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Replacing heat sink device at HS2 on Dell computer motherboard

Posted on 2008-06-12
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
My computer was running hot and eventually the error message appeared.  I opened the case and found lint on the heat exchanger beneath the fan and the black-metal, finned heat sink dangling from just loop HS1 on the board.  The pin device at HS2 is missing, pulled from the board as the chip overheated.  I've ordered a new pin device from Dell, but if I need to solder the pin to the bottom of the board there is lots to do to remove the board from the case to access that bottom.  How to re-attach the HS2 pin and loop? and, if the mother board must be removed, how to do that?
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Question by:Patent_Atty_Chgo
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rindi earned 500 total points
ID: 21773147
I wouldn't have bothered ordering a replacement from Dell. You could just use a bit of wire, bend it, and as that wire doesn't have the plastic part like the original, you would be able to solder it from the top of the board.
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by:alikaz3
ID: 21773271
You could also get arctic silver adhesive compound and glue that sucker on there. Just depends on your level of involvement desired. Getting the motherboard out of there should be very similar to removing a standard atx board, except that the wholes are all in different places. Dell uses the BTX architecture of most of their computers, which is a bizzarre variation of ATX, mounted on the other side of the case, with a centralized heat-channel.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/BTX_(form_factor)

adhesive:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16835100005
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by:alikaz3
ID: 21773289
I might also add, I think the way dell designed those loops is very dumb. It looks like power switch riser leads bent over in a U shape. I think they could have gone with something a little better there, perhaps the industry standard 2 hole pop-in-place style? No that would be WAY too easy....
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by:Callandor
ID: 21773327
Yes, a paperclip could be cut to size and shaped and soldered, without removing the motherboard - solder it from the top.  Apply a little to each of the two holes, then hold the shaped paper clip part with a pair of pliers so that each end contacts the solder in the holes and heat it up with the soldering iron.  When the solder melts, puch the clip down a little and withdraw the iron, letting the solder cool.
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by:rindi
ID: 21773411
I'm not sure about paper clips. They don't solder well. Electrical wire should take on the solder more readily.
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by:Callandor
ID: 21773451
Yes, I forgot that steel paper clips are not always what people use, and now they come with all kinds of coatings.  Solid copper wire would definitely work.
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by:alikaz3
ID: 21773551
nobody likes my glue idea? I've done it before and it is just too easy.
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by:Patent_Atty_Chgo
ID: 21773576
Wow, Dell charges $47 plus shipping and tax for what I can use a .0003 cent piece of wire for!!??@&%$  Is there nothing in the plastic  base that does something for the system, like melt when the board gets too hot, or is that the role of the solder joint?  Thanks!
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by:Callandor
ID: 21773595
"When cured it does have some capacitance however, so it's best to keep it away from traces or leads."

This makes using it near printed circuits on a motherboard a little risky.
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by:Patent_Atty_Chgo
ID: 21775972
The $47 charge was for a new cooling system and fan, not just for the 2-pin device and loop.  I've installed the new cooling system and fan and also have soldered a piece of wire (taken from one side of a spare resistor) to the two contacts at HS2 atop the motherboard, formed with a loop for the heat sink spring arm, and the system indeed works!!  One memory card has gone bad, perhaps from the overheating, but I can replace the 2 x 256 boards with 2 x 1G boards and keep the computer for more years.  Thanks very much for all your help - kudos (and 500 points) to Master Riindi for the first suggestion, which was right on!
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Author Closing Comment

by:Patent_Atty_Chgo
ID: 31466716
Thanks for  your speedy and accurate answer!  Dell technical support confirms that the plastic part of the original pin does nothing and that it's OK to solder at the top of the board.  500 points to you!
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by:rindi
ID: 21776156
your welcome
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