Author Options:

i want to reflow a computer motherboard, can i use a oven to do it? Answered

i know people have used toaster ovens to reflow circuit boards, but a laptop mainboard is too big to fit in one.
i was wondering if i could use a electric oven (like you bake cakes and such in) to reflow the motherboard, im asking because it still needs to be usable to cook food in afterwards.
i was also wondering if during the process, would components fall off the board? since components are on both sides, im worried they might fall off, and what about the connectors? theyre made of plastic, would they melt?

if i can do this, what temperature should the oven be set at and how long should i keep it in there?



Best Answer 6 years ago

Yes, the components on the bottom side of the board will fall off if you apply enough heat to reflow it.

I did this successfully in a kitchen oven with a motherboard last night. It was a standard desktop motherboard, not a laptop motherboard. I tried it once before at 385°F for 10 minutes and it did not fix the problem. The system would still crash after approximately 15 minutes and after every reboot it would last less time as the system heated up.

My successful attempt was at 400°F for 10 minutes. I didn't cover any of the components on the board such as capacitors. The system ran for hours last night running a stress test program and I let it run all night. I'll check on it when I get home to see if there were any issues. So far it has been a success.

I actually set the motherboard down too fast on the counter after taking it out of the oven and 3 caps and a toroid were knocked off the board. I had to clear the holes with a soldering iron and compressed air (I didn't have a solder sucker at home) and put the components back in place.

Components on the back side of the board are likely to fall off, they may stay in place if they are tiny surface mount components. You could try making a ball of aluminum foil under the components and pressing down on it to have support for them during the reflow process. Or you could take a picture of the back side and put any components that fall off back on if you are proficient with soldering and they are not too small.

Plastic components on a motherboard will have no problems with this process as reflow is one of the processes used to manufacture motherboards.

More importantly, use some reflow flux too.


6 years ago

Watch out for the Tombstone effect