I recently ran into this, and decided to ask if anyone here has tried other things to replace thermal paste...http://forums.overclockersclub.com/index.php?showtopic=164465
Also if you dont have thermal paste right now, here are some tips for you!
I know this post is old but I looked alover online and no one suggested this as an alternative to cpu compound.
SURVEY SAYS: Shrink Wrap cut to size. hEAT SHRINK TUBING CUT TO FIT - i USED A LARGE 1/2 INCH PIECE AND LAID IT ON THE cpu BETWEEN THE hEAT sINK... Ooops caps on! --- I read all over about a substitiute and no one has discovered that shrink wrap is about as close as you can get to thermal pads which are a pre-formed square or rectangle of solid material (often paraffin based)
Here are the most protective materials in reverse order:
For comparison, the approximate thermal conductivities of various materials relevant to heatsinks in W/mK are:
Thermal grease about 0.5 to 10
Unbranded grease typically 0.8; some silver-and graphite-based greases claim about 9
Aluminium oxide (surface layer on aluminium) 35
Steel About 40, varies for different types