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Melting Memory

One Beautiful Morning

This is exactly what happened to me one beautiful morning back in college a couple of years ago. I had just purchased a brand new 256MB chip (back then, this was quite a treat) and plugged it into my desktop.

Melting Memory

Right after I had plugged it in, smoke started coming out from my dear box accompanied with a nasty burning smell.
My heart rate probably starting beating at the same rate as the computer's CPU (866MHz). I throw myself over the power off button and the power cord at the same time.


After the smoke had settled and my heart rate was back to normal, the damages were inspected.
I, for some stupid reason, hadn't plugged the memory card in all the way and I guess it caused some short circuiting. A tooth of the chip was burnt and was barely hanging into the card only at point (A) in the picture below, which is the same kind of point as (B) which is showing better.

Besides the tooth, the socket plastic on the mother board was burnt.
I this point, I felt despair and cursed myself for days of being so careless and stupid.

Anyway, I tried a different socket and this time made sure I plugged it in gently and correctly. Turned on the computer. BEEEEEEP...the BIOS error signal. Something was not alright with the card.
At this point I was ready to throw my all brand new memory in the trash and get a new one, giving my wallet a beating...but I didn't. Would you believe me if I said I was able to fix this with a plain old regular screwdriver?

Cried Myself to Sleep

I cried myself to sleep that night. Well, it was not quite that dramatic, but I sure felt badly stupid.
After a couple of busy days I got the idea that the gold (or whatever metal it is on the surface of those teeth) was gone from that one burnt tooth, since after scraping of the black burnt stuff from the tooth was a clear silver metallic color (you can see the difference in color between the burnt and the other golden teeth). I suspected that perhaps the gold had melted, run over the edge and made an electric connection to a tooth on the other side of the card. The picture below shows in pink were I thought the gold had went.

On inspecting the edge, there was indeed an area that looked darker than the rest of the edge.

Memory Screwdriver

I started to scrape of the "golden" area with the tip of a regular screwdriver until the color was the same as elsewhere on the edge.
I plugged the card back into the computer and pressed the on button with much expectation and anticipation. As you probably guessed, it worked! I felt this was a redemption of my stupidity.

Not The End

Wait! It doesn’t end there.
I told what had happened to my hall mate and believe it or not, the same thing had happened to his newly purchased memory card. I told him that I was able to fix it and he tried the same scraping method...worked like a clock.

Since my hall mate also had this problem I thought I'd put this blog up for fixing burnt memory in the hope that other, equally fortunate people would find it useful.

What Happened Afterwards

The memory chip is still up to this day plugged into the same computer and happily serving us 256MB. Thank you my 256MB memory chip.
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Re: Melting Memory

Great read

Re: Melting Memory

Hi , thanks for the tip, I had exactly the same problem a couple of weeks ago, lukily I got mine from Ebay, so it were,nt as expensive, I too Burnt a tooth on my Memory, (in fact 2 teeth), I have'nt yet tried your method, because it still works in my machine, but since it happened my Powersupply fan is making weird noises due to the smoke that came from it :( but all in all it's still working ok .

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