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Did i really just wreck my first build?

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January 5, 2011 3:01:00 AM

So, ordered my first computer a few days ago. Got it all today and was begining to attempt my first build. I got everything installed/wired/etc, PC wouldnt fire, just got a blinking read light on the MOBO and the fans starting/stopping. Did some research, uninstalled everything looked down and realized I used too much paste (Yes, artic silver) and it leaked into my socket and a bit into my pins on my CPU. I tryed removing most of it but I dont have a solvent.
Am I up sh*t creek here? I read a bit that I have fryed my mobo and cpu, if thats the case I will probably end up trying to return everything and scrapping the idea of learning this hobby. I realllllly hope thats not the case, I just spend $1200 that I really didn't have to begin with. Somebody please help me.

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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 3:10:37 AM

???? If you had the CPU in the socket before you applied the paste, how much did you use so that it somehow got in there???

You spoke of pins on the CPU, so I'm assuming you are using an AMD build and not a really old P4 Intel build. All is probably not lost. Wipe off as much as you can, and then grab a bottle of rubbing alcohol. Using Qtips and a lot of time, start cleaning the underside of the CPU/pins. I'm not sure how to get it out of the motherboard. I hope your wrong about it down there.

Once its cleaned up try it again. Look at some youtube vids for how to apply it. Hopefully all is ok, but if its not I'd suspect the mobo.
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January 5, 2011 3:28:00 AM

Actually during my first build, the fans started and stopped the first time i powered it on. Scared me quite a bit. But then I realized a forgot to plug in the 8 socket CPU ATX power cable. LOL
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January 5, 2011 4:03:13 AM

I cleaned some of it, it's not exactly working but yeah. The paste is on the socket, not 100% sure if it is in the holes, but deffinatly on the edges. Also, I seemed to have got some on the mobo itself, cleaned most of it but its stuck between some metal pieces.

I am assuming that I have way to return these things under warrenty?
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January 5, 2011 4:08:02 AM

I doubt the manufacturer is going to honor the warranty if it is apparent the issues were caused by the user. Best of luck to you, though.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 4:09:27 AM

salvati0n said:
I am assuming that I have way to return these things under warrenty?


99% of the time warranties do NOT cover user SNAFUs.

You can always check and see... you could try to get the mobo spic and span and sort of slide it their way with an innoncent "I have no idea, it's just dead :ange:  " but if they know/divine the true problem, you are SOL.
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January 5, 2011 4:13:19 AM

I kind of figured that, I am going to keep at it tonight with q-tips and needles. My last question, would this have fryed my GPU, RAM, etc? I can deal with a $250 screw up, but a 700+, Im just sticking to Dell's from now on.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 4:18:22 AM

salvati0n said:
I kind of figured that, I am going to keep at it tonight with q-tips and needles. My last question, would this have fryed my GPU, RAM, etc? I can deal with a $250 screw up, but a 700+, Im just sticking to Dell's from now on.


Doubtful. It's possible everything survived. Not really likely, but possible. You won't know until you've got everything cleaned up and rebuild it all. Even then if your mobo is bad it's possible the CPU survived.

I don't know what solvent you are using, but this is the Big Daddy:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168...

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January 5, 2011 4:30:34 AM

Just curious, but in your mobo manual, what does it say about a flashing red light? Depending on your specs, it could mean something like improper seated RAM or something. Even if you got thermal paste all over the place, you may be in luck with all your hardware. I'd definitely keep at the cleaning for another night or so just to be safe and start over. There are videos and guides to help apply the paste, usually it's just a pea sized amt thinly spread over the chip. Good luck.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 4:53:12 AM

I checked what paste you used again, another reason to not use AS. It is conductive, so it can short things out.

If its only on the sides of the socket it might not be that bad. Try to clean things up. IF anything is fried I would expect the mobo to be gone. The CPU maybe but its probably ok. I would doubt anything else is bad. See if you have a good friend who will help you test the parts.
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January 5, 2011 5:09:39 AM

Thanks guys, I got the CPU 100% clean, and the mobo socket looks good. My real concern, I plan on giving it another go tommorrow, any chance of frying anything else, or even causing a fire? When I was firing it up, the fans were spinning a bit, I assume short=fry=no power? So maybe the fans being active is good news?
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January 5, 2011 6:44:24 AM

$250 lesson on how not to apply thermal paste. R.I.P mobo :'( 

I would guess if you clean it up decently you can say it was DOA, but that's not ethical is it?


Still very curious how you managed to do that though. Did you hold the cpu in your hand while squirting the paste from the tube? I'm just trying to picture how you could've done it. I know it sucks, but the way it plays out in my head is kind of funny. Especially the part where you are trying to install it, and your reaction after you take it all apart and find out what happened.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 7:34:47 AM

Fire, probably not. If there was a chance of fire it would have been when you had AS spread all over the place. I'd power up. Hopefully everything is fine, if its not its probably the board.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 7:36:22 AM

LOL, mascara. I wonder if there is a youtube video of someone doing that. (if there is or soon will be please post back)

And sorry OP, I don't mean to laugh at you. We all had to learn and have our stupid moments.
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January 5, 2011 1:04:21 PM

If there is any AS5 in the socket you can use some plastic safe contact cleaner(electrical cleaner). I have used it many times to get dielectric grease out of CPU sockets, it takes a little while but it works.

Like mascara said if you clean it up good enough you could probably still RMA.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 5, 2011 1:17:39 PM

Artic Silver should come with HUGE warnings on it's package of these dangers, but, alas, I suspect you are up the creek on this one....

YOu can carefully try cleaning out all of it from MB's cpu contact areas, but, I'd not be overly optimistic/hopeful....nothing to lose at this point.
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January 5, 2011 4:12:25 PM

Thanks alot guys. I got it all working, windows is installing as we speak.
I think what happened, I had paste leaking over the edge and causing a short. I must not have gotten any paste in the cpu/socket untill after I removed it. Thats when I really made a mess, I was up till 5am with alcohol and q-tips getting it all. First thing I did this morning was breadboard the cpu/hsf/psu and I got a beep. I pretty much jumped for joy when I heard this. The assembly this time was a walk in the park, took me ~30 mins. I did run into a bios problem with the ram, didnt have enough voltage to run 2 sticks, but some simple reading and research fixed that up for me. All I have left is to tie up the wires, and put the case back together. I do have a question, my cpu is running at 38C currently, with the case wide open. Is this acceptable? I have an aftermarket cooler (Hyper 212) I hoped to OC a bit, but what temp should I avoid?
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January 5, 2011 4:14:00 PM

Bit off topic but what are you guys using if not AS? I've used it on a few builds (3-4) over the last 6-7 years & never had problems with it.
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January 5, 2011 5:11:33 PM

Well done salvati0n. There's always some who will look at the worst case scenario but you persevered and got it working again. In my experience, most computer hardware is pretty hardy.
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January 5, 2011 5:12:57 PM

If you fit a Hyper 212 (and if it's like the Hyper 212+) you will probably know yourself by the clock speed you can manage above stock when to stop. A high temp would be mid-60s-70.
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January 5, 2011 5:21:03 PM

Congrats dude, good job. 38 @ idle with the case open seems kinda high, especially with that heatsink. My i5 at idle with stock clocks with the same cooler runs about 33. I have an antec 300 case with about 4 fans tho. 38 im sure is operable with some room to oc. Just keep an eye on those temps @ all times.
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January 5, 2011 5:42:36 PM

38 seems high. How much AS5 did you use this time? You only need a dot the size of a grain of rice or a BB. My 1090T at 4 GHz idles around 30C in the case.
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January 5, 2011 5:56:35 PM

Thanks, I still need to clean up the wiring, maybe that will make a difference. I am going to buy the second fan for the heatsink, I will have to play with the cooling a bit. I don't really want to OC untill I get the temps down, but for now I am content with the power of this, I have never had a desktop (only entry level toshiba laptops) So anything is a major improvement. I am very glad I did this job, I have such a sense of accomplishment, and such a mess to clean up before my gf gets home!
Btw, I used only a small ammount of the TIM. I doubt I used too much, hopefully not too little?
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January 5, 2011 6:03:06 PM

It would be hard to use too little. There isn't much space between the heat sink and processor that needs to be filled. it doesn't take much. I just wanted to rule out too much paste as the reason for high temps.
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January 5, 2011 6:05:04 PM

Actually fiddling with the asrock OC tuner, I got it up to 4000Mhz stable, the temps remained at 38C
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January 5, 2011 6:32:04 PM

Congrats on getting it working, and the OC successful.
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2011 12:04:35 AM

Maybe a stuck sensor? Possibly not surprising considering what the board has been through. Might be the program your using to, try another one. Last, it can be tricky to tighten that screw, make sure its putting enough pressure down.
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January 6, 2011 2:18:18 AM

Update. Got my cpu running at 4.4 at 39c with gpu hacked to be a 6970. Ran sc2 on ultra with 7o during large battle and a mmorpg I used to barely run at 20fps running well over 200 not in the towns. Couldnt be happier. Well maybe a ssd and second 6950 would make me smile a but more. Thanks everyone who helped, I think I caught the bug. This may get expensive:) 
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a b B Homebuilt system
January 6, 2011 2:37:48 AM

May get expensive?

One word of caution. Many like to run their machine stock for a week or two to give everything a shake down and make sure all the parts work. I'm not saying to undo the OC and go back to stock, but if something odd happens you might want to do it. Congrats on the build and count your stars that nothing fried.
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