Question Are these scratches a problem?

Viking2121

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Yeah I've done this before with some CPU coolers, the coating they put on them boards are pretty thick so it can take some small scratches, As long as you don't see any copper, you didn't scratch it far enough to cause any damage. Though in future if you do scratch a PCB and you do see a little bit of copper, and the board or whatever it is still works, I would recommend putting some clear fingernail polish over the scratched area so it wont corrode over time.

But in your case I wouldn't even worry about it.
 
Really appreciate the quick response man! There was a standoff right in the middle i had trouble locating, guess I'll find out later.
You will indeed find out later but I'd be a bit concerned about one. It's exposing copper on one of the high speed data traces. The image is smudged and unclear right there but if any copper is shorting to other copper you might have data integrity problems. If it is, whether it shows up as a problem depends on if it's used as it could be an unused data trace to a PCIe slot for instance.
 

NotSteve

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Oct 9, 2016
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You will indeed find out later but I'd be a bit concerned about one. It's exposing copper on one of the high speed data traces. The image is smudged and unclear right there but if any copper is shorting to other copper you might have data integrity problems. If it is, whether it shows up as a problem depends on if it's used as it could be an unused data trace to a PCIe slot for instance.
It's hard to get a good image as its so small but maybe these ones can help a little?
 
It's hard to get a good image as its so small but maybe these ones can help a little?
Still can't see it well enough. The exposed copper is at the 2:30 or 3:00 position relative to the mounting hole, a bright coppery spot. It's on a data trace pair. If you can get a good magnifying glass, look at it closely and try to clear any thing that's bridging the gap between the traces.

I don't think it's broken the trace, at least, so if it shows up it will be as instability since that's a high speed data trace. So I'd go ahead and try it no matter what.
 

NotSteve

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Oct 9, 2016
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Still can't see it well enough. The exposed copper is at the 2:30 or 3:00 position relative to the mounting hole, a bright coppery spot. It's on a data trace pair. If you can get a good magnifying glass, look at it closely and try to clear any thing that's bridging the gap between the traces.

I don't think it's broken the trace, at least, so if it shows up it will be as instability since that's a high speed data trace. So I'd go ahead and try it no matter what.
Okay man, and what sort of problem will that present if it causes one? PC crashing?
 
Okay man, and what sort of problem will that present if it causes one? PC crashing?
It could show up as a number of things: if it's a memory data trace PC crashes is one possibility...but maybe only if trying to overclock the memory.

If it's a PCIe data trace to GPU it may cause GPU or driver crashes. If it's a PCIe data trace to NVME it could cause repeated retries following error checks, slowing down transfers.

If you can follow the traces to figure out where they're going would help understand if there's any potential issue too. If running to an unused PCIe socket, for instance, suggests it may never show up even if it is bad.

Speaking of...it's not proven to be bad anyway as it's just exposed copper. If the underlying trace is undisturbed it may not amount to anything as right now it's just a smudged bright spot on an image.
 

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