Preventing Physical Damage for Desktop Boards

Last Reviewed: 04-May-2017
Article ID: 000017453

Screwdriver damage
Trace damage
Connectors and sockets
Recommended actions to reduce or prevent damage
Develop proper handling guidelines

Physical damage to a motherboard or processor is caused by improper handling or integration of the board into the system. This document describes common causes of physical damage and recommended preventative actions.

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Screwdriver damage
Screwdrivers used during integration can slip and strike motherboard components, causing damage leading to system failure.

Examples of damage from screwdrivers
screwdriver damage 1 screwdriver damage 2

Damage caused from screwdrivers or other tools:

  • Around screw holes
    • Often due to screwdriver slipping around motherboard mounting hole
  • Around processor heatsink assembly
    • Often caused by a tool used to attach heat sink assembly

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Trace damage
A damaged or cut trace on a motherboard can cause the system to fail.

Example of a cut trace
cut trace

Damage to traces can occur around mounting holes and around heatsink assemblies. They can also occur on the secondary side (back) of the motherboard.

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Connectors and sockets
Connectors and sockets on the motherboard can be damaged during shipping or integration.

  • Processor socket damage
  • Memory slot damage
  • PCI, PCI Express*, AGP, and other slot connector damage
  • Pin damage on IDE connector, floppy connectors, or other onboard headers

Examples of processor socket damage
processor socket damage 1 processor socket damage 2

Example of memory module slot damage
memory module slot damage

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Recommended actions to reduce or prevent damage
Preventing screwdriver damage:

  • Use a magnetized driver tip that matches the screw head size.
  • Make sure there is good lighting so the screw holes are clearly visible when integrating the board in the chassis.
Preventing socket or connector damage:
  • Make sure the components are positioned and aligned properly prior to insertion.
  • Do not force components into the sockets.
  • Make sure the processor socket lever is fully open prior to insertion.
Inspecting for physical damage:
  • Experience shows that spending at least 30 seconds inspecting the board helps detect as much as 90 percent of the mechanically induced damage.
  • Use a 2X magnifying lamp.
  • Follow a consistent inspection pattern—such as up and down, left to right—each time you inspect a board.
  • Document common defect areas to help you identify where problems repeatedly occur.

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Develop proper handling guidelines
Post simple handling guidelines for training and reinforcing proper handling techniques. Examples are shown below:

Correct way to hold a board
hold board 1

Do not hold a board by the heatsink
don't hold by heatsink

Do not hold a board by the connectors (note thumb placement in image)
don't hold by connectors

Do not apply pressure on or touch the processor socket
Do not apply pressure on or touch the processor socket

Do not apply pressure on the processor socket cover
Do not apply pressure on the processor socket cover

Do not flex the board during integration or removal
don't flex board 1 don't flex board 2

Do not hold by the corners
don't hold by corners

Do not handle or touch capacitors on the board
don't touch capacitors

Place boards in ESD bags. Incorrect and correct ways to store boards are shown in this image.
place boards in ESD bags

Correct way to store a board in an ESD tray
store board in ESD tray

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Discontinued Products

Intel® Desktop Board CA810E
Intel® Desktop Board D845PECE
Intel® Desktop Board DQ33HS
Intel® Desktop Board DQ963GS
Intel® Desktop Board D815EFV
Intel® Desktop Board D945GZCC2