I have a Gateway MT3422 that will not power up properly - dead LCD screen, dvd spins, CPU cooling fan runs, indicator lights blink but no display or bios, etc. Tried external VGA display - same result. Took unit apart and redid CPU heat sink connection using artic silver grease, etc. Still nothing - cannot find service manual or schematics anywhere. I have sen many forum entries with the same symptoms but no solutions - any ideas or help?

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just a guess, but try switching the ram out. If their's something wrong with it it won't display but will power up.

Hi, Thanks for the help - I will try that this morning and let you know. Good idea - keep forgetting that some computers do not have dedicated graphics memory.

This (and related models) as well as many other laptops of the same era used a AMD CPU and NVIDIA GPU attached to the motherboard via BGA (Ball Grid Array) interface. BGA uses tiny balls of solder that are melted to form the circuit connections between "lands" (circuit connection points) that correspond between the GPU chip and motherboard. Because the AMD GPU setup was rather a budget chipset, the cooling solutions for these were usually not very robust and led to overheating under heavy use or with restricted airflow (such as lying on a bed, couch, etc), which could cause the BGA solder points to liquify (at relatively low temperature) and lose connections. It seems many/most of these laptops eventually died this way. Symptoms are laptops that seems to power on, LEDs light up, but never any video and never completes POST.

It is sometimes possible to (temporarily) fix this problem with process called a "BGA Reflow" which heats the GPU to a point where all the solder melts and reseats the chip and fixes the BGA connections, or have it professionally "BGA Reball" (expensive!) which completely removes the chip (often replacing it) and creates new soldered BGA connections. Or buy a new motherboard.

Do you really think this 9-year-old post warrants further input?

commented: Some think it does. I disagree with cause here. My findings were the lack fo Pb in the solder. +15
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