Cpu stuck to heat sink

Recently built a new rig consisting of the following, HAF922, Corsiar TX850w, Asus Crosshair IV, Phenom II 1100T, ThermalTake Frio, 2x2gb Corsair XMS3, Corsair SF60 SSD, Samsung 1TB HDD.

The rig was up and running for just over a week, no problems, crashes at all, solid through a c ouple of hours of Prime95 as a test, hours of gaming, temps all low - 11c idle 28-29 load. multiplier overclocked two notches from 16.5 to 17.5 to 3.5ghz per core.

Shut it down one night, got up the next morning, hit the power button, nothing. Took the side panel off, q_led CPU led flashing away, CPU fan not spinning, just twitching.
Took everything out the board apart from CPU and HSF as backplated fixture, reseated tried to power up, same result although CPU fan started to spin this time.

So, spoke to supplier and we've agreed most likely cause is motherboard failure. Odd, but not the first Asus board i've just had a random failure on.

Anyway, dismantled the rig today to RMA the board. I very gently tried to ease the board away from the heatsink, I had the board upside down, so the HSF was resting on the table, and I gently and slowly with very little pressure pushed the screw/bolts of the Heat sink through the back of the board, it eased off quite nicely, however, to my suprise :o it had also pulled the CPU from the socket, whilst the arm was still in the locked position. Now i've had this in the past on an old rig, as the thermal paste welds the CPU to the heatsink.

*** So my new challenge is to seperate the CPU from the heatsink ***

I've examined the CPU closely and there appears to be no pin damage at all. BUT... how can I ease the CPU off the heatsink without causing any damage? Ideally I could leave it attached, but I'd not be able to lock in when the new motherboard is sent out as access to the locking arm would not be accessible and work.

Any advice and ideas will be greatly appreciated.

9 answers Last reply
More about stuck heat sink
  1. Try to dissolve the thermal paste with something alcohol based.
  2. Thanks for the prompt response, any advice on a suitable solution and technique?
  3. Something at least 90% alcohol. Turn them on their side and drip it along one edge. After a few minutes turn it 180* and do the same thing. You will most likely have to push something in between the 2 pieces at this point to start the process. Be very careful and only put it into the very edge(s) until you see some separation. You should use ArctiClean Thermal Cleaner and Polisher to clean both and prep for next installation, so I would get it first and use the cleaner to break the seal. You can use another brand of course but those are what I use.
  4. Neat alcohol is best I think in the US you call it rubbing alcohol thats best (I think its iso propyl alcohol or Propan-2-ol). Sorry I can't really say on a technique as I never had this myself.
  5. Thanks again, i'll have a look around the DIY store for some sort of hich % alcohol soulution.
    I'll try prise apart very gently with something like a piece of plastic / credit card.

    Just hoping its the motherboard that's died too, as it takes ages to RMA when they go through the testing, backlog etc...
  6. This happened to me this week end...but the computer i was taking apart was an 8 year old dell with a pentium 4 cpu. the cpu was stuck to the heat sink... the thermal grease had dried up completely.
  7. You actually took the time to take apart a 8 yr old PC? :-)

    It made me wonder if id tightened the cooler too much, but i'd turned each screw very gently until they'd just bite, so very little pressure applied.
  8. Wow that heatsink really loves your CPU, let them be toghter its LOVE! <3
  9. Set the CPU, pins down, on a piece of antistatic material and try using a blow dryer.
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