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Ok, I have this motherboard that is old and I dont even use. But I play around with it sometimes. I got it out today and found this...What do I do?

This cord or wire thing (could you maybe inform me on what they are called.) is disconnected!

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Perhaps it is ground? Intended to touch the metal of the case. Is it solid, like copper metal? If it is flappy then it could be a track lifted up from the motherboard, but I can't see where it would lay. So I am going with ground. If you follow the track on the other side of the motherboard, where does it end up? Or perhaps it is a temp sensor? – Paul May 22 '12 at 3:08
up vote 3 down vote accepted

That is a trace. Traces that have broken and separated from the board are usually considered non-repairable. Since it doesn't look timing-dependent, you could try cutting it off and soldering in a jumper wire between two solder points on either side of the break.

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How would I go about doing that? – SampsonStudiosLLC May 22 '12 at 3:15
One end of the trace is readily identifiable in the picture. It's the pad just left of the upper end of the break. The other end appears to go to the DB-15 connector and also somewhere else. The "somewhere else" (off picture on the bottom) is likely the easier connection point. If you don't use that DB-15 connector, the break likely doesn't matter. (Though we can't be sure because it also severs two internal connections that might be important even if that connector is not used.) – David Schwartz May 22 '12 at 3:45

People normally use plastic insulated AWG30 wire or smaller for jumpers, similar to wire-wrap wire, fine gauge. The solder applied should be minimal required to hold wire. Loose wire can be adhered with instant adhesive glue dot or other fast drying adhesive dot. Soldering iron of <=25W is an essential tool with <=1/16th" round tip. Good eyes or a 5x or 10x magnifier to inspect. 1mm resin core solder 50/50 is typical old school, newer types avail as well Pb free.

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It's very hard to beat Multicore solder for electronics work. – Ignacio Vazquez-Abrams May 22 '12 at 20:54

There's ways to fix traces, such as conductive ink pens (google link so you can research further - since you might both want to know what to get, and what it is), which you can use to connect the parts of the traces still on the board. Here's one howto that seems to cover the same situation which suggests using a cotton bud with acetone to remove the excess.

It seems to be attached to a d-sub connector of some sort (serial, or video i suppose), which you might be able to live without. Tape up the lifted trace and see if you can live without it.

What concerns me is why this damage could have happened - It takes quite a bit to cause a trace to lift - either major mechanical damage or overheating. You'd risk damaging any other equipment thats on that part of the board. It might be a good idea to replace it unless you're running replacable or obsolete gear you don't mind having a magic smokey doom.

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