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Old 03-28-2012, 07:56 AM   #1
everlearnin
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Default Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

Normaly I don't say this but I am new to hardware repair. (I'm actually a programmer)

I have an MSI 945gcm7 that failed to post this morning. After plugging everything out and back in it still failed to post. I then descovered a cap with a crack in the top. (I assume this means it is blown.)

I then talked to our local computer shop IT guy. He says that it is most likely that "something else" (not sure what he was talking about) is also fried and thus replacing the bad cap won't work. Personaly I just think he want's to sell me a new motherboard, but is he on to something? Can you really repair the motherboard by replacing the bad caps?

P.S. this is not the first time this motherboard has failed to most. The previous time I just replaced the CMOS battery then it worked again.

Last edited by everlearnin; 03-28-2012 at 07:57 AM.. Reason: where did I learn to spell
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

"Can you really repair the motherboard by replacing the bad caps?"

Not always, but there are probably thousands of people who have.
If you couldn't this site wouldnt exist.
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Old 03-28-2012, 08:25 AM   #3
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Default Re: Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

If you can, make pictures of the board, as clear as possible.

Or the very least (considering your location), point what capacitors are broken or swollen on this picture of your motherboard:

http://i689.photobucket.com/albums/v...3082010172.jpg

http://www.modreactor.com/images/sto...ATX/03/002.JPG

I'm fairly sure one of these is MSI 945gcm7... if your board looks different let us know or search on Google for a picture of a motherboard that looks like your board)


Depending on where the capacitor is located, we may guess how complex the problems the capacitors caused may be.
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Old 03-28-2012, 09:12 AM   #4
everlearnin
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Default Re: Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

In the first image at the top just below the IO ports is a row of black caps. From the right the first and third are blown. They are both same type.
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Old 03-28-2012, 11:42 AM   #5
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Default Re: Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

All four in that area should have the same properties, same uF value, same voltage rating, my guess is 16v.

Through that white connector on the left of the processor comes 12v from the power supply. The four large capacitors store energy and act like reservoirs (or "buffers") for the row of small square chips on the board - each large capacitor is used by 2 or 3 of those small square chips.

Those chips take the 12v and convert it down to 1-1.5v required by the processor and this goes through the blue capacitors which are probably rated for 4-6.3v.... those store some of this converted energy as well, for the moments where the processor suddenly needs a lot of power to do something.

If two of those large capacitors are failing, chances are the other two were probably abused just the same, so you should replace all four at the same time. Why they died... it could be that the power supply started to deliver "dirty" 12v to the computer and the capacitors did their best smoothing the 12v but in the end they just couldn't handle it anymore. But it could also be that one or several of those square chips died and that caused the capacitors to work outside the way they were designed.

There's a high chance these capacitors are the only problem and your board will probably work after replacing the capacitors and just to be sure, using another power supply you know works. If you're unlucky, maybe some of the square chips that convert the 12v to a lower voltage are broken and those are harder to find and replace.

If you're interested in replacing those 4 capacitors write down everything that's written on them so we can suggest brands and series compatible - you can't replace them with any capacitors. Though it could be kind of hard to find good components where you live.

If you really can't find or order stuff online, I may be able to help you out but I have to check the postage fees to Africa and all that first.

Last edited by mariushm; 03-28-2012 at 11:45 AM..
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

If those caps are the 16v ones next to the ATX 12v connector, then the likely culprit is the power supply - you almost definitely have more bad caps in the PSU. Pop the cover open on the PSU and take a look inside. Also supply us with some pics of both board and PSU.
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Old 03-28-2012, 12:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

ha.. funny. I just had a MSI 945GCM5 V2 (MS-7267 Ver 4.2) in here a couple weeks back. It didn't post (as in show anything on the screen), but with a POST code test card I was able to see there's still some life left (it tried to boot but locked up).

The GCM5 looks pretty very similar to the GCM7 pics above.
http://pclab.pl/zdjecia/artykuly/khe...cm5-fv2_4b.jpg

Mine was full of crapcaps. Mainly OST and G-Luxon. Had a few Panasonic/Matsushita thrown in the mix though.

After recapping it (all 6.3V 1000F and 16V 470F) it worked rock stable again.
The CPU VRM caps were Panasonic to begin with, so I didn't have to mess with those. On the 945GCM7 pics above, it looks like they used those turquoise OSTs instead, which are known to fail.

In fact.. while googling for board photos, I came across a whole lot of boards with failed caps.. seems like you're not the only one

http://electron55.ru/images/stories/...CN4225-800.jpg
http://hardverapro.hu/dl/upc/2011-03...3_pc060022.jpg
http://z5858.myweb.hinet.net/fixwork/945gcm7/02.JPG
http://z5858.myweb.hinet.net/fixwork/945gcm7/05.JPG

The last one is really nasty..

Looks like those brown caps right behind the parallel port are "TK" caps, a.k.a. OST in disguise -> crap.
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Old 04-02-2012, 08:18 PM   #8
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Default Re: Can board with blown cap really be repaired.

Hey Yes it can be re-caped check out the link It is a good step by step for cheap on how to re-cap.

http://www.tomshardware.com/reviews/...oard,1606.html
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