Desktop Repairs To The Board Level

As high-powered computing gear becomes more accessible at the home and office level, the temptation to spend a bit more on individual parts can lead to some expensive failures. Motherboards, video cards, and processors costing hundreds of dollars each aren't easy to replace, and if you're out of warranty or dealing with refurbished equipment, getting a free or low-cost replacement isn't an option. To troubleshoot and repair burnouts on specific components and various boards, take a look at how computer electronics repair professionals can help.

Know The Specific Limits Of A Burnout

Although only a few components deal with temperatures high enough to cause a burn, every piece of computer electronics deals with an electrical load. Gold, copper, tungsten, or other metal contacts relay information in the form of electricity, which is still a form of heat. A break in these metal traces can lead to a spark, which can turn a normally harmless delivery of information into a flashpoint that burns a board.

For most computer users, this means buying a new board. Motherboards and video cards are at higher risks for burns because of the high temperatures of their processor sockets (especially with video cards, since current cards as of 2016 have soldered-on processors), but smaller burn areas can be repaired by a qualified electronics repair company.

Circuit traces are printed on by precision robotics and have to transfer information at a specific speed, meaning that a glob of solder melted onto the board won't fix a burned circuit. A professionally-equipped team can do what the home soldering kit can't by repairing the break in the trace. Keep in mind that even if you think there's only one burned area, there may be other affected areas that require magnification to see and properly repair.

Replacing Smaller Modules

In addition to troubleshooting burned circuit traces, other board-level modules such as capacitors, binding clamps for sockets, and power pins can be repaired at the board level. 

Many of these components may seem proprietary, but big brands may have different third-party suppliers for their smaller components. These choices may be for quality or specific programming, but there's a chance that the replacement can be made with generic parts. Even if that isn't the case, an electronics repair professional can still find the proper part for repair.

Be careful when attempting these repairs yourself. Although capacitors and many other parts can be replaced with generic items, some items such as northbridge chips are programmed by a specific manufacturer, and may be even further programmed for the specific vendor in a way that isn't commercially available. The maker of your motherboard or video card may be open to delivering the components, or they may restrict sales to their own certified professionals.

In either case, leave the selection and replacement to a professional. Contact a computer electronics repair professional, such as those found at Contec Direct, for a direct repair of affected components when a full replacement just isn't viable.