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Thread: Hello! I got a machine that was sold for parts! May need assistance?

  1. #1

    Default Hello! I got a machine that was sold for parts! May need assistance?

    Hello again, I bought an online computer, a Packard Bell Force 203 (I believe?) That was being sold for parts. It was stated that the machine powers on but nothing shows on the screen. I assumed the Varta battery in it had destroyed the board, and it was for a very nice price, so I thought I would use it to work on improving my skills for treating boards that have gotten battery damage, and improve my soldering skills. So when I opened it up, I was kinda surprised. The battery had indeed leaked, but looking at the case and where the visible corrosion is, it appears that the battery sprayed rather than a slow leak? The side of the case has corrosion on it as does the LPX ISA board, the corrosion doesn't look terrible, and I think I can clean what I can see, but because I am not super skilled at this I feel I will more than likely miss spots where there is corrosion. I don't know if I can post pictures so I will wait until I get confirmation as to that, since this is only my second post. But if I could get someone who knows what they are looking to take a look at the few pictures I took and if they see anything that isn't really noticeable so I can make sure I neutralize it, I would really appreciate it. Also. There are no ram sticks in the machine, so I don't know if that is why it won't boot, or if the circuitry in the upper right corner of the board is RAM. It doesn't appear to have any cache, and the Cirrus Logic GD5424 card has one expansion spot for RAM, and it looks like the board labels it as ZIP 256Kx1? So I again will wait to make certain it is all right for me to post pictures and go from there. But to just 100% confirm, I use distilled vinegar on the corrosion with a soft brush, I have a flat bristle soft tooth brush I have used in the past, and then I neutralize the vinegar with Isopropyl Alcohol?

    Again, I appreciate the assistance I hope everyone is having a great weekend. The weather here took a turn for the wonderful, and it's 17C/62F here. It's been around -1C/28-30F for so long here I thought winter would never end.

    Nathan

  2. #2

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    Uhmm. Well... I cleaned up the corrosion, treated it with Vinegar, then neutralized with Isopropyl Alcohol, 91% cleaned up some solder points that looked like they were done by me a couple years ago (make no mistake, my soldering is still poor. ) plugged everything in, and the system is working. Now granted, I need to get an external battery case for it so I can give it a CMOS battery, but aside from that it boots. I will clean the inside of the case and reassemble it. Quick question, for treating metal that has rust damage, I have been told to get a galvanizing spray paint. Is that something I can pick up from the local hardware store, or is it more of an item I will have to buy online?

  3. #3

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    REMOVE BATTERY FIRST

    alright, you'll wanna start by taking the boards out of the case and washing the board in the corroded area with white vinegar, I usually scrub with a tooth brush, possibly not the most ESD safe thing but they are cheap and plentiful so don't crucify me please.

    afterwards I cleaned the rest of the board with isopropyl alcohol, 99% if you can get it from the drug store behind the counter.

    then I start taking HI-RES photos of the damage with MY DSLR that will be useful later.



    This is a packard bell legend 2051 486 motherboard i did awhile back, and it's a good example as i took photos :P

    Now you wanna dig out the multi meter and check for conductivity on the suspected bad traces, usually they are pretty good at making themselves noticeable.

    I ended up drawing in MS paint the traces that were damaged and where they needed to go. I used the hi-res DSLR photo and followed the traces zoomed in in MS-paint. not high tech, but it worked.

    lucky for me I was able to simply attach 4 small jumper wires i made from IDE ribon cable chunks.




    it was pretty fiddly, and I probably didn't do the best job, but the board works, and thats what matters

    The Packard Bell Motherboard has an external battery header and jumper with a diode, and I simply used a 3xAAA battery holder mounted on a remote part of the case. seems to work pretty good.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanieltolb331 View Post

    Again, I appreciate the assistance I hope everyone is having a great weekend. The weather here took a turn for the wonderful, and it's 17C/62F here. It's been around -1C/28-30F for so long here I thought winter would never end.

    Nathan
    it was warm the last couple days here, +5c!! but now it's plunged cold again, and I've watched the snow out the window at work all day. -_-

  5. #5

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    I did exactly like you told me to. I was working on that while I waited for the post to get approved. My board was in much better shape than the one you have in the example photos. Only the first leg on ic next to the battery looked even remotely not shiny. I really feel I am missing something when I finished. After cleaning the expansion card for the ISA slots, there is one pin where it meets the traces that looks dark, but I haven't gotten to testing the ISA Slots yet. I am guessing I can just do a continuity check on each side of the darkened metal?

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanieltolb331 View Post
    Quick question, for treating metal that has rust damage, I have been told to get a galvanizing spray paint. Is that something I can pick up from the local hardware store, or is it more of an item I will have to buy online?
    Personally, I used some sort of rust converter product. anything that has Phosphoric acid in it. available at any autoparts store.

    Phosphoric acid grout cleaner works too, but they don't sell that around here.



    this stuff works extremely well. it chemically stops the rusting reaction but converting the Iron oxide to iron phosphate, which neutralizes the rust reaction, and turns the rust black.

    then I use any good rust paint, rustolium seems to work well. I've also used rust check, really anything works.



    you also wanna grind down / sand down as much as possible beforehand.

  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by pinkdonut666 View Post
    Personally, I used some sort of rust converter product. anything that has Phosphoric acid in it. available at any autoparts store.

    Phosphoric acid grout cleaner works too, but they don't sell that around here.
    I have a gallon bottle of 75% Phosphoric Acid that's still half full that I hardly use anymore for anything other than removing hard water stains and deposits.
    PM me if you're looking for 3" or 5" floppy disks. EMail For everything else, Take Another Step

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stone View Post
    I have a gallon bottle of 75% Phosphoric Acid that's still half full that I hardly use anymore for anything other than removing hard water stains and deposits.
    I so badly wish I could get my hands on that stuff cheap by the gallon -_- sadly you can't buy it in Canada and i don't know why. It's on my shopping list if i ever make the drive down to Montana.

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanieltolb331 View Post
    I am guessing I can just do a continuity check on each side of the darkened metal?
    anywhere where there is bare metal on each side.

    the battery juices tend to eat away the copper that the traces are made of, so there should be pretty obvious missing sections of copper, where the traces are either totally black or even seem to disappear, at least in my experience.

    just start poking around with a multimeter and see if there is anything that looks like it's connected, or should be connected, and the multi meter says it isn't.

    I'm glad the system is working!

    the board in the photos actually the floppy drive controller didn't work, but everything else did.

    once you have the system assembled, you can run DOS software like CHECKIT, and even some games / benchmarks and just try out all the features of the machine. just to make sure it's working. that's at least the fun way to do it

    Quote Originally Posted by Nathanieltolb331 View Post
    I don't know if I can post pictures so I will wait until I get confirmation as to that
    you can, just use an image hosting service. I personally use IMGUR because I'm lazy and it has a convenient "share BBcode" option that makes it super easy

  10. #10

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    Okay, I tried to check continuity and I couldn't get a reading, so one of the pins on the LPX riser card needs to be fixed. There is something else wrong with the machine somewhere. I had it up and running, was trying to get a hard drive to work, not realizing the IDE cable I was using was damaged, and suddenly the screen kinda went weird, almost like a short circuit where the picture kinda breaks up in weird lines? I can't really describe it, but when it does that, the machine locks up, and all you can do is shut it down. If you try turning it back on, the screen does not initialize. Is it possible that this is the video memory, or the video chip? It's using a Cirrus Logic GD5424. I did have some 256Kx16 ZIP RAM that I tried and I thought maybe that was the issue, but the machine presents regardless of if the memory is installed or not. I am a little stymied at the moment, and I am not show on how to proceed or where to even start looking. If I can catch a screen cap of it, I will try to use IMGUR to host a bunch of pictures and see if they could help me diagnose what is wrong with this machine.

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