Graphics cards “burn out” and are not usable after 5-10 years of operation. As these "burn outs" occur, some graphics cards can be recovered temporarily using these steps.

While following this guide, be careful - this procedure can potentially damage your GPU beyond repair. Applying heat to a video card for a continuous amount of time will melt the solder connections and potentially repair any damaged solder points.

CAUTION: Be cautious of toxic gas that is created when heating up plastic, solder, and electrical components. Always wear protective clothing and gloves when handling heated materials. Ensure you properly ventilate the area you are working in and do not breathe in toxic fumes.

  1. Send the card back to the manufacturer for repairs if the warranty is valid. This procedure will void your warranty.
    • Send the card back to the manufacturer for repairs if the warranty is valid. This procedure will void your warranty.

    • Check to see if your warranty is valid. This can be done by looking up the serial number of your graphics card for retail cards in most situations. For OEM video cards, the warranty is tied to the system and may expire sooner then a retail card.

  2. If the card is still installed into the system, begin by removing the card.
    • If the card is still installed into the system, begin by removing the card.

    • Precision screwdriver(s): usually Phillips #0 and/or #1.

    • Aluminum foil to cover heat sensitive components while propping the card up onto the tray.

    • Thermal paste to replace the paste afterwards.

    • Paper towels to rub any excess of old heatsink compound from the components. (Alcohol wipes work as-well)

    • An oven.

    • A baking tray.

    • Preheat the oven to 385F (195C).

    • Experiment with lower heats first, and increase temperature as necessary.

      • If you've already finished this guide once and are baking again, increase the temperature slightly - 395F (200C) or 400F (205C).

    • Most of these temporary repairs only consist of the expanding/shrinking of bumps under the surface mount of the graphics chip. Therefore, a lower heat may work as well.

    • While the oven is pre-heating:

      • Locate specific guides for disassembling your GPU if these steps are inapplicable to your GPU.

      • Remove the screws or clips holding your fan and any duct-work to the video card.

      • Gently take the fan/duct-work off.

      • Remove any old heatsink compound from the chips (using a paper towel).

      • Place the screws in a safe place.

      • Remove plastic components. Plastic will melt in the oven, and produce toxic fumes.

      • Elevate GPU around the edges, never let the components touch any surface.

    • Use any provided times as an estimate - different materials melt at different temperatures.

    • Heat the GPU slowly.

    • GPU completion times: PS: 3-6 minutes, Xbox: 4-6 minutes, desktop boards: 12 minutes, laptop boards: 8 - 12 minutes, GFX: 8 - 15 minutes.

    • Be patient. If your oven has a window, check if the solder has melted visibly.

    • Set the timer on your oven for 5 -10 minutes.

    • Prevent the GPU components from touching any surface by elevating the edges of the card with foil.

    • Do not leave the oven unattended.

    • Place the GPU on a baking sheet with the side with most of the chips facing up.

    • Place the baking sheet or dish in the middle of the oven.

    • Vent the oven 5 - 10 times by opening the door. This will regulate temperature.

    • Movements can cause liquid solder to solidify incorrectly and ruin the card.

    • You will notice a smell from the molten solder/flux.

    • Do not use fans for cooling.

    • You have 2 options:

      • 1. Test the card quickly without reinstalling the fan/heatsink.

    • Do not operate the GPU with heatsink/fan removed for more than 30 seconds.

      • 2. Reinstall the fan/heatsink, then test the card.

    • Repeat steps 2-9 if GPU fails test.

    • Proceed to step 10 if GPU passes test.

    • Most people will want to test the card to see if it powers on and passes the POST.

    • Apply heatsink onto the main chip or on the connection side of the fan.

    • Place the heat-sink over the GPU carefully, lining up any screws or clips.

      • Apply heatsink on thermal pads as applicable.

    • Use only a small amount of heatsink and spread evenly using a card, or apply pressure evenly when connecting components.

    • If there is thermal tape or pads that were removed for the reflow, place these back in their original position.

    • Insert and tighten all the screws carefully. They are quite small, and the PCB may be damaged if the screws are over tightened.

    • Tighten the screws in an alternating pattern. E.G. Top left, Bottom right, Top right, Bottom left. With more than 4 screws, use a "Star" pattern when tightening the screws ensuring all screws are evenly tightened.

    • Clean off any noticeable dust on the GPU.

    • Reinsert GPU into GPU slot on motherboard.

    • Monitor GPU temperatures while PC is at idle, opening programs, while performing intensive tasks.

    • GPUs overheat at around 90C

    • Verify that the fan was reconnected (if there is one).

      • Verify that the fan spins when the PC is powered up.

    • Verify the GPU works and is detectable by the system.

    • A good program to get is GPU-Z. it can display the GPU temperature on supported cards.

Linea Traguardo

Altre 44 persone hanno completato questa guida.

Gaspard Leon

Membro da: 24/04/2010

2.189 Reputazione

7 Guide realizzate

I fixed my friends dead out-of-warranty Leadtek Geforce 8800 GTS 640MB card using this procedure

That was 3 weeks ago, and he's still using it daily since then

We forgot to plug in the fan connector and his temperatures reached 124C while playing a game

Since then he reconnected his fan and it's working fine

Thanks for reading, hope it helps someone

Gaspard Leon - Replica

How long did your reflowed graphics card last? Is it still rocking?

Lim Chi Yuung -

The card did eventually fail, i believe around 4 months later - the guy ended up buying a new card

Gaspard Leon -

Hi everyone,

I also fixed a almost dead NVIDIA 512mb MXM II card, at the first point I put the card 8 min to 190ºC aprox, it improved the performance but not yet to run.

Then i repeated the operation with 205ºC and 10 min and the card ran perfectly, add some thermal paste and it's solved.

Thanks for this manual it's very usefull!!!

javier - Replica

I just finished doing this with an evga gtx460 i got from a friend of mine. It was throwing up artifacts and crashing constantly before. Now it's stable for over 10 minutes. It looks like it's fixed but only time will tell. Wish me luck and thanks for the guide!

Chris S - Replica

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