Removal of Thermal Compound on Stock Core 2 Duo Heatsink

I just received my E6600 w/ heatsink/fan and am ready to install it. However, first I need to remove the thermal compound (either grease or special pad, not sure which) from the heatsink. The supplies I was going to use were 70% rubbing alcohol, a credit card/razor, and some cotton balls or gauze. Once the compound had been removed, I was going to use some compressed air to remove and particles left from the cleaning process. Is all of this stuff okay to use, or will it some how later have an adverse affect?

My second question is, should I put the cpu on the motherboard and lock it in and THEN add my arctic silver 5 or put the arctic silver 5 on the cpu before I put it on the motherboard?

Finally, is there only 1 way you can install the cpu?

Thanks for helping out an amateur.
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More about removal thermal compound stock core heatsink
  1. Prozac is right....

    The CPU is keyed.... Just look at it and look at the socket it should be pretty easy to tell... Look at the corners....
  2. okay.. my real question though was.. how do i remove the thermal compound on the heatsink (does it just peal off because it hasn't been used yet)

    Could someone please share their experiences with the Core 2 Duo stock heatsink and the removal of the thermal compound (is it grease or pad?)
  3. Also,

    I would keep the razor blade away from the new Heatsink..... credit card is ok but the razor blade could score the HS and that would not help things...

    The Rubbing Alcohol is a good idea 70% is a bit weak but should work..

    Make sure the surface of both are clean and free of debree and do not DO NOT put a cold proc (canned air can get very cold and can make things cold.... Allow things to go back to room temp or spray it from a larger than normal distance) or HS together with your AS5 (assumption) or or other compound. Possiblity for condensation on one side or the other could affect curing...

    Just like the military saying "Clean, Dry and Servicable"..
  4. use a razor blade, rubbing alcahol and some cotton swabs.
  5. not sure but I think it is the pad style... Should remove the same/similar though..
  6. I took my hs off once cuz one of the pins didnt lock the first time. I had run it for about an hour and when i looked at the bottom where the copper part touches the cpu it had melted into an evenly distributed gray film. I would say its grease, not a pad.
  7. you know the same company that makes AS% does make emoulent and surface purifier. its called acticlean and it takes off any kind of thermal compounds. though i think the base of the emoulent is just citric acid which is whats in orange clean (can tell by smell) so you could probably use something like orange clean then just use the alchohol to make sure all of the cleaner is off.
  8. I stay away from the cotton swabs, as they tend to "string" on me and leave some lint behind.

    Best thing I have found is the cloth baby diapers, after 2 or 3 washes, soft, absorbent, and leaves nothing behind. Really works the thermal stuff into the cracks and crevices on the heatsinks.
  9. It is not for me it is for the OP... :) But thanks for the info....

    He gave me the tools he had available and I tried to help him (maybe I did).
  10. I would have to say that your best bet for removal would be pure Acetone (the stuff in nail polish remover), the best thing to do would be to drop by your local grocery store and fins the nail polish remover with the least extra stuff and use that with cotton balls (unless you have a chemical store nearby and can get the really pure stuff).

    Do it outside though, that stuff is flammable.
  11. First off, why would you want to remove the thermal compound that's pre-applied to the heatsink if the heatsink has never been used? Arctic Silver 5 is a good thermal compound, but unless you are going to OC the snot out of your CPU, you'll never know the difference between AS5 and the stock thermal compound. And that difference is only about 1-3 C anyway. And if you are going to OC your CPU, you'd need a new HSF as Intel's standard Socket 478/LGA 775 HSF is about the worst that I have seen shipped with any CPU in the last few years.

    Nonetheless, to remove thermal compound from a CPU heatsink, use a volatile solvent such as pure acetone, 2-propanol, xylene, mineral spirits, or Goof-Off. Do NOT use stuff like Orange Clean because the orange oil is thick and not very volatile. Thus it will stick in the very microscopic pits of the heatsink that you are trying to fill with thermal compound. Use a credit card or other CLEAN flat, thin piece of plastic and your solvent to remove the compound. Cleaning the plastic scraper in the solvent is a good idea if the plastic won't melt in it. When you have most of the material off, then take a soft, lint-less cloth with solvent in it and try to get most of the rest of the compound off. Not all of it will come off, BTW. Now take another soft, lint-free cloth and rubbing alcohol and wipe down the bottom of the heatsink. Put the CPU in the motherboard and then wipe its heat spreader with the alcohol too. Now DO NOT TOUCH THE CLEANED SURFACES.

    Now squeeze a drop of thermal compound roughly the size of a grain of rice onto the CPU heat spreader. Don't spread it if it's AS5. Mount the HS over the CPU and you're done. The force of the HS squishing the CPU will spread the thermal compound to where it's supposed to go. Now note that the no-spreading method will only work for processors with the metal heat spreader cap, like Pentium 4s, Athlon 64s, and Core 2s. Pentium IIIs and all mobile chips don't have the heat spreaders and you must apply the thermal grease to the top of the bare die in a thin layer. I had to do this when I removed my laptop's HSF assembly to clean out dust bunnies. Whenever you remove a HS from over top of a processor, you will need to remove the thermal compound and apply new as I have explained or you will not have a good thermal interface anymore.

    I hope this helps, otherwise there is an excellent guide at the Arctic Silver website that explains what I said but with pictures too!
  12. okay.. the paste has been removed (quite easy)

    However, I now have a problem.. so I think.

    After the paste had been removed I noticed a 1-1 1/2 cm scratch on the bottom of the heatsink? Is this bad or does it now matter?

    If it is bad, should i try to install the heatsink then see what temps are...

    Insight would be great.. Thanks Again
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