Oxidised motherboard

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Hardware' started by k23man, Mar 11, 2010.

  1. k23man

    k23man Member

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    Hi all,

    I bought an Asus P45 motherboard, along with a CPU, RAM, video card and power supply slightly less than a year ago. Right from the start, the new configuration gave me issues, notably that the computer would spontaneously shut down when playing games. I wasn't sure which component was causing the issue, and the problem only occurred intermittently. Just a few weeks ago, the problem got much worse, to the point where the computer would shut down at any time, and finally it wouldn't boot up at all. I substituted a few components and worked out it was probably the motherboard causing the issue, and since I'd purchased it less than a year ago, I took it back to the retailer for repair/replacement under warranty. Apparently they sent it down to Melbourne to be repaired by Asus.

    A few minutes ago I got an email from the retailer saying:

    Dear Customer



    Please be advised that the below item(s) are warranty-void and irreparable.



    RMA# AUAA030649
    S/N 8AM0AI316527
    Model P5Q
    Problem Oxidation

    Please find attached snapshot(s) for more details.

    Should you have any concerns regarding this issue please feel free to contact us.

    Best Regards,

    Here is the photo that was attached.


    Click to view full size!


    Obviously I'm going to call the retailer tomorrow, but in the meantime, I'm wondering.

    1. What causes oxidation on a motherboard?
    2. Do you think it's reasonable that they'd refuse to repair it under warranty?

    The retailer is run by people who don't speak English very well, and their customer service isn't that friendly. I guess that's the price you pay for buying cheap hardware.

    Thanks for your help!
     
  2. Agg

    Agg Administrator

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    Looks like some spilled or sprayed liquid has landed there and rusted it away over time. Yes, I think it's reasonable that it is not covered by warranty, because warranty is meant to cover manufacturing defects and other issues on their side. This seems to be something that has happened in the wild.
     
  3. OP
    OP
    k23man

    k23man Member

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    Hmmm, yeah it's just strange because as I said, the motherboard has always played up intermittently (although I didn't know it was the motherboard at the time), and I haven't taken it out of the chassis since I installed it. Can't see how anything would've been sprayed in there. I can see how it would look like that though.
     
  4. chainbolt

    chainbolt Member

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    Strange stuff, I don't remember to have this before at such a place - from leaking / bulging capacitors yes, but at soldering points? Looks indeed some sort of liquid dropped or was spilled, and corroded the metal .
     
  5. ir0nhide

    ir0nhide Member

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    Some moisture has got to it, and unfortunately it is hard to prove where it came from.

    If you have evidence of the problems extending from near purchase time, I'd be trying your luck with the retailer for replacement. Other than that, seems like one of those shitty things that can happen.

    PS: yummy copper oxide :sick:
     
  6. LabRat

    LabRat Member

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    it almost looks like the guts have leaked out of that chip at that point looking at the top of the legs?
     
  7. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    there's nothing to leak out of an IC, so something's certainly landed on it, somehow.

    Looks like something a drop of coke would do to be honest.. even a splash of it from opening a can.


    might actually be fixable too if there's no via affected
     
  8. qnutnut

    qnutnut Member

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    OMFG.... I HAD the same board the SAME winbond chip and THE SAME problems and symptoms! was a few days out of warranty when it finally kicked the bucket.

    oh and NO, no water was spilt on the chip or board. it is in a protected case with no WCing.





    Click to view full size!


    As you can see the same pins are affected. Asus P5K-S/E - Lasted 369 days ;)



    Would be interesting to hear any other cases of this happening. ALSO, what is that winbond chip used for?
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  9. slobber

    slobber Member

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    Its possible this is caused by the soldering die being contaminated/in need of cleaning

    I would take this to consumer affairs as it is quite possibly a manufacturing fault

    And yes................its much better to spend a few more $ on a reputable supplier, one who you give most of your business to
     
  10. qnutnut

    qnutnut Member

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    Could just be coincidence. Hence im interested to see if this has happened to anybody else
     
  11. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    Now that's freaky.

    The chip is a Super I/O chip, it provides legacy fucntions like FDD controller, serial ports, PS2 etc


    There's nothing I can think of in the soldering process that could cause that in the same spot especially. Either of you got a much higher res / macro shot? :S
     
  12. petercr

    petercr Member

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    I severely doubt that it's a manufacturing defect... see the waterstain to the right of the picture? It's almost inline with the corroded pins - there's been moisture dripped onto the board. There's also signs of oxidisation on surrounding pins too which suggests it wasn't just plain ol' water.

    Iffff... you carefully cleaned the pins on that IC with some isopropyl alcohol it might work (and it might make it look a little less obvious if you decided to try again to get it checked)...
     
  13. Riddick187

    Riddick187 Member

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    Nah, it's just too alike to be an accident. Unless you both spilled a drop of coke on the exact same pins of a small IC chip heheh

    Prolly a defect with the factory soldering die that handled that chip at the time these boards were made or some kind of electronic migration causing a short circuit and that area got effected/melted like that due to again a defect.
     
  14. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    mmm Perhaps the lead tinning of a batch (or more) of thesuper I/O chips is missing in that area. i.e plain copper that's eventually corroded

    -edit.. Slobber is that what you're refering to?
     
  15. qnutnut

    qnutnut Member

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    If your reffering to my board. That isnt a water stain. its been sitting in a junk pile for MONTHS after it died and had heat sinks stripped from it. That is dust. I literally had to dig it out when I saw this thread.



    *The picture was taken with a Nikon POS Coolpix s210 under macro. Its a v. shit digi camera.
     
  16. slobber

    slobber Member

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    They don't use lead anymore but yes, that's what I am getting at

    I've seen similar on various electronic components over the years, problem is most (definitely not all) suppliers would use any excuse to get out of honouring a valid warranty claim and also due to ignorance
     
    Last edited: Mar 12, 2010
  17. mAJORD

    mAJORD Member

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    sorry I meant lead as in the leg ;)
     
  18. petercr

    petercr Member

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    Nope... was referring to the OP's board. I've seen this type of damage to product I sell (HVAC controls and actuators) and in the end people admit they've had the parts in environments where humidity has condensed or they've ignored the IP rating and moisture has ingressed anyway.
     
  19. qnutnut

    qnutnut Member

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    I live close to the coast, so moisture may have been an issue on one or two days of extreme heat and humidity followed by a quick cold snap (southerly) that has condensed onto the indoor tiles & granite surfaces.

    If this was the case though, many many more components would be corroding, I've had PSU switching mosfet base-plates corrode against their aluminum heatsinks. But NEVER IC pins.

    Im laying it down to co-incidence.

    But seriously, same chip, same row of pins, same claimed 'liquidless' corrosion?

    Is this chip still used in current mobos?
     
  20. OP
    OP
    k23man

    k23man Member

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    Yeah, when I get it back from the service centre I'll try and clean it up and see if that makes any difference. I know everyone probably says this, but I can't for the life of me think of how any liquid could have got in there. I'm very careful about how I treat my hardware. Could have been gecko urine or something I guess - we have heaps of geckos in Brisbane. But I still think it's unlikely as the motherboard was playing up right from the start, although only intermittently.
     

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