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CPU Thermal Paste Question

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January 5, 2013 7:08:07 PM

Today I tried to remove the heat sink and fan from my CPU. For some reason, the heat sink and fan didn't detach from the CPU, and it all ended coming out of the computer. A few pins were bent, but I've managed to straighten them out. But now, I'm unable to get the damn thing back in because the socket needs to be opened, and when it's open I can't put it in because the heat sink is interfering.

My question is, if I separate the CPU and the heat sink and break the bond between the two, will I NEED to apply new paste? I ask this because I really don't want to go out and buy this stuff, and my computer is quite old (about 5-6 years, I think).

I'm really panicky and nervous right now, because I don't want to kill this computer.

Sidenote: If this thing does end up dying on me, do you think that I could find a CPU that would be compatible with a motherboard and PSU from about 5 years ago? Preferably a market CPU as opposed to one that's being resold.

Thanks loads!

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a c 387 à CPUs
January 5, 2013 7:32:05 PM

You should twist/pull the processor apart from the heat sync so you can clean the old TIM off and apply fresh. It stuck so tight to the cooler because it was old and dried out. I'm guessing you have a AMD processor, because Intel hasn't used pins for years and has a cover that prevents the processor from coming out of its socket.

If no pins were broken and you managed to get them straightened back properly, it should go back in with no issue as long as the socket lever is raised. Then keep a little bit of pressure on the CPU as you close the lever.

In the future, twist the cooler back and forth as much as the socket will allow to break the seal of the old dried TIM before trying to pull the cooler off the CPU.
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January 5, 2013 7:35:14 PM

clutchc said:
You should twist/pull the processor apart from the heat sync so you can apply fresh TIM. It stuck so tight to the cooler because it was old and dried out. I'm guessing you have a AMD processor, because Intel hasn't used pins for years and has a cover that prevents the processor from coming out of its socket.

If no pins were broken and you managed to get them straightened back properly, it should go back in with no issue as long as the socket lever is raised. In the future, twist the cooler back and forth as much as the socket will allow to break the seal of the old dried TIM before trying to pull the cooler off the CPU.


So I should apply new TIM, regardless of the fact that it was only removed for a very short amount of time?

Thanks!

Edit: Also, how straight do you think the pins need to be? If they are a tiny bit off, does that need to be fixed?
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a c 387 à CPUs
January 5, 2013 7:39:33 PM

Bojodude said:
So I should apply new TIM, regardless of the fact that it was only removed for a very short amount of time?

Thanks!

Edit: Also, how straight do you think the pins need to be? If they are a tiny bit off, does that need to be fixed?

If the TIM is as old as the computer (5-6 yrs), it definitely needs replacing. The fact that it was gluing the processor to the cooler indicates it is dried out and not providing good heat transfer anymore.

Once the CPU is loose from the Cooler, you can try the processor in the socket. If the pins are perfectly straight as they need to be, it will drop in. (or maybe go in with a slight push) If the processor won't go back in the socket holes, the pins need more work.
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January 5, 2013 7:48:12 PM

clutchc said:
If the TIM is as old as the computer (5-6 yrs), it definitely needs replacing. The fact that it was gluing the processor to the cooler indicates it is dried out and not providing good heat transfer anymore.

Once the CPU is loose from the Cooler, you can try the processor in the socket. If the pins are perfectly straight as they need to be, it will drop in. (or maybe go in with a slight push) If the processor won't go back in the socket holes, the pins need more work.


Thanks loads for these great answers. I wish there was some way to repay you!

One last question for you, though. Could that face that the TIM probably isn't functioning as it should affect processor speed? This computer really isn't the greatest, and I'm wondering if this could be one of the reasons why.

Again, thanks a lot!
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a c 387 à CPUs
January 5, 2013 7:56:50 PM

Bojodude said:
Thanks loads for these great answers. I wish there was some way to repay you!

One last question for you, though. Could that face that the TIM probably isn't functioning as it should affect processor speed? This computer really isn't the greatest, and I'm wondering if this could be one of the reasons why.

Again, thanks a lot!

If the CPU was overheating, it may throttle down to save itself. So yes, it is possible that the old TIM being dried out was causing you to lose processing power when the CPU was taxed. What processor do you have?
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January 5, 2013 8:03:37 PM

clutchc said:
If the CPU was overheating, it may throttle down to save itself. So yes, it is possible that the old TIM being dried out was causing you to lose processing power when the CPU was taxed. What processor do you have?


Honestly, I have no clue ^.^ We got the PC when I was younger so I can't remember at all what processor it is, nor have I checked in a while. There's no visible markings on it either because I'm having trouble removing the heat sink.

Do you have any tips on removing it? I've tried twisting the CPU, but I don't want to pull it outright because I'm afraid I'll snap the thing. I've tried taking a knife to the sides and trying to poke/wedge it out, but that isn't working either.

Any help would be awesome!

Also, I've done the math and the computer comes out to about 8 years old. I wouldn't be stressing over it, except for the fact that my father uses it to read his news papers and he doesn't really like change ^.^
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a c 387 à CPUs
January 5, 2013 8:15:35 PM

If you can't break it free by working a knife around the sides and prying a bit, I'd say that the CPU is fried to the cooler. Keep at it until it breaks free. If you want to invest in some TIM remover/cleaner, you may be able to work some between the heat sync and CPU. Let it sit for a few minutes and try again.

Here is what you need to re-install the CPU and cooler.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DILLMS/ref=s9_simh...
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January 5, 2013 8:17:20 PM

clutchc said:
If you can't break it free by working a knife around the sides and prying a bit, I'd say that the CPU is fried to the cooler. Keep at it until it breaks free. If you want to invest in some TIM remover/cleaner, you may be able to work some between the heat sync and CPU. Let it sit for a few minutes and try again.

Here is what you need to re-install the CPU and cooler.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B002DILLMS/ref=s9_simh...


I've managed to get the CPU and cooler apart and the CPU has fallen in place. Hurray! I'm going to go pick up some TIM at a computer hardware store tomorrow, and hopefully this dinosaur of a computer will be back to work!
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January 5, 2013 8:17:28 PM

Best answer selected by Bojodude.
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