So I was installing my new i5-3570k and I wanted to rotate the HSF after putting it on the processor. So, I lifted it up and rotated it so the cable would be closer to the port. It was up for literally 5 seconds, is it necessary to remove the thermal paste and replace it? I really don't want to spend the extra money unless I have to as I've gone over budget already
More aboutrotated reapply thermal compound
If the machine was only running for 5 seconds as you mention then no, no need to replace the thermal compound.
I would suggest to reapply thermal paste if you plan to overclock your CPU just to be safe.
Ok, does it make a difference that the machine wasn't even on? :P
If it wasn't on, then it hasn't spread or cured from the heat, so you should be fine.