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Dell GX270 problems

Discussion in 'Hardware' started by Clyde, Nov 2, 2006.

  1. Clyde

    Clyde Megabyte Poster

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    Just thought I'd share a problem I'm seeing a lot of lately - blown capacitors on these PC's

    http://forums.us.dell.com/supportfo...essage.id=16841&view=by_date_ascending&page=1

    If you don't know what a blown capacitor looks like, well, look for upward bulging on the roof of the capacitor. A good capacitor will have a flat top.

    These blown caps cause all sorts of problems including thermal events and blown psu's etc..

    quite common on this PC sadly...
     
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  2. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    Im dealing alot with blown caps latley.

    The g/f blew 3 on her gigabyte mobo last month when she knocked it over while trying to fit a new hard drive. Think a power surge in the psu happened when it fell and took out the caps as well as the cpu.

    And in work, apparently last year they sold alot of gigabyte boards with slightlt dodgy caps on them. These mobos are slowy being fix when they come back in for repair, whatever the reason, just to be on the safe side. Im waiting on one this week in fact. It fails to boot properly, sometimes freezing at the windows loading screen other times at the bios post screen. sometimes it wont even turn on. And i know this one hasnt had the caps replaced yet so that sthe 1st thing im gonna do when it comes in........

    When they go they can make a rather nasty mess, as the elctrolyte gets blown out of the can and over anything in a close proximity... and that stuff can be nasty!!!
     
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  3. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    not being rude or nasty or whatever, just out of curiosity, if you had use an ESD Mat and or wrist strap, would this have prevented it? or would she have need a power surge protection instead, which would of prevented it? or it cant be prevented? :rolleyes:
     
  4. Stoney

    Stoney Megabyte Poster

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    Apparently there's been some 'cheaper' electrolyte used in the manufacturing process of Capacitors recently. The cheaper electrolyte contains more water than normal, which in turn then produces Hydrogen during use. The Hydrogen can't escape so builds up in the capacitor until the pressure becomes great enough to pop the lid off!
     
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  5. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    An ESD mat wouldnt stop a power surge only static build up. A surge protector on th emain line might have helped but i dont think so as the surge came from the psu it self not the mains.

    Thats exactly what we got told by Gigabyte when asked last year. They said a rogue company ahd stolen a formula for the elctrolyte and made thier own chaeper version which had made it onto the market. And its these Caps that aer goin BANG!!
    Thankfully its easy enough to replace them (the mobos we used arent supplied any more)
     
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  6. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    There are a lot of capacitor problems about. I've seen several duff motherboards with bulging cap tops!

    Harry.
     
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  7. elli5on

    elli5on Kilobyte Poster

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    That tends to be why i prefer to buy an expensive motherboard like ASUS for example.... Usually more reliability.
     
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  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Unfortunately many of the top-end manufs were caught by this problem as well. :-(

    Harry.
     
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  9. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    With the story I heard, a formula was stolen, but the original formula was flawed, unknown to the thief. Then, the flawed formula was resold illegally to MANY mobo manufacturers.

    Abit, which used to be a very solid mobo manufacturer, got "bit" hard enough with this capacitor fiasco to affect their ability to stay in business.

    We've replaced the motherboards in over half of our GX270s. Luckily, they're under warranty, but Dell requires that we submit a separate trouble ticket for each one... they won't come out and proactively replace all of them. The week before the warranty expires, we're going to inspect ALL of them, whether they're having problems or not... and any slightly bulging caps will have a replacement called in.
     
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  10. twizzle

    twizzle Gigabyte Poster

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    Dells method of handling this seems a bit like ours.

    We will not have units sent back just to replace the Caps UNTIL THEY GO FAULTY!. If any of the units we know might need Caps replacing we wait until they come in for a repair of some kind then change the Caps, fans etc at the same time as investigating the original faults.
    In our situation we cant really hav ecustomers sending the units back to us on a what if case as most of them require the units 24/7 use and dont have spares.
     
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  11. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Hey guys, I work with gx 260/270 everyday at work and I dont seem to be having issues. What you guys are saying thats interesting because if thats the case with the production of these motherboards then thats definitly an issue. Thanks for the heads up.
     
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  12. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    Pop the case open (especially on the 270s) and see if any of your capacitors (those cylindrical metal things that look like tiny black Coke cans) are bulging (or worse, leaking) at the top. They should be flat (and not leaking). If they're bulging or leaking, and your system is under warranty, call dell and tell them you've got bulging capacitors and they'll replace the mobo. Do it before your warranty expires!!!
     
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  13. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Yup this is a very common thing now with various electronic equipment including PC motherboards not only those Dell 270s. The phrase capacitor plague has been coined. The symptoms vary which makes diagnoses difficult but basically if you have any instability issues like spontaneous re-booting, I would pop the case off and closely inspect the electrolytic capacitors for any signs of bulging, oozing brown gunk or just not sitting flat on the MOBO. If the electrolyte oozes from the bottom, it will make the cap lean over.

    The capacitors are replaceable but it is not a job for the ham fisted solderer to attempt, you need proper equipment, especially a temperature regulated soldering iron. In all honesty it's probably better to replace the motherboard.
     
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  14. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    Now thinking about this, I lately been getting complaints from my user about their computers being shut down, crashing. I wonder if its the capacitors that are causing this. Looks like tomorrow I'll be doing a nice check.
     
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  15. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Check out that *capacitor plague* link I gave for pics of what to look for and more info on the subject.
     
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  16. Clyde

    Clyde Megabyte Poster

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    nice link Bluerinse.

    Shows the problem very well. A pox on all their houses I say. I've upwards of 200 Pcs to open up and check here. Thankfully, we 'only' bought them for a year.

    So far, its about 30% failure rate...

    And yup, it also happens on an older model of OEM PC we still have some of here. can't remember the motherboard make now..

    so it's not just a dell problem. I think IBM also had a similar problem...
     
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  17. Theprof

    Theprof Petabyte Poster Forum Leader

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    I got to work today and checked some of the computers that were reported to be failing, and so far it doesnt look like a capacitor problem, but then again it was just a few pc. There might be some pc that are still working that could be having this issue. I got a long days ahead of me.
     
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  18. BosonMichael
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    I think we've replaced the mobos on over half of our GX270s.

    Yes, many quality mobo manufacturers were affected (Asus, Abit, many others), and since the big-box manufacturers (Dell, Sony, HP, IBM) get their mobos from those companies, they were affected as well. Abit was supposedly hurt so much that it affected their ability to keep the company going.
     
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  19. Bluerinse
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    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    Michael, if you continue to get problems after the warranty has run out, you might want to consider using the services of this guy - I presume the site is US but I haven't checked.

    The site also explains in detail how to replace the faulty capacitors (re-capping) if your game.

    http://www.badcaps.net/repair/
     
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  20. BosonMichael
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    BosonMichael Yottabyte Poster

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    To my understanding, Dell has increased our warranty by one year, expiring 1/08 rather than 2/07. We plan on checking all of them before the expiration date, and if I so much as find one slightly bulging capacitor, I'll call in a ticket! :biggrin

    Many thanks for the link... I might just use them if Dell did not, in fact, extend our warranty. We're not quite ready to retire those 270s... we're just now retiring our 260s.

    EDIT: I'm not much for recapping myself... I'm much too clumsy to be of any use with soldering.
     
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