9 Replies Latest reply: Feb 2, 2011 4:03 PM by Doc_SilverCreek RSS

Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards

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We are system builder. We recently found some of the systems we built with Intel desktop motherboards restarted frequently with no good reason to explain why. We tested these systems with all hardware tests. They all passed except that it failed in memory stress test. But the memory we used were obsolutely fine with stress test in other machines. As we could not find a good reason to explain why this happened, we decided to take off the motherboards to look at these boards closely.

 

The picture below shows the cause of these systems frequent reboots - unclean chemical on the PCB board causes corrosion on the circuits:

IMG00012-20100930-2221.jpg

 

This issue seems to affect most of Intel Desktop boards and many models. We found this issue happened in the following models at least:

DP55WB

DH55PJ

DH57DD

and two more models released in 2006. But I dont have the exact model numbers here when I post this thread.

 

As this happens to many models and even brand new boards. So it reflects the quality control issue in the manufacturing process. We contacted Intel Australia, they referred us to RMA department. But this not the answer we want to hear -- because this is not a ramdon happening issue. We contacted Intel Quality and Reliability Department by filling in the form on www.intel.com, has been 4 weeks till now, no reply.

 

Do you guys have any ideas where we can make Intel aware of this issue?

  • 1. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Salem_Intel Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi,

    We have not had similar cases reported nor do we have a known issue with "corrosion on the circuits" on any Intel(R) Desktop Board DP55WB, Intel(R) Desktop Board DH55PJ and Intel(R) Desktop Board DH57DD or any other model. We confirm the boards go through high quality inspection prior to packaging them up.  We do thank you for the feedback, though, and suggest opening a case through either chat (Click here) and email or phone (916-377-7000), so our Technical Support Dpt. there can gather more information about the affected boards.

     

    Thanks!

  • 2. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Flying_Kiwi Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I'm glad Intel have recognised this white staining issue is present on some motherboards. Both of my DG45IDs have had this contamination on the back of them. I don't know if it's solder flux/residue or what but I've not found it on other brands of motherboards such as Asus and Gigabyte (I've never owned a Foxconn mobo, the assemblers for the DG45ID).

     

    Intel should be aware that when I unpacked each of the 2 boards I was disappointed to find this unwanted contaminant on the back. It does clean off with IPA (Iso Propyl Alcohol) and some effort but users shouldn't need to do this. The first thing I did when I was experiencing problems with Dolby Digital and the mixers/IDT Audio software playing up was to clean the back of the board and inspect it carefully.

  • 3. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Cpt.Dogfruit Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Hi,

    That on teh back of teh board is nothign that would cause stability, reliability or any other types of issues. It comes form teh production process ( can't remember the spefic product that causes this) and definately does not cause issues. with regard to the stability issue and RAM it is very much more likely that that there is a mismatch withthe RAM a BIOS SPDs settings aand tehrefore the timings and latencies need to be changed manually. Nor do i believe at all that this would cause issue with teh audio.

  • 4. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Peet_UK Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    I've also seen a slight white residue on the underside of part of a DP55KG I've just fitted. Like Flying_Kiwi I've washed it off with IPA. It didn't look like it was causing any corrosion but its something unexpected all the same.

  • 5. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Doc_SilverCreek Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    The only time I have experience any problems with solder flux (which is what this normally is) on a board is if it in in the connectors, battery holder or card contacts. The compounded does not conduct and is an insulator. It won't corrode through the solder mask on the board.

     

    It does, however, look tacky!

     

    Part of the factory manufacturing process is to clean this off the board and it sounds like this factory QRE should be made aware of the issue.

     

    A few years back, most companies changed the method used to clean the mother boards in the factory to a "green" method that was considered safer for the environment. (You can read that as does not work nearly as well) Some vendor who are not in areas which have the same environmental concerns still use the "ozone unfriendly cleaners" and have much prettier mother boards.

     

    IPA can be used to clean the board, but it may take a little scrubbing.

    IPA is also a good test to see if the solder flux is present. (Solder flux is clear in it normal state and turn whitish when it comes in contact with IPA.)

     

    It will not cause issues if left on the board, unless somehow it has gotton into a conector, battery holder or on the contacts of a card.

  • 6. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Flying_Kiwi Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Doc_SilverCreek wrote:

     

    IPA is also a good test to see if the solder flux is present. (Solder flux is clear in it normal state and turn whitish when it comes in contact with IPA.)

     

    It will not cause issues if left on the board, unless somehow it has gotton into a conector, battery holder or on the contacts of a card.

    I know what you mean about solder flux normally being clear - that's the sort I'm used to and it's why I'm unsure just what this stuff is. It was already white on all of the boards referred to here before we even let it near any IPA and it doesn't look like normal (resin type) solder flux - maybe its an activator?

     

    I had a look at this section on wikipedia about flux drawbacks and it seems there are some potential problems if the wrong residue is left behind. Maybe that's why cleaning seemed to make a difference in my case?

     

    [Edit] I should add that as well as cleaning making some difference (allthough the problems still remained to a degree), I'm now using the default Win 7 SP1 drivers rather than the IDT software and that's resulted in them completely clearing up. It means I still have full DD when eg my Blu-ray player software calls for it but the rest of the time its just Dolby Pro Logic II. I'm not to worried about that because the software that operates in this mode would normally only output in stereo anyway eg the TV Tuner and MP3 Music playback. It is a shame that there still seems to be this 'fragility' with the IDT software/drivers on the DG45ID though. The HP Tablet PC I've received for my work has Intel/IDT software and it (so far) seems to have none of these issues (although there's only stero output or HDMI possible and I haven't used the latter).

  • 7. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Doc_SilverCreek Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    Very possibly.

     

    Solder flux is just the most likely suspect.

    When the "good stuff" (which I could remember the name. techno something): was removed from the production lines for cleaning, I'lll give you one guess of what the base of the eco-friendly cleaner that replaced it is.  Hence if cleaning is not complete, whitish residue.

     

    If as part of assembin a system you notice a residue, it is not a bad ide to cleanit it. Just make sure you give the IPA plenty of time to dry,. .

  • 8. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    whale Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    My 1-year-old DP55WG also has similar situation; I noticed it when I change the desktop case. The back of my motherboard is full of the chemical shown in the photo by Su. While my board still works, the situation looks worrying. Is a replacement necessary?

  • 9. Re: Warning! Defective Intel Desktop boards
    Doc_SilverCreek Community Member
    Currently Being Moderated

    No,

     

    If it is bothersome, wipe it down with IPA (isopropyl alcohol) to clean it off, but it really won't cause any functional issues (unless it gets inside connectors)

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