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Bad solder on laptop graphics chip, overheating makes it work. Other solutions?

Bad solder on laptop graphics chip, overheating makes it work. Other solutions?


Old 02-29-20, 11:17 AM
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Bad solder on laptop graphics chip, overheating makes it work. Other solutions?

The laptop has a somewhat common issue where the solder on the graphics chip turns brittle over time... when it cools, it breaks contact and the screen freezes up, and the display never works after that, unless you wrap the laptop in a blanket so that it overheats, which causes the solder to melt and make contact again. This fix is only temporary, but can be repeated.

I wanted to convert the laptop to a desktop, and hook up to an external monitor from the VGA port to see if that might work. I completely removed the top half of the laptop, unhooking the screen totally.

This worked great, and I was using the laptop/monitor as normal, but eventually the screen froze up again. This time, however, I didn't have to overheat the laptop... I just rebooted and the monitor kept working. Since then it has happened many times... the screen locks up, but every single time it always works again when I reboot.

So my question is, why has the behavior changed? If it's the same brittle solder issue as before, why do I no longer have to overheat the laptop to get it to work again? Could it be something else going on?

After setting this up, I tried to think about the problem more. Does using the VGA out port even bypass the graphics chip solder issue? After thinking about it, it seems like it wouldn't... but then why has the behavior changed? It has an HDMI port, but I'm not sure if that would bypass a bad graphics chip solder connection either.

Any ideas as to what is going on, and/or any possible solutions to be able to use it as a desktop?

I've updated the graphics and processor drivers.
Old 02-29-20, 12:06 PM
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Does using the VGA out port even bypass the graphics chip solder issue?
No..... it still uses the graphics chip.

You've determined there is a heat sensitive solder connection. Usually with time that gets worse and other pins nearby suffer the same problem.

In basic electronic equipment..... that could possible be fixed with a hot air reflow gun. The problem is while you are trying to reflow one problem.... you could blow small nearby parts off the board.
(ask me how I know).

Unfortunately I don't see an easy way out of your problem.
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Old 02-29-20, 12:12 PM
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Some laptops have 2 graphics adapters: an on-board Intel chip and an add-on high-performance adapter. If yours has 2, try the other one.
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Old 03-01-20, 10:17 AM
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How do you know that the freeze is caused by the GPU chip? The continuous strain of overheating and cooling of the laptop may have caused other problems. Also, unintentional overheating now could cause the system to freeze.

If you google speedfan you will find a free safe utility that you can download and it will allow you to monitor the processor core temperatures and other onboard sensors (if they exist). You can use it in monitor mode and you do not have to use it to control fan speeds or clock speeds, etc. if you donít want to. In other words, you can use it in passive mode only, just as a monitor.
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Old 03-01-20, 11:16 AM
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I'm doubtful that you reach soldering temperatures simply by wrapping a laptop in a blanket.

Sounds more like the chip heats up and expands to create a fault
Putting the laptop in a blanket causes the REST of the board to expand, and re-establish contact.

Simplest solution is probably better cooling -
-sometimes you can set the fan to "constant on" through the BIOS or using SpeedFan/software.
-other option is remove the plastic shell and add/widen the airflow slots.

Had a laptop with the standard Intel GMA945 video chip, I found a modest benefit from "GMA Booster" utility let you manually control the laptops power throttling to the video chip.

tiresharkdbb voted this post useful.

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