How can I repair graphics card artifacts
Bake graphics card
If the computer suddenly freezes and artifacts of any color can be seen on the screen, the reason for this is usually a defect in the graphics card.
If the warranty has expired and upgrading the computer is not worthwhile, you can repair the graphics card yourself. As amazing as it sounds, baking the graphics card can be the solution here!
At the end of the article you will find a video that summarizes the "baking recipe".
Before you bake, or even consider, your graphics card, you should first make sure that the cause of a computer problem is really the graphics card, and whether baking the graphics card will actually fix the computer problem.
If you are not sure, you are welcome to ask in the forum whether the cause in your case is a defect in the graphics card. A guideline is also the image on the left that shows the appearance of possible artifacts.
Furthermore, you must be aware that you should only bake graphics cards that are no longer guaranteed. If your graphics card still has a guarantee, it is always better to use this, because baking the graphics card means a complete loss of guarantee and can destroy functioning cards under certain circumstances.
Be sure to also note the details in this article, these are for your safety and, if followed correctly, also increase the likelihood that baking your graphics card will be successful. Because the baking of a graphics card is only an emergency solution that does not always work and very often only lasts for a limited time.
In addition to the right tools for successfully baking your graphics card, you should have an oven with up to 200 ° C, kitchen alarm clock and thermal paste in the house.
Prepare the graphics card
The graphics card baked in this article is an Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512MB from Club 3D. The structure of your graphics card can therefore differ significantly from the model used in this article!
Turn off the computer and unplug it from the electrical outlet. Only then do you open the housing and remove the graphics card. To do this, you may have to remove the screws on the slot bracket and the connector on the back of the card. In addition, the card is usually attached to the mainboard with a lever that you have to press when pulling out the card. Depending on the design of the card, the housing or the mainboard, these points are in different places and require different tools. You can orientate yourself on the picture on the right.
The removed card cannot be pushed into the oven in one piece; there are still flammable or heat-sensitive parts on it that you have to remove. For example, the fan on the cooling block would melt in the furnace and must therefore be removed. In addition, there are usually paper warranty seals on graphics cards, which you should also remove. At this point at the latest, however, you lose the guarantee completely!
You will come across remnants of the thermal paste under the cooling block. Remove this completely from the cooling block, as you will have to apply new thermal paste for later installation anyway.
Never use water or a damp cloth to clean the graphics card, including dust residues! Only work with dry cloths and, if necessary, alcohol-based cleaners.
If possible, remove everything that can be easily removed and reattached and completely clean the card from dust. The Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512Mb from Club 3D should be disassembled as shown in the picture on the left.
Make a note of where which screws were attached, as these often have different sizes. Also, remove thermal pads from the card and keep them for reassembly later.
Notes on baking
When baking, there are a few things to keep in mind that apply to every graphics card:
- The graphics card must be baked with the chips facing up.
- The card must not be heated up and cooled down too quickly, otherwise the different materials can shift against each other.
- The room in which the graphics card is baked must be well ventilated, as toxic gases can arise when the graphics card is baked.
- The oven must be cleaned after the graphics card has been baked to remove any toxic residue.
- When baking, someone should always be nearby in order to be able to intervene in time in an emergency, such as smoke development.
- The graphics card and its components must not come into contact with the baking tray (see below for more information).
Take a heat-resistant and non-conductive or poorly conductive object, such as porcelain cups, porcelain egg cups or pebbles and place them on the baking sheet as a base for the graphics card. Make sure that the card is in free positions and that no components are stressed by being on it. Otherwise these could deform at the higher temperature.
Now the question of the correct temperature and the duration of baking comes up. However, there is no ideal "baking recipe" here, in general it can be said that temperatures of 120 ° C to 200 ° C top and bottom heat on the middle shelf for a duration of ten minutes to half an hour can be successful. Sometimes, however, several attempts are necessary.
The Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512Mb, which serves as an example in this article, was approx. Baked for ten minutes at 200 ° C.
After the baking time has expired, it is advisable to switch off the oven and open the oven door, but let the graphics card cool down in the oven to room temperature and only then remove it. The slow cooling prevents the different materials of the graphics card from shifting against each other.
After cooling down, check the card for damage that may have been caused by baking before starting to reassemble the card.
Put the card back together
Before installing it in the computer, you must reassemble the card as it was. Use only original screws and parts. Do not forget to reapply the appropriate amount of thermal paste to the places where you removed thermal paste before baking. Do not spread the thermal paste on, but make a point in the middle of the chip (s). When the cooling block is put on, this point is evenly distributed by the pressure. Reconnect the fan (s) as well.
Then insert the graphics card back into the computer. This time, too, the computer must be disconnected from the power supply!
Connect all connectors and screw the card back on. In addition, use the same PCI (e) or AGP slot in which the card was inserted before baking and not a different one, in order to avoid hardware detection problems.
Check all plug connections twice before reconnecting the computer and starting up.
If the artifacts have not disappeared and / or the computer is still freezing, you can try again with another baking process. Whether and when the defect in your graphics card will be fixed by baking cannot be said, because there is also a small portion of luck involved.
The Nvidia GeForce 8800GT 512Mb from Club3D, which served as an example in this article, worked perfectly again after baking for 10 minutes at 200 ° C top and bottom heat on the middle rail.
If you are one of the lucky ones whose graphics card works again after a baking process, you should still note that the defect can still recur at any time. Many graphics cards show the same defect a few weeks to months after a baking process. So sooner or later you will still have to think about a new acquisition.
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