A common failure point in computers is the solder connections around and under processors. The continual heat causes them to melt away and unseat. When these fail, you get things like the now infamous Red Ring of Death (RRoD) on Xbox, and your device no longer functions. So essentially the fix is to “reflow” the solder under the processor so that it reconnects and reseats to your CPU or GPU. Thus, making your device function again.
It’s a bit of a risky procedure, but since you’ll be doing it to a GPU that is in disrepair, you don’t have much to lose (just be careful not to damage surrounding components if you plan to try and salvage it after).
Here are step by step instructions on how to repair laptop GPU with a heat gun.
What you’ll need:
- A heat gun
- Aluminum foil
- Thermal grease
Step 1. In order to apply this fix, you need to take a part whatever device you are working on. Search the internet for how to get to your computer’s GPU and follow the instructions. Further, many manufacturers websites have detailed PDFs set up to make the process easier.
Step 2. Once you have access to your GPU, you’ll want to protect surrounding components like the motherboard, video card, etc. Each situation will be different, but basically you’ll want to take the foil and cover everything you don’t want effected by the heat. It will act as a thermal shield.
Step 3. Again, depending on your specific device, you’ll need to remove the heatsink that covers the GPU and clean it with some denatured rubbing alcohol to remove old gunk and buildup. If there is no heatsink, move on to step 4.
Step 4. Setting your heat gun to the 500 degree setting, position it approximately 1-inch above the center of the GPU and continually heat for 40-50 seconds (about the time it takes solder to melt). Allow about 20 minutes to cool before reassembling.
Step 5. Apply thermal grease to heatsink (if you have one) and reattach. If your device uses thermal pads instead of grease do not add grease, simply position them accordingly.
You’re done. Please be advised that this fix has varied results. Sometimes it fixes the problem essentially forever, sometimes it only works for a few weeks/months, and sometimes it doesn’t work at all. But like we said above, what do you have to lose?
For more information on how we can help you, contact us any time.