The Story of Bad Capacitors

Recently a Client brought in a System with a dying video card. The instal presentation was Video Artifacts on boot and the freezing when it went into high resolution mode during Windows Startup.

In most of the time we have to replace the Video Card. In this case this was a low profile Nvida GeForce 7300GS with 256MB of video memory. This part typically runs $100 to $125 on the open market.
When I pulled the cover off the system, I noticed that the Video Card had blown Capacitors.
Picture 1
This case only two of the Capacitors where blown. Rather than replacing the $125 part, I thought I would take the opportunity to replace $1 worth of Capacitors. However, I had to FIND two of the correct capacitors first. I called around town, but no one had the parts I needed. Not being deterred, I deiced to rummage through my spare parts, and I discovered that an old and obsolete motherboard had two of the very part I needed. So I decided to salvage those Capacitors off the old mother board and get them new life reviving a dead video card.
Using my Soldering Skills I swapped out the two bad Capacitors on the Video Card for the two good ones I pulled off the old Mother Board.
Picture 2
Finally, I fired up the system…. and it worked!!!
At the end of the day, this project was a win-win-win. First, my client won by saving money. The new Video Card and Labor would have cost around $150. Using salvaged Capacitors, the only cost was $50 for my labor. Next, I won because I made more money fixing the card rather than replacing it (yet it was still less expensive for the client). In the end, there as also a win for conservation/environment, because there was on less dead electronic component that had to be disposed of.
I was so pleased by all of this that I made a short movie about it.

Leave a Reply