I had to RMA my MOBO last week - and in doing so had to remove my processor and heat sink.
So now - the thermal pad that came with my XP2700 has been exposed to air (for a week already) and its obviously been melted and the paste transferred to the CPU in part.
So now what do I need to do - can I simply re-attach my processor. I have thermal paste but was loathe to use it bc i'd invalidate my warranty - but maybe I have no choice now.
I know to get the existing stuff off the heat sink i should use alcohol (where can you buy pure alcohol?) but what do I do about the gunk that is on the processor - do I also clean the processor (isn't that risky?)
If you want to try reusing the old paste it should be OK. Just try to put it back where it was and plug it back in. Turn your rig on and allow it to get to the post and turn it off, including the switch at the back. Give the hsf a bit of a wiggle to spread the thermal pad evenly. Reboot and go to the bios to watch the temp rise. If it ramps to high, you will have to clean with alcohol ( from your local drug store called isopropal alcohol ) I generally take the chip out to do this, but because those little pins bend so easy, I dont recomend it. If you turn the switch at the back of your computer off it is fairly safe to use a q-tip. For the hsf I use a piece of paper towel and alcohol. Make sure all the alcohol has evaporated befor you turn power back on. Good luck.
You can clean the processor, but you must be very careful. Ensure that you clean it using non-metallic objects, such as toothpicks and q-tips, or plastic if you have that.
You must be extremely careful not to scratch the surface of the processor or the contact surface of the heat sink.
And always ensure that the alcohol has evaporated, or if you have a denatured alcohol solution, ensure the water has evaporated before putting the grease on, and putting the assembly back together.
When putting the grease on, you need to put the grease on <font color=green>ONLY</font color=green> the places where the heatsink will contact the processor.<font color=red> DO NOT </font color=red> put grease over the whole processor. (Obligatory disclaimer...)
<font color=blue> Ok, so you have to put your "2 cents" in, but its value is only "A penny's worth". Who gets that extra penny? </font color=blue>
Guys - thank you both for the info
I'll try it first perhaps as it is - and see how the temperature looks.
Problem is its one of the MSI mobo's - I think i'll need to flash the bios bc they report incorrect temps - by the time I get through flashing - I may have fried my processor (hopefully the MOBO I get back will have the later version of the BIOS)
Anyways - great info - much appreciated
Thanks to you both