Freshly baked video card

November 21, 2010 - By

Update 2: The failing of my computer that led me to believing my card was dead was in fact the second card dying! Its GPU was fried. In fact, my computer is running like a dream – only with the baked card!

UPDATE 1: One week later the card is dead. No regrets! Maybe I’ll try deep frying it now and see if that helps.

My desktop PC is a beast.

At three years old it still rivals the average current machine in a box store. About two weeks ago one of the two video cards started flaking out – random lines would start appearing on the screen and the machine would freeze up. Nothing lasts forever, so when my trial and error proved  that one of my Nvidia 8800 GTS cards was to blame, I mentally wrote it off.

Nvidia 8800 GTS

As a part of my farewell autopsy I did a Google search with the error my device manager showed and found an insane post. Essentially it suggested I cook the hardware. For a lark I decided to give it a shot; I had nothing to lose!

This afternoon my engineer wife and I completely disassembled the device; we removed the outer shell, the heavy duty heat sync and GPU casing. Then we tossed it into the oven at 385 degrees Fahrenheit for 9 minutes.

The card is elevated off of a cookie sheet with aluminum foil cubes

After letting it cool for an hour we put it back together and put it back into the PC without much hope. After running through the bios Windows booted – lo and behold it actually WORKED.

I feel like anything this card gives me now is bonus. If I end up buying a new card before it dies again I may just end this saga with a bake sale.

Also, if you try this I’m not responsible for anything untoward that happens to your electronics. I advise that you only try it when you have accepted that the card is dead and that there’s nothing to lose… the baked card will also stink, so maybe avoid this in small or poorly ventilated apartments!

Update 2012: Nearly two years later I ran into more of the same problems, so I did this again; and I’m back in business! I know an oven can be a costly thing, but honestly, as long as I have one I can keep fixing this video card and save myself the $20 it would cost to replace it!

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This post was written by ArleyM