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Took a heat gun to my dead logic board! Success!

puttputt

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2006
152
44
Michigan
My 2008 MBP 2.4Ghz had a failed logic board.
Turning it on only gave me a click (not really a click) sound and the sleep light came on for a couple seconds. (So, I was sure it was the logic board, not the video chip.)

I figured I had nothing to lose to try to reflow the board myself. If I sent it off to be done for $400, I was concerned the problem would happen again down the road. Same thought on buying a used board.

I read the posts on the 'net about baking it in the oven and hitting it with a heat gun. I choose the heat gun method.

After removing the logic board, I used a "craft store" heat gun (which my wife uses for embossing text/art on greeting cards) and slowly began heating up the board.

For a minute or 2, I held the gun about 10" away and warmed it up, gradually moving it closer (3" - 5") and waving it around the entire board, both sides, mostly aimed at the processor chips.

I did NOT use a thermometer. I just went by touch to guess if it the temperature was too hot. I did this for only 5 minutes and let it cool down.

Dropped it back into the MBP (without inserting the screws yet), turned it on and it fired right up!

I'm going to apply some new thermal paste before I put it completely back together.

I'll report back later after it's all back together.

:):):):):)
 
Last edited:

therealdeal

macrumors member
Aug 1, 2010
53
0
Oklahoma, USA
Nice! I did kind of the same thing for my Xbox 360 that had RRoD... wrapped it up in 4 towels and let the thing cook for a few hours lol. It was fixed though! Technology sure can be weird sometimes.
 
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Wang Foolio

macrumors regular
Jan 11, 2010
164
0
Nice! I did kind of the same thing for my Xbox 360 that had RRoD... wrapped it up in 4 towels and let the thing cook for a few hours lol. It was fixed though! Technology sure can be weird sometimes.
I think this concept has destroyed my brain (or at least caused some serious damage). You can fix the system that is prone to overheating by baking components in the oven for several hours. Does not compute :eek:
 
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chris007

macrumors newbie
Nov 29, 2010
22
0
San Diego
I think this concept has destroyed my brain (or at least caused some serious damage). You can fix the system that is prone to overheating by baking components in the oven for several hours. Does not compute :eek:

Yeah this definitely doesn't make much sense to me, but hey if it works all the better.

I remember hearing of DIY fixes for the xbox's RRoD but it seemed like more of sure fire way to kill it, not fix it. Glad to hear someone came out of the "baking" method on top.
 
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puttputt

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2006
152
44
Michigan
I just got all the screws back in and re-installed the hard drive (my initial success notice I didn't put the HD back in yet).

I'm posting this from the formerly dead Macbook Pro!

It really is amazing, presumably it was heat that caused the problem; heat corrects the problem.

Regardless, I'm super happy.
 
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puttputt

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2006
152
44
Michigan
Here's a pic of the heat gun.

A "Marvy Ughida Embossing Heat Tool"

MBP still running great after the operation.
 

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Sace

macrumors member
Mar 30, 2008
75
0
Nice!

But it's not wierd that it works. If one or more of the solder joints are broken because of heat, you shold be able to reflow them using heat ;)
 
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Newfiejudd

macrumors regular
Jul 8, 2010
143
1
Not surprised. This was a fix a lot of people used on dead Nvidia M7900 gtx GPU's and it worked more times then not. Saved me some $500 on a dead GPU. That system even lasted a few more years.

Never though of using it on a logic board though. Smart thinking.
 
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chaoticbear

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2007
265
1
Nice!

But it's not wierd that it works. If one or more of the solder joints are broken because of heat, you shold be able to reflow them using heat ;)

Oh, never mind. That makes sense. I was thinking it was a way to blow the magic smoke back inside :D
 
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RT2020

macrumors regular
Feb 18, 2010
236
0
Yes it was most likely prolonged heat that caused the logic board to fail. People on here can't seem to understand that prolonged heat eventually leads to hardware death.

I've undervolted my Macbook Pro and set the minimum fan speed to slightly higher (so it it makes the same noise as before..but moves more air)

My computer runs in the 30c-50c range. I'm pretty sure I have one of the coolest running macbook pros out there....and I could not be happier
 
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rnelan7

macrumors 6502
Nov 9, 2009
355
0
Boise
My little brother has the original Xbox 360 and it has red ringed. Just like the OP all that has to be done is take a heat gun to a certain part of the logic board and it works again.
 
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puttputt

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2006
152
44
Michigan
update

So... 8 days after the operation, my logic board crapped out again.

Took it apart. Reheated, err... reflowed, the logic board again and it started back up just fine.

I read that a guy who baked his in an oven had to redo it 3 or 4 times over a 4 month period. I hope I don't have to do this every week until the new MBPs come out!
 
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7thMac

macrumors 6502
May 10, 2010
284
2
Interesting post. To melt solder the temperature generally needs to be close to 400 degrees. Can the heat gun really do this?
 
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ridnhard19

macrumors member
Aug 24, 2009
36
0
Interesting post. To melt solder the temperature generally needs to be close to 400 degrees. Can the heat gun really do this?


Oh yeah. Heat guns are crazy. Some can blast hot air past 1000 degrees F! :eek: You wouldn't want to put your hand in front of one to see how hot it is, that's for sure.
 
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Obese Lobsters

macrumors member
Jul 3, 2010
99
0
As with the xboxes, you should consider using the heat gun and griddle combination. Also you should considering using some type of thick paper to make a funnel and use aluminum tape to tape the funnel on to the motherboard so the heat from the heat gun concentrates on the gpu or cpu.
 
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UltraNEO*

macrumors 601
Jun 16, 2007
4,057
12
近畿日本
I think this concept has destroyed my brain (or at least caused some serious damage). You can fix the system that is prone to overheating by baking components in the oven for several hours. Does not compute :eek:

Actually it's not so complicated, nor is it technical.
Just un-thought off by most people.

Ever seen how computers and other electronic goods are manufactured?

Most modern day electronic equipment contain tiny surface mounted components, usually placed in position and glued on glass-fibre boards (containing pre-soldered contact pads) by robots, then baked until the solder melts... thus making the circuit complete.

Occasionally, some contacts, for one reason or another develop a dry joint, or a weak joint, leading to a premature device failure. The simple process of components in a computer heat up and cool down increases the chances of failure; especially where there's a dry-joint. Basically, using a heat gun replicates the manufacturing process. Provided the heat is intensive enough and the user doesn't attempt to move the PCB while it's still hot, components with dry-joints will reconnect.
 
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puttputt

macrumors regular
Original poster
Sep 12, 2006
152
44
Michigan
Another update...

6 days since the 2nd heating and it failed again.
Heated it up again, this time for a little longer (10 minutes).
MBP is up and running again. Hope it lasts longer this time.
 
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Pentad

macrumors 6502a
Nov 26, 2003
985
97
Indiana
puttputt,


I'm just throwing this out there, but have you tried to divide up your logic board into sections and heat each one at a time and then check it? I don't know if I'm making sense...

For example:

Do just the upper right
Check if it works
Yes - you have an idea of the solder break

Do just the lower right
Check if it works
Yes - you have an idea of the solder break

etc...


I just thought if you knew what section it was in you could test for intermittent connections.

Just a thought.

Cheers!

-P
 
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