Between 2008 and 2010, over 50 laptop models shipped with faulty NVIDIA GPUs that caused them to separate from the motherboard when exposed to heat. The class action lawsuit that followed meant that any machine carrying one of these graphics chips was eligible for free repair, but since that period has expired, anyone with a dodgy NVIDIA chip in their system is left with a busted laptop.
This is what Sean Buckley of Gizmodo – owner of a Dell M1210, which had ceased working after its NVIDIA GPU detached itself – thought, until he was introduced to the outlandish idea of putting his laptop in a hot oven. As Buckley explains, the concept isn’t as barmy as it sounds: “The internet tells me that I might be able to “reflow” the solder by baking it in the oven for 10 minutes.”
So Buckley dismantled the laptop, stripped all removable components from the motherboard and baked it in the oven at 170oC for four minutes on each side. He removed the board from the oven, let it cool, reassembled the system, and turned it on…
Not only did the laptop work, but Buckley was able to install the Windows 10 Technical Preview on it, after deciding to ditch Ubuntu. He says that the keyboard and trackpad are buggy until the system “warms up”, but aside from that his Dell gaming laptop is once again functional.