Sunday, March 29, 2015

DIY of the day: replacing inflated capacitors on a Desktop PC Motherboard

Last week, i needed to replace inflated capacitors from a "dead" motherboard.
Inflated capacitors is a common cause of motherboards and electronic components "death", sometimes, replacing them will make these reborn.

Replacing inflated capacitors on Motherboard
3 new capacitors replacing the inflated ones
NB: don't forget to remove the 3.0V CR2032 Lithium Battery before performing any work on a motherboard.

This doesn't require any desoldering station or unsolder tape as i didn't have any of them available.

Required tools and materials:
  • soldering iron
  • soldering tin wire
  • small pliers

Usually when components are soldered to a PCB by human, the component wires are cut off after soldering:

 When things are done at industrial scale on a motherboard, the wires are cut extremely short:

So short that my "big" soldering iron couldn't transfer enough heat by contact to melt the very little amount of tin (Scale isn't respected, IRL, my soldering tip is bigger than the whole capacitor...):
Having no unsolder tape force to find an alternative, here is one i used:

Creating a droplet of melted tin (1) allows heat to be transferred to the component wire and melt the soldered tin (2). Prying and pulling the dead capacitor pops it out.

This is not the recommended way to repair a motherboard, but it works if you take your time and carefully follow the steps

update: I did it again!
Now with some photos...
The inflated capacitor

Adding two droplets of tin to better conduct heat

Removed capacitor

The new one is in place
 Testing : 
 It works!