Some History

In the early 80's I worked for an integrated circuit manufacturing facility, in Silicon Valley, known as Zymosİ. I was a reliability technician. My duties involved subjecting IC chips to various tortures designed to eventually kill them. One of the most feared, among IC chips anyhow, were the ovens! Hundreds and even thousands were placed in chip Carrier trays and put into the ovens at temperatures reaching as high as 150°C (302°F) for days or even weeks on end. Eventually they ALL died; but the story doesn't end there. If I returned these same dead chips back to the ovens, this time without any bias (Power applied), after a time they'd miraculously be restored to life.

The death, and eventual revival, of the IC's is due to a phenomena know as electromigration. In layman's terms the atoms that make up the conductors (wires that connect the transistors together) in the IC are pushed out of place to the extent that the conductors aren't conductors anymore. This process is accelerated by heat. Three days in the ovens was equivalent to 5 Yrs in the field. By subjecting the IC's to heat without any bias (electricity) applied; we reversed the process and the IC became younger in effect; they would have a longer life in the field.

OK by now you all must have guessed where I'm going with all of this. We all have the God like ability (at least over IC's) to restore life. When your electronic device dies of natural causes like old age. (Not a power surge or a lightning strike) They can be REVIVED! It's simply a matter of identifying the faulty circuit board and placing it in an oven for a few hours. I've done this with Computer Mother boards, Video cards, RAM Chips Sips and Dimms, LCD driver boards from monitors and TV's and more. Your choice of temperature depends on the materials on the board you can't remove. i.e. plastics and the such. Most solders melt at around 700°F. I've never gone over 275°F. An hour or so will be long enough to see if it's going to work. If after an hour in the oven you put the item back into service and it still dead then chances are it's dead for good. But if it begins to function again; then stick that sucker back in for a few more hours to assure it will be given even more time under normal operation to live.

When I tell people of my successes with this process, many respond with disbelief. I want to use this area to post the stories of your successes and failures achieved through your individual efforts.

I suppose a lawyer would say I need some kind of disclaimer here. Just be carefully, don't put your iPhone in the oven. It wont work. Only circuit boards, and only if all temperature sensitive parts can be removed. The plastic coating on capacitors is very heat resilient so don't worry about that, but the insulation on most wires aren't.(Some wires are insulated with Teflon and can stand high temps.) The connectors made of hard plastics (Usually white or black, sometimes grey) seem to hold up very well. (You know what I mean like where the IDE cables connect or the power-supply plugs-in). Many if not all of these boards are put through this heating process as they pass through QC at their respective the factories.

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