Website Dedicated to Computer Professional...and
some not so Professional
by Warren S. Levine
the past four to six weeks I've had to replace motherboards in three IBM
NetVistas, and my colleague in a remote office has had to replace a couple
as well. In each case, IBM sent out new motherboards, because the machines
were all still under warranty.
it wasn't until last week, when I received a DOA replacement board
from IBM in eastern Canada and had to spend hours on the phone with
various people there, that I learned there was apparently a
"known problem" with some of the capacitors in thousands of
person who told me about this is an employee of IBM. Let's call this
person "Serge Strippe" to protect his/her identity.
said that IBM would not recall the units which are doomed to fail at any
time, and that they would not replace these motherboards until
the original ones failed. Signs of failure are indicated by the computer
spontaneously rebooting, rebooting itself in a loop, or locking up repeatedly
at random times.
signs of failure are indicated by cylindrical capacitors (usually pink
ones) on the motherboard becoming "bloated" or
"bulged" and by the appearance of a battery-acid like substance
oozing from the tops thereof. The faulty capacitors are easy to spot,
because they are stamped/scored on top with a shape that looks like
the letter "K", whereas the good capacitors are stamped with a
above is reportedly not endemic to IBM computers -- Serge also said
that Dell and Gateway bought some of the faulty components, and that
some of their desktop computers are susceptible to the same failure.
think it's important that readers and fans of The Network Administrator
know about this problem, and that they inspect the motherboards of
NetVista desktops and mid-tower units that were manufactured within the
last two years. Similarly, I would put out a call to the readership that,
if anyone has experienced the same problem with Dells or Gateways, they
should report those instances to The Network Administrator as well.