Gateway Laptop Capacitor

Discussion in 'Electronics Repair' started by JoeyJon, May 15, 2011.

  1. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Hi all,

    I have never repaired a laptop computer before, only desktops.

    Anyway, this motherboard has all signs of a bad capacitor (I can give all the details upon request, basically reboot loop with no post). None of the components on this board have any visible signs of damage.

    Looking at this blurry picture (I can't get a good pic)...

    1) are those power capacitors (the three columns of components with one missing in the upper right corner)? They are labeled pc234, pc 265, pc 266. so I am guessing power capacitors.

    2) capacitors on a desktop have pins you stick into the hole and solder in. Do laptop capacitors just solder to the top?

    I know this particular board is used for multiple notebooks, so obviously I don't know if there should be a third capacitor there or not. My guess is there used to be a capacitor soldered to the top of the two aluminum plates because of faints scratches on them, but I don't want to risk soldering one on there unless I'm absolutely sure there should be one there.

    It's my sister's machine and she's not sure sure if a part ever fell out when she opened it after it broke. It was a few months ago.

    3) Is there anyway to look up if a Gateway mt 6460 should have 3 capacitors in all three slots for a 31MA3MB00B1 motherboard?

    Any help at all would be so much appreciated. I am an enthusiastic novice and I am even willing to ruin the board if I can learn alot from the experience.

    Thank you so much...

    Attached Files:

    JoeyJon, May 15, 2011
    #1
    1. Advertising

  2. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    By the way, the other two capacitors say "330 758c d" on them.
    JoeyJon, May 15, 2011
    #2
    1. Advertising

  3. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Also, that is the only missing connection or slot or socket on the entire board, which kinda makes me guess that the entire board is filled up for this model, but I need to be sure.
    JoeyJon, May 15, 2011
    #3
  4. JoeyJon

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    16,983
    Location:
    Mid way between Beijing and the Ronne Ice Shelf
    I can't tell anything from those photos.

    I'm not sure what you mean by "power capacitors" -- I have some suspicions, but lets see a good photo first.
    (*steve*), May 15, 2011
    #4
  5. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Better pictures

    These pictures are the best my camera can do - Ipod touch 4.

    I can borrow a camera from my friend tonight if needed, but these pictures are much better.

    I am very grateful for your help, thank you!

    Attached Files:

    JoeyJon, May 15, 2011
    #5
  6. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    By the way, if I reseat the cpu and reset the bios by unplugging the cmos battery, it will post and boot and work for about an hour, then it goes back into the rebooting loop with no post.

    So I do have hope.
    JoeyJon, May 15, 2011
    #6
  7. JoeyJon

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    16,983
    Location:
    Mid way between Beijing and the Ronne Ice Shelf
    That may be a good idea. But I'm not sure what I'd be looking for in those photographs now (see below).

    Actually, that tends to argue against the problem being capacitor related. If it were bad capacitors, I would not expect that procedure to make any difference.

    edit: if you have access to a suitable POST analyser you may be able to figure out where the POST is failing, and this may help locate the problem -- maybe.
    Last edited: May 16, 2011
    (*steve*), May 16, 2011
    #7
  8. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    I did put up three new, much better pictures. I was just wondering what those black things labeled PC234, PC265, and PC 266 are. This is the first time I've ever opened a laptop, and I thought all capacitors had a lead and then a hole it goes into, like a desktop. These are just aluminum plates it seems.

    Anyway, I ordered a new heatsink with a fan but of course I spaced out and I don't have any thermal paste. I'm getting some Friday and I'll see if that works. I'll let you know.

    Thanks for your help. I hope to get good with electronics one day. I'm still learning.
    JoeyJon, May 17, 2011
    #8
  9. JoeyJon

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    16,983
    Location:
    Mid way between Beijing and the Ronne Ice Shelf
    Well, 3 more photos anyway. They're still too poor to see much detail.

    You need much more light (bright, indirect light is best) and a tripod or something to lean the camera on so it doesn't shake while you're taking the photo.

    They could be capacitors, or possibly diodes. The designation PC *may* mean they're capacitors.

    The first one looks like there's nothing there.

    These are surface mount devices. They don't have leads as such. Sometimes they have tinned ends, sometimes pads underneath, and sometimes short stumpy leads.
    (*steve*), May 17, 2011
    #9
  10. JoeyJon

    MattyMatt VIP Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2011
    Messages:
    154
    Location:
    Syracuse, NY, USA
    I will be agreeing with steve on this one, just based from what you are saying... the capacitors failing are fairly unlikely... it is possible, but I would be looking into other things first.

    The first thing I would check is to see if Windows (I am assuming you are using windows) gives you any BSOD Codes (Blue Screen Of Death), you can disable automatic restart upon failure from the advanced boot menu.

    If so, try to reboot it a few times and see if you keep getting the same code (the hex code, all you need is the first series of hex 0x000000F3 for example). If you do get the same code, post it here for reference, I may be able to help with that... then again, so can google :).

    If you are not using windows (linux?), or you can't get windows to give you a BSOD code, it is still possible its software, but if you are not using windows, I would need more detailed information. If you are using windows and are unable to get a code, let me suggest running in safe mode, safe mode with networking, or safe mode with command prompt. This will eliminate the majority, if not the entirety of the software issues.

    If the machine is still re-booting after all of the above steps, I would check the EXTERNAL power supply first... I'm kind of assuming you have already done that, but I'll put it up here for kicks.

    If its still rebooting, I would be checking for overheat/over voltage issues. Some chipsets DO require you to have the machine powered off for a certain amount of time before it will turn back on.... which by you pulling the battery for BIOS, the main battery and any external supply, is effectively resetting that state in the computer BIOS. This can technically happen from over heating or the cpu getting an over voltage.... the over voltage is rare, but its possible.

    If its still restarting.... I'd be replacing the board at this point, simply because I don't have the proper equipment to do a lot of SMD rework. If you feel up to it and your soldering/heating skills are fairly well honed... go for it!

    Good luck, let us know what your results are!
    and NEVER be afraid to ask a question :)
    MattyMatt, May 17, 2011
    #10
  11. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks for the help.

    I'm not really running an operating system yet. It used to be Windows vista. Once I reseated the processor and the reset the bios and it started to work, I reinstalled vista - I figured the machine was fixed. The first reinstall worked, and I got all the updates downloaded and installed, then it crashed again (the screen freezes and strange bright brown colorful graphics appear on the screen - reminded me alot of 20 years ago with a commodore 64 graphics when I made make graphic icons called sprites).

    Well I tried again, reformatting the harddrive from the Vista installation, and it didn't even make it to completely installing from the vista disks before it crashed. I tried a couple of times again, sometimes it wouldn't even make it past the first installation bar on the installation, even before a graphical screen of vista loads up.

    I gave up, but tried again with the new heatsink and fan arrived, even though there is no thermal paste. Same result, I think I made it to downloading the vista updates before it crashes.

    I always reformat the hard drive between installations, and the hard drive is new.

    As far as external power, I've tried with the power cord and battery, only with the battery, and only with the power cord. same results.

    My next step after I get the thermal paste is to install just the vista disks then immediately install power fan and look at the temps. This bios doesn't show tempatures.

    Why I keep asking if that thing is a power capacitor or why I keep trying to figure out what that component is, is because I would go online a studying up on the purpose of the thing that might be a power capacitor.

    From a completely ignorant viewpoint - I guess that a power capacitor regulates the even flow of electricity and if the power is supposed to go through 3 seperate channels but I only have two channels, I am just making up in my mind that maybe the computer takes the regulated electrictity from this area, and with an even steady current it can be handled nicely with just 2 of the components, but maybe if there is a spike or a valley from the current, it would need that 3rd piece that isn't there. If you thought I didn't know what I was talking about before, this paragraph will surely clue you into that fact!!!
    JoeyJon, May 17, 2011
    #11
  12. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Oh yeah, I just remembered!!!

    The very first time I reinstalled vista, a BSOD appeared. at The end of the BSOD a message said something like physical memory dump, right after it installed from the disks and right before vista opens for the first time. I just rebooted under normal mode and it worked. So I shrugged my shoulders an downloaded the Vista updates. It crashed about an hour or so later. The BSOD has never reappeared in future installation attempts.

    The machine is supposed to have 2.0 GB of memory. When I looked at the system screen in vista, it said 1.87 GB of physical memory. It was my sister's machine, so I don't know what the system screen said for phyiscal memory when it was working without problems.
    JoeyJon, May 17, 2011
    #12
  13. JoeyJon

    davenn Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    5,838
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    A few mis-understandsings in that lot :)

    "power capacitors" no they are just "capacitors"
    Capacitors dont regulate electricity (voltage). Transistors or dedicated regulator IC's do.

    it it isnt fitted on the board it isnt needed ;)

    from what I can make out in those very blurry pix those 2 x capacitors look ok
    I agree with the other comments that its either a other hardware, bios or software prob.
    Vista is crap anyway.... try installing Win XP or Win 7

    Dirty contacts or poor fitting Ram modules can cause all sorts of weird faults

    when you switch on you should get POST test beeps
    What beeps do you get, how many , and length of beep.there are www sites that will give you info on POST test beeps and what the different type mean in regards to hardware or bios faults

    cheers
    Dave
    davenn, May 17, 2011
    #13
  14. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    No post test beeps.
    JoeyJon, May 18, 2011
    #14
  15. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Thanks for all the help. Friday I will thermal paste and check temp. And I will go to my friends house and use his memory. I will let you all know how it goes.
    JoeyJon, May 18, 2011
    #15
  16. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Strange...

    I bought thermal paste and applied, and used different memory. It crashed with the strange screens, same as before.

    So I put the original memory back in, then decided to try installing Vista one more time so I could take a picture of the bizarre screen and post it here.

    Well, it installed successfully. Right after I installed Vista, I downloaded Speedfan, I got these temps -

    HD0: 45C
    Temp1: 49C
    Core 73C

    So I shut it down right away to let it cool down. I guess tomorrow I will install the updates.

    Any suggestions of precautions I should take now, or just go for broke and see when it crashes again?
    JoeyJon, May 22, 2011
    #16
  17. JoeyJon

    davenn Moderator

    Joined:
    Sep 5, 2009
    Messages:
    5,838
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    core 73C ... thats only 27C away from boiling !!

    you should do some research on what temps should be expected from the system and see how far out tose listed ones are

    Dave
    davenn, May 22, 2011
    #17
  18. JoeyJon

    (*steve*) ¡sǝpodᴉʇuɐ ǝɥʇ ɹɐǝɥd Moderator

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    16,983
    Location:
    Mid way between Beijing and the Ronne Ice Shelf
    73C after simply booting? I'd suspect a cooling problem. What sort of processor is it? Some run much hotter than others.

    How much heatsink compound did you put on the heatsink? You need only a very small amount, evenly applied.
    (*steve*), May 22, 2011
    #18
  19. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Yep, I used just a tiny amount.

    It really wasdn't after simply booting. I installed the operating system, which took about an hour or so, then immediately downloaded the powerfan app and got these temps.

    I'm assuming the system will crash before I get a chance to download all the updates, so I'm going to do it in stages.

    If I get the updates in, I'm going to undervolt the machine. I found a good guide here...

    http://forum.notebookreview.com/har...arket-upgrades/235824-undervolting-guide.html

    My main thought though is that heat isn't primary cause of my problem.

    Anyway, thanks for everyone's help!!! I know this machine should just be thrown in the trash, but I'm using it as a learning exercise. Thanks for your patience!!

    By the way it is an AMD Athlon 64 x2. Found a guide that says max safe temp is 71 C.
    JoeyJon, May 22, 2011
    #19
  20. JoeyJon

    JoeyJon

    Joined:
    May 15, 2011
    Messages:
    17
    Well, that didn't work. I got it to install Vista, but it still freezes after 40 minutes or so, with a goofy looking screen. It also won't post 99 out of 100 times.

    I am going to order a new motherboard, I am assuming that's the problem. Do you think it is the motherboard or the CPU?

    Attached Files:

    JoeyJon, May 30, 2011
    #20
    1. Advertising

Want to reply to this thread or ask your own question?

It takes just 2 minutes to sign up (and it's free!). Just click the sign up button to choose a username and then you can ask your own questions on the forum.
Similar Threads
  1. Will Sill

    OT Gateway Laptop

    Will Sill, Nov 13, 2004, in forum: Electronic Repair
    Replies:
    3
    Views:
    605
  2. Brad
    Replies:
    6
    Views:
    364
  3. John Bachman

    Inverter for Gateway laptop

    John Bachman, Feb 2, 2008, in forum: Electronic Repair
    Replies:
    9
    Views:
    328
    John Bachman
    Feb 5, 2008
  4. martin_pentreath@hotmail.com

    Charging a laptop battery without the laptop?

    martin_pentreath@hotmail.com, Dec 2, 2008, in forum: Electronic Repair
    Replies:
    13
    Views:
    11,829
    Adrian C
    Dec 5, 2008
  5. deat66
    Replies:
    16
    Views:
    3,461
    deat66
    Feb 16, 2011
Loading...

Share This Page