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Thermal paste leaked into motherboard CPU socket

Last response: in CPUs
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September 8, 2012 4:20:06 PM

Hi guys... this is my first time using this forum.

Like the thread says, I was building a PC today and was affixing CPU fan to the CPU processor.

And I could not fit them together so I took out CPU and put it back together like two times, and then I found a small amount of thermal paste leaked into the socket. (it has leaked into 6 pins of the motherboard socket)

It is LGAsocket 2011

And the thermal paste is the one that came with Intel i7 3820

The thermal paste information is

"Dow Corning TC-1996
Contains: NJ TSRN 14962700-6640P Treated filter, NJ TSRN 14962700-6641P Treated filter, NJ TSRN 14962700-6642P Zinc oxide, 134971-32-7 Dimethy, Methyldecyl Siloxane NFPA"

I tried to remove it by using needle but it seems pretty hard and I am afraid i might cause some damage to the pins.

Did some research and some people say if thermal paste is not conductive it should not matter. Is this correct? And is my thermal paste electrically conductive?

Thanks for all comments
a b à CPUs
September 8, 2012 4:27:51 PM

That's terrible. Some are not conductive, some are. Don't boot up or connect the mobo to the PSU, just in case it is conductive.
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September 8, 2012 4:31:00 PM

okay lol im scared as well

if it is not conductive then it would be no problem though right?
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a b à CPUs
September 8, 2012 4:56:51 PM

I think so (take my advice with a grain of salt). But if it is, then even if you clean it out, the smallest particle of thermal paste could fry your CPU/mobo. Best thing to do is RMA the mobo and hope you can get a new one.
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September 8, 2012 6:19:12 PM

obsama1 said:
I think so (take my advice with a grain of salt). But if it is, then even if you clean it out, the smallest particle of thermal paste could fry your CPU/mobo. Best thing to do is RMA the mobo and hope you can get a new one.


Is it conductive paste though? if it is not i am just gonna use it... cant risk cpu socket pins bending :( ...
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a c 78 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 8, 2012 8:54:33 PM

I have used alcohol to clean thermal paste off of computer parts before. If you can't return it and have to get it cleaned, I would disconnect the power cable, dip a soft-bristled tooth brush into some alcohol (shake most of it out, and then gently scrub the socket clean.

After cleaning, just give the alcohol time to evaporate and dry before you reapply power.


^ This procedure could also bend your pins if the bristles aren't soft enough, or if you get too aggressive with the toothbrush.
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September 8, 2012 9:16:15 PM

Z1NONLY said:
I have used alcohol to clean thermal paste off of computer parts before. If you can't return it and have to get it cleaned, I would disconnect the power cable, dip a soft-bristled tooth brush into some alcohol (shake most of it out, and then gently scrub the socket clean.

After cleaning, just give the alcohol time to evaporate and dry before you reapply power.


^ This procedure could also bend your pins if the bristles aren't soft enough, or if you get too aggressive with the toothbrush.


Do you know whether Dow Corning TC-1996 is electrically conductive or not?
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a b à CPUs
September 8, 2012 9:34:04 PM

Even if it's non conductive it might cause problems by insulating pins.
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a c 78 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 8, 2012 9:36:15 PM

On amazon it's called "grease metal oxide".

The "metal" part makes me think that it has some level of conductivity.

You could squirt a blob of the stuff onto a piece of wood and use a meter to see if it shorts the two leads when you stick them on either side of the goo.

Unless it's a high-end, calibrated meter, you will probably only see if it produces a short or not. (Which would show that it's a no-go)

If a cheap radio shack meter doesn't show a short, there still may be some level of conductivity. -If not for DC maybe for some AC frequencies.
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September 8, 2012 9:40:36 PM

FinneousPJ said:
Even if it's non conductive it might cause problems by insulating pins.


If I do not have grease on my CPU that goes to the socket pins, would it still somehow affect it?The grease is at the bottom of the pins...
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September 8, 2012 9:41:05 PM

If you do end up bending the pins, (which I have done), to get them straight use a credit card inbetween them to ensure they all line up evenly. When this happened to me, (the bending) I was freaking out of my mind. But once I did that and put everything together, it worked without any issues.
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a c 116 à CPUs
a b V Motherboard
September 8, 2012 10:02:47 PM

Z1NONLY said:
On amazon it's called "grease metal oxide".

The "metal" part makes me think that it has some level of conductivity.

Zinc, aluminum and most other metal oxide pastes are non-conductive. As someone else pointed out, I would be more worried about the paste insulating signals than shorting them.
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September 9, 2012 9:35:20 AM

Best answer selected by ygmgoodt.
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