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If I remove the heatsink/fan...

Last response: in Components
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January 11, 2011 11:53:35 AM

do I have to take the old thermal paste/pad off or can I just screw it back down?

edit for clarification: I took my heatsink/fan off to clean it. Does that ruin the old paste? Do I have to clean it off and reapply or can I just leave it on and reassemble?

More about : remove heatsink fan

January 11, 2011 12:19:26 PM

You can still use the old one yeah :)  should not be a problem

it would if it was 2 different pastes, but if the heatsink is clean and there is paste on the CPU then it should work as normal :) 
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January 11, 2011 12:38:44 PM

Anytime you remove the heatsink it is highly recommend that you clean it and the CPU and reapply a fresh thin layer of thermal paste.

Removing the heatsink breaks the thin paste layer which helps improve heat transfer. It introduces air pockets and that acts as a heat insulator rather than a heat conductor.
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January 11, 2011 12:40:17 PM

^+1 You take it off, you clean and re-apply new paste
Moto
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January 11, 2011 6:20:10 PM

Thanks so much all!!
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January 13, 2011 4:48:44 AM

It should still work.
You should change the thermal paste\pad every few months, but if you already did in the past few months, you should be good.
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January 13, 2011 11:19:57 AM

Yes you can re-use pads but not paste, if it has a pad I'd remove it and use paste anyway.
You don't need to re-apply paste every few months just when needed, like your cpu temps rise.
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