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

Discussion in 'MacBook Pro' started by puttputt, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. puttputt, Nov 30, 2010
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2010

    puttputt macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    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.

  2. farmermac macrumors 6502a

    Jul 23, 2009
    I should have tried that before parting out my water spilled 13mbp
  3. aimbdd macrumors 6502a

    Dec 10, 2008
    East Cost
  4. therealdeal macrumors member


    Aug 1, 2010
    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.
  5. Wang Foolio macrumors regular

    Jan 11, 2010
    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:
  6. chris007 macrumors newbie

    Nov 29, 2010
    San Diego
    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.
  7. puttputt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    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.
  8. Garen macrumors regular


    Apr 9, 2010
    Los Angeles Area
  9. puttputt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    Here's a pic of the heat gun.

    A "Marvy Ughida Embossing Heat Tool"

    MBP still running great after the operation.

    Attached Files:

  10. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    I'd never heard of this method before... bizaaaaarre.
  11. Stvwndr219 macrumors 6502

    Jan 26, 2009
    I'll keep this in mind if I ever run out of warranty and my mbp decides to die. :)
  12. Sace macrumors member

    Mar 30, 2008

    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 ;)
  13. Newfiejudd macrumors regular

    Jul 8, 2010
    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.
  14. chaoticbear macrumors 6502

    Jul 25, 2007
    Oh, never mind. That makes sense. I was thinking it was a way to blow the magic smoke back inside :D
  15. vanc macrumors 6502

    Nov 21, 2007
  16. Mabyboi macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Dear god man, you have some SERIOUS balls to do this. I couldn't imagine doing this to my MBP...
  17. RT2020 macrumors regular

    Feb 18, 2010
    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
  18. rnelan7 macrumors 6502


    Nov 9, 2009
    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.
  19. puttputt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006

    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!
  20. 7thMac macrumors 6502

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

    Aug 24, 2009

    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.
  22. Obese Lobsters macrumors member

    Jul 3, 2010
    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.
  23. UltraNEO* macrumors 601


    Jun 16, 2007
    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.
  24. puttputt thread starter macrumors regular

    Sep 12, 2006
    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.
  25. Pentad macrumors 6502a


    Nov 26, 2003

    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


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

    Just a thought.



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