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Windows 7: atikmpag.sys 0x116/0x119 BSOD, apparently solved by reflowing

08 Mar 2016   #1

Windows 7 Home Premium x64, Windows 8.1 Pro Media Center
atikmpag.sys 0x116/0x119 BSOD, apparently solved by reflowing

Hi all !

Just want to share a successful reflow using cigarette lighter. I used to do oven reflows before, it gave my old geForce 9700 almost 3 years of life extension.. until it had its fourth reflow, of which I mis-set the oven temp and it went down in a blaze of glory.

Maybe this will help those with limited resources like me; after all, a heat gun is not that cheap, and if you're not an electronics technician, it's not a tool that you use daily.

Recently I've been having random atikmpag.sys 0x116 and/or 0x119 BSOD's in my laptop, a (bought used) Compaq CQ42-175TX (Core i5 430M, ATi Mobility Radeon HD5430). Culprit seems to be the VRAM (lots of errors during Video Memory Test [Download it here: HOME PAGE OF MISHA CHERKES]).

It started only rarely, 1-2x per month, but in the last weeks it became almost everyday. So I decided to do a reflow. After a few google searches, I stumble upon a tip (sorry forgot the original link, but really, BIG thanks to that tip's original poster) which said to test your reflowing method with a solder wire first.

So I went and tried first using hair dryer. Turns out hair dryer is a no-no. The solder simply won't melt. Or maybe it's because it was only a 1000W hair dryer, I don't know though.

So I googled again, and I found several people mentioning cigarette lighters. So I tried one to a solder wire, ... turns out it melts in a mere 2 seconds (yellow part of the flame) and 3 seconds (blue part of the flame) !

So after much contemplating (I'm a poor student, a replacement laptop means a very tight meal budget for the next 8 or 9 months), I did the reflow with a cigarette lighter. And .. it works !

So.. for those poor computer enthusiasts out there, I hope this post might help. What I did was (the major points):
- Only expose targeted parts; Cover everything else with aluminum foil.
- Set the cigarette lighter to quite low (mine was set to around 1.5 cm length of fire), and use only the blue part of the flame.
- Fire the lighter away from the parts. Bring it in fast and reflow in quick circular motion lasting no more than 2 seconds per chip. To make sure, I blow right afterwards to cool them down, then reflow again no more than 2 seconds, then blow, then reflow, then in the last step, press GENTLY the chip with fingers shielded by a clean linen cloth. No, it's not that hot, really. Then let it cool in room air.
- Total reflows I did was 3 times per chip.
- For good measure, I also cleaned the old thermal paste using rubbing alcohol+clean piece of cloth, and applied some fresh one.

I follow this guide for the disassembly:
How to disassemble HP G42 or Compaq Presario CQ42 | Inside my laptop
Thanks Inside My Laptop !

And this guide for the reflow principles:
Graphics card failure/repair guide
Thanks spleenharvester of Aria Forums !

A few pictures (sorry, cannot picture or video the reflowing process):

Board bottom, where the CPU and GPU chips resides

Board top

ATi Radeon chip and 2 Hynix memory chip (bottom)

Another 2 Hynix memory chip (top)

Basically, I'm just showing the reflowed parts: the Hynix graphics memory chips, 2 on each side of the motherboard, and the Radeon chip itself (it was reflowed after cleaned, not before btw).

And.. I put everything back together .. Until now, my laptop has been on since 2 days ago. I'm typing this on it . Hopefully it can last until I am able to afford a new one (fingers crossed).

Although bear in mind:
1. These might or might NOT work for you. Do it AT YOUR OWN RISK.
2. I claim NO responsibility for whatever you do and its consequences.
3. As every reflower will always say:
- the best is always a true reball using a good reballing station, or buy a new one.
- NO ONE can predict how long your reflow will work or will it be successful or not. Whatever you're reflowing may last for minutes, hours, weeks, or years more, or it might be BRICKED.
4. PSA: Please don't smoke or vape. It's not good for your health.

Good luck !

My System SpecsSystem Spec
08 Mar 2016   #2

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Microsoft Windows 10 Pro Insider Preview 64-bit

Dismantling a laptop is not a easy job. So well done.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 atikmpag.sys 0x116/0x119 BSOD, apparently solved by reflowing

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