How to Fix a Reflow on NVIDIA in an HP

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The NVIDIA video chip in your HP laptop is responsible for producing the image that displays on the monitor. When the video chip overheats, the computer may shut off or malfunction – for example, random lines may appear or the screen may go blank. The overheating issue is likely caused by weak solder joints on certain NVIDIA chips that were commonly installed in laptop computers. You can fix the faulty chip using a reflow technique to repair the solder joints.

Things You'll Need

  • Cotton swab
  • Rubbing alcohol
  • Aluminum foil
  • Baking dish
  • Kitchen oven
  • Disassemble your laptop and place the motherboard on a flat surface, such as a desk or table.

  • Strip the motherboard, removing the RAM, the CPU, the heatsink and fan, all peripherals and any protective plastic film. In addition, remove the BIOS battery as well as all wires, foam spacers and stickers.

  • Remove the old thermal grease from the top of the NVIDIA chip using a cotton swab dabbed in rubbing alcohol.

  • Wrap the motherboard in aluminum foil and cut out two small squares for the top and bottom of the NVIDIA chip. The foil will protect the motherboard from possible damage during the reflow process.

  • Create six balls measuring 1-inch in diameter from aluminum foil and place them in a baking dish. The aluminum balls will elevate and support the motherboard.

  • Place the stripped motherboard on top of the aluminum balls. Make sure that the top of the NVIDIA chip is facing up.

  • Preheat your oven to 385 degrees. Open all windows in the kitchen and turn on the kitchen exhaust fan. Heated plastic and solder will release fumes that can be harmful if inhaled.

  • Place the baking dish in the oven and heat the motherboard for eight minutes. Leave the kitchen while the motherboard is heating.

  • Turn off the oven and open the oven door. The melted solder on the NVIDIA chip will cool and return to a solid state. Allow the motherboard to cool in the oven for 20 to 30 minutes.

  • Remove the cooled motherboard from the oven and reassemble the laptop.

Tips & Warnings

  • Do not place your motherboard in a microwave oven. Doing so will destroy both the motherboard and your microwave.
  • Clean your oven thoroughly after performing this repair procedure.

References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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