[SOLVED] Abnormal grey mass btwn (solder points?) on back of mobo

Apr 25, 2019
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I just got an MSI MPG Z390 Gaming Pro Carbon ATX motherboard, and while working on the build I noticed this strange grey blob between what I assume (though I'm no professional) to be solder points on the back of the motherboard.

View: https://imgur.com/a/Fdtynia


I was wondering what this mass is and, more importantly, if it's a manufacturing fault that'll cause major issues now or down the road. I'm hesitant to give the system power until I have some sort of idea what this thing might be.
 
It doesn't look metallic, which would present a short if it were. But it's spanning the gap between memory pins and that can't be good for stability. I think it safe to say it doesn't need to be there.

You could try cleaning it off...try a wooden toothpick or even fingernail then clean it with an isopropyl alcohol moistened swab.
 
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Apr 25, 2019
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It doesn't look metallic, which would present a short if it were. But it's spanning the gap between memory pins and that can't be good for stability. I think it safe to say it doesn't need to be there.

You could try cleaning it off...try a wooden toothpick or even fingernail then clean it with an isopropyl alcohol moistened swab.
Thanks for the input! I'll give it a try later and report back.

And if I can't get it off, I'm taking it right back to Micro Center for a replacement. You can bet the next one will be opened and inspected in store. Lesson learned.
 
Apr 25, 2019
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I was able to clean it of with a toothpick. Still couldn't figure out what it was, but thankfully it turned out to be nothing. Appreciate the help.
 
I was able to clean it of with a toothpick. Still couldn't figure out what it was, but thankfully it turned out to be nothing. Appreciate the help.
I was trying to figure out what it was too. At first I thought it was a blob of solder mask that didn't get removed by board cleaning. But then it's on leads...through-hole leaded parts.... that are usually left exposed by solder mask prior to their being mass soldered. If it was soft and easily removed it may have been a bit of packing material, like soft static-safe bubble wrap, that the leads picked up in handling. Otherwise, it's a mystery.

Whatever it was it probably wouldn't have affected performance but then memory data lines can be pretty sensitive to perturbations so it's best removed. Good luck.
 
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DSzymborski

Illustrious
Moderator
I was trying to figure out what it was too. At first I thought it was a blob of solder mask that didn't get removed by board cleaning. But then it's on leads...through-hole leaded parts.... that are usually left exposed by solder mask prior to their being mass soldered. If it was soft and easily removed it may have been a bit of packing material, like soft static-safe bubble wrap, that the leads picked up in handling. Otherwise, it's a mystery.

Whatever it was it probably wouldn't have affected performance but then memory data lines can be pretty sensitive to perturbations so it's best removed. Good luck.
Good news then! If it's not a garbagey solder job, then nothing to worry about really.
 
Reactions: almostheking

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