Electronics > Repair

Computer Power Supply - Salvageable?

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Hello everyone,

I have done some research on soldering and I am excited to take it on as a hobby! Watching some of the youtube videos really got me thinking of some of the things I could repair at home. I have not started this hobby yet but I'll be starting soon when I get my soldering iron tomorrow (will be trying to fix small stuff first, like a cable).

While I was thinking about things to fix I came across my old Power Supply. I already used its "lifetime warranty" once and they wont take it back a second time.  So I decided to open it up and was hoping all I would have to replace is a capacitor. There are two bad capacitors that are visible. I think that could be an easy fix, but my other concern was this copper colored stuff that's on the image on the right:

(Ultra X3 1000Watt Power Supply)

I've been looking for videos on how to possibly clean this and salvage it, but I wasn't too satisfied with what I found so I figured I'd ask my questions here.

1) Is this salvageable?
2) What is that copper color residue on there?
3) Is that way too much solder on the back of that board? Answered! Thank you David Hess and kolonelkadat for the info!

I am a noob and do not want to work on this until I got some experience soldering and some great feedback.

My thought process was cleaning it with vinegar or lemon juice, letting it dry, de-soldering (the yellow cables), cleaning it again with alcohol(?), drying it again and re-soldering those yellow cables.

Let me know your thoughts

Thanks in advance to those who help!



Forgot to mention this as well, I'm not sure if the fuse is still good.

Use isopropyl alcohol to clean the back side. You can easily find it in shops or online (amazon for example)

What you have there may be flux or some glue... can't tell from the picture.


--- Quote from: Keken on August 08, 2014, 07:59:23 pm --- I already used its "lifetime warranty" once and they wont take it back a second time.

--- End quote ---

are you in us or some other third world country with no consumer protection?
warranty is warranty, there is no such thing as one time warranty.

yellow stuff looks like rubber glue? it doesnt matter, no need to touch it

what is wrong with this psu? if its dead replacing caps might not be enough
not all bad caps are visibly bulged/damaged/leaking, you need to test them or just replace all in bulk

Thank you both for your replies.

I used the isopropyl alcohol to clean the back side of it, looks much cleaner now and got the majority of the dust off. The texture of the spot I was concerned about feels like a very thin layer of glue, I wont touch that part.

Rasz, any recommendation on a multimeter or other device to test out the caps? (<$50 would be great)

The part about the warranty, they were only able to replace it once, they stopped making this version of the psu. I got this psu over 6 years ago. Not sure if the warranty would have covered fixing the darn thing, but I had to pay for the shipping the first time and hey, maybe I can fix this on my own and probably cost less than the shipping. In any case, I'm gonna take on this challenge when I get comfortable fixing other things that I have laying around.

I've got my old GTX 295 from BFG before they stopped making video cards. I'm gonna take a look at that next.

Again, thank you both for your replies. Any and every piece of info helps.


pretty much doesnt matter, ESR meter is just a alternating voltage at ~100KHz meter, so nothing fancy
even this will be enough

but its pretty niche, will be cheaper to just replace all the caps on 12V lines (I suspect those are the faulty ones?)
you still didnt say what is wrong with psu


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