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Motherboard Repair without Schematic?

Last response: in Motherboards
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June 25, 2013 2:17:18 PM

Hey guys, I want to start getting into motherboard repairs. I've been doing mobile device repairs (iPods, MP3 players, etc) for some time but I never was able to do motherboard repairs.

What do I mean by motherboard repairs? Example: Device will not finish bootup, but non-motherboard components have been ruled out as the problem, so it's the motherboard that is causing the problem (or rather, a chip on the motherboard or a bad connection somewhere). My theory in this situation is that the CPU has failed, but I have no idea if I'm right.

NOTE: I have to do these repairs without schematics, as the schematics are proprietary (Apple is extremely secretive) and so I have to look up each individual component and even then I don't know if that is the one that has failed, or even if it failed, or if the connection is bad, or what.

How can I learn to do motherboard repairs on mobile devices, MP3 players, iPods, etc when I do not have access to schematics?

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Side question: is a soldering class worth it if I have basic, entry-level soldering skills? I know what through-hole and surface mount is, and I can solder in a basic way, but I have no formal training. Thinking of taking a soldering class from a licensed "IPC Technical Training Center." Worth the money?

Thanks guys.
a b V Motherboard
June 25, 2013 2:42:20 PM

I admire your ambition but your mission is a waste of time even with documentation especially if you intend to make a living at it. Don't you think somebody would already be doing this if it penciled out? Even the OEMs throw their failed boards away.
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June 25, 2013 2:47:56 PM

ram1009 said:
I admire your ambition but your mission is a waste of time even with documentation especially if you intend to make a living at it. Don't you think somebody would already be doing this if it penciled out? Even the OEMs throw their failed boards away.


If I can obtain boards that just have 1 or 2 failed chips for $5-$10 each, fix them, then resell for $50 ea, it's worth it to me. This is a side income, not a full-time income. And I really enjoy fixing things. I'm a huge nerd.

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a b V Motherboard
June 25, 2013 3:52:17 PM

My guess is you can get boards free however you will have to invest many thousands of dollars in diagnostic & repair equipment. Replacing surface mount devices is very difficult. The most experienced shops fail over 50% of the time. Remember you'll also need to test to make sure everything works, not just what you repaired. If I thought there was a snowball's chance in hell I'd join you but there isn't. Find something repairable to repair.
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