How Do I Repair a Faulty Motherboard Socket?

Written by mike marcoe
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How Do I Repair a Faulty Motherboard Socket?
A PC repair kit comes in handy for repairing computer motherboard components. (motherboard image by dinostock from Fotolia.com)

It is possible to diagnose and repair a faulty motherboard socket with some basic tools and instructions. If you plan to repair quite a few motherboard sockets, it is wise to invest in a good PC repair toolkit and some soldering equipment.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • PC repair toolkit
  • Low-power soldering iron
  • High-power soldering iron
  • Solder suction tool
  • Silver solder
  • Safety mask
  • Motherboard schematics
  • Printer or second computer
  • Small table to hold tools and soldering equipment
  • Replacement power supply or other socket
  • Super glue

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Instructions

  1. 1

    Search for free online motherboard diagnostics software. Once you find one that you trust, run the software on your motherboard to diagnose exactly which socket needs to be repaired. One of the most common sockets that need to be repaired is the power supply socket.

  2. 2

    Locate the power supply socket on the computer you intend to repair by using motherboard schematics. Motherboard schematic maps are usually available online. If you are unable to find schematics for the exact machine you are working on, try to locate the power supply socket with a general set of motherboard schematics.

  3. 3

    Print out a copy of these instructions to use while taking the machine apart, if you were able to turn the machine on in the first place. Better yet, use a second computer to look up information on how to repair the motherboard socket and keep it handy while performing your repair. On a small table, set up the soldering irons and other tools.

  1. 1

    Remove the screws from the back of the computer. As you remove each set of screws, keep them labelled and separate from one another, regarding the positions on the computer where you removed them. Use paper and pen to write down screw locations.

  2. 2

    Pull the motherboard out of the computer and place it on the table. Examine the power supply socket. It is usually near where the power supply for the computer comes into the computer. Depending on what kind of power supply connector, the number of pins that you need to de-solder will vary. Many have six pins soldered on to the motherboard that establishes the electrical connection from the power supply to the entire machine.

  3. 3

    Plug in and heat up the high-power soldering iron. In the other hand, get the solder sucking tool ready. Put the soldering iron tip on the first pin and hold it there until you notice the solder starting to look glassy and runny. Once you see the solder starting to run, use the solder sucking tool to suck up as much solder from that pin connection as possible. Repeat on each individual solder pin. Remove as much solder as possible. You will need a clean board with very little or no excess solder residue to solder the new power supply pins and establish a good connection.

  4. 4

    Push the new motherboard power socket into place on the motherboard. Use a small amount of superglue in areas where you will not be soldering, to make sure you have a secure hold on it and that it is snapped firmly into place. Apply fresh solder to each pin connection area. Heat with regular soldering iron until you see the solder start to flow. Once the solder cools down, you will have established a solid electrical connection.

  5. 5

    Test the new motherboard power socket to make sure that you have repaired the faulty socket correctly. Put the motherboard back into the machine. Replace all screws in the positions from which they were removed. Clean up.

Tips and warnings

  • Take your time and use patience. Look at plenty of instructions and videos before attempting your first motherboard socket repair. If you have the machine troubleshooting manual, look through it for motherboard schematics and tips on power supply socket issues.
  • Wear a safety mask, and work in a well-ventilated area. Soldering often produces toxic fumes.
  • Don't put the entire machine back together without testing the new socket connection first, to make sure you have repaired the problem.

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