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.
Examples of damage from screwdrivers
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
Example of a 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.
- 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
Example of memory module slot 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.
- 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.
- 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.
Correct way to hold a board
Do not hold a board by the heatsink
Do not hold a board by the connectors (note thumb placement in image)
Do not apply pressure on or touch the processor socket
Do not apply pressure on the processor socket cover
Do not flex the board during integration or removal
Do not hold by the corners
Do not handle or touch capacitors on the board
Place boards in ESD bags. Incorrect and correct ways to store boards are shown in this image.
Correct way to store a board in an ESD tray