Introduction: Fix a Broken "soldered on Mainboard" Stand-off
So one day I decided to take apart my laptop for it's bi-monthly cleaning and re-thermal pasting. I booted up and saw a very hated screen of mine, I had seen many times before I got a new card, The bios was normal but with odd colored lines through it and "double vision" text. This meant either my card wasn't in all the way or I needed to buy another $500 video card.
Fortunately it was the former but unfortunately it wasn't the usual "tap and boot" problem. I unscrewed the card to find one of the standoffs busted completely from the motherboard. I was perplexed as to how to fix this that didn't involved frying the ultra small components sitting right next to the hole where it used to be, so obviously welding was out and I can't solder that carefully.
I decide to post on a forum I frequent, because my laptop is rather problematic, and I hoped for a quick and helpful response. That only took 9 days but saved me a lot of time. I have a link to the forum post here http://forum.notebookreview.com/alienware-area-51-aurora-legacy-systems/515130-m7700-d900t-every-issue-raised-its-head-once.html. During that time I tried J-B Weld with little success until I took the laptop apart and found the stuff melted and reformed to actually work, I just reinforced all the stand-offs with this method but hopefully I won't have to learn if this really works.
Step 1: Read This First
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Step 2: What You Will Need
Loctite super glue professional, in the blue bottle.
The stand-off in question
Laptop the stand-off broke from
Sandstick - optional but recommended
Step 3: Flip the Computer
Harder then it sounds sometimes, esp if yours is 15+ pounds like mine. Unhook all wires, including power cable. Carefully flip the laptop and is recommended you set it on a soft surface as to avoid scratches. Remove the battery, I only have mine in because if it provides less then 15 seconds power at full charge then it will shock me for less. Do as I say, not as I do.
Find the cover for the offending part, I realize some laptops have a uniform body and you should refer to you manuals on how to take these apart.
Step 4: Remove the Video Card
When doing this, try to keep the heatsink and the card connected so you don't have to re-apply thermal paste. If it doesn't come out with a few gentle tugs, turn the screws a little more, chances are they may not be removed fully and we don't need to glue in another stand-off.
Step 5: Optional Sanding
I did not have a chance to do this but it's recommended you do to give the glue a better surface to grab on to. Get you small sanding stick and rub the bottom of the stand-off then the place where the stand-off will glue onto. You don't need to sand alot, just enough to roughen the surface and maybe remove some glue from previous fail attempts.
Step 6: The Gluing
Put a small drop of glue onto the board where the stand-off goes and quickly put the stand-off on correctly. You have to hurry with this stuff because you have about 3 second until it sets and 10-15 second to hold it down to ensure a bond.
After that is done you'll want to use the tooth pick and put a few drop of glue around the stand-off in between the break to make sure you get a good solid connection. Wait about 2 hours to be sure, 24 hours to be certain.
Step 7: Wait
Watch a few episode of The Guild while you wait. What, what did you say? You don't like The Guild? All geeks love The Guild. Why the hell are you even reading this, are you actually a non-geek thinking about taking their laptop apart? Fine, go listen to your crappy music and sit in the corner emo kid.
Step 8: Screw and Play
Now that you have waited long enough for this step, I'm assuming you waited and didn't read ahead, it's time to screw the video card back in. Screw all the screw you know have good stand-offs first as to take off any unnecessary pressure when screwing into your new fix, even though it's probably stronger then the soldered ones at this point.
Step 9: The *Ahem* Redneck Fix
Until I received my super glue in the mail, since I couldn't find it at any store within 10 miles, I needed a temporary fix. Using the only electrical tape I could find I layered it on the cover of the video card over the spot where it needs to be pressed down. You should see the cover not sit flat before it gets screwed on. Screw all the screws down completely and boot up. It should work just fine now.
In fact this fix went surprising well and debated whether I should even bother to do this, I decided that i would try this out And keep the tape in place as reinforcement.
We have a be nice policy.
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