Hacking Question The mighty quest to fix my faulty switch - Freezes after 0-3 Minutes from booting

ZetShock

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[This problem has been resolved, refer to around the end of page 2 of this thread for the solution]

So hello and welcome to my first thread on this forum, ever!
Since people around here actually seem to have a lot more knowledge regarding console internals and modding, I thought I could ask here.

Anyways, I recently decieded to get myself a little side project: I bought a faulty switch on eBay that was stated as being faulty because the device would not charge. It arrived around one week ago, and I had in mind, that if I could get this thing to work again, I might have just saved myself a couple of hundred bucks. Regardless, the console does charge, and it does work fine (at least for a while), but after a few minutes the console just freezes, no input works, audio stops, the image freezes, and the only way to get the switch working again is to unplug (yes really, not just hold down the power button for a while) the battery.

Essentially, I have already put this question up on iFixit here: goo.gl/Ex2KWU along with more details about the problem and my recent attempts at finding the problem and troubleshooting.

I have not yet tried replacing the USB-C power supply chip, but since the console reads the battery percentage at this chip (correct me if im wrong), and since the percentage never changes live while the console IS working, the problem might lay here.

Still, I don't just want to give the switch up and sell it already (especially because I would have made a loss because I opened the switch up aready). The fix is probably nothign too difficult, but maybe someone might know more about this type of problem and what may be causing it.

I would be so glad to get some information about this topic and my problem, so thanks to everyone in advance!
 
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MikaDubbz

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Contact Nintendo's customer support. Don't say you bought it used, but just tell them that your Switch freezes after a couple of minutes every time you play it. Its quite likely that since its within the first year that they may just fix the Switch for you free of charge. All Nintendo systems have a 12 month warranty from Nintendo, so, no matter when it was bought initially, it should still be under warranty.
 

nero99

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If nintendo won't fix it for whatever reason, look into shanging the 3 layers of thermal paste. Did that to mine and have had no more heat caused issues
 

Brayton

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Contact Nintendo's customer support. Don't say you bought it used, but just tell them that your Switch freezes after a couple of minutes every time you play it. Its quite likely that since its within the first year that they may just fix the Switch for you free of charge. All Nintendo systems have a 12 month warranty from Nintendo, so, no matter when it was bought initially, it should still be under warranty.

It has been opened. He has unplugged the battery! It is no longer under warranty.
 
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ZetShock

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It has been opened. He has unplugged the battery! It is no longer under warranty.
Exactly, thanks for clarifying.
If nintendo won't fix it for whatever reason, look into shanging the 3 layers of thermal paste. Did that to mine and have had no more heat caused issues
Well, I have replaced the termal paste with a high quality one I had laying around from when I was building my pc. What do you mean by 3 layers of paste though? I could only find thermal paste between the CPU shield and the heatsink anyways. Or do you mean the thermal paste below the cpu shield?

I do not think my problem is heat related anyways though, but im currently testing if it is.
 

LineoftheDead

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can you test continuity, pin 4 to the capacitor (2 over from the missing resistor). if you get teh beep beeps then you should scroll to page 26. VCCIN to VSTR/ATST2 to XRST (Digital block Reset). you really just want to throw that resistor back on there. best way to do it --> flux and leaded solder the pads, then wick them clean. flux the now clean pads, hold the resistor on the pads with tweezers (just apply pressure in the middle, on the top), tin a chisel tip and hit both pads at the same time (you have a perfect angle to do this)

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

oh yeah, you should read page 27 as well. btw, does this IC get hot fast? run down to fred meyers and buy some 99% IPA, cover the chip with it and power on the device, see if it instantly evaporates
 

ZetShock

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can you test continuity, pin 4 to the capacitor (2 over from the missing resistor). if you get teh beep beeps then you should scroll to page 26. VCCIN to VSTR/ATST2 to XRST (Digital block Reset). you really just want to throw that resistor back on there. best way to do it --> flux and leaded solder the pads, then wick them clean. flux the now clean pads, hold the resistor on the pads with tweezers (just apply pressure in the middle, on the top), tin a chisel tip and hit both pads at the same time (you have a perfect angle to do this)

--------------------- MERGED ---------------------------

oh yeah, you should read page 27 as well. btw, does this IC get hot fast? run down to fred meyers and buy some 99% IPA, cover the chip with it and power on the device, see if it instantly evaporates

@LineoftheDead Firstly thanks for such a detailed technical post!
If I understand right you mean to measure continuity between the two points the arrows are pointing at on my picture that I attached below?

I am currently not at home so I will be able to check continuity in about 6 Hours. If you go through my post at iFixit you can see that I tried soldering in a potentiometer between where the original resistor was and set it to 100k Ohms, which the original resistor had as well. The console froze anyways though. As for the original resistor, it got lost as it was already loose when I opened the switch up. I did the IPA test and none of the chips got hot or turned very warm at all. What is XRST for anyways? Does this happen because XRST cant be triggered because the path from VCCIN to XRST is broken?

I will let you know when I measured the continuity, so until then
 

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FAST6191

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You can still try claiming the warranty on it. Assuming you did not break any seals or mar the insides then it is all good. I am not sure of the complete electronics warranty laws of Germany but they are typically in line with much of Europe which often has rulings like "if it was not something you screwed up then it plays, car warranties typically being this -- your nitrous kit might destroy your engine but they still get to fix your boot latch and they can't write the whole thing off). I would also struggle to see an ethical issue as well.

Having to pull power or run down the battery is nothing unusual on modern systems -- so many only have software controlled power buttons.

Something being measured in the minutes is either something overheating or something which only kicks in long after initialisation. You can try to narrow that down by idling in a low activity menu with wifi off and all that vs jumping right into a game and having all CGI intro and whatnot, as well as immediately powering back on after unplugging the battery before it has a chance to really cool back down. Let's not go into the freeze spray fixing methods just yet, not least of all because that is trickier on security focused devices that tend to lock up on exceptions.
We don't really know the switch boot path and how many services they might have stuck a delay on, though your battery concerns might be that.
If you have a thermal camera or maybe a laser thermometer you can try to see any heat build up.

On to the battery stuff mentioned. Makes sense. I have yet to read the datasheet for the IC but if you have a stabilised bench supply then I might consider bypassing that. However if it is expecting some kind of data signal out of the IC to inform the firmware you might also be lumped recreating that. Likely something you could fake with a microcontroller but cross that bridge as and when.

Edit. Started reading the datasheet.
Looks like you have the M92A family where this says M92T36. I could not find 36 but there was 30 http://www.rohm.com/web/global/products/-/product/BM92T30MWV
The marking pages are not helpful in telling me what the differences might be so this is still an unknown. The difference between the 56 and the 50 is in supply voltage (not looked at the sheets yet).

The typical application circuit varies on this pin as well, the A family having no resistor where the T does, though in both cases go to VCCin. Right now I don't know what that might do as far as cooking it (if it is extreme cases current limiting then that is one thing, if it is more a fusible link then that is another and if it is general limiting that is another still). Said application circuits have 100KOhm resistors there, and the internal equivalent circuit for the pin do not all have resistors on them. If your pot was not in the 100K range then maybe go back and take a look.
 

Futurdreamz

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It does sound like a heat issue. Are all chips in proper contact with the heatsink? There may be more than one, and if they have been cleaned they may not have the right amount of thermal paste.
 

BvanBart

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I would suggest on the moment of hang up try to see with an IR cam if it is overheated... because your symptoms don't exactly specify overheating issues. Nvidia stuff always starts with artefacts when they overheat... OP did not mention that just yet.

Another thought: did you test if the same happens when not playing a game? And did you reinstall the console?
 

DeadlyFoez

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My thought is that one of the solder balls under a bga chip is not properly adhered to the solder pads, so once it starts to heat up and things ever so slightly flex it breaks the connection. A reflow is probably the easiest thing to try that i can think of.
 
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linuxares

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My thought is that one of the solder balls under a bga chip is not properly adhered to the solder pads, so once it starts to heat up and things ever so slightly flex it breaks the connection. A reflow is probably the easiest thing to try that i can think of.
Kind of how the 360s RROD came to be because of heating issues?
 

linuxares

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Is their anyway to add temporary extra source of colding and see if makes any difference? At least so OP can test it out.
 

NekoMichi

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Check the crash logs, see if it mentions kernel panics (?) or something. I remember a while back trying to repair a phone with a similar issue, turned out the terminal of the battery pack that communicates the temperature had failed, so the OS kept trying to get that data and would shut down for safety reasons after a certain number of failed attempts. Of course, your issue might be different entirely but crash logs could provide some useful information.
 
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BvanBart

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Check the crash logs, see if it mentions kernel panics (?) or something. I remember a while back trying to repair a phone with a similar issue, turned out the terminal of the battery pack that communicates the temperature had failed, so the OS kept trying to get that data and would shut down for safety reasons after a certain number of failed attempts. Of course, your issue might be different entirely but crash logs could provide some useful information.

Crash logs? I just had every option in my Switch examined twice but did not find that?
 
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