Don't bake your MacBook

#1

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2019/04/15/dont-bake-your-macbook.html

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#2

Bad link to the source in the article: http://alistair%20wooldrige/

Should be https://www.woolie.co.uk/article/baked-macbook-air/

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#3

Yep.
<a href="http://Alistair Wooldrige">popped it in the oven</a>

I think we’re looking for https://www.woolie.co.uk/article/baked-macbook-air/ ?

The description reminds me of this:

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#4

Next on Boing Boing: Alistair Wooldrige’s Cancer Blog.

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#5

Sounds like everything was going fine until he decided to ruin it at the very end.

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#6

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#7

s/heat gun/rework station/

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#8

Well, I will just post this video on this subject here from a guy who actually repairs Apple notebooks for a living:

TL;DR - “baking” anything at 170 degrees does nothing because it doesn’t even melt solder (leaded solder melts at 180C and lead-free at 220-240C, depending on alloy. It may temporarily “fix” underfill problems in flip-chip BGA chips. However, what it most likely will do is to permanently mess the board up - warp it, delaminate it, damage plastics and if you don’t control the heat, components will desolder themselves/die.

I think that the bit in the article about “if it is good for the people on the Internet it has to be good for me too” speaks for itself.

People, don’t be idiots and when you don’t know what you are doing, have someone who does look at your problem instead popping a $1000 piece of electronics into an oven and destroying it because some fool online claimed it worked for them.

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#9

Thank you!

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#10

Never thought I’d see the day Boing Boing told me not to get baked

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#11

Betcha this woulda been even more exciting in a microwave. Who has a spare Macbook?

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#12

I didn’t even read TFA because I thought it must be a joke/parrody. Did he seriously think that this would make anything better?

Just when you think people can’t get any dumber… Okay, I’m going to go get a unicorn chaser. Or maybe some kittens. Yeah, kittens might do it.

Chose this instead.

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#13

Get away.

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#14

Remember the legend of the Apple III?

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#15

That didn’t fix my Apple ///. :frowning:

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#16

I want to share my own experience with baking, but for those too busy to read it all: Baking done right doesn’t really break nor fix your machine, it just gives it a short respite before its eventual failure.
in Nov 2014 my 4-year-old 17" macbook pro had video freezing problems that had gotten worse over the past 6 months. I’d tried everything until I learned that this is a physical problem. I dropped the motherboard into the oven for 7.5 minutes at 375 degrees (my oven had a good sensor to make sure the degrees were accurate) and the baking seemed to have reduced the crashing problem. The fix only lasted about 10 days, after which it started failing rarely, and then more frequently until by Jan 4, I decided to bake it again. This time I used a monitor and baked it at 375 degrees for 8 minutes. This fix was problem-free for 10 days after which problems slowly returned till April when I baked it again. In May I baked it again. If I wasn’t such a starving student dependent on my portable machine, I might have just gotten something else, but poverty sucks. The point is that the bakes (when done right and within time limits) do not fix the machine, but they do bring it back from the dead for a brief while so you can finish the work you need to do. Nobody should have to do this, but sometimes life isn’t ideal. I share this not to encourage this, but to show those rare folks who might find themselves in a similarly desperate situation: it might help temporarily. What I recommend is like I did: go look up some information on how it’s done and the risks. As is the case in repairs, all breakdowns are different, so baking may not work in many cases simply because of the nature of the break.

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#17

Sadly lots of idiots on Youtube and elswhere that will tell you to “bake” things, to heatgun them, to put your phone in rice if you have got it wet and what not.

In some cases it actually “works” - if you heat up a dodgy capacitor or a flipchip GPU, it may start working again for a few hours/days/weeks. The problem is that it will fail again, even if you were successful, so it is no repair. Even worse, in most cases it does nothing at all except for destroying otherwise perfectly repairable board …

But people believe in this crap like a religion because back in the day XBox had cracked solder balls due to a flexing board when it was overheating and “heatgunning” the chip resoldered it sometimes back to the board. Ever since the oven and heatgun and “reflowing”/“reballing” is the default “solution” to every computer and phone problem - never mind a totally different construction or that the problem could be something completely different …

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#18

Hell, how do you think religions get started…

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#19

I think by that point it should have been clear there was very little damage left to limit.

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#20

I used to do this when I was younger (when the unibody design first appeared) and mainly dead this with already dead/buggy macbooks where I knew the root cause of issue. Now the OP may not have been too worried about damaging the unit further depending on circumstance, but the first thing I “wouldnt” try after “dropping” it would be an oven.

I would imagine since those days Apple has made oven repairs a one in a million chance, I mean, with their track record of “fixing” things.

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