Author Topic: Testing a PCI-e card for faults  (Read 1990 times)

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Online rthorntn

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Testing a PCI-e card for faults
« on: September 27, 2012, 06:02:43 am »
G'day,

Is it possible to figure out where a fault is on a pci-e card easily and inexpensively?

I have a Myricom 10G-PCIE-8A-R which seems to power on but is not detected by the OS, an identical working card shows up no problem so it isn't a driver issue.

The card has a strange "TEST CONNECTOR" with 10 copper fingers on either side of the board.

I think this is a complex thing to test because I would have to get it to initialise somehow without putting it in to a PC?

Thanks in advance for any help you can give.

Cheers
Richard
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: Testing a PCI-e card for faults
« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2012, 08:59:34 am »
first and formost clean it and look for signs of physical damage, these things are generally too complex in protocol to simulate outside of a pc, so try maintainence before trying to hijack what is likely a complex digital testing interface, (probably jtag, but may be propriatary)
 

Online rthorntn

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Re: Testing a PCI-e card for faults
« Reply #2 on: September 27, 2012, 09:19:17 am »
Thanks Rerouter, I can't see any physical issues, how would I go about figuring out the strange test interface?

USB blaster
Bus pirate
Logic analyzer

Also with a curve tracer, does that allow me to test a bunch of components on the card without it being installed?

Thanks.

Richard
 

Offline Rerouter

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Re: Testing a PCI-e card for faults
« Reply #3 on: September 27, 2012, 10:00:45 am »
pull out a scope and with it in the computer have a probe, most likely you will find a few voltage rails, an oscillator and some logic pins likely flickering or held low,

that will give you a starting point, if your lucky those logic pins will be doing something, which you could read out and try to decrypt, still think it wouldbe along the lines of jtag with extra pins,

as for testing components i would have to say dont, if you must first remove them from the board, but for passives a multimeter should work,
 

Offline Short Circuit

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Re: Testing a PCI-e card for faults
« Reply #4 on: September 27, 2012, 01:46:34 pm »
The board appears to have quite a few voltage regulators. I suggest doing some voltage comparisions.

Not much you can do beyond that. Poking the test interface is a waste of time; even if you could 'connect' and find the error, what could you do about it?
99% chance the failure is something with the main ASIC (if not the power rails), which cannot be replaced without an expensive rework station.
If you can find a replacement part in the first place.
 

Offline mianchen

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Re: Testing a PCI-e card for faults
« Reply #5 on: September 28, 2012, 07:35:00 am »
My first step to 'fix' a computer PCI card is the low tech solution of rubbing the 'golden fingers' with rubber eraser. If it didn't work then try something else other people suggested.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: Testing a PCI-e card for faults
« Reply #6 on: September 28, 2012, 11:32:29 am »
Does it have a BGA chip?  :D  because that would be my first guess.

If you can get your hand in there, try booting up with a finger either side of the PCB pushing the BGA chip to the board.
If it starts working then you've found the issue. BGA needs a reflow.
Greek letter 'Psi' (not Pounds per Square Inch)
 


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