What you're trying to do (as he stated in the article) is that you're trying to reflow the poorly adherent solder beads in the hopes that you'll fix the faulty connection. But the way you're doing it introduces the risk of damaging the PCB and the ICs themselves through thermal stresses and gaseous expansion by any trapped ambient moisture. This will irreparably damage your board and it will lead to the phenomena he experienced here. ("popcorning")
The right way to do it involves a directed hot air gun and proper equipment so that you aren't imposing excessive thermal stresses onto the board as a whole. If you don't know how to do that, then please send it to someone who does. There are several good repair outfits out there right now who specialize in this and can help you out.
Do not repeat this person's mistake. This DIY method is like doing cardiac surgery with a chainsaw. It's a terrible idea for your data and wallet.
Edit: Here's a guide that outlines these issues and offers ways to do it properly with the right equipment. The "popcorning" is called board delamination. https://www.latticesemi.com/-/media/LatticeSemi/Documents/Ap...
Our streets should be safer for pedestrians and bicyclists, cars get free reign and little in the way of fines or charges when a pedestrian or cyclist are hit and injured.
I gave it up because after getting hit 3 times and the driver drove off, including an MTA Bus that ran me over from behind and an NYPD officer that refused to take a police report for it, I decided that it's not worth it.
Have the bike lanes gotten any better in NYC? I'm lucky enough to be near a separated two way bike lane that crosses a few other separated bike lanes here in Seattle, which has alleviated most of my fear of getting run over. Matted leaves covering the lane are a bigger threat than cars :P
No, they have not gotten better.
I would recommend biking with a camera if I were stuck with what your dealing with :c
Even then I always communicate to the person that the repair is intended to facilitate RECOVERY ONLY and that all bets are off on the machine being long-term usable again. Usually this is only useful for large BGA chips. Unfortunately Apple laptops made the past 10 years use BGA chips almost exclusively through logic board design.
Just my 2¢ to say that it does work sometimes.
My understanding was that the oven repair was/is mostly for when GPU’s had to move away from less based solder due to EU regulations but hadn’t gotten non-lead based solder right yet.
Also I wrapped most of the board in foil only exposing the GPU, and I put the board in hot and then killed heat after one or two minutes.
I thought it was great as a kid without any means to a new computer. Friends would give me their broken computers and I would fix them for myself.
The right repair I guess depends on what you can afford and what you’re willing to risk.
What angered me even more was that Pioneer USA acknowledged the problem and would either repair or give you a replacement model, but Pioneer EU pretends everything is fine and dandy, even when you point them to Pioneer USA its stance.
Either way, it's pretty bad that they didn't do something about it. That's indicative of a pretty serious manufacturing or design flaw.
Temporary (actually fairly permanent, but if the laptop goes to sleep you run into the backlight problem where it won't turn on until you poweroff the laptop and then back on again)
But I have always suspected that it was something with the board and poor solder connections.
Im amazed there are CS people on HN not knowing basic physics.
I believe this is the one that explains it. Or the one before it. The reflow over time goes back to how it was, if it works at all.
I don't think I would like my first attempt to be on something expensive but its possible.
Appliances like this can swing +/- 20 degrees at minimum. Doing reflow in this is suicide without reworking the temp controls.
So don't just stick stuff in your oven
You can achieve radiant heating of particular sections of a board by cutting aluminum foil to expose or cover particular board sections. You can insulate the board to prevent excess heat soak, you can take apart the oven to force it to ramp heat more slowly, and cooling is trivial. You can also remove moisture ahead of time by enclosing the board in a plastic bag with silica gel or calcium chloride, or a very long, slow heat ramp. (Or just leave the board in a sunny window in a dry environment)
If the problem is indeed in the connections below BGA chips, the proper solution is reballing, which involves desoldering and lifting the entire chip off the board, cleaning the entire area, then reballing, placing and soldering it in again. This is a non-trivial operation that requires specialized equipment.
Sounds like that will take forever.
edit: oops didn't see the recursion joke :(
I followed the instructions from : http://russell.heistuman.com/2010/04/27/cooking-the-books-or...
Even this method is fraught with danger, at least if one is doing it at home. I have decades of experience with soldering and repairing boards with SMT components and I am hesitant to use a heat gun on a board unless it's a last resort. A couple of years ago I had a Mac mini 2011 logic board with the infamous AMD Radeon BGA warping issue, and I attempted a heat gun repair following best practices. I got another six months out of the board before it started having video issues again, and another attempt to revive it failed. I didn't have anything but time invested in it (it was given to me as scrap when it failed the previous owner), but I'd never use a repaired board like that as a production machine because it will fail again and soon.
Wasn't there a funny game on Steam for that? Surgeon something.
You can turn an electric toaster oven into a reflow oven with a cheap programmable closed loop temperature controller. Though I don't know how even the heating would be or how effective depending on the model.
Consistent and controlled heat are absolutely vital when working with tiny SMD components.
In addition there issue of calibration. Even expensive full size ovens can be significantly off.
How do I know this? I worked with Japanese laquer (Urushi) which was baked onto metal for bonding. But Urushi is the sap of a tree related to poison oak and over-heating leads to fumes that are not great. Experiments with small (toaster) ovens and large electric ranges produced bad results.
Most electric kilns for ceramics, especially those that are computer controlled, are highly recommended for sensitive work where temperature control is important.
For a very precise small oven, the ones that they make for enamel or firing dental porcelain are pretty good.
Sous vide, big green egg grills, induction ranges, some of the air fryers, etc. It’s all about precision temperature.
It's funny how often the cooks complain about the ovens not being accurate on the Bon Appetit YouTube channel. There are 3rd party thermometers installed in each one.
The ovens are Viking or Fisher and Pytel or something, high-cost ovens that the average home chef would dream of. And they stink!
I wonder if it's more the cooks than it is the oven.
My wife once worked at a shop where she had to prepare fresh-baked cookies from scratch, and their oven was often "on the glitch". The owner of the shop also owned a pizza place next door.
So when the oven went on the fritz, she'd do what any self-sufficient cook would do, and borrow the commercial gas pizza oven next door.
Now mind you - this was a commercial full-sized pizza oven, running at an insane temperature - well over 700 degrees. But it was a consistent temperature...
...so my wife would pop 'em in, wait an appropriate amount of time while also watching the cookies closely, then pull them out when they were properly cooked.
They'd turn out perfectly every time. That isn't to say you could cook anything at that increased temperature - you can't. But there are many things you can do, if you know what the heck you're doing.
Sometimes you gotta make due with the tools at your disposal, because you may not have a choice otherwise. Or at least try to do it. If things hadn't gone right with the cookies, in the trash they would've went - but it went so well, my wife started to learn how to use that pizza oven for all it was worth, because it was usually always at temperature and consistent.
- The chefs on said youtube channel complain about the temperature being non-consistent on their ovens.
- Your wife also ran into this problem with her oven.
- Your wife was able to cook using a pizza oven, which did NOT display this problem.
- Therefore, the chefs from the channel are bad chefs, worse than your wife.
I have not watched this youtube channel and cannot comment on the skill of the chefs, but your comment's conclusion does not logically follow.
The point I was trying to make was to use the tools you have at your disposal. My wife had access to a "flaky oven" (half the time it wouldn't turn on) - or she could use an oven that worked properly, albeit at a very high temperature that for many people, would burn the heck out of anything you put in it.
In the case of the youtube channel - which I don't know about anything either - maybe, if the ovens didn't hold a proper temperature, they should have just cranked it to max temperature, not worried about what the temperature actually was - and just cooked with that?
It would of course depend on what was being cooked; there's a world of difference between say, roasting some potatoes at high temperature, and baking a souffle or something delicate like that. You probably couldn't do the latter in a high temperature oven properly.
But ultimately, most cooking is essentially controlled burning. If you can do that, you can cook many things. Not everything, but enough.
Actual baking on the other hand - a lot of it involves accuracy and chemistry, and if you don't have control over the whole process, then the recipe will fail every time. If that were the case with that youtube channel (quite likely), then doing any kind of a "hack" with an oven probably won't work out well.
One solution is to wrap the item in something which acts as a dampener. A couple of layers of crumpled tinfoil will help.
Note that you definitely can reflow in a low-end kitchen oven with the appropriate changes ;). I built two small ovens for reflowing. Search for "arduino reflow" for some pointers.
Get a better oven. A 90 degree Celsius swing is insane. Ovens do generally have some amount of swing but it should’t be anything close to that.
I think it's a bit too difficult to hold a heat gun, an infrared thermometer, a set of tweezers and flux, so I would just get a feel by testing it out with some other busted PCB.
Reballing flip chip GPUs is BULLSHIT - the truth about dead laptop GPUs & repairing them. - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1AcEt073Uds
Luckily, he also shows the proper way to do it:
Linus Attempts BGA Graphics Chip Repair! - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Shn7LdIrViQ
The problem is that it works from a QA perspective: They can test the thing for hours and it'll run flawlessly. It's only when it goes through hundreds of heating/cooling cycles that it starts to break down and cause problems.
You really never know which product or vendor is going to suffer from it next. Every GPU vendor has had some issues.
I got red-ringed and I didn't swear off of buying Microsoft products forever.
It's not just toys. Lead solder is being phased out for many applications.
The obvious solution if you must use that oven is to wrap the board in silver foil first and it might have had a chance.
Lead-free solder has it's peculiarities but the industry long ago got used to it and leaded solder is now mostly seen by hobbyists. I've made the move to lead-free and while it's not quite as easy to work with, the peace of mind knowing I've eliminated at least one nasty heavy metal from my hobby is worth it.
Despite what everyone says lead free isn’t all that bad.
Apple products have been lead-free for more than a decade.
True, As long as you wash your hands after handling it.
I remember it was a common discussion topic for the Nvidia 8800GT.
Reflows ovens work because they allow nothing touching the parts on a level board, the solder paste melts into solder pools and the parts center themselves by surface tension over each pad.
Most of the time if you are hot air soldering and the solder, flux, pad shape, and part are good, you need no positioning tool at all. The solder melts and the part just wiggles itself into place.
Getting the temperature stable without putting pressure on the parts, and also not getting them wet would be challenging, but probably not that much more challenging than doing the same thing in a toaster oven or other regular oven.
First off, I think you confused C and F. The author wanted 170ºC in his oven, would would be outside the range of any existing sous vide and would be violent boil.
Second, reflow only works because of the perfectly level and no contact of parts, they need to be free to FLOAT to their destination guided by surface tension.
I'd still argue that a sous vide type circulator with a slight modification, a liquid with a higher boiling point, and a container for the board that doesn't involve vacuum sealing, would be better than the raw, unreliable oven in the OP. I bet it would end up costing about as much as a better solution, though.
It's surprisingly hurtful if one of those little fuckers explodes between your thumb and index finger.
Regular electrolytic caps also make a nice pop and ball of fuzz, often the shell will fly across the room at good speed. Also they have that unforgettable odor of shame that will follow whatever you were working on for a few hours.
I don't know how dangerous it would be to eat food from an oven that was previously used for reflow soldering; if I had to guess, the danger would be minimal - maybe an increased risk of cancer or something like that. Likely, the fumes or whatnot was simply rosin flux vaporizing.
Rosin flux is usually something like refined pine resin with a solvent; it won't kill you to eat it (or breath in the smoke while soldering - though that can be a major irritant), but I am almost certain it might cause a flavoring issue for future baked foods.
Then again - maybe it would lend those holiday dinners a festive flavor?
Even so, just as I wouldn't reuse a pan or pot I had created sugar candy rocket fuel in to cook dinner (no matter how clean I tried to make it afterward), I also wouldn't reuse an oven for cooking purposes, that had been used for reflowing a PCB previously.
It just seems like a "best practice" to me to not reuse equipment in that manner for food cooking and consumption.
That's just me; I don't find the potential harm, no matter how objectively slight it might be, to be worth it in the long run.
Opening the iMac the first time was very stressful.
Relatively speaking, the CPU heatsink was massive compared to the GPU. I would assume the engineers designing it knew that the CPU was going to run very hot, especially when it launched on a 90nm architecture.
A swift elbow to the side cracks the plastic locking mechanism, dropping the cover and freeing the roll.
Or do you mean the UK just uses air dryers? The newer vortex ones work ok, but the previous ones were useless, which encourages people to not wash their hands at all.
Only having 1.5kw to work with probably didn’t help.
Hand dryers get dedicated circuits. They aren't limited to residential outlet specs.
Wrap them up in blankets, powered on, and wait a few hours.
So, the machine is stranded on my desk, hooked up to a stationary screen, lid kept slightly ajar. The most laidback member of the household comes by, a fully grown male of species felis catus. Apparently slams the lid shut and goes to sleep on laptop for the duration of the night.
Machine has been fine ever since.
I baked a dead graphics card in the oven and it hasn't failed for half a year or so until I replaced it with something better. It probably wasn't the smartest thing I ever did and I wouldn't recommend it unless to anyone unless they have an oven they aren't going to use for food anymore in a well ventilated are (which was not the case for me).
The card had bad graphics glitches in whatever mode the BIOS puts it in and would cause boot to fail at an early stage.
First I disassembled the card and ensures that all remaining components were heat resistant and that there was nothing that seemed likely to fall off on the bottom side. I carefully mounted it in the oven on some balls of tinfoil. I also added a thermometer that came with a cheap multimeter because I didn't feel inclined to trust the oven not to overshoot.
I ramped the temperature up slowly, using hot air and keeping it under 100°C for a while in hopes of getting out any water and keeping it from going popcorn. When raising the temperature to the point where I expected the solder to go soft (can't remember the exact temperature) the thing suddenly started to smell rather badly (but not burnt), forcing me to open the windows and leaving the room most of the time. At that point I got worried about the fumes and where they might condensate but decided to go through with it, heating it up a bit further and then cooling it down slowly.
In the aftermath I got a working graphics card and a smelly oven. The smell went away after a few hours at max temperature, a lot of ventilation and some cleaning. I hope there wasn't a health issue with any substaces remaining in the oven as the smell was gone and food doesn't really get in direct contact with the inside of the oven. Anyway, it's the reason why I wouldn't recommend it or do it again.
It worked again for ~2 months, which gave me plenty of time to backup all local data. Then the blue screen returned and after trying to bake it again, it would not power on at all anymore.
Trying to randomly unsolder and put back resistors or other components when you don’t know what the error is is another bad idea.
The author should have tried to actually attempt to fix the logic board first. But before all that he should have inspected the board and use a voltmeter to see what the issue is. But even doing that he might need a replacement part.
I'm sorry about your MacBook, and I just wanted to thank you for this wonderfully evocative bit of writing which made my day.
I recently repaired our iMac GPU after it started acting strange. Baked it in a convection oven for 6 minutes at 160° and not a second more. I also used a heavy baking sheet as a heat sink. I did not need a reflow station and if it failed I would have simply ordered a replacement GPU.
I had nothing to loose and saw a video about it on YouTube. So I cracked it open and ran the flame around the GPU for several minutes. I eventually got it boot up and it lasted for another 9 months and then I needed to do the process again. I did it a few more times and probably got another year and half out of the laptop.
Words to live by. :)
In 2012, I successfully baked my 2007 MBP logic board and it worked for 2 years after that. It was a known issue w/ the Nvidia GPU connection.
Obviously you have to pre-heat the oven, you don't want the heating elements to be on continuously as that would be too hot. A trick to reduce variance is to pre-heat to say 200c, then put the logic board in. The heat that escapes during that time would bring it close to your target 170c.
There should barely be any smell. In my case it was just the smell of burnt dust, slight metallic smell, probably the solder.
Followed the instructions from: http://russell.heistuman.com/2010/04/27/cooking-the-books-or...
And yes, I use Dell :)
Anyone who ever tried to bake a frozen pizza in one of these ovens following the instructions on the box would've immediately recognized that this is a very bad idea.
Several years ago I had a 9800GTX graphics card fan go out, and its core temp rose to 117 Celsius. Eventually it died, and I attempted to bake the card to re-flow broken solder. I'm not sure if that actually fix anything, but the card worked for a bit longer.
Eventually I had to replace it.
I mean seriously, anyone could build these things better than the big companies are. Yes, the technology in the chips and logic boards is astounding. But the engineering of the cases is.. either amateurish bordering on the inept, or companies design in such brittleness to sell more devices.
Was there ever a time where you could do this things to your electronics and guarantee that they would work afterwards?
It came back on and worked for a couple more years... the next cool down killed it for good though. No amount of baking would bring it back. Granted, I didn’t pull the logic board (I’d upgraded to a G4 by then)...
Not saying that OP shouldn't be more careful with such an expensive piece of hardware, but accidents happen, and some people are more careless than others (I'm one of them and a smartphone or tablet of mine doesn't even get out of the box withouth a matching protective cover).
These days I would imagine the parts are smaller and more delicate.
Is this a plausible diagnosis?
Longer answer... well... two components I can specifically think of can be effected by shock and vibration:
1. Spinning disk hard drives are one, although you could probably debate this because there are protections in place. The idea being read, shock, corrupted read now in ram. Head of a hard drive should park itself under shock, and checksum bits should protect against bad reads.
2. The other is crystal isolators. XTALs are tuning forks. And if you physically hit them the right way, they vibrate. It’s absolutely possible to induce a pulse per minute variance with a crystal oscillator under vibration. A lot of Apple products are moving to MEMS clocks, which are silicon “solid-state”, do not suffer the same problem, smaller, cheaper, but have other issues (remember that story about iPhones dying in the hospital because someone vented the helium? MEMS can die in helium, but the story was nonsense, not even slightly enough ratios to actually affect phones). Don’t know if you could hit a crystal oscillator so hard and so sharp that you actually injected a full clock cycle into a running device, but, answer the question yeah it kind of sort of could be possible to corrupt ram with a shock to a crystal and probably ceramic clock.
It's still working to this day. I feel like I was a lot more careful. The author seems to describe their behaviour as rather reckless and haphazard.
Certainly putting it up to 180 wasn't a great idea. :3
Why did you put it upside down with the heavy components underneath? You should have read the guides.
Do they serve baked MacBooks at the genius bar?
But professional repair shops are using a more sophisticated form of the same method. I wonder if the have some kind of adaptive support layer instead of a simple grille or flat surface?
But at least now it is 4 to, well at least, 1 no success
> However, since 4.18.0 everything seem to work well!
This weird mixmastering of the version (18.04)... Yes, I know it's based on a date, but it's a version number. Probably best to just leave it.
Best you could do is pick up another used one. Can't even buy refurbs from Apple.