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Can computer boot without heatsink attached?

Last response: in CPUs
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January 17, 2010 12:51:42 PM

I unclipped the heatsink from the CPU to dust it, and can't figure out how to clip it back on. Additionally, the computer won't start. I know it's getting power because a) an orange light on the motherboard comes on and b) the CPU fan spins. However, the computer won't boot up (ie. I don't see the BIOS screen). Is it possible that maybe the BIOS or something detects that the heatsink isn't connected and thus for safety reasons refuses to boot up the computer?

FYI, it's a Dell Optiplex GX150 with an Intel Celeron 1.1 GHz processor. Yes, it's old and slow, but I still want to get it working so I can use it as a test computer.
a c 131 à CPUs
January 17, 2010 1:21:43 PM

You tried to start the computer without the heatsink and fan?
You overheated and killed your processor within seconds. It's now dead. There is nothing you can do.
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January 17, 2010 2:58:00 PM

I meant, if the processor hadn't overheated and died, would the computer still be able to boot without the heatsink attached (on top of the cpu, yes, but not clipped in with the little clip)? I press the power button and it won't start up--which seems like I wouldn't have killed the cpu because (since the computer's not booting) the cpu's not actually in use while the heatsink isn't attached. Additionally, there are no black marks or visible burns on the CPU. Wouldn't there be some if it really were toast?
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a c 133 à CPUs
January 17, 2010 3:01:03 PM

the cpu becomes active the second you turn on the power most likely tou cooked that processor. It is good practice to never ever ever turn computer on with out all the proper cooling on. Even running your computer without the side panel can be bad for cooling.
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a c 131 à CPUs
January 17, 2010 3:45:47 PM

yddet12 said:
I meant, if the processor hadn't overheated and died, would the computer still be able to boot without the heatsink attached (on top of the cpu, yes, but not clipped in with the little clip)? I press the power button and it won't start up--which seems like I wouldn't have killed the cpu because (since the computer's not booting) the cpu's not actually in use while the heatsink isn't attached. Additionally, there are no black marks or visible burns on the CPU. Wouldn't there be some if it really were toast?


Yes it would be able to boot. It just would hit the POST screen and beep at you a few times and refuse to go further because the CPU fan is not plugged in. It can't detect the heatsink itself though.

No there would not be black or burn marks. All the transistors on the inside would burn. the metal plate covering it would not show any marks.
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