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Repairing physical damage to a video card

This is a discussion on Repairing physical damage to a video card within the Video Card Support forums, part of the Tech Support Forum category. I have an ATI x800 SE PCI-E with an ever so small piece of one of the gold-plated contacts chipped


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Old 10-09-2009, 01:45 AM   #1
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I have an ATI x800 SE PCI-E with an ever so small piece of one of the gold-plated contacts chipped off (I forgot what they are specifically called). I cannot even get to the BIOS screen due to the fact that nothing comes on the monitor. I just noticed this on the card and want to know if/how I can fix it. I am good with soldering so I'm wondering how realistic it is to even get this graphics card working for even a short while.

The card belongs to a computer I am fixing for someone, but I would really like to have this completed tomorrow, so buying a new on online is not an option right now....and, sadly, I am all out of my cheap PCI video cards to hold me over in the mean time.

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Old 10-09-2009, 02:42 AM   #2
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You can try some solder but I would delay and buy a replacement. You may screw up the computer even more if you do it incorrectly.

Also , are you sure that this is the problem with the card? Some areas on the agp bus connector simply do not have gold contacts at all.

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Old 10-09-2009, 02:58 AM   #3
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You can try some solder but I would delay and buy a replacement. You may screw up the computer even more if you do it incorrectly.

Also , are you sure that this is the problem with the card? Some areas on the agp bus connector simply do not have gold contacts at all.
I'm not 100% that it's the problem, but there are two different places where the gold contacts are only half as long as the ones on either side. They don't even make it to the edge of the card.
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Old 10-09-2009, 06:14 AM   #4
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Have you trouble shoot every other possibility? It's not normal for contacts to wear off , I have some very old cards that have been moved several times and they still have all their contacts.

Are you trying to install this card into this machine? Was it already installed?
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Old 10-10-2009, 01:56 AM   #5
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Have you trouble shoot every other possibility? It's not normal for contacts to wear off , I have some very old cards that have been moved several times and they still have all their contacts.

Are you trying to install this card into this machine? Was it already installed?
I believe I have covered every other possibility, although I am always open to retracing the steps in my logic. But I definitely see where you are coming from with not having the contacts come off even old cards - I haven't either. The computer I'm working on is a Dell Dimension 8400 that has been sitting in the owner's garage for a couple of years. He decided he wanted it fixed up for his granddaughter, and that's where I come into the story. When I powered on the computer, it seemed to work fine. When I closed up the tower, the screen was black. After powering off/on a few more times, I started to just get the single line of text "P/N 109-A32100". There is a six-character phrase just before that, but I do not know it off hand.

Later, I pulled the video card and happened to notice two things. The first was the fact that two of the gold contact plates were worn off by about 25% (I recently looked at them and can clearly see that there is about 75% of the plate left on both). The second thing was that the text which appeared on my boot screen is the very part # printed on the under side of the video card. That was when I though I should try to fix the card while I wait for the new one to come in the mail.
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Old 10-10-2009, 07:10 AM   #6
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If it was sitting in a garage any number of component could be subject to moisture or environmental problems like dust or dirt from the garage.

I once pulled our old gateway from a storage unit after a mere year and a half there. It gave several errors when trying to boot it right out of storage. But soon after fixed itself. The dell you found however may not. Does the machines onboard video function?
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Old 10-11-2009, 12:50 AM   #7
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If it was sitting in a garage any number of component could be subject to moisture or environmental problems like dust or dirt from the garage.

I once pulled our old gateway from a storage unit after a mere year and a half there. It gave several errors when trying to boot it right out of storage. But soon after fixed itself. The dell you found however may not. Does the machines onboard video function?
There's no on board video. That's where the problem's happening: I have a crazy huge stack of AGP graphics cards but no PCI or PCI-E, so until the new card comes, not too much is getting done.

A friend of mine suggested that I use some trace on the card. I haven't done that before, but I was also thinking about using a strand of brass wire brush bristle. I've never had to improvise on something like this before. Any thoughts on those ideas?

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