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Old 04-14-2021, 04:06 PM   #1
dicky96
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Default PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

I sometimes see expensive motherboards sold spares/repair with damaged or burnt PCIe x16 sockets

So I started to wonder, it is possible to de-solder the faulty socket and fit a replacement? At least for the non-armoured type

To this end I thought I would try to desolder a PCIe 16x socket from a scrap board - without damaging the board. The thought was, if I can remove the old socket and clean out the through holes, then fitting a new one should not be a problem

From googling - According to people responding to questions asking about doing this on computer/tech forums, this is actually impossible. You would have to be crazy to attempt it, they say. Having said that, I am not convinced that any of these people who say it is impossible have actually attempted to do this.

Also the slots are available to buy - so surely it must be do-able, yes?

My latest hobby is to make videos of my crazy ideas - so this is my attempt to remove a PCIe x16 without damaging the board, and the results of the attempt

I try various methods - so its a bit lengthy video but hopefully it will interest a few of you enough to watch it.

So anyway I would like to know:

Is the technique I decided to use the best one?

What do you think of the results of my experiment?

How would you advise me to do this better?

How would I go about removing/replacing an armoured PCIe x16 slot from a gaming board?

I may well make another video trying the best suggestions here, so over to you guys

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0bZFmOFfdDQ

enjoy
Rich

Last edited by dicky96; 04-14-2021 at 04:09 PM..
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Old 04-14-2021, 04:33 PM   #2
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Probably the same response as to changing a DIMM socket -- too many pins and the track/PTH are getting weaker and weaker...

Of course the slots are available to buy - to populate unpopulated virgin boards!
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Old 04-15-2021, 02:16 AM   #3
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

@eccerr0r
Well this is the soldering reviews and techniques section, so I thought it worth asking how to do this. Did you look to see what happened when I tried it?

So has anyone one else done this before, and how did it turn out? Or is it just me?


Now you come to mention DIMM sockets..... hmmm. Also I'm not sure I've seen boards with damaged DIMM sockets. I would think that difficult especially without damaging the nearby socket(s) or the board. Has anyone tried that, successfully or otherwise? There are plenty on this scrap board I am experimenting with though LOL

Last edited by dicky96; 04-15-2021 at 02:30 AM..
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Old 04-15-2021, 03:37 AM   #4
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Even regular PCI and AGP sockets suck too... Probably the x1's have better luck...less pins, less to go wrong.

BTW does that board still boot after the removal, or was it trash to begin with?
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Old 04-15-2021, 10:12 AM   #5
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Have seen some historical videos where the through hole pins of the connector is dunked into a hot solder liquid tank and then the connector is removed.

Great care must be taken to not submerse the PCB too much into the tank which will then kill the board.

Personally, recommend to carefully cut the plastic and then remove each pin -> clean the hole -> replace with a fresh connector.
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Old 04-15-2021, 11:16 AM   #6
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Yeah cutting is the typical method, though still could induce inadvertent damage to the board since the plastic is still quite hard and could apply considerable and damaging force to the board while cutting.

Wish there was adjustable geometry heating... would be quite expensive to do that...
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Old 04-15-2021, 12:29 PM   #7
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

It was a scrap board to start with - which is why I used it as an experiment ,but under the microscope I can't see any damage apart from a few dislodged capacitors near the PCIe slot.

I thought the cutting would be the best method - I did think also of a solder bath - but I don't have one available.

I'm still interested in any other suggestions or comments about this. Anyone actually tried it, apart from me?

Rich
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Old 04-15-2021, 01:34 PM   #8
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Cutting was the preferred and even common method for even old DIPs even as small as DIP14 when the value of the IC was less than of the board. Solder suckers just do not remove enough of the solder to actually allow removal, unfortunately.

I'll tell you one thing that doesn't work very well. Was trying to blast the backside with a hot air gun. Tends to fry boards before you can remove sockets. But perhaps if I ...
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Old 04-15-2021, 03:18 PM   #9
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Yeah I learnt the cutting technique back in the early 80s - mostly if you wanted to remove the IC it was because it was faulty anyway, so who cares what happens to it?

I remember doing this on 74xx and 40xx logic ICs as it was the most safe way to remove them. Then I kinda discovered the Pace Vacuum de-soldering tools.....

That's why I went the same route on the PCIe x16 socket. I was really surprised how hard it was to remove the remaining pins afterwards though - but in the end the Kada 853B and Vacuum de-soldering gun made fairly short work of it - but without a vacuum de-soldering tool I think I would have come to the decision of it's pretty much impossible

Right now I am of the opinion this is most definitely possible but hard work and time consuming (well around an hour - unless practice makes faster)

And I was using fairly inexpensive equipment

T12 + BC3 tip - about €40 maybe less
Kada 853B - similar price around €40
Vacuum desolder gun €60-€90
Quick 861DW - around €200 but I am convinced my old 858D (€40 approx) hotair would have done the same job on this occasion

So I think with around €200 worth of kit anyone would be capable of this sort of 'impossible' rework - with a bit of practice probably

Rich

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Old 04-15-2021, 05:45 PM   #10
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Cutting is the safest way to go.
But due to the endless amount of pins consider a faster way to do it:
Instead of using pliers to cut the socket into small extractable pieces, use a mini rotary drill, speed adjustable preferably, with a round cutting disk inserted into it. Proceed cutting the socket along the 4 sides just above the socket sitting base plastic. Then the remaining sitting base plastic will come off without any efford leaving the pins ready to be desoldered one by one.

An hot solder liquid tank would be the fastest way to achieve it.
And although Iíve never seen one ready to buy it would be quite simple to make one suitable for that geometry: just consider using 2 L shape steel bars cut to length socket size and welded together.

Iíve never tried to replace one thought.
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Old 04-16-2021, 02:58 AM   #11
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Yeah I do have a Dremmel and did consider that. Are you saying you have tried this method, or you think it would be better?
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:31 PM   #12
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

I've never replaced one.
But imo the process i've described (using mini rotary drill with a round cutting disk and cutting the socket just above the socket sitting base plastic)
will be way faster, more reliable and lead to better results overall.

Beware though:
imho most motherboards with PCIe graphic card slot physically damaged are just the tip of the iceberg - the major problem lies elsewhere on the motherboard (nearby components due to overheat)
and only then damages to the socket were inflicted either on purposes or the wrongly assumption that shaking the graphic card resulted in a trouble finding.
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

why are the sockets failing ?
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Old 04-16-2021, 06:58 PM   #14
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Quote:
Originally Posted by petehall347 View Post
why are the sockets failing ?
The most common failure are not the sockets
(read the above)
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Old 04-16-2021, 07:06 PM   #15
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Quote:
Originally Posted by megaraider View Post
The most common failure are not the sockets
(read the above)
i did
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Old 04-17-2021, 04:36 AM   #16
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Inserting a short circuit GPU - melting the PCIe slot plastic near the 3.3V and 12V pins I can see this could damage tracks on the PCB but I would think even that would be easy to bridge because AFAIK the 12V and 3.3V are coming directly from ATX Power socket.

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Old 04-17-2021, 06:50 PM   #17
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Quote:
Originally Posted by dicky96 View Post
Inserting a short circuit GPU - melting the PCIe slot plastic near the 3.3V and 12V pins I can see this could damage tracks on the PCB but I would think even that would be easy to bridge because AFAIK the 12V and 3.3V are coming directly from ATX Power socket.
Yes. Plus 3.3V is only used for standby, and the 12V is rated to 75W max.
Graphic cards with higher power demand use a dedicated 8pin and/or 6pin power connectors (connected directly to the ATX power supply).
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Old 04-19-2021, 08:08 AM   #18
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Not sure if you've already saw these but here's some videos of russian repair channels doing it.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Fb8cIqxww8

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e5CQwTawX-0

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6oyLsFjUnYY (Using some sort of lighter?)

Enable CC > Setting > Auto Translate > English

Bonus: Use Chrome to translate comments to see discussions, criticisms, etc
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:38 AM   #19
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Ironically, we are in the market for a low volume dip soldering system. Just received a link for the following tool which can work to DESOLDER through hole connectors - essentially use a nozzle for the size of the connector to wet the joints and pull.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z1yIbI2m2zk

There are many such solder pots on the market but you will have to mask off the areas that should not hit the solder / solder wave.

Last edited by mon2; 04-19-2021 at 10:40 AM..
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Old 04-19-2021, 10:55 AM   #20
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Default Re: PCIe x16 socket replacement / desolder / rework

Even solder baths used to desolder is not easy especially if the pins have springs in them... or the pins are BENT. BENT pins piss me off so much, even if it's just a few degrees to help keep THT devices in place during wave or dip soldering. Even if you make sure you unbend deliberately bent pins, the socket may still have enough slightly bent pins to have enough friction so that pulling the socket out can still require significant force to separate it from the board... times 164...
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