At work, we had a small embedded PC that had a short in the mainboard. I attempted a fix, mostly for educational purposes. It wasn’t successful, but I wanted to post the method and result anyway. The method I used is elaborately explained on Youtube, so go hunt there for more details.

First I wanted to find the short. I opted for the method of connecting a current limited power supply and slowly cranking up the current till I can feel something heating up. To do so, I had to solder some wires to the input power jack first.

I set the supply to 1V and and started increasing the current. Given that small resistors have a rating of 250 mW, a 0.25 to 0.5 amps, giving 0.25 to 0.5 W, should be safe enough to gently heat up the shorted component. In the end, I had to increase the current to about 1.5 amps to detect a rising temperature.

I removed the cap in question:

Then I replaced it with hack (because I had no SMD parts here):

The short was gone, but it still didn’t power up. Then I gave up.