Checking for Physical Damages during RMA

Checking for Physical Damages during RMA

Finding Physical Damage

It is critical to ensure products being returned under warranty are free from Physical damages.  For most products the damages are pretty obvious but it helps to know what to look for.

General guidelines

  1. Deformities, bends and uneven surfaces
  2. Items not belonging to vendor
  3. Signs of item being dropped
  4. Signs of water or burns
  5. Scratches, especially on circuit boards
  6. Missing key parts

Graphics Cards

Circuit board / PCB damage

The most critical part of a GPU that ensures it works properly is the PCB; the little green or black circuit board that is sandwiched between the heatsink/fans and the backplate.

Always look for any bending, scratches or scraping on the PCB. A bend PCB usually means that the GPU was dropped or damaged in shipping.


Gold finger damages

Damages on interface gold fingers on the PCB are also hard to notice.

Other reasons

Any scratches on the GPU, missing or peeled off thermal pads, broken or bent power cables etc...

Storage Devices

Hard disk drives are easily damaged if opened or dropped. 

Signs of collision damage on metal plate

Any signs of damage due to heavy impact can be reason for rejected. Always check for deformities on the metal plate

Scratches on PCB

Even minor scratches to the exposed PCB can be reason for rejection. 

Deformities on the interface

Sometimes the interface or ports of the HDD can be deformed, which will result in a rejection.

Other reasons (See Attachement)

Tampering with screws, missing labels, unreadable barcode, broken ports, signs of water etc.. can also be reasons for rejection 
More pictures and details in the attachment


Bent Pins

Although bent pins can usually be repaired, CPUs like this are rejected as it is an obvious sign of physical damage.

Modern CPUs have Land Grid arrays which means that the pins will be on the motherboard socket instead. CPU RMAs can also be rejected if there is any scratches on the bottom/gold part of the CPU.

Missing Cooler
If the CPU came with a stock cooler this must be returned when claiming an RMA.


Look for missing CPU socket cover, bent pins and presence of thermal paste in the socket.


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