As I'm a so-called proud owner to have the 125 watt version of this beast CPU, even the stock heatsink and fan combo (+ cuprum heatpipes) couldn't handle the amount of heat, so... to cut a long story of "overheating, partially damaging the CPU and underclocking" short, the heatsink's mounted fine (paste alright, tried re-placing), but there's dust -in between- the fan and heatsink itself; so I had to vacuum-clean the dust through the fan blades, but it wasn't so effective (but then, the temperatures at full load dropped to 65-66°C max). Now I have to get the fan off the heatsink to get rid of all that mess which is frying on the current 69°C full-load heatsink temperature.
There seem to be no screws inside those holes, but I'm not really really sure, as I don't want to break the fan. I've met only with some classic HSF combo's: heatsink mounted atop the CPU and the cooling fan screwed into it.
So, for the 6400+ AM2 out there: if anyone knows how can I get this fan off without damaging it, I'll be very grateful !
As they said a can of compressed air is the best way - just trying to pry the fan off esp if you do not know if it is even designed to come off could cause the entire heatsink to move or lift and then the thermal paste may get air under it causing it to lose it's effectiveness.
What the? Just because dust builds up, underneath the fan itself, I have to buy another HSF combo to get rid of the dust? No way. It's a stock cooler for crying out loud.
I'll try the air duster method then. But tell me, if the "clips are impossible to move without damaging", how the hell did they attach the fan to the heatsink in the first place? Sounds kinda weird.
A lot of parts are made to snap together the first time they are assembled in a factory but they are not always designed to be able to be unsnapped without bendiing or breaking !!
As for the Air spray - there is no need to take anything apart but I would highly suggest taking the entire case outside to do it !! (if you have not blown the inside of the case out in awhile you'll be amazed how much little dust particle will go airborne when you spray and no reason to need to clean the whole room after you finish if you can do it outside instead !!
As said, just take off your side panel, take it outside, and spray the entire case to knock out the dust bunnies. Computer parts are made to handle some dust buildup. A general cleaning with compressed air of the insides a couple of times a year is more than enough cleaning for most people's computer.