Question Strange black liquid-looking solid drop on motherboard

Sep 28, 2022
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Dear all,

I just disassembled my brand new laptop to upgrade the RAM and add an SSD.

A screw didn't come loose so I pushed a bit harder. After that I noticed a black gunk on the motherboard. I don't know if that was already there or not. After a few hours, I tried to clean it with a cotton bud, but it seems solid.

Is this harmful? See here for a photo: https://postimg.cc/CZZ9X8sq (note, this is a close-up, it's tiny IRL).

The reason why I inspected the area in the first place after pushing a bit harder is that I saw a very strange phenomenon while driving the screw: as if something flew out of the screw onto the motherboard. I can't really describe it, it was very quick. I was immediately stressed out as I thought it could be electrical residue; that's why I looked more closely and found the black liquid-like thing. I used an electrical wristband (clipped to the radiator), disconnected the battery, and the "mysterious phenomenon" only happened after I already touched a lot of other screws with the screwdriver. I think(/hope) it could not have been any residue... now I'm thinking(/hoping) it might have been a sort of light reflection or something.

Really stressed out now as this laptop was very expensive for me and is only a few days old. If I destroyed the motherboard, I'm really really having a bad time. :(


Thanks sincerely for any help.
 
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It looks to me like a staking adhesive commonly used to stake down components...and screws...so they don't become dislodged or damaged. I'd ignore it, all's fine. It's probably put on that chip component so it doesn't get inadvertently bumped by the person installing and tightening that screw right next to it.
 
Reactions: LegionDon8
Sep 28, 2022
2
0
10
0
It looks to me like a staking adhesive commonly used to stake down components...and screws...so they don't become dislodged or damaged. I'd ignore it, all's fine. It's probably put on that chip component so it doesn't get inadvertently bumped by the person installing and tightening that screw right next to it.
Thank you so much for your reply, sir! Hope that's indeed the case! Reading your reply was the best moment of this day.

Do you have any idea whether the "phenomenon" I witnessed (sorry for using these strange terms) could have been electrical residue? I had an anti-static wristband on, clipped to a radiator (which should be grounded) which nevertheless had white paint on it. I also touched several other screws before touching this one (so if there would still have been residue, it should have already made contact?).

Edit: also, I definitely did not touch any parts of the motherboard; only the screws.
 
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Do you have any idea whether the "phenomenon" I witnessed (sorry for using these strange terms) could have been electrical residue?
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I cannot imagine what phenomenon could result in such a thing in modern electronics. In older...I mean really old....electronics power transformers were commonly potted in a black compound similar in appearance. It was not uncommon for transformers to overheat and that compound would drip out leaving drops very much like that, only usually very much bigger. But such a part does not exist in a laptop and would require far more energy than an electrostatic discharge to cause it to erupt it's innards.

I'd reassemble it and put it to good use. If all works well, then enjoy your new found productivity.
 

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