Bad Caps

A few years ago a number of sub-standard electrolytic capacitors got into the supply chain.  These capacitors or caps for short are used on circuit boards like motherboards to smooth out ripples in power leads to on-board chips.  They look like a can turned on end and have two wires coming out the bottom which are soldered to the circuit board.  They are also polarized and have a plus and minus like a battery.  They are shrink wrapped with the manufacturer’s logo and the size.  The end cap has scribed lines to promote bulging at the end instead of bulging everywhere or actually exploding.Motherboard with one bad and one good cap.  In the nearby photograph of a motherboard which went bad after less than two years of use, the cap just above where it says “P4M90” is good and the one just above it and to the left is the culprit.  This computer showed intermittent failures and lost files like the “system” registry file.  Then it really went haywire and started writing gibberish on the hard drive.  Fortunately no user files were lost.  The customer bought a new computer which I set up for him and reloaded all his applications, files, email, etc.

  2 comments for “Bad Caps

  1. August 17, 2012 at 11:03 pm

    So how did you restart this hard drive.

    Bad Caps did me in.

  2. Joe Wood
    September 26, 2012 at 5:45 pm

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you. I physically take the hard drive out of the old computer and attach it to the new one with an external drive adapter like this one.

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