Question I found red soldered wire on laptop's motherboard + all games crashing

Apr 17, 2021
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Hello, I bought used laptop Acer E5-576G from repair shop and when I opened it up I found a red soldered wire inside on the motherboard. It clearly looks, that the repairmen did that. I checked the internet if the original motherboard has this wire or not and I didn't saw any. Why would they do that?

Also, all games crashing on this laptop when playing them with NVIDIA GPU (MX150). Maybe that hand-soldered wire shortens out something? Or GPU is dying?

Strange, but it's not even looks that it has any problems at NVIDIA control panel live view, no artifacts or glitches. I saw some artifacts on Far Cry New Dawn menu and I managed to get it working for about 10 seconds without crashing, gameplay was very smooth, no graphical glitches. Where could be the problem?

I made a reference picture for how it looks:



What I did:

  1. Updated windows to the latest
  2. Updated NVIDIA drivers to the latest
  3. Reinstalled Windows
  4. Changed thermal paste on CPU and GPU ( Before changing I saw that repairmen applied too much of it and it looked like a silicone paste) (Maybe that was one of the problems too?)
  5. Checked if it's not dusty inside the laptop, but it was very clean
Nothing worked...
 
I might suggest you try to return that machine, although after your own messing around inside it I could understand if they refuse.
According to the circumstance under which this was purchased, it's stated condition, and price I would at least consider leaving a public review outlining your findings as a warning to others.
 

Krotow

Commendable
Oct 2, 2019
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From picture it look like motherboard had teared or corroded 19V power rail trace to DC converters used to make RAM voltage. Wire is substitute for former trace. OP most likely have RAM stability issues, caused by voltage ripple or other problems that started with original trace damaging. Try to replace this laptop if possible.
 
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carocuore

Upstanding
Jan 24, 2021
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a wire connecting 2 points on a pcb only indicates one thing, that the board has a broken trace and power needs to be rerouted for it to work, been there done that.

it's a simple fix for clients who can't pay for a new board or stuff that's too old to find spare parts but has its limits, since you've mentioned games crash it could be because the wire is a) too thin for the voltage X component needs, or b) too thick and the signal that's going through it gets distorted. I don't really know if 1 or several traces are damaged as, well, I don't have your board here.

seems to go from the memory VRM area to somewhere else in the board
hope you got that machine for like 20 bucks
 
Reactions: anort3
Apr 17, 2021
9
1
15
0
a wire connecting 2 points on a pcb only indicates one thing, that the board has a broken trace and power needs to be rerouted for it to work, been there done that.

it's a simple fix for clients who can't pay for a new board or stuff that's too old to find spare parts but has its limits, since you've mentioned games crash it could be because the wire is a) too thin for the voltage X component needs, or b) too thick and the signal that's going through it gets distorted. I don't really know if 1 or several traces are damaged as, well, I don't have your board here.

seems to go from the memory VRM area to somewhere else in the board
hope you got that machine for like 20 bucks
Thanks for your answer. As I looked, the wire seems really thin.. I can take a photo of this laptop motherboard tomorrow for you to look, maybe you'll find more problems there. Talking about the price, sadly, I spent 230€ for a "properly working" machine, as they said. I even asked about the gpu before buying, because I know, that there's a lot of problems with used laptop graphic chipsets. Shame, that a lot of people wants to get rid of their broken machines by lying to clients.
 
Apr 17, 2021
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UPDATE!

I found that this laptop works perfectly if I play games with power adapter unplugged. Glitches and crashes appears only, when I'm playing with power adapter plugged in. So, turns out, that graphic chip works fine, but there are some other problem. I tried using other power adapter, but I got no luck. Also, I tried to remove the battery and use it only with power adapter, still the same problem. Tried to change power plans to battery saving - nothing changed. Everything works fine only when I have the charger unplugged. Maybe you have some suggestions? Maybe there's a problem with motherboard trace circuits when charging or something with charging port? Also, I made a photo of the motherboard, I can send it here if you like.
 
Reactions: carocuore

Krotow

Commendable
Oct 2, 2019
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I found that this laptop works perfectly if I play games with power adapter unplugged. Glitches and crashes appears only, when I'm playing with power adapter plugged in.
May happen that your particular power supply is very noisy on high load. I wouldn't be surprised that ripple was a cause of failure which destroyed original 19V power rail trace on motherboard. Try to borrow another Acer laptop adapter with same voltage and wattage. If another power supply resolve your problem, get a new power supply and discard existing one.
 
Apr 17, 2021
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May happen that your particular power supply is very noisy on high load. I wouldn't be surprised that ripple was a cause of failure which destroyed original 19V power rail trace on motherboard. Try to borrow another Acer laptop adapter with same voltage and wattage. If another power supply resolve your problem, get a new power supply and discard existing one.
I tried universal power adapter with matching voltage, but it didn't helped.
 

carocuore

Upstanding
Jan 24, 2021
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UPDATE!

I found that this laptop works perfectly if I play games with power adapter unplugged. Glitches and crashes appears only, when I'm playing with power adapter plugged in. So, turns out, that graphic chip works fine, but there are some other problem. I tried using other power adapter, but I got no luck. Also, I tried to remove the battery and use it only with power adapter, still the same problem. Tried to change power plans to battery saving - nothing changed. Everything works fine only when I have the charger unplugged. Maybe you have some suggestions? Maybe there's a problem with motherboard trace circuits when charging or something with charging port? Also, I made a photo of the motherboard, I can send it here if you like.
The power supply could be damaged BUT if you've tried with a different (working?) one and the problem persists the laptop is damaged.
Since you've mentioned universal brick try setting it to 20 volts instead of 19, it'll reduce current going through the wire, see if that does something.
 
Apr 17, 2021
9
1
15
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The power supply could be damaged BUT if you've tried with a different (working?) one and the problem persists the laptop is damaged.
Since you've mentioned universal brick try setting it to 20 volts instead of 19, it'll reduce current going through the wire, see if that does something.
Sadly, that universal adapter doesn't have voltage changing function, you can change plugs only.
 

Krotow

Commendable
Oct 2, 2019
1,021
253
1,590
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Sorry, but then ball is in motherboard then at DC-DC converter side. Seems main power rail trace(s) are busted beyond repair somewhere in middle to RAM VRMs and cause stability issues. Or may happen that your mentioned repair shop staff wasn't able to detect partially failed capacitor or MOSFET (it happens), they wanted to put this laptop in rails for general use fast and didn't cared about stability issues on high load. They added that wire you mentioned for reason. What to do now, is good question. You can purchase new motherboard, but it will cost you +/- 350$. Another way is to find trusted electronics repairman who is willing to do motherboard repair correctly. We have guys like that around, but that is at another side of globe. How much it will cost in your country, I don't know. Either way is not cheap. So decide are you want to repair this laptop or get another not damaged one.
 
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