Removing ASUS Northbridge Fan/Heat Sink

MainerZ
MainerZ used Ask the Experts™
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The Northbridge fan on my ASUS A8N-SLI motherboard was noisey. ASUS kindly sent me a new fan/heat sink. It appears to install simply by pushing down on two pins which will penetrate the board and then be held in place by an internal spring pulling agaist "barbs" on the shaft.

My question is: How to remove the existing faulty heat sink/fan.  I am about to pull stongly on the two pins hopefully breaking off the barbs (plastic) which simply would fall in to the space below the motherboard. I don't want to damage anything.  Could I please hear from someone with experience doing this?
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Commented:
Turn the MB over to expose the back side.  You should be able to CAREFULLY clip the plastic pushpins/clips from the back of the MB.  then the new chipset fan will ust the existing mounting holes.  Remember to clean the chipset with a little alcohol to clean off the chipset  and apply more thermo-compound ( if the new cooler does not have some already applied.)

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Commented:
Agree that the solution you propose will work, but there must be some other way to remove the pins without first removing the entire motherboard.  One does not need to do that to replace a CPU. This means that my entire computer would need to be disassembled and reassembled.  Not impossible, but definately quite time consuming.
If its just the fan thats bad just replace it. There are 4 screws holding it onto the heatsink. If you want to replace the entire heatsink and fan assembly then the method jbidtah suggested is the safest and best way to replace it. Pulling on the push pins to break the barbs has a very good chance of damaging the motherboard beyond repair. When i have replaced these i remove the motherboard and use a pair of needle nose pliers to push the barbs together and push it through the mounting hole.
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Commented:
If the case has a removable mobo tray, you MIGHT be able to CAREFULLY tilt it out enough to slide something stiff between the mobo and tray, and using a flashlight to see with, press the barbs in gentley pulling on the "pin" head.
It takes a delicate touch and a little luck, but can be done.

But itt is almost more trouble than taking the mobo out.

Swapping just the fans is the easiest way to go.

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Commented:
Swapping just the fans would be a neat solution to the replacement, however the 4 screws holding the fan on to the heat sink are accessed only from the bottom of the assembly and removal of the heat sink is required first in order to remove the fan.  Enough caution regards MB damage has been expressed that I will disaassemble the computer to remove the mother board from the case (no removeable MB tray).  Thank you all for sharing your experiences and suggestions. jbidtah was first with the solution I will use.
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Commented:
>> the 4 screws holding the fan on to the heat sink are accessed only from the bottom of the assembly

That is a new one to me.   : /
^ All the pics i have seen of the A8N-SLI show the screws on top. The only one that doesn't is the A8N-SLI premium but the premium doest have a chipset fan

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Commented:
coral47 and jamietoner:  You are technically correct.  The replacement fan sent by ASUS is a duplicate of the one on the motherboard and there are 4 small phillips head screws are accessed only from the bottom.  I thought these 4 screws would remove the fan. However on closer examination these 4 screws allow removal of the top of the heat sink case which surrounds the fan on all sides.  The fan itself is secured to the bottom of the heat sink case by 3 phillips head screws accessible from the top by using a srewdriver between the fan blades. It is possible to unscrew the fan from the heat sink from the top, but one could not remove or replace the fan from the heat sink case without first removing the heat sink case from the mother board, then disassembling the heat sink case using the 4 phillips screws on the bottom.  Net, I've got to take the heat sink off the mother board.
Wow, thanks for the update MainerZ.
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Commented:
Ditto on that WOW.

And thanks for the warning. I haven't had to mess with one of those NB fans yet, and hadn't really looked at it.

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