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Alas! Sudden catastrophic failure


m3mb3rsh1p
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I had recently upgraded my D630 from Intel to Nvidia and believed it would last a long time with the copper shims I installed that appeared to be keeping temperatures around 72 degrees at the highest load.

 

To my surprise, however, The graphics chip seems to have failed suddenly. I did not experience the gradual artifacts as others have; just two OS hangs/freezes and then a blank screen. There is no video on the external port either (fn CRT) even at boot although my monitor detects a non-supported format.

 

The Last thing I was doing was watching Netflix. I had just turned off HD because my system appeared to be outmatched and was also testing the "Media Hint" Firefox add-on. I initially suspected that this add-on was the culprit because I have not experienced any video issues before aside from slow playback/tearing with HD video.

 

Is it possible that MY BIOS Was corrupted or is the chip surely dead? I can go back to my Intel motherboard but am hoping this problem is fixable. Thanks for any help.

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Is your laptop switching on at all?

 

If it seems dead, you could try baking the bare motherboard 10mins in the oven. Remove all removable items of course (RAM, CPU, daughter board such as modems, plastic labels, etc.). Did it myself 4 days ago on a totally different machine and I resuscitated an effectively dead laptop! It's quite amazing this baking procedure...

  • preheat the oven at 200°C/400°F
  • if possible (but not mandatory), sprinkle add-on chips such as GPU with a mixture of acetone/violin resin (roughly 90% acetone/10% resin that you'll mix in a glass)
  • place the mobo on something non-metallic (I placed mine on a mini cake rubber tray)
  • bake it 10min, keeping the oven on
  • turn oven off after 10min and crank the door open
  • let the motherboard cool down

 

For me, 15mins later, I had a fully functional laptop brought back from the dead (it was not even switching on before)!

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INCREDIBLE!!!

 

First of all, Hervé, I must thank and exalt you for your help and adivce. You are a pillar of support in this community, ever at the ready to answer questions and solve problems for us. Hail Hervé!

 

Secondly, I am amazed that this actually worked!! I haven't put my laptop back together yet so it might not be a done deal, but I connected the cables and powered it on long enough to see the Dell logo and boot process on the LCD. I could not contain my excitement and I also want to take some time finding the right thickness of shims to provide tight contact with the heatsink.

 

Before I put the motherboard in the oven, I was able to get a striped image from the external port by disconnecting the LCD cable. Surprisingly, this allowed the external display to work (with vertical striped on it) but it would freeze after the OS was loaded. I had to press F8 on my DOS recovery USB disk and select "safe mode+command prompt only" and was able to get to the prompt where I successfully upgraded my BIOS to A19.

 

The new/restored BIOS did not resolve any issues so I decided to take your advice and placed the motherboard on a piece of cardboard in the oven at 200C for 10 minutes.

 

Success!?! WOW. Now I'll spend the next hour or two tweaking my shims and hope the fix stays.

 

Merci beaucoup, Hervé. You saved my OSXLatitude!

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Well, I only know of this because Bronxteck explained this to me, so I'm not really the person to be thanked at all.

 

Personally, I found shims don't really help cooling the nVidia chip much better. They run hot, it's just a fact of life and they all fail at some point. Mine has yet to fail, but I know it will and I know what to do the day it does.

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Back in business! thanks to Bronxteck as well and all the hard working people who put the effort into getting things done and keeping technology a fun hobby :)

 

I'm noticing now that my fan doesn't seem to increase speed so I'll try that l8kfan.kext.

 

Also, I had almost given up when the system didn't turn on after the bake but realised that I hadn't screwed the cpu latch all the way.

 

Phew. This has been quite the adventure!

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