[SOLVED] Did I just destroy my motherboard (accidental drill mishap)

Sep 25, 2018
13
0
10
0
I had a drilling mishap while trying to widen a hole in my motherboard to fit M3 screws. This is a hole that is used to hold one end of a VRM heatsink which I am modifying.

Did this mishap destroy my motherboard? I am unable to test it at the moment, because the heatsink is not in a state where it can be reattached. There are traces "entering" the screwhole and seemingly exiting it. I made the hole wider and accidentally drilled a notch on the right side, missing the hole. I don't see any visible traces in that area, but am not sure, due to layers and behind the scenes traces if I have completely destroyed my motherboard.

Please view the image full size and if anyone can offer any insights as to whether I damaged the MB making it inoperable, I would greatly appreciate it. Pictures are attached:



This is the Asrock Fatal1ty X299 Professional Gaming i9 XE motherboard, and the above image is a 90 degree clockwise rotated view of the bottom right corner of the area under the X299 VRM heatsink at the top of the full motherboard image below (with the heatsink removed, of course):

 

jimmysmitty

Polypheme
Moderator
The issue is that traces run through the various layers for the board and may not be directly related to nearby components. You could have power and data traces running through that area. The most likely answer is that the board is now dead and useless.

I probably wouldn't even test it for fear of it catching on fire.
 

jay32267

Distinguished
Just by looking at it I would say there's a really good chance it's screwed....BUT....here's the thing....

We don't know what those traces are for.

They may not be related to anything you are using....and hopefully they aren't in a condition to take out other components when they get powered up....and if this is the case.....I think you have a chance. You will only know by trying it.
 
Nov 25, 2018
19
0
20
4


Well agreed...
 

jimmysmitty

Polypheme
Moderator
The issue is that traces run through the various layers for the board and may not be directly related to nearby components. You could have power and data traces running through that area. The most likely answer is that the board is now dead and useless.

I probably wouldn't even test it for fear of it catching on fire.
 
Nov 25, 2018
19
0
20
4


Did not think about traces being other layers of the mobo. If that is the case, yeah, bad idea to try it, like he said.
 

Rogue Leader

It's a trap!
Moderator


+1 that damage is right near a VRM, I wouldn't want my expensive processor anywhere near that.

Now I must ask why are you doing such a modification, surely you could find the proper screws other than doing something that has clearly now destroyed a expensive motherboard.
 
Sep 25, 2018
13
0
10
0
OK, the speculation as to damage is now over, because I reinstalled the VRM heatsink yesterday, booted up, and determined the scope of the damage inflicted by my drilling mishap.

The motherboard has 8 RAM slots, two of which (i.e., the C1,C2 bank) are now inoperable. Everything else seems to function properly, even with a very aggressive overvolt/overclock.

Perhaps this is not that surprising, because if you look at my first image, you can see that DIMM slot C2 is right under that hole with traces left of the hole running seeming through the hole to it. I was a little surpised that C1, which is right under C2 in that image is also affected.

I am now limited to 96 GB of memory, even though all 128 GB that are plugged in are receiving power and their gratuitous RGB lights are functional. However, 16 GB modules C1 and C2 are not visible to the motherboard and show as missing in the BIOS screen (and Windows).

Thanks
 

jimmysmitty

Polypheme
Moderator
I would very much recommend against using it. The damage can cause unknown issues. If there are power traces that are now exposed to other traces you could have surges sent to other components or even a fire. I have seen motherboards catch fire and they burn very well.

But take my advice or leave it at your own risk.
 
Sep 25, 2018
13
0
10
0


I will of course do lots of load testing to help ensure that this does not happen, but I understand, no guarantees.
 
Sep 25, 2018
13
0
10
0


Given that I have already taking the risk of powering it up and run a 48-hour heavy stress test, the risks are fairly low at this point. Having said that, I am going to replace the motherboard and use this one for scrap, primarily because I need access to all 128 GB of RAM and not just 96.
 

ASK THE COMMUNITY

TRENDING THREADS