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Hello, World! :D - Robert B's PC builds - oogle away freely :) - OLD Hardware Emporium

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As my response goes a bit off topic for that thread, it seemed correct to reply here:

This Gigabyte GA-P55-UD6 was dirtier than a 25 year old socket 3 motherboard that I find at the scrappers. :D Good thing that the dust didn't make contact with water as it would've been a lot more challenging to clean. :D

I still have to sort the damaged SATA ports but otherwise this high end UD6 has all the bells and whistles to become collectible in about 20 years time. :D

After 5 min of some light brushing and a session with my trusty air compressor it came out quite nice. It will require some more elbow grease but only after testing and repairs.
Good grief!! That pair of SATA ports are gonesville. Luckily there 8 more so it's not a super critical loss.

Does it boot up?
 

Mussels

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As my response goes a bit off topic for that thread, it seemed correct to reply here:


Good grief!! That pair of SATA ports are gonesville. Luckily there 8 more so it's not a super critical loss.

Does it boot up?
Nah, bobert can totally fix that with some duct tape, supeglue and a paperclip
 
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Do not forget the spit n' polish! :D

Yeah the P55 (not P51 Mustang) kind of it is both dead and alive. :D My bet is that the Main Bios is shot so I'll have to take out of the closet the paper clip trick so that the Backup Bios kicks in (probably) to the rescue. :D The board is stuck in a power on / off loop. It is hard to believe that it is dead. I mean 24 phases FTW!!! :D Joke aside, with that much dust and God knows how many running hours plus a closed case I'm going to be amazed if it still works.

Also I'll have to investigate the CPU retention system. I checked the pads on the CPU and there are no signs of damage. The CPU socket pins also look great. Back in 2009 there were some problems with the P55 motherboards that had a FOXCONN retention system. In the case of High Power OC the CPU and the pins could get damaged if certain conditions were met. I'll replace the top part of the retention system with another from a newer board so that it might increase the pressure a bit. I have a Thermalright Archon on my 9700K that has a pressure vault mount but I don't want to take apart my main rig just for this. In case you didn't know I still prefer air coolers for my daily drivers. Hassle free is always nice in my book. :D

The board spits a brief C1 error then some other code that I am unable to read as the board shuts off immediately. I got it to make some beeps so my bet with the Main Bios being borked might be true.

If nothing works I'll be sad to see this beast dead. I bought it dirt cheap. Price aside I can't leave such a beauty get torn up and destroyed even if it is not considered retro (yet).

You should've seen the graphic card. A Sapphire 6770 that looked like it was full of cement dust.

Also I got a second i7-860 CPU with a broken tooth ahem capacitor that I'll fix as soon as I get the new tips for my 30+ year old Weller Soldering station. Old HW needs OLD tools to repair. Right? :D

I'll scavenge the SATA ports from a dead board but I have to be extra patient so that they'll pop up at the flea market when I least expect it. :D

I can't believe that this board is 13 years old. Damn time flies.
 

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Any time "I" can read all the text that is printed on the Motherboard...I know you take great pictures! :clap:
 
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Do not forget the spit n' polish! :D

Yeah the P55 (not P51 Mustang) kind of it is both dead and alive. :D My bet is that the Main Bios is shot so I'll have to take out of the closet the paper clip trick so that the Backup Bios kicks in (probably) to the rescue. :D The board is stuck in a power on / off loop. It is hard to believe that it is dead. I mean 24 phases FTW!!! :D Joke aside, with that much dust and God knows how many running hours plus a closed case I'm going to be amazed if it still works.

Also I'll have to investigate the CPU retention system. I checked the pads on the CPU and there are no signs of damage. The CPU socket pins also look great. Back in 2009 there were some problems with the P55 motherboards that had a FOXCONN retention system. In the case of High Power OC the CPU and the pins could get damaged if certain conditions were met. I'll replace the top part of the retention system with another from a newer board so that it might increase the pressure a bit. I have a Thermalright Archon on my 9700K that has a pressure vault mount but I don't want to take apart my main rig just for this. In case you didn't know I still prefer air coolers for my daily drivers. Hassle free is always nice in my book. :D

The board spits a brief C1 error then some other code that I am unable to read as the board shuts off immediately. I got it to make some beeps so my bet with the Main Bios being borked might be true.

If nothing works I'll be sad to see this beast dead. I bought it dirt cheap. Price aside I can't leave such a beauty get torn up and destroyed even if it is not considered retro (yet).

You should've seen the graphic card. A Sapphire 6770 that looked like it was full of cement dust.

Also I got a second i7-860 CPU with a broken tooth ahem capacitor that I'll fix as soon as I get the new tips for my 30+ year old Weller Soldering station. Old HW needs OLD tools to repair. Right? :D

I'll scavenge the SATA ports from a dead board but I have to be extra patient so that they'll pop up at the flea market when I least expect it. :D

I can't believe that this board is 13 years old. Damn time flies.
Did you get it going in the end, mate?
 
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Nope. Control to Int 19 Boot loader or no POST. Probably dead chipset or a short somewhere. For now it is considered dead but who knows? Maybe I'll fix it one day. :)

I removed both the BIOS chips and they were read perfectly in my programmer. The BIOS files were an exact match to those on Gigabyte's site.
 
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THE BLOODY GPU aka ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II OC - GTX680-DC2O-2GD5

We all know that dumpster diving IS a dangerous activity that may have as a result anything from a bruised ego to physical harm. :D

Over the years I had my share of special computer parts that required my attention. I mean special in the sense that ranges from a part that it is so filthy that it is downright disgusting to a part that it is as rare as they get around the parts I live in.

I have to mention that I am a sucker for huge GPUs. HUGE air coolers are still No. 1 in my book when I have to buy a new GPU. This comes with its own problems in regard to their weight but this is not a concern to me. Looking back from where we came, GPU coolers with tiny fans and where we are now with air coolers that are in their own right works of art, we can say that we have come a long way. The limits of air coolers are well known today and this is why we have triple slot coolers on some of our GPUs and maybe quad slot in the not so distant future. Regress or progress, depends on how you want to look at this problem.

Taking into account all of the above, my choice to rescue this triple slot ASUS GTX 680 DirectCU II OC 2GB was a total NO BRAINER.



One of my suppliers of computer HW is also the one that extracts the components form their cases and usually I have to deal with dust and grime, some missing capacitors, scratches, so you can imagine my surprise when I got my hands on this bloody card. Blood was present on the ports, inside the backplate, on the shroud, on the sides and God knows where else. It didn't take me long to establish that indeed it was blood. The dark color. The deep ruby red shine it had. Not to mention the splatter pattern. All pointed to one thing. BLOOD! Well, I had my share of cuts and I made some blood offerings to the HW Gods but this was on another level. The poor fellow really did it this time. As I knew from whom the blood was and the guy is as healthy as an ox, there was no reason to panic, ..., too much. :D

The decision to buy the card took me a fraction of a second. I mean it is BIG what it is not to like? I knew the model well and I fancied having one. So I bought it. I asked the seller how much blood he lost and he said smiling: Quite A LOT!

Looking at the pictures though you will observe that blood was the least of my concerns as the card was looking like it was run over by a truck.



The cooler deformation looked bad but I knew that it was a simple case of bent heat pipes. The fact that the cooler was also resting against the PCB also gave me hope that the card survived. Taking into account the good price I paid for it I simply had nothing to lose except a few hours of my time.



I embarked on a voyage to restore this GPU and I intended to use all of my skills in the process. One goal was guiding me. I wanted to see this beast POST and run like it was new.

Taking apart the card was a breeze.



The bracket was deformed but the metal is soft so this was just a case of some light metal working.



So easy to take apart.



Before I go any further I have to point out one thing. Getting rid of dried blood is a serious business.

I tried HOT water but the results were disappointing.
I tried IPA 99% but again the results were disappointing.
I needed a stronger solvent but I was afraid to experiment with other chemicals as I didn't know how they would affect the plastics, the electronics or the metal. I had a few options available but I needed something safer.
Leaving the parts to soak in some liquid for many hours was not an option.

In the end I tried acetone and that did the trick. With cottons sticks and a brush I was able to quickly remove even the most stubborn specs or spots of blood. During this process even the tiniest spec of blood covered quite a big portion of the card when it was hit with acetone and the card was literally dripping with blood. I have to mention that working with blood is a dirty job and in many cases I had to clean some areas multiple times.

I recommend that you use some gloves and some eye protection goggles if you will do such an operation. I am sure though, that many of you would've taken a hard pass on this card for reasons that are quite obvious. :D

Yep. This is blood alright. I wonder what group it was ...



The cooler was easy to dismantle too. A few screws hidden under some small vanity metal covers that were fixed with double sided tape. I used a hair dryer to heat up the double sided tape that was holding them and with a use of a small pin I made short work of them. Be gentle if you do such an operation as you do not want to warp them.



Dang it bro. It is looking NOT straight! :D



This card has a few miles under its hood. The dust gathered inside indicated that it was never cleaned since it was bought.



A closer inspection of the heatsink had revealed the extent of the damage that this card sustained. Couple this with the deep dents in the backplate and I was quite amazed that it wasn't worse.



Getting rid of the dust is in 99% of the cases just a matter of using a brush. Easy as that.



Washing aluminum finned heatsinks with water is not recommended. In almost all cases you will be greeted by a salty deposit that will form on the aluminum fins almost instantly. This happens even when you use IPA 99%. In a few number of cases I was successful washing some heatsinks but in general I say that it is safer if you use a brush, patience and an air compressor.

I was quite happy that the cooling fans were in perfect condition.



The TIM was on its last legs. This card is 11 years old.



Now came the time to tackle the elephant in the room. The signature heatsink.



I removed a few screws and I separated the aluminum frame from the heatsink.



Bendy. Bent-bent. Dangerous curves AHEAD!



I was gentle during the process of returning the heatsink to its initial shape. Also I knew that in the end I will not be able to make it good as new and that it would be a case of as good as it gets or should I say 99.99%? :D

First I tackled the lateral deformation. I fixed the heatsink in a vice. I used two small pieces of thick cardboard to hold the aluminum block and using my hands I straightened the heatsink. Not much force was required.



I used a small block of wood and with a gentle tap from a small hammer I was able to reduce some of the deformation.



The results were not what I wanted so I tried another thing. The metal was simply too springy.



In the end I did what I didn't want to do and that is to remove the aluminum fins from the deformed area. Removing the fins was quite easy as they were just press fitted. I tried not to deform them and I used a flat screwdriver left and right to move them from the heat pipes. Some small marks were left on them but they are not easily visible.



To straighten the heat pipes I fixed the heatsink in the vice and I used my hands and a few wooden tools. I also used the vice to gently press the parts in their place.



During the process of straightening the heat pipes some of the aluminum fins would not stay in their grooves in the aluminum block so I used a wire to guide them in place.



After some work I was quite pleased with the results.



Putting back the aluminum fins was a simple task but I was greeted with a problem. As expected they were a little loose on the heat pipes. Initially I wanted to solder them using a gas torch and solder but I dismissed this option as it might've damaged some fins or leave some marks that would've been hard to remove. As they were just press fitted initially there no reason for me to go overboard.

In the end I resorted to narrow the margins of the holes a little using wooden tools and fix some fins with super glue.

After a few hours of work I was quite proud of my work. :) LOOK! More b l o o d ! :D



The PCB received its first pass of cleaning. Tap water and Fairy lemon followed by and air compressor session. Some IPA 99% and then another session with the air compressor. During the wash cycles I also had to use acetone to clean even more blood that escaped my initial screening.



While I dealt with this card blood was a constant. If there was a nook and cranny there was bound to be some of the red stuff.



After I cleaned the PCB I was greeted by a common problem that affects many of the PCI-E card I buy. In many cases the tiny caps near the PCI-E connector get torn and in some cases they also take the pads with them. This translates in the card not working at all or working with reduced PCI-E lanes.

This card was no exception. Two caps missing. Three pads torn. I used some thin wires to restore some traces and I had to solder a cap a little higher than it was. The repair was then covered with a blob of nail varnish. The repair was not the most beautiful but it was strong and I didn't want to do it again.



The PCB received its final cleaning.



At this point in time I was so anxious to see if the card was alive that I pulled all the stops and I tested it even if I wasn't done with the other bits and pieces. I needed to know. I WANTED TO KNOW!

A few moments later I was ecstatic. After I heard the POST beep and I got a clear image I was literally over the moon with joy.



Blood? BLOOD!



Getting rid of the blood inside the DVI ports was quite tough. Spray after spray with acetone loosened the blood inside and the drips looked like they will never stop. I repeated this procedure many times but I am sure that some of the blood might still be inside the metal casing. This is not a worry to me as there is no reason to poke inside the metal cover of the DVI ports. The pins look clean as a whistle and that is all I need and want to know. :D

The decorative red and black metal strips received fresh 0.2mm double sided tape.



Looking good!



I used a fine tip black marker to cover some of the scratches that were present on the backplate and the metal shroud of the cooler. I also used white paper corrector to cover a spot of blood that was present on the paper label on the back.

All in all the results were beyond my expectations and I was quite pleased that after about 16 hours that spanned across two days I was able to rescue this BRICK which in my book IS AN ABSOLUTE UNIT! :D



YES! YES! YEEEEESSSS!!! Was all that I felt when I looked at the end result.



The final testing session revealed a card that it is @ 100%.



This was the story of the bloody GTX 680. A first and a last I hope. Dealing with blood is not for the faint hearted. Even if I am not squeamish I didn't feel too comfortable restoring this card. I had to deal with multiple problems but in the end my efforts were paid off with a working card and that is always a good thing in my book.

If you ask if I was able to remove all of the blood I must say probably but I also must say that some of the blood will always be tied to this card and I am 100% sure that forensics will find traces of blood quite easily if they tried. The remaining traces of blood though are for sure minimal and I am not one bit bothered by this. I intend to use this card in a build but this will have to wait. At 11 years old this ASUS is not collectible or rare but in 20 it may be. Remember that in our lives everything is cyclical. As humans we are very much alike and in general we have about the same needs and wants so I am quite sure that HW that is today discarded might one day become quite rare and expensive. Not to mention collectible. Never underestimate the power of nostalgia. 30 years ago who would've thought that Socket 3 stuff will fetch quite a price on the free market? :D 3dfx VooDoo 3 cards in demand?! What blasphemy is this? History repeats itself more than we want to believe so if you like computer parts, now it is the time to save rare or special ones.

The rescue of this card, even if it is not old or collectible was an awesome experience for me and I hope that you liked this episode. More later? Probably ... :)

gallery: https://postimg.cc/gallery/bGDSmWy
 
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Looks can be deceiving but here is the next patient.

THE MIGHTY HIS ATI RADEON 7990 6GB. Dual GPU Monster. Launched in 2013 ... how the world has changed since then ... I mean the world in all the possible meanings ...

MORE LATER my good readers! :D
 

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Mussels

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That bloody card looks like the 750Ti i found where the backplate had started turning blue from heat or electrical current - was crazy to see
1692344323161.png




I got accused of faking it with a blowtorch on social media, that was interesting
1692344365871.png



I'm thoroughly impressed by your ability to clean blood out of DVI ports, i'll contact you if I ever need help removing evidence...
(And the repairs in general, few people can successfully achieve that sort of repair)
 
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Let the blood letting begin!!! :D ... kidding. :D

In other turn of events check the miles on this puppy. I need to reverse the km and say that a granny used this board and only on Sundays! :D

I miss Abit!
 

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phill

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I've not visited here enough.

Everyone else hasn't visited here enough. It's completely outstanding and amazing how much effort you put into even the smallest of things.

I have to agree with @Mussels , you do not get enough love as you should here.... I seriously can't wait for the next update!!
 
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I've not visited here enough.

Everyone else hasn't visited here enough. It's completely outstanding and amazing how much effort you put into even the smallest of things.

I have to agree with @Mussels , you do not get enough love as you should here.... I seriously can't wait for the next update!!
I think things have slowed down for Robert as of late.
 
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Looks can be deceiving but here is the next patient.

THE MIGHTY HIS ATI RADEON 7990 6GB. Dual GPU Monster. Launched in 2013 ... how the world has changed since then ... I mean the world in all the possible meanings ...

MORE LATER my good readers! :D
This was probably the peak of AMD GPU cooler design, and the 7990 was the best one of the bunch. Oh how I miss dual GPUs.
 

phill

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Motherboard Asus Zenith 2 Extreme Alpha
Cooling Lots!! Dual GTX 560 rads with D5 pumps for each rad. One rad for each component
Memory Viper Steel 4 x 16GB DDR4 3600MHz not sure on the timings... Probably still at 2667!! :(
Video Card(s) Asus Strix 3090 with front and rear active full cover water blocks
Storage I'm bound to forget something here - 250GB OS, 2 x 1TB NVME, 2 x 1TB SSD, 4TB SSD, 2 x 8TB HD etc...
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Keyboard Razer something or other....
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Software Windows 11 OS... Not a fan!!
Benchmark Scores I've actually never benched it!! Too busy with WCG and FAH and not gaming! :( :( Not OC'd it!! :(
I think things have slowed down for Robert as of late.
Agreed. I hope he's well and doing OK though!! :)

This was probably the peak of AMD GPU cooler design, and the 7990 was the best one of the bunch. Oh how I miss dual GPUs.
I miss the era of SLI/Crossfire and all that lot... It's just not the same without it... Trouble is I think they are trying to replace two GPUs together for one GPU that's a 4 or 5 slot cooler! :laugh: Kinda the same thing I guess??......
 
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Jul 3, 2016
Messages
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How is it going folks?

I miss the time when I had TIME to spare. :) I didn't post something for such a long time ...

I am still doing what I know to do best and that is finding and restoring relics of time gone by but never forgotten. :D

The number of parts that have entered my "collection" are too many to count and I also started offering complete systems that are made according with my client's requests. :D

The ATI episode is in the works.

More later.
 

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