Hi all, I am building a system with a 2.8 ghz P4 on an Asus P4P800 deluxe mother board. I was having boot problems so I took everything off the MB to ship it back and when I did, I saw that the CPU had this black soot on it. What I mean is that the actual chip had this black sooty like stuff on the top of it and this stuff could easily be wiped off. Then I looked at the cooling fan/heat sink set up and saw that the same black stuff was on it too right where it interfaces with the chip. Is this normal??
That's probably the remains of the thermal interface pad that was supplied with the HSF. It's nothing to worry about.
If you're moving/removing it, make sure you clean off the chip and the Heatsink thoroughly, using some rubbing alcohol or nail varnish remover, and when you re-install it, use a VERY THIN layer of some good TIM such as arctic silver 3, and carefully re-seat everything.
$hit Happens. I just wish it would happen to someone else for a change.