Laptop GPU Reflow to Fix Display Related Issues
There are many symptoms which reveal that the GPU or Graphics Processing Unit of your laptop is going bad. Here are some signs which when seen should be understood that your GPU is faulty.
- There will be random visuals such as lines or dots on the screen.
- You will notice weird colors appear on the screen suddenly, this is a sign that your graphics card is dying. Restarting fixes, the problem temporarily but the problem comes back again.
- Another sign is a blue screen but you should remember that blue screens may be a result of problems with Hard Drive, RAM or other components. The best way to distinguish the problem is that whenever you begin to do something graphic intensive such as play a game or watch a movie and you get a blue screen – then the problem is related to the GPU. Try this before reflow: How to Fix BSOD – Blue Screen of Death?
- There may be bizarre visuals that may appear on-screen. The colors will look funny and 3D models will look as of stretched.
- And sometimes, it’s also possible that the display remains black blank on the system’s Startup and stays same. Try this before reflow: How to Fix Black Blank or No Display Laptop’s Problem?, How to Fix “No Display” or “No Signal” Desktop Computer’s Problem?
A GPU is soldered on the motherboard of your laptop and with time this GPU begins to separate from the motherboard which causes the problems mentioned above. The part of GPU which is separated can be fixed with the help of Reflow.
Remember to have a thorough hardware and software check done before you take the decision of reflowing the GPU. There are chances that there may be a software problem that is causing the screen to display the above problems. Follow the signs closely and then go ahead with the reflowing of GPU of your laptop. It is not wise to disassemble your laptop for something which does not require any repair.
What is Reflow? It is a very common procedure which manufacturers and repair shops use to fix electronic components on circuit boards. When the solder paste is heated at a certain temperature to make the joints on the PCB or Printed Board Circuits it melts from a solid state to liquid and then the joint is formed. There are usually four types of reflow that are used:
- Wave Solder Reflow – When liquid solder is used to fill holes on a PCB to create joints for electronic components that are pre-attached in those holes on PCB to make an electrical connection. A wave solder machine is used to make the soldering. The motherboard of your system or PCB is taken from one side of the machine to the other and the motherboard is floated in the liquid solder so the melted solder is absorbed in the holes of the PCB. This method is more effective and easier than soldering done with a soldering iron.
- Hot Air Pencil – This is a small pencil like device which is attached to a box and it blows hot air through a connection pipe. The hot air pressure is then used to solder the required place. It is quite an easy and affordable option for soldering.
- Convection Reflow – When there are many components on a PCB that need to be soldered then this is the best way of doing it. The solder is applied by heating the PCB in a convection oven.
- Vapour Phase Reflow – This is the latest technology that is used in soldering where the solder joint is made by boiling the PCB in liquid.
And to know more about it, click here: What Is Reflow? – Explained with Procedure
#Steps to Reflow a GPU of a Laptop
The easiest way to reflow a GPU chip is to use a heat gun. The things that you would require are heat gun, foil paper, tools to disassemble the laptop.
Follow these steps below to reflow a GPU:
- Disassemble the Laptop – In the first step, you will need the necessary tools to disassemble your laptop to reveal the motherboard. You then have to remove the motherboard from the body of the laptop. There are many tutorials available on YouTube that you can check on how to disassemble a laptop for the specific company and model of laptop that you own.
- Preparing for the Process – Once the disassembling is complete you should lay down the laptop on a table and begin covering it with a foil paper. Remember to cover in a way that the GPU chip is revealed out and the entire motherboard is covered in foil.
- Reflowing – For the process of reflowing you need to ready your heat gun. Keep a temperature of 220°c with very low air pressure and preheat the gun for just about 30 seconds. Keeping the GPU chip at a distance of two inches from the heat gun, blow the heat over it continuously for one minute. Keep rotating the heat gun around clockwise and anti-clockwise when you are blowing heat from the heat gun. The heat should be provided continuously but it should not be kept still. The pressure of the air from the heat gun should be kept low and steady else the other smaller components of the GPU chip will be destroyed.
- Reflow at the Back of GPU and Reassemble the Laptop – Now reflow the GPU chip from the back for 30 seconds. Wait for some time for the GPU to cool down and then assemble the laptop back again. Once done you have assembled you should try running it. Try viewing graphics intensive things such as games or movies to check if any of the above signs on the screen can be seen.
Follow the steps only if you have the understanding of laptop and its components else it is best that you approach a skilled person to do the reflow.
This way of reflowing the GPU usually works but if your laptop is still under guarantee/ warranty then it is best that you approached your retailer or the company that you have purchased your laptop from. They will usually provide you with a new GPU chip or have it changed for no labor charges. You may although have to bear for the price of the GPU chip. This may vary from company to company. It entirely depends on which laptop you own.
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