What is the Device Name that measures whether or not Mobo components..

are working or not?

back when I was a little kid my uncle was fixing TVs (this is in another country), and he had this device with him at all times that would measure whether a chip, or any other electric device, inside of a tv would be dead or alive. it had 2 sticks - & +, and he would connect them with 2 parts of an electric device/chip/whatever those things are called that are sodded to the MOBO/tv/whatever. then there was an arrow and if the device would be alive it would jump to a certain #, if it would be dead it wouldn't move or go not high enough. so then he would just unsod the dead ones and replace them with new parts.

WHAT IS THAT DEVICE CALLED? and is that what computer technicians use to fix PCs?
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More about what device measures mobo components
  1. You mean a voltmeter?

    It's not going to be useful for PCs nowdays because the parts are so small that you can't get a probe on them.
  2. Multimeter? As said besides testing voltage on a molex I know most people are afraid to touch anything on their mobo in fear that they would short.

    And no we just use our brains to figure out whats wrong. If you're not getting voltage to your computer then test for 120v AC ofcourse.
  3. And when you're good enough you can take a quick look and whatnot and get a pretty instant hunch of what the problem is.

    Then stuff gets replaced at a board level.
  4. Best answer
    well the only thing on a mobo thats really obvious are burned traces and bad capacitors. burned traces are very rare, but bad capacitors are easy to spot. simply look for capacitors that are bulging or have brown stuff oozing out!
  5. shovenose said:
    or have brown stuff oozing out!


    OMG my PC freezes every 4 hours or so and especially when im playing a video game. I updated my speed, my video card, PSU, and still having this problem. Do you think that's the main problem? I got one of those capacitors with dried brown stuff over it. i cleaned it up but could that be the only thing that's causing the problem? are these things easy to get online or in PC stores?

    p.s. i posted about this issue like 5 times and no one knew wth was the problme outside of the basic RAM/Video card/PSU/speed answer.
  6. guys, i dont know the name of the device. but is there a course i could take to learn more about Mobo parts and how to measure on what's broken?

    so far I've taken 2 courses at city college. 1 hands on and 1 just tests stuff on how to build a pc. but it was all basic stuff.
  7. Generally that means it will stop working sooner or later and it's time to replace/upgrade.

    Theoretically you can replace them. But pretty much nobody does that. It required board level soldering and desoldering experience and VERY specialized equipment.
  8. yeah i had an old soyo socket a/462 mobo where the ps2 keyboard would only work occasionaly. it worked fine otherwise. well, i looked closer at the mobo and EVERY SINGLE regulator capacitor ( the ones by the cpu) and then i opened the psu it had 2 bad caps also LOL
  9. Heh, at least it was consistent.
  10. well cleaming up the brown stuff is like trying to kill the termites after ur house is a pile of rotten wood :)
  11. False_Dmitry_II said:
    Generally that means it will stop working sooner or later and it's time to replace/upgrade.

    Theoretically you can replace them. But pretty much nobody does that. It required board level soldering and desoldering experience and VERY specialized equipment.

    i have soldering experience "VERY specialized equipment"? LoL. you just need a sodder and that silvery stuff, plus another white sticky stuff to dip the stick in, and a wrist strap. I did that stuff as a kid in middle school. just gonna have to buy a sodder.

    here are the pix. notice how the one that has brown stuff around it, the one next to it is bulging slightly. is that a bad one too? the ones that are all clean are the ones on the opposite side. do PC stores carry them or my best bet to order them from online? the one that is bad is right next to the CPU. oh, and shovenose: ill check that site later on today. currently at work

  12. also, before buying 2 of these. do i need to know anything else outside of the voltate on it? like which socket I'm running or anything else about my PC? or any one of these things with same spec will do? let me know. thanks!

    My spec:

    ASUSTek Computer INC Mobo (A7N8X Deluxe)
    AMD Athlon XP: Thoroughbred, Socket A 2700+
    2 gig of RAM (Corsair)
    GeForce 7600GS 512MB 128-bit GDDR2 AGP 4X/8X Video Card
    PLANET WL-8310 Wireless Card
    200G Seagate (Master)
    500GB Wester Digitital SATA
    LG DVD Writer
    WinFast TV2000 XP Expert WDM TVTuner
    4 Fans - 3 regular, 1 92mm
  13. You're kidding right? That stuff is EoL like 6 years ago. It's not worth saving. The literal cost of fixing it isn't worth the price or the time.
  14. False_Dmitry_II said:
    You're kidding right? That stuff is EoL like 6 years ago. It's not worth saving. The literal cost of fixing it isn't worth the price or the time.

    so what would be the price to get 2 of these replaced? i do have to buy a sodder and other equipment for it though.

    i mean, i can order another motherboard from ebay instead.
  15. It pisses me off when people say that some perfectly good (maybe not quite the best) equipment is end-of-life crap and not worth fixing. Anyway, to the op:
    bring in the capacitor to wherever u plan to buy the mew ones. You will want to replace the bulgy ones too. They will leak soon.
  16. shovenose said:
    It pisses me off when people say that some perfectly good (maybe not quite the best) equipment is end-of-life crap and not worth fixing. Anyway, to the op:
    bring in the capacitor to wherever u plan to buy the mew ones. You will want to replace the bulgy ones too. They will leak soon.


    i searched around and they go anywhere from $10 each and up! so if i get 4 of them thats $40 (if it's that cheap at a store cuz the ones i found are on the net). plus the sodder, and all the other equipment to repair, plus the time it will take for me to do this. it could go around 60-100$ price. I may just buy a new mobo/speed. I'm thinking of Athlon 64 or Intel equivalent to it. i got a new video card, PSU, and some other good equipment in my PC, and it will not use its full potential (video card. I am a gamer) with the slow cpu/mobo I am running.

    what do you think?
  17. OP, re your initial question: undoubtedly the device you speak of was a voltmeter of multimeter you uncle used for some relatively simple tests. (Not so easy to do this with high-speed digital circuits, but it worked well in analog systems.) What you did NOT observe, though, was his expert knowledge. He had to know exactly which points to probe, and what the results meant in terms of circuit performance and fault diagnosis.

    Decades ago I had a portable radio in my car. I complained one day to an electronics technician friend that lately the sound was a bit odd and it distorted badly when I drove past a high-power electrical distribution center. He replied, "Oh, then your AGC feedback capacitor has gone open". Pretty soon I realized that did not help me solve it, so I brought the radio into his workshop and he opened the cover. In less than ten seconds of looking it over he said, "Right here - this is the bad one. Here, I'll show you." And he plucked just the right replacement component from his part shelves, turned on the radio, and held the new part's leads against the old one. The sound quality was fixed up right away! I took the part and soldered it into place back home. But without that man's expertise I never could have fixed even this simple problem.
  18. Me saying that it's end of life is a fact. The not worth saving part is me using the definition of a "totaled" car: paying more and using more effort that the thing is worth. And the fact that it needs board level work by definition makes it not perfectly good.

    He has already apparently replaced every single thing in that computer, and if he instead went for a budget AM3 system from the beginning he'd undoubtedly be better off. Because that means he's gotten an old AGP card, possibly a PSU without CPU power (because apparently that socket A doesn't need it) and so on which cannot be used in a brand new build. Looking back at the list probably mainly the RAM and video card.

    If it were still working and doing the job it's supposed to well enough for a user then just because it's end of life doesn't mean it needs to be replaced. In fact it's a cheap tactic of mine to get old stuff from ebay if it's still an upgrade for someone and in fact they don't really need anything more than that. IMHO something around a pentium 4 3.0 gigahertz in performance is perfectly acceptable for daily tasks. Heck my file/print server is my old socket 939 3200+.

    @OP what exactly is your budget? That will change completely any advice I will give from here on out.
  19. as far as my budget. I am willing to spend a good $200 for an upgrade. actually, I was looking around and found this.

    what do you think? it has 4 RAM slots 2 of DDr and 2 of DDR2, would that even work? like i mean... get 2 DDR ram and the other RAM are of different models... I will use my old sticks and get 2 extra. that will save me some money!

    does it matter what PSU I got? I'm worried my 400W won't work with it or something.

    p.s. literally no one has capacitors that I need for my old board. I found one place but they only have one with 85 degrees C and I need a cap with 105 C.
  20. actually, scratch that board. it has really bad reviews and instability issues.

    check this one out

    The only things it's missing is.. 1) 1394 port. what is this for? and is it necessary? 2) Silicon Image Sil 3112 A. same question for that. and 3) the dimensions for it are 12" x 7.8 " compared to my AMD board which is 12" x 9.6". would that even matter, or it wouln't fit right in my case?

    the best part about this board is it got 3.40ghz maximum CPU!!! and it has 800/533MHz FSB compared to 400mhz on my AMD.

    what do you think? I can get it for $35 right now and order CPU off of ebay for cheap too!

    p.s. it is also missing SATA connector but i dont care. Ill just use my other 80gig HD for backup and give this PC to my uncle in 6 months to a year. he wont need or care for it either way.
  21. also. P4's 3.40ghz does not equal to AMD's 3200+ right? cuz 3200+ is actually 2.4ghz or something like that. and the most I could run was 2600+. anything higher my mobo wouldnt do it.
  22. well according to amd's rating system the 3200+ is equal to a p4 3.2ghz, even though it runs at a much lower clock speed...but im not sure that it actually ends up like that. however, i will admit that an amd 3500+ at 2.2ghz felt way faster than a p4 2.8ghz cpu with ht...anyway...
  23. Yeah, but my cache speed is 256k now. I am running a thoroughbread 2600+. Intel’s 3.40 ghz got 512k cache or 1mb! That’s not to mention the RAM’s speed is much faster and the CPU runs cooler. I just need to know if it will fit in my case due to the 2” wide difference…
  24. Ok, so since you're willing to buy from ebay, and because you have a $200 budget abandon these silly ideas of "new" and "single core"

    Go to ebay and find the "CPU and mobo combos" then amd (they generally run cheaper for comparable stuff there) and then dual core. Find a good deal and get it. (and of course the likely matching DDR2 RAM you'd need)

    Sell the known working pieces of your comp. Like the graphics card and RAM and whatnot, possibly the mobo with "it's prolly busted" disclaimers.

    Then you can get a new budget graphics card like a 5570 or something.

    After doing all this and selling the leftovers on ebay, you may end up covering some of the cost of the CPU and mobo.
  25. im just curious why do you want me to sell my video card? is it really bad? can i really not find agp mobos out there with duel core cpus? will my 400W PSU run duel core without problems?
  26. Use this, 400 watt should be plenty, especially with the graphics cards I recommended.

    And no, AGP is totally obsolete. If you looked well (and I did) I even had a PCI-Express motherboard in 2005. (There are a very few mobos that do have AGP but managing to run across one where I was directing you to bid is unlikely. And even then it'd prolly not be worth it.) That's also what drives up the cost of AGP graphics cards, because volume-wise nobody really wants them. Demand and supply goes down driving up the cost. It's also way slower than the ones I recommended.,2491-7.html

    So the best use it can have is simply to be money.
  27. hey false,

    i been really thinking and looking at prices. to be honest with you I am only upgrading it for the next 6 months or possibly until 2011. then i will give this pc to my uncle and build a new one. so in the end, is it really worth doing all that work? duo core cpu is anywhere form $80 and up. i gotta get a mobo, ram, new video card. and is it really worth it all? just doing this research makes my head spin. and then ill have to sell stuff on ebay and it will take me 10x more energy then it should be.

    not like im gonna keep this pc. but im gonna keep looking on ebay.
  28. I don't know what you're looking at but they aren't that high.

    an example of that which I speak

    The category

    I found it in under 30 seconds. Not sure where you were looking. That particular one had everything but a video card.

    4600+ x2's go for like $30. I watched one in particular go because I bought the guy's mobo for like $22 plus 5 shipping so that I could build a comp for my granddad. (I already had a spare CPU)

    I've ended up looking at what generally goes for what kinds of prices for various reasons. And I have built computers that way. It is super cheap. Literally anything in that category will fit the bill, then you just get the RAM and graphics card after.

    It should only take a day or two, or at least that's how long it takes me generally from start to when I've won an auction. In fact, I just won 2 gigs of DDR2 800 to use in my secondary laptop (so I don't have to carry my gaming one around, and I just bought it off of craigslist for $190 on friday, it has a dual core CPU itself) today for $22 plus 5 shipping. I started looking at RAM last night. That stuff would cost $55 or more on newegg.

    So of course I think it's worth it. I pull crazy stuff off all the time.
  29. i was just looking at intel parts. they are expensive as hell.

    see what i do is i search on newegg for reviews right after i find something on ebay. i wanna find something that has nice reviews instead of getting anything and then find out its crap when i get it, or fail on me in like a week or something.

    4600+ isn't that kinda low though? im trying to find a cpu that can run WoW on full settings with the right video card hopefully.
  30. a 4600+ is better than any cpu in my house(besides maybe my core2duo e6600) but its strill a decent cpu
  31. I know. That's why I specifically told you not to look at intel parts.

    All you need to know is if it functions correctly. If stuff like a mobo and CPU is proclaimed to work and be stable just check the feedback the guy has. If it's good then he's telling the truth. And besides caps, they simply won't go bad. If those are a potential problem you will see them in the auction pictures or when you get them. Most likely they will be fine. This has never failed me and I've built several computers at least partially from ebay stuff.

    Dude, a 4600+ x2 is way higher than every single thing you ever mentioned before I told you to stop looking at new single cores. It probably can do that, but you'd need a HD 4670 or 3870 to run WoW that high. That's also something you kept mentioning nvidia 7600's which are anemic in comparison.

    You can't complain about speed after what I've shown you is possible to get. You can't expect to play crysis maxed out. Not on that budget. What you can get is a decent gaming machine.

    The computer that has my old 4600+ x2 and a HD 4670 handles dawn of war 2 maxed out at 720p. That's no small feat.
  32. The last one is AM3 socket. It's pretty good. (actually it's the fastest) If they have it more than once (and it seems like they will), I'd wait on the outcome of the other two actual auctions. The other set of new stuff is a sempron single core.

    And yeah, that asus one will shoot up, I've seen that mobo in auctions a couple of times, it goes pretty high every time.
  33. Best answer selected by purple buzz.
  34. hey False, check out my new set up. and thanks for helping me cuz if it wasnt for you id still be hunting caps trying to put life into that dead pc and be stuck with it probably for another year. i got all these parts off of newegg since i got tired of looking for a good deal on ebay. it costs me around $350 and im selling my old parts on ebay now.

    AMD Athlon II X2 255 Regor 3.1GHz
    Foxconn A76ML-K AM3 motherboard
    ECS NR9800GTE-512QX-F GeForce 9800 GT 512MB 256-bit DDR3
    A-DATA 4GB (2 x 2GB) 240-Pin DDR2 SDRAM DDR2 800 (PC2 6400)

    wholy *** my WoW is smooth as hell at full settings with shadows and anti-aliases all the way. i dont even know what lag is with this baby. im gonna try other games later on when i upgrade it to vista. tried windows xp 64 bit but it crashed and im not settling it down with that dead end OS. again, thanks!
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