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Damaged video card

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sandrock

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Location
Green Bay, WI
My brother was cleaning his case out (it was really dusty and he was having heat problems) and he asked me to apply some better thermal compound to his GPU. He has a Geforce4 Ti4400.

I took off the fan, cleaned off the stock white goo, and applied some AS3. And now his card doesn't work.

Bios screen shows up fine, there are artifacts on the Windows loading screen, and when it tries to change resolution, it dies. He can boot into safe mode with lots of graphical errors however.

I looked and could find no physical damage to the card (cracked chips, cut traces, etc.) There are no burn marks so I dont believe anything has fried, yet.

But I did find what is causing the errors. A very small amount of the stock white goo managed to smear itself on some traces on the front of the card. I wiped it off best I could to no avail.

My question is, since there are no burn marks, I think there is still a little amount of paste that is causing the card to error. Can I submerge and scrub the card in alcohol to clean it off?
 

funnyperson1

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 16, 2001
Yes submerging it in alcohol is safe, and the way I see it you have nothing to lose.
 
OP
sandrock

sandrock

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Location
Green Bay, WI
I removed the fan again and none of the AS3 oozed out. I used a very thin layer. But I did see the white goop on some traces. I cleaned the area with 91% alcohol and its drying now. If it still doesn't work, I'll clean the AS3 and put on the white goop that came with my SLK900A.
 

Softgod

Disabled
Joined
Oct 11, 2002
I have seen this before...look all over the card...I would bet that he touched the card with his finger...the same finger that had AS3 on it. Look everywhere, he is going to just have a little bit between two things and that is what is giving you the problem.
 

f00t

Member
Joined
Oct 20, 2002
might just be a little heatsink misplacement. did you try and reseat the hs after you noticed the artifacting
 
OP
sandrock

sandrock

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Location
Green Bay, WI
I reseated the heatsink, yes. There was no oozing AS3, a clean install. I cleaned the area where I saw the white thermal compound with alcohol. The tech guy at the local computer shop said I could clean the surface with alcohol, but I shouldn't submerge it because the alcohol can get in some nasty places and will never fully dry (unless I wait for weeks). Any truth to that?
 

JigPu

Inactive Pokémon Moderator
Joined
Jun 20, 2001
Location
Vancouver, WA
Yes there's some truth to that statement. However, running a hair dryer a nice distance away for a few minutes should heat it up enough to evaporate :) I can't garuntee it'll be gone, but it should definatly help.

Also, I don't know how conductive alcohol is, but I don't believe it to be (even with stuff dissolved in it [since it's a nonpolar molecule and dosen't dissolve polar metals]), which would mean it would be safe anyway. But I wouldn't take the chance on that with his video card if I'm wrong :D Definatly an experiment I'll have to try someday :)

JigPu
 
OP
sandrock

sandrock

Member
Joined
Jul 9, 2003
Location
Green Bay, WI
Well, lucky for me he was looking for a new videocard then :p

I gotta test it today, I'll try submerging it if its still borked, and we'll see how it turns out.