I Baked An AMD Graphics Card In My Oven To Fix 27-inch Apple IMac Mid 2011

Posted: Apr 17 2018, 11:55am CDT | by , Updated: May 27 2018, 1:33am CDT , in Apple

 

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I Baked an AMD Graphics Card in My Oven to Fix 27-inch Apple iMac Mid 2011
Credit: I4U NEWS

This really works.

Today started off very bad. After working about two hours on my Apple iMac (27-inch Mid 2011) the screen suddenly flickered and afterward the mouse cursor was just a couple of thin lines. I could not click on anything anymore. This iMac is part of the series that got a free replacement of the AMD graphics card because of a known issue.

In fact, I got the GPU board replaced in 2016. Apple was kind enough to still give me the free replacement part. Now two years later, I did not even think about asking as I already know from my other old iMac that the support for parts has ended.

The hardware test (hold D during boot) did not find anything wrong, but I could not get the iMac to boot again. It always stopped at the white screen with grey Apple logo. It did not matter if I restarted in safe mode, recovery mode or regular. The iMac just didn't continue after a certain time.

As I was able to witness the event when things started to get wrong, I pinned my hope on fixing the iMac by replacing the AMD GPU card again. When I started to Google for GPU replacement I stumbled over reports like this one on iFixit that describe how to fix the iMac video card by baking it in the oven at 200 degrees Celsius (392 Fahrenheit).

This sounded totally ridiculous at first, but these reports have so many comments from iMac owners who succeeded to fix their iMac with this crazy method. Since I had nothing to lose and I just opened up my other iMac to fix its broken SSD, I just tried it.

I only needed some Thermal paste, all other tools I still had from the SSD repair in my mid-2010 iMac earlier this year. It took me about an hour to remove the logic board that has the AMD Radeon HD 6970M 1024 MB graphics card attached.

In the SSD repair, I did not have to completely remove the logic board. This time there was no way around it. With the board out, I removed the heat sink, scratched off the old thermal paste and placed the GPU board on aluminum foil balls and put in the preheated oven at the 392 Fahrenheit and let it bake for a bit over 8 minutes.

After a 5-minute cooldown, I put new paste on the chips and reassembled everything. Including the bake time, It took me a bit over 2 hours before everything was back together. I plugged in my iMac and almost cried because it worked again. This the craziest repair I ever did. My iMac is now running great for over five hours. Let's how long it will live one this time. I can always bake it again.

Update May 27: I baked another iMac successfully. This 2011 27-inch iMac did boot up again. I baked the graphics card, but that did not resolve it completely. When I changed the RAM the iMac started to work again flawlessly. In this case, there might have been a double problem. So if baking does not fix your iMac try new RAM. It's any way a good idea to upgrade old iMac's to 32GB. You can get 32GB 1,333Mhz DD3 RAM for around $200 on amazon.com.

There is actually a reasonable explanation why baking or heating up the iMac video card fix problems. The soldering points of the GPU are losing contact through the vertical placement of the card over the years. Heating the board in the horizontal position is reseating the chip into the board and renews the soldering points.

I followed the video of Evangelos Vlasopoulos, who does a great job in explaining how to bake your iMac's video card. The video does go into detail on how to open and close an iMac, you can watch OWC's great video for that part of the repair.

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The Author

<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/2" rel="author">Luigi Lugmayr</a>
Manfred "Luigi" Lugmayr () is the founding Chief Editor of I4U News and brings over 25 years experience in the technology field to the ever evolving and exciting world of gadgets, tech and online shopping. He started I4U News back in 2000 and evolved it into vibrant technology news and tech and toy shopping hub.
Luigi can be contacted directly at ml[@]i4u.com.

 

 

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