M17X R4 Common Motherboard issues and symptoms?

Hi Guys,

upon closer inspection I see that the CPU socket seems to be melted near the top, see attached image.

would this affect the operation of the socket in anyway? the CPU seems to seat properly and flush when inserted correctly. I'm hoping that its just cosmetic damage but I cant seem to figure out if the plastic part of the socket is removable so that I can look under it and see if anything is damaged.

is this plastic part of the socket removable?
 

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The socket seems to consist of two parts, the melted white plastic on the top and a black type plastic underneath and to be honest, I don't think that socket is meant to be taken apart as the 'screw' that's used to clamp the CPU down will likely go through the black part under the melted white part.

my thinking says one of two things:

1. the pins are not making contact at the melted part ( could be damage on the contact pads or a simple case of pins not touching the pads)
2. the solder has become undone due to the heat on the motherboard side where the socket is soldered onto the board. (could be why some people get good temporary results from 'baking' their motherboards)

I see they do sell replacement sockets on places like aliexpress but though I'm adequate with a soldering iron I can certainly understand why people would just replace the Motherboard and not bother with that stressful pain.

Ill keep at it and report back anything new findings from what I try. since I'm headed for a MB replacement anyway, I might as well try all I can on this one before it goes to the trash.

I'm getting a new CPU soon (thumbs up to MattyB!) so Ill be able to test properly with a supported (and working) CPU while secretly hoping the MB does not damage the working CPU in the process.
 
Hi Guys,

short update, I installed the new and compatible CPU but unfortunately I'm still getting the 7 beeps with no lights, fans or screen. I will fiddle around with it again and see what I can find after I've used a multimeter to check the basic components for the power delivery to the CPU. if those are all fine then the only other thing that I can think of to check is the BIOS chips (at least according to other forums where they are getting the same symptoms) specifically flashing both of them to see if there is a change.

Not looking very good so I guess I'm headed for a motherboard replacement if I'm going to get this thing up and running again.

If anyone has any information around checking these components I would really appreciate the help, I have the schematics for the Motherboard but hell... I have no clue what I'm even looking at! the only reason Im willing to try is to shine some light on this issue as I feel these boards are being constantly replaced due to something small that can be fixed.
 

MattyB

Moderator
Mar 19, 2012
3,089
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Adelaide, Australia
Sorry to hear that man. Board schematics and traces are well beyond my expertise unfortunately. If a capacitor or resistor blows, it's usually easier to find the issue but yours will be a tougher one to pinpoint. I have a 7-beep board stashed away somewhere so I should dust it off and try a few things like a forced BIOS flash. You never know.
 
no worries, I would just really like to shine some light on this. these are great laptops even at their current age and swopping out MB's is more of an easy fix which works out too expensive for most folks (easier to use that money to buy another laptop)

It must be something that is fixable, problem is finding out what it is. on mine it could still very well be the CPU socket as its the only place I can see damage (saw some damage on the Mini display port but that cant be linked 7 beeps) and this can be fixed even if its by a computer repair shop by replacing the entire socket or it could also be a bad bios update. the only way I can get to flash the bios is manually with an eeprom programmer since my unit does not even slightly power on. from what I have read they have two Bios chips, one is the main chip and the other is EC and both would need to be flashed.

Alternatively there are guys selling preflashed bios chips on ebay but that means desoldering the ones on the board and soldering in the replacements... but definately need a hot air station to get that right at home.

The board is definately getting power on all the power rails, I cannot for the life of me find any shorts on any of the power mosfet chips on the board and all of the coils are working.... I just dont know how to test it further than that. Youtube has dozens of videos but none specific to the M17xR4 so chips will be in different places and have different configurations which makes it even more tricky.