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Heat sink fell off - anything fried?

Last response: in Components
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January 13, 2013 9:31:47 PM

Hello - first post here, so I apologize if this is the wrong section for this post.

I recently (about 2 months ago) built a computer for the first time. I've had almost no problems for that whole time. A few days ago, however, I was playing a game and heard something below my desk, like something falling. I thought at first that it was just something that had been sitting on the desk. I kept playing, but a minute or two later, the game suddenly slowed down, and the computer shut off shortly after that. Not putting the possible two and two together yet, I just started it back up and went in the other room, but I came back to find it on again. Still being stubborn, I turned it on yet again to see what kind of error it gave me. It tried to do the Startup Repair, but didn't even make it past "Starting Windows" before it shut off again.

I finally had the brains to open it up, and I saw that the heat sink had fallen off of the processor and was just dangling from the cord connecting it to the motherboard (the desktop is standing upright)! Apparently, what happened was that a piece broke off of the retention bracket, one of the little plastic parts the heat sink latches on to. Obviously, this greatly confused me, since I don't think I had done anything to latch it on incorrectly...I might expect this to happen after a few years of use, but not a few months.

I've ordered a new bracket appropriate for my motherboard model and will be applying thermal paste and all that, but my question is: do you think I fried or messed anything up in my stubborn continual turning on of the system, since there was no heat sink on the processor? I didn't smell anything that might point to that, but I didn't know if there's any other way I might be able to tell. And, is there anything else I may need to take into account besides new bracket/thermal paste?

If this helps:
Motherboard: ASUS F1A75-M PRO R2.0
CPU: AMD A8-3870 APU (3GHz) with Radeon HD

Thanks!

More about : heat sink fell fried

January 13, 2013 10:06:19 PM

In theory, you SHOULD be fine as most of the time a CPU will shutdown due to high temperatures in order to prevent frying of the processor.

One way to safely tell is to run a stress test on your system for a few hours once the new retention bracket arrives.

Good Luck,

Dreadteir
January 14, 2013 8:59:18 AM

It'l be fine, cpu's have a defense mechanism against overheating.
!