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Monday 21 August 2023

£1.20 Faulty Untested iMac - Will It Work?


Nobody was bidding on this Apple iMac on eBay and it had a starting bid of a random £1.20 so I had a cheeky bid and I only went and won it!!

It was listed as Untested and Faulty - how can it be both?  If it's untested, how do they know it's faulty?

Even if it doesn't work, it's well worth it for spare parts, in this video I unbox it and try to power it on...

Monday 14 August 2023

Fault Finding A Dead Dell Inspiron 1501 Laptop

After removing all the screws from the bottom of the laptop I removed the keyboard and could immediately see signs of what the issue might be..

..water damage!

Depending on what damage has been done it may be fixable so lets take a look...


No obvious signs here and after having a good look around I cannot see any more signs of liquid damage.

Using my Digital Multimeter I checked the power supplies on the motherboard and was able to find the 19.5V, 3.3V, 1.2V and 5V supplies at all the coils I could see so everything seems OK.

Time to remove the heatsink to see if there's any signs of damage under that.


And there we have it - water damage around the CPU and GPU.  As the laptop is not powering on (not getting the power good signal to start the CPU etc) it's likely that the GPU is what is at fault.


Time to get my thermal camera out and take a look to see if anything is getting hot/shorted out when it shouldn't be.


The CPU is on the left (nice and cool as the laptop has not been turned on) and the GPU on the right is glowing like the sun!  As the laptop is powered off this shouldn't be happening so it is my belief that the GPU is faulty/short-circuited.

Time to get out my USB microscope to take a closer look at the GPU:


As you can see there's a sticky, hairy mess all over the ATI GPU so 100% certain that this is the problem area.

I don't have the skills (or a spare GPU chip for that matter) to remove/replace this IC and as the water damage goes towards the CPU socket as well the CPU may also be faulty/shorted so it's not worth the time/effort to repair.

I will keep the motherboard for spares and repairs in case I need any of the other components to repair any other laptops in the future.

You can't win them all!

Wednesday 9 August 2023

How To Easily Make Your Own Rosin Liquid Flux


Liquid flux can be quite expensive to buy - so why not make your own?!  All you need is some rosin flux and some IPA (isopropyl alcohol) and in this video I will show you how to make it and what quantities of flux/IPA to use.

Saturday 5 August 2023

Dropped My Hard Disk Drive 😒 - On Purpose! 😀


Sometimes old hard disk drives get a little seized up and need a little nudge to get them going...

Friday 4 August 2023

'UNTESTED' Laptops From eBay - Genuine or Faulty??


You never know if an eBay seller is being 100% truly honest or not so will the job lot of 'untested' laptops work or are they all faulty?

Tuesday 1 August 2023

Faulty eMachines E570 - What's Causing This?


If you know what might be causing this problem then please let me know by commenting below - thanks!

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