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VintageComputerman
April 21st, 2008, 05:23 PM
I just picked up a P 4 real cheap and was planing on using it as a spare for the wife. The former owner thought the hard drive picked up a bug and shut it down, which was why I got it for next to nothing. Upon inspecting the motherboard, I see 4 capacitors are popped and leaking which I suspect is the real problem. Having never replaced any capacitors before, I was wondering if anyone had a good supplier of capacitor parts. I want to try desoldering them and replacing them myself. I really need this other system.

Chuckster_in_Jax
April 21st, 2008, 07:54 PM
Having never replaced any capacitors before, I was wondering if anyone had a good supplier of capacitor parts. I want to try desoldering them and replacing them myself. I really need this other system.

I usually buy components from either:

www.digikey.com
or
www.mouser.com
or
www.jameco.com

Make sure when you order that they have the parts in stock. If not, you could be waiting several weeks on back order. Some places also require a minimum dollar amount for an order.

Dwight Elvey
April 21st, 2008, 08:10 PM
Hi
It is quite likely that the leaking caps have done other damage.
Try washing it in a light vineger solution.
There were a number of caps made with the wrong formula.
These tended to leak in a short amount of time. The story
was interesting in that the formula for the electrolyte was
stollen from one company and used by a couple others. The only
problem was that it was a bad formula. These caps ended up
on a number of mother boards in about the time range
your board was made.
It cause quite a shakeup since it was obvious that the formula
was stollen. No one would have intentionally made the bad
formula and then used it for their own manufacture without
testing it. As stollen, they assumed it must be good!
Dwight

tezza
April 22nd, 2008, 02:26 AM
Yes, I heard about that scandel about a year ago. I immediately checked my own XP machine which is a similar vintage. All caps ok though (whew!).

Tez

Yzzerdd
April 22nd, 2008, 04:55 AM
What year now? I'm on a P4 2.8GHz, a 2004 high end HP Workstation.

I keep all my machines on a circuit breaker, of course. During a bad windstorm the power was nice enough to do som flickering for us. Well no harm done, I was fast to turn off the oldies then get to the new ones. Well by time I got to my sisters POS eMachine (2GHz Celeron "D" 2003-04) the power was fine, so I just clicked it back on. Of course, it doesnt work, a capacitor blew. It makes no sense that it would of, there wasn't much flickering and I did in fact have that machine on a protected strip.

Perhaps it had one of those bad formulas? Once I get the year, I'll be able to watch out for those on eBay, in thrift stores, and elsewhere.

--Ryan

VintageComputerman
April 22nd, 2008, 05:58 AM
The Great Capacitor Scare of 2003

http://catless.ncl.ac.uk/Risks/22.73.html#subj9

"Jay R. Ashworth" <jra@baylink.com>
Tue, 20 May 2003 16:44:19 -0400

In RISKS-19.13, Mich Kabay quoted the *EE Times* on "The Great Capacitor
Scare Of 1997". People were building motherboards without enough power
supply filter caps, it seems, and machines were locking up.

Oh, to have problems that minor again...

The Great Capacitor Scare of 2003 is going to be *much* worse.

It seems, according to several news stories (linked at the end) that a
materials chemist who worked for a Japanese company, Rubycon Corporation --
which manufactured electrolyte for electrolytic (! :-) capacitors -- left
his employ, and ended up working for a Chinese capacitor maker, Luminous
Town Electric. (These names tend to sound quaintly amusing to USAdian ears,
which might not be accidental...)

Apparently, in a fairly clear case of corporate espionage, the fellow's
cow-orkers then "defected with the formula" (PCN says, in a confusing bit;
defected to where he was?), and began to sell the electrolyte to many
Taiwanese capacitor makers.

Alas, there was one small problem.

The formula wasn't *complete*. The capacitors, which ought to have been
good (in some cases) for up to 4000 hours, were failing in half that -- or,
if you believe Intel, in as little as 250 hours.

The electrolyte apparently outgasses hydrogen, and pops the seals on the
cap, leaking electrolyte onto the board. The missing ingredient was the one
which prevented this. I'd speculate that this might not be a
point-catastrophic failure... these caps might pop and leak out slowly,
shorting out circuits.

But it's even worse.

The Inquirer may put it best:

It is not currently known how many market segments may have been affected
by these poor parts, which can be found in motherboards, switchmode power
supplies, modems and other PC boards.

The failures of the aluminum capacitors might just be the 'tip of the
iceberg,' says Zogbi. "Other component failures from low-cost Asian
suppliers might be forthcoming," he warns.

Around 30 per cent of the world's supply of aluminum capacitors is
manufactured in Taiwan, according to the Paumanok Group. Confusion over
which manufacturers may have used the faulty electrolyte is sending buyers
back to Japan to source their capacitors.

The extent of the problem in product that has already shipped won't become
clear until components start failing, which may not happen until halfway
through the products' life expectancy.

But even *that* may understate the problem...

How many electronic products do *you* know of that use electrolytic
capacitors? The RISKS are so obvious that I don't even have to say "The
RISKS are obvious". [But you did anyway! PGN]

*The Inquirer* coverage is at http://www.theinquirer.net/?article=6085

*Passive Component News* is at http://www.niccomp.com/taiwanlowesr.htm
Check out the tenor of the editorial footnote; it's as classic as it is
uncommon.

TTI, who bill themselves as "The world's leading distributor of Passive,
Interconnect, and Electromechanical components" have put up an entire page
tracking press coverage of the issue:
http://www.ttiinc.com/MarketEye/Aluminum_Cap_Issue.asp

Jay R. Ashworth, The Suncoast Freenet, Tampa Bay, Florida
http://baylink.pitas.com jra@baylink.com +1 727 647 1274

Mike Chambers
May 15th, 2008, 07:16 AM
i've never replaced any caps either. i actually have one socket 478 mobo that has four bulging/leaking caps by the CPU, but somehow it still runs perfectly. i was even able to run prime95 on it. i used it's CPU torture test mode and i let it go for nearly 6 hours and had no crashes.

if you only need four caps, you could probably just pick them up at any radio shack. it shouldn't be more than a few dollars. i think they mainly sell em in 5-packs.

Rick Ethridge
May 24th, 2008, 09:43 AM
I'd highly recommend replacing those caps. The leakage could ruin your motherboard.

80sFreak
May 28th, 2008, 12:23 PM
if you only need four caps, you could probably just pick them up at any radio shack. it shouldn't be more than a few dollars. i think they mainly sell em in 5-packs.

Most likely those caps are SMD so you will not find them at any Radio Shack.. This page (http://amiga.serveftp.net/Replace_capacitor.html) has great info on how to replace SMD capacitors.

Cheers,

80sFreak

MikeS
June 12th, 2008, 06:18 AM
Wouldn't it be easier to replace the MoBo? No P4s sitting at the curb in your part of the country?

m

Brandywine
June 12th, 2008, 06:25 AM
I have repaired 5 or 6 by just changing out the caps. The usual problems are intermittant starts or no boot at all. I usually change the power supply too, I have noticed that lower wattage power supplies usually accompany the bad motherboards. This could also be because they were trying to save bucks everywhere i guess. You can usually find them locally in most cities have some kind of electronics "geek" store. You can put a higher voltage cap in place but try and keep the uf near the one you are replacing.

Half-Saint
June 20th, 2008, 10:05 PM
Try badcaps.net.. there's another on-line shop I found yesterday but I can't dig out the link. Haven't heard of any electrolytic capacitors being SMD so you shouldn't be having any trouble replacing them. The question is, is it worth it your time and money when you can get another motherboard P4 for $20 or so and the caps would cost you about the same.

Cheers
SainT

Yzzerdd
June 21st, 2008, 06:24 AM
The question is, is it worth it your time and money when you can get another motherboard P4 for $20 or so and the caps would cost you about the same.

Well for 1, even though our efforts to save the world are futile, at least it would be one less motherboard in the dump. For 2 caps are usually VERY cheap, it is the shipping that adds to the price. www.PartsExpress.com (http://www.PartsExpress.com) is a good place to look. They sell quality products at a good price with fast shipping, and the caps I've gotten off them have worked fine. And finally, 3, some people (like myself) like to have a Compaq motherboard in a Compaq case, or IBM board in an IBM case. It is just a matter of geniune-ness of the setup. It would bother the crap out of me to have the BIOS flash "eMachines" on my Compaq computer.

--Jack

Chuck(G)
July 9th, 2008, 05:32 PM
Yuck--the infamous "Chinese capacitor problem". I'd probably toss the mobo or scrap it for parts, unless you wanted to replace every blasted electrolytic. Would that be worth it? Not for me...

Some sections of the country seem to be more flush in not-that-old free-for-the-taking old hardware. Out here, you'll find people on craigslist asking $150 for an old iMac G3. Really weird.

squirrel-steam
July 25th, 2008, 07:07 AM
Well for 1, even though our efforts to save the world are futile, at least it would be one less motherboard in the dump. For 2 caps are usually VERY cheap, it is the shipping that adds to the price. www.PartsExpress.com (http://www.PartsExpress.com) is a good place to look. They sell quality products at a good price with fast shipping, and the caps I've gotten off them have worked fine. And finally, 3, some people (like myself) like to have a Compaq motherboard in a Compaq case, or IBM board in an IBM case. It is just a matter of geniune-ness of the setup. It would bother the crap out of me to have the BIOS flash "eMachines" on my Compaq computer.

--Jack

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16813130178

What about MSI? It also gives you sata and a pci-e 16x slot.

Toshiba_Collector
August 7th, 2008, 09:54 AM
Did you try Radioshack or MCM Electronics?

Unknown_K
August 7th, 2008, 11:57 AM
Have you tried ebay? When I needed 5 35V 470uf capacitors to fix a LCD monitor I found 10 new ones direct from Hong Kong for $6.99 shipped (took a little over a week to get here, low ESR motherboard grade panasonics). Radioshack wanted a couple buck apiece and they were the 85C variety and I needed 105C.