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Can thermal grease damage motherboard socket?

Last response: in Motherboards
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March 12, 2012 8:45:58 AM

Can a thermal grease/paste damage motherboard socket (intel socket 775) even just a little of amount? I accidently touch the socket when tried to remove the processor.

Here's my problem, when I tried to start the pc, the cpu fan or the pc just keep trying to power up (spin, stop, spin, stop...), I also change my power supply, but the problem still there. Could it be the motherboard socket? Could be the thermal grease/paste be the problem? All socket are fully inserted.
March 12, 2012 9:23:05 AM

More information would help.
Is it a Asus mobo?
What else did you change and why did you need to remove the cpu?
Which part of the socket did you put thermal paste on? What kind of thermal paste? Silver or silicon or other.

Make sure you have not bent any of the pins on the cpu.
Make sure you have inserted in correctly.

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a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2012 9:38:32 AM

The whole point of thermal paste is that it is THERMALLY CONDUCTIVE but NOT ELECTRICALLY CONDUCTIVE. So yes, if you get thermal paste in the socket you have made it near impossible to make an adequate electrical connection.

You would need to clean it out which may be very difficult to do...
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March 12, 2012 11:19:15 AM

Silver-based thermal grease can also be either slightly electrically conductive or capacitive; if some flows onto the circuits it can cause malfunctioning and damage.

see
Application and removal
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thermal_grease
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a c 716 V Motherboard
March 12, 2012 1:40:42 PM

Short answer YEP!!! STOP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! You are DAMAGING your CPU and/or MOBO!!!!

I only use Arctic Cooling MX-4 http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E168... which is an excellent and non-conductive TIM (Thermal Paste) and performs better that the OLD and obsolete Arctic Silver 5 TIM.

You'll need to remove the CPU and HSF. Get some supplies: 1. Wooden (flat/pointed) toothpicks, 2. Isopropyl alcohol (90% or higher), 3. Cotton swaps (dry ends i.e. not medicated), 4. Lint free towel or Coffee filter (paper).

Do not bend the pins!!! If for some reason you do then: 5. Jeweler's tweezers - to straighten pins.

Using the Toothpicks start scarping-off 100% of the old TIM (Thermal Paste), scrape the bulk off followed by moistening the toothpick in the Isopropyl alcohol to clean-off trace amounts left over until clean. Using the Lint free towel or Coffee filter clean the CPU and HSF interfaces; wipe until only a haze is left and then 2-3 times with Isopropyl alcohol until clean.
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a b V Motherboard
March 12, 2012 1:59:28 PM

I accidently did this once when replacing my CPU cooler (never removed the CPU so I don't know how the stuff got down in there). I removed the CPU, wiped it off with a dry cloth, used a dry toothbruch (not the one I use... lol, brushing with thermal paste), and then everything worked A-OK after that.

Be very careful about using ANYTHING on the under side of the CPU. I would even be cautious about using alcohol even though it should be fine.

Have you reset the BIOS yet? It is sometimes required after major changes are made to the system, and generally suggested to be done every year or 2 anyways.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
March 12, 2012 2:10:58 PM

If the TIM is on the PINS then you have NO other choice than to clean it off <or> hire someone to do it for you. Any more power to the CPU/MOBO risks permanent damage that is if it's not already too late.
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March 13, 2012 11:11:33 AM

lateralnw said:
More information would help.
Is it a Asus mobo?
What else did you change and why did you need to remove the cpu?
Which part of the socket did you put thermal paste on? What kind of thermal paste? Silver or silicon or other.

Make sure you have not bent any of the pins on the cpu.
Make sure you have inserted in correctly.


It's Gigabyte mobo GA-G41M-ES2L.
I plan to sell this motherboard and the processor so, the processor goes into its box, so do the motherboard, thats why I remove the cpu.
Errm, at the edge/corner of the socket. I use silver Cooler Master thermal paste.


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March 13, 2012 8:58:34 PM

Hi maxson,

I have the cool master thermal compound kit and I did a couple of tests on it.
I placed some paste on a none conductive item (plastic) and place a small amount on it. Using a Multi metre


I then set the metre to ohms at 20Mohms and placed both probes in the paste making sure the probes don't touch and found in my case no electrical conductivity.
I also placed the multimeter in the continuity mode and did the same thing and found no electrical conductivity.

Then to clean the paste off the surface I was using I used a product called CRC CO Contact Cleaner. You can spray this on the surface which should remove the paste. You will find that while spraying this product that it will drip but it dries almost instantly but will remove all sorts of mess found on motherboards. It does not damage integrated circuits.

In your case if it removes the paste from the test surface then I would use that to clean the cpu socket and pins.

Never use this on any item powered up or very hot as it is flammable. It is low in toxicity.

Have a look here for more info.
http://www2.blackwoods.com.au/infoBANKProduct.aspx?SG=2...
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March 14, 2012 3:32:19 AM

Updated:

I successfully clean out the socket (although there is a leftover thermal paste deep inside the socket) using a toothpick and needle then a dry watercolor brush, tested it with my Pentium 4 and Dual core, successfully boot up and went to BIOS. But I'm not sure whether it will last long or not, coz I just tested it at least 5 minutes. I also have to bent the pin a bit then re-position it back.

Which one is better silver or gold thermal paste that has a very low electricity conductivity and very good to make the CPU colder? Some says gold and other says silver. But from what I saw, I use AMD processor with silver thermal paste, the temperature just stay 17- 20 degrees when idle, 32 degrees when full load. Not like my Intel processor, idle is 31-33, full load up to 55-60. Is this related to the thermal paste (possibly the electricity conductivity may higher/lower on different processor/socket because they are on different manufacturer) and the processor surface?

And, I might try the CRC (Co Contact Cleaners), looks very useful but let see if the CRC is available in my area.
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a c 716 V Motherboard
March 14, 2012 12:56:07 PM

USE ONLY ARCTIC COOLING MX-4, it's good enough for a $14K system I built! I linked it above. It's non-conductive, offers superior thermal conductivity, easy to apply, and doesn't dry-out. i.e. a no brainier!

One of our patrons, Ryan, did extensive testing - http://www.tomshardware.com/forum/268354-29-thermal-com...
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April 2, 2012 6:00:33 AM

Best answer selected by maxson.
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a c 328 V Motherboard
April 2, 2012 9:12:37 AM

This topic has been closed by Nikorr
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