3 hours. So I redid it going for 210 degrees this time and an intention to leave it for 10 minutes. Regretably the phone rang and I ended up with a 12 minute bake. However when I refitted board it all worked and so far has for a week.
This is probably not a long time solution but it will give me enough time to sell the wretched machine and buy a new one!!
unfortunately it didn’t work! this guide sucks! witnessing (again!) the blinking light from this laptop crashed my hopes.
I’m sorry this guide didn’t work for you, but as it says, this procedure is not a guaranteed fix and just something to try as a method of last resort. I know it’s frustrating when it doesn’t work, but perhaps your laptop was just beyond repair.
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I just did my second reflow on a Compaq F730US mobo. First lasted almost 2 years. This time I researched the engineering and process for wave soldering and reflow soldering machines. They expose the board to the heat for 60 to 120 seconds. Also, there is a ramp-up to target heat and a cool down cycle. It’s dangerous to put a board in a 385 F oven as it might crack it. The fine foil circuit(s) that crack finish the board. This time, I stripped the board, put it in a cold oven, set the temp at 360 F. It took 8 minutes to get there. As soon as it hit temp, I turned off the oven, opened the door and let it cool. Residual heat was plenty to keep the reflow going as long as it needed. It works fine. Also, I put the board on pencil sized wood strips, chip side up, with nothing underneath it in the center of the oven, so it got a good amount of heat where it needed it. I doubt the tin foil under it helps anything, just prolongs the required time which is not good for caps. Various solders are used on the boards…60/40 melts at 371F, 63/37 at 362F, 63/36/2 at 355F. Lead free melts about 40F-50F higher. I suspect lead free has been phasing in since the early 2000’s, depending on where the board was made, but I did not research that aspect. Good luck on your bake. Throw some cookies in there alongside the board and celebrate when it’s done and working. If the cookies burn, you’re overdoing it.
Hi guys! Just wanna let you know me too succedeed in baking my motherboard.
Pavillion DV9500 w/ NVidia GEForce 8600 GS with Nvidia defect.
Everything works fine. Just to tell, I replaced cooling paste on GPU and CPU
People, if you are smart enough to fix the computer by this method, or at least to attempt it, then you should also state the obvious- you do not need to do this in order to back up your data. the data is stored on the hard drive or its equvivalent (flash drive) either way they are removable, and all you have to do is get the usb adapter for it and you can use it as portable drive/back up your other stuff from it. but as far as this method i used it and fixed the laptop, though broke it again on the “final lap” asembly, that means first time i assembled it to see if it starts up, then second time i wanted to do proper assembly with all the screws in and tightened properly, so then it didnt work and the reason is this: when you put things back together, you have to remember not to flex the board, mine got flexed cause i had to press the screw driver tighter to the screws so that i have a better torque on it. if i cared lesser then who knows it may have still been working. but now i ordered some flux and thermal paste, and will try this method again, and hopefully the flux will make better connections. sorry for my spelling. hopefully my reflow abilities are not reflected by my spelling LOL
Did it once to an Nvidia 8600 gt portable and worked for a month or so.. went bad today, gonna try it again let’s hope it works again (sadly i broke a cable of my wirelles card so the portable is probably gonna end in the trash, damn it..
I tried this today on my Dell XPS M1530 and it worked! Massive thanks! 🙂
Hi, I have done this and in fact it worked! First my Laptop (dv2945se) wouldn’t recognize my dvd drive properly, then one day it wouldn’t turn on at all… found instructions similar to these online and followed them to a tee, and sure enough.. Shes up and running again! I was so impressed that i wanted to post my results (which i never do). Thanks!
In response to the question – “could someone tell me if new thermal compound is completely necessary?”
I will assume you refer to the thermal compound between the graphics chip and it’s heatsink.
The answer to that is – it depends. On most laptops I have done this on, they tend to have a thermal pad attached to the graphics heatsink. As such, there is rarely any thermal compound on the chip itself.
Under the heat of the baking procedure, there is no doubt that if thermal compound is present on the chip it will dry up and crack/crumble, rendering it ineffective as a heat transfer medium.
So if after disassembly, your graphics ship still has an amount of thermal compound on it, I would recommend removing it prior to the baking process using something like isopropyl alcohol. Then after the baking process apply fresh thermal compound before reassembling.
Standard thermal paste is inexpensive and may help with ensuring heat transfer in the long term. However, if all you are wanting to do is get your laptop up and running again long enough to retrieve data files, etc, it will probably make very little difference whether you apply fresh thermal compound or not.
Hope this helps!
I have a bricked HP Pavilion dv9700 and thought I’d give the oven a try. Its been mentioned a couple times in comments, but could someone tell me if new thermal compound is completely necessary? I’m not sure if I should wait for some to be delivered or go ahead and try without? And, if the oven method doesn’t work it’ll be a waste of money on the thermal compound.
Thanks for the guide!
I tried baking my the motherboard on my old acer last night and have just re-assembled it (with a few spare screws left over – oops) and it works. I can rescue my files before it dies again – Thanks!
My laptop (Gateway P-6860fx) GPU died in November 2010. I replaced the laptop right away. Since the old one was shot anyway, I figure I had nothing to lose besides a couple bucks for some new thermal compound. I removed the MoBo and baked it at 385 for 7.5 minutes. A figure gathered from several websites on the subject.
So far it works. I don’t know for how long though. The bake was performed last night.
Things I’d do differently: Remove the black plastic covering. I’d read that it wasn’t necessary. Much of it melted onto the board, but can still be pealed off, so no major issues with it. Some edges curled. Not sure if they will ever be an issue.
Be a little more careful about removing everything. I forgot the little plastic piece in the SD card slot, so it’s pretty much fused in there now. No SD card for that laptop now, but no big loss considering the nature of the “repair.”
This was a last ditch effort before paying $250 to replace it. I fear that the replacement parts were fixed in a similar manner (albeit a more professional and controlled method one would hope), so I would hate to waste $250 on something that’s going to break in a year or less anyway.
Re flowing a Laptop Motherboard definitely works, but the problem is how long it works, some work a week others more than a year. For a stress free life cut your losses and sell your laptop on ebay for parts.
Liked the `bake hp motherboard in the oven` method – it does work! Clean the chip with Articclean thermal material remover and add a copper square & artic silver 5 paste. This is vital to resolve original overheating problem. My guinea pig HP lasted for over a year and is still going!
Tried the heatgun technique. Lasted for a week. Now I baked the motherboard for 30 minutes at 300 degrees F and it’s working fine. Now I can transfer everything to my new notebook.
Nah, if it is just the graphics chip or main processor chip you can more directly control the reflow with a heat gun or if you are very carefull a butane torch on its lowest setting. No need to bake the entire thing…
Just an option to consider anyways.
Like the article says, it is a last ditch attempt to add life to your system. Most likely if the fix works, you will have to do it again after some time. So even if you are able to repair, it is a diffinitive sign that it is time to start looking for a new motherboard or a new computer or at the very least, get all your important data backed up.