reforming capacitor tutorial/walkthrough

John Foust jfoust at
Mon Oct 8 13:55:23 CDT 2007

At 01:44 PM 10/8/2007, you wrote:
>Hmm. Kinda like trying to find the shorted component
>by replacing a blown fuse with a bolt.

Tony's right on several levels, but it's always a trade-off, and 
different aspects of the compromise come into play with old uncommon
equipment.  Sub-assembly swapping is easy with contemporary PCs
because all the parts are relatively common and inexpensive.

Swapping power supplies to debug a motherboard isn't going to help
if the fault is good at destroying power supplies.  Killing a
power supply isn't going to help the next motherboard if the
newly blown power supply destroys that motherboard, too.  Swapping
memory chips between motherboards that are destroying memory chips
is a sure route to frustration and wasted chips.  With classic 
hardware, there may not be an easy source of extra subassemblies.

With new hardware, it may be impossible to secure proper documentation
and it may be difficult to impossible to decipher what's happening
inside of such tiny chips.

- John

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