[clug] Bad Capacitors

David Howe david at qednet.biz
Wed Aug 2 03:31:53 GMT 2006

Here at work we have had a horror run with Dell GX270's - directly related
to faulty capacitors. Dell have so far replaced about 20 motherboards and
a few power supplies that died as a result.

Not to restrict the problem to Dell, I can recall having to replace a
bunch of caps on a Sun Ultra5 a number of years ago. The capacitor problem
is quite well known in the electronic service industry, another well known
situation involved a variety of hi end Sony TV broadcast equipment.

The bottom line is that electrolytic capacitors are somewhat akin to
miniature time bombs embedded onto your vital electronic equipment:)


> Some of you will remember that this bad capacitor issue is what caused
> us so much grief with the Bunyip cluster back in 2001. Ended up
> replacing 50 motherboards.
> We have also been hit by it on Duron based NVidia mobos (similar to
> X-Boxs, but for a PC) and more recently almost all the Dell Optiplex
> GX270s on campus (over 500) have had motherbaords replaced for the
> same reason.
> Cheers,
> Bob Edwards.
> Jsparksaa at cs.com wrote:
>> All,
>>   Here is a website of a person who gives detailed info regarding
>> motherboards and bad capacitors.  He will also repair MB's. (USA and
>> Canada only, though!)
>>   If you have steady hands and can operate a soldering iron, you can
>> order a kit and attempt a repair yourself!
>>   http://www.badcaps.net/
>>   Jim
>> Paul Wayper <paul.wayper at anu.edu.au> wrote:
>>>On a slightly related thread, and more as a heads-up, note that there
>>>have been problems with cheap Taiwanese capacitors blowing up and frying
>>>motherboards.  The problem's due to the 'defection' of a scientist from
>>>a Japanese firm that made capacitors to its Taiwanese competitor - he
>>>took the formula for their electrolyte but didn't get all of it.  So the
>>>electrolyte in the capacitors leaks out and/or corrodes the can.  The
>>>two main signs are the top caps bulging outward, or electrolyte leaking
>>>out of the capacitor.  Many motherboard manufacturers, even reputable
>>>ones like Asus, have been affected, and most will admit there is a
>>>problem but aren't actually issuing recalls or anything.
>>>On a more related note, and also looking at the phoronics.com site that
>>>Rainer mentioned, I was thinking that what would be really nice would be
>>>a site that you just dump your 'lspci -v' and other diagnostic outputs
>>>into and it catalogues what's in your system and then asks you how the
>>>hardware is going for you.  It's too much hassle to try to take large
>>>outputs apart to catalogue them, and possibly inaccurate as well.
>>>Just another thing to add to my large list of 'things to put some time
>>>to in the future...'.
>>>Have fun,
>>>linux mailing list
>>>linux at lists.samba.org
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