Can't get cooler off


i installed a japanese mainstream cooler (but not popular in the states) on my new build. I now want to take it off, but the two prongs that lock it in place are hooked pretty tightly onto the motherboard (AM3 Board).

Any ideas on how I could take it off?

Also, is thermal gel near the CPU bad? Could it hurt performance? I think some may have leaked out because I put too much thermal gel on thanks.
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  1. The clips are attached to the mount by screws, unscrew them and they'll be easy to take off.

    Depends on what thermal compound we are talking about, some lead electricity and some dont.
  2. Screws? An AMD HSF usually just has the clips. If you can't get a thumbnail down there to do it, AND if you are very careful, you could use something like a small-diameter screwdriver to press down on the clip in order to release it.
    If the thermal paste you used is non-conductive, you're probably okay. If it isn't, once you get the HSF off and CPU out, you could clean the pins with a Q-tip (cotton swab) dipped in 91% isopropyl alcohol. If you got it down in the socket, you could use the same 91% alcohol in a squirt gun to forcibly irrigate the socket. Just be sure to let it thoroughly dry afterward.
  3. My clips are attached to the hsf by screws. It's an am3 board with an arctic cooling heatsink
  4. Can you not loosen the clips without removing screws?
  5. Before you try to remove the heat sink, run the cpu to get it hot. The heat softens the thermal material, making it easier to remove the cooler.

    Most tim is non conductive; you are probably ok.

    Next time put on as little as possible. Too much acts as an insulator.
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