MacBook Air memory and hot air station

Hi, My girlfriends MacBook Air (2011) suddenly froze and turned off now it won’t start and it’s beeping 3 times… From what I’ve found using google and YouTube it appears that it often means a RAM or logic board problem that can often be fixed by using some flux and hot air on the soldered memory chips. Is there someplace in the lower mainland someone can borrow or rent a hot air station? I’ve already taken the board out. I’ve got flux and a soldering iron but I don’t think that would work… an alternative suggested online that works for some is baking the board 8 minutes in a kitchen oven… I thought I’d try to find a heat gun first… and I’m not quite sure we’d ever get enough use out of a hot air station to justify buying one. Any suggestions?

I did visit your old location a few years ago and someone helped me successfully replace a chip on a dead tv main board. I wish the VPL would add a few tools to the catalogue to prevent electronics like this going to the landfill.


We have a hot air station at VHS and an SMD oven (I would definitely try the hot air first).

I have also baked boards in my home oven…which some folks would not recommend for obvious reasons – fumes, etc. I personally am not too worried about baking a board once or twice a year in it…but that’s a personal thing for sure. I did it with a laptop motherboard that had a failed integrated video chip. It gave me 6 more months on the laptop which was great.

Forgot to add - you might want to try a high-powered hair dryer if you have access to one. I’ve never tried this but it’s worth googling as I’ve heard a few stories about how it worked.

We do have a hot air rework station at the space and several heat guns. I think our reflow oven might be a bit small to fit a laptop main board unfortunately.

Thanks for the replies. I probably should have clarified that I’m not a member.

I’m sure it could have been something I would have enjoyed but too many other projects that don’t require the tools/space/people VHS provides on my schedule. Only the very infrequent need to repair something. Once in a while I look at the projects VHS members are working on and I do wonder if in another life I might have enjoyed working on something different… who knows, maybe I’ll do at some point in the future.


before you break out the hot air gun. have you tried resetting the SMC? of the PRAM?

1 Like

Had done the PRAM reset but not the SMC, I’ll give that a try later today. And if that doesn’t work… any suggestions as to where we might be able to borrow/rent or even buy a hot air station? I’ve now needed one twice in less than 5 years… but I’m not really sure we should be adding this to the list of other items in our storage room that are collecting dust.

Try the Vancouver Tool Library