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I took the heat sink fan assembly out of my computer

Posted on 2010-11-12
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Last Modified: 2012-06-21
I took the heat sink fan assembly out of my computer, due to the fan being loud.  I should have simply replaced the fan.  Along came the processor.  How do I detach the processor?  I hope it is re-useable!!  If so I believe I will need to get some thermal grease.  I have an HP e9220y Desktop.  Here is the HP link http://h10025.www1.hp.com/ewfrf/wc/document?docname=bph07139&cc=us&lc=en&dlc=en&product=4007333&tmp_track_link=ot_search
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Question by:MagsMcKinley14
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by:rogerard
rogerard earned 67 total points
ID: 34121144
The heatsink assembly is usually only attached via grease.  The processor is not anchored in it's slot and can pop in and out easily once the fan has had its anchor removed.  You can slide the processor off the heatsink and as long as you've not bent any pins, it should fit right back into its slot.  no harm no foul.
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patterned earned 100 total points
ID: 34121157
Your thermal grease probably hardened up and you tore it right out of the socket.  Be really careful and work/spy/wiggle/jiggle the CPU off the heatsink.  Clean the thermal grease up as best you can, reapply to the CPU, put it back in the socket correctly, attach heatsink and new fan.
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by:prhowe
prhowe earned 67 total points
ID: 34121223
You can work a sharp knife between the heat sink and the processor , just go slow & easy and work all sides slowly.  Be super careful to not bend any pins and inspect then before you try to re-seat the processor.   Make sure you open the side handle (sometimes they look like a screw slot) that relieves the pressure on the pins before inserting the processor, then close the handle.  The handle ones look like small paper-cutters.  If there is a good electronics part store in your city, get thermal grease there.  Some larger PC supply stores have it, if all else fails Radio Shack sells it, but I hate the quality of anything from the"R" store.
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by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 34121325
Yes,  the thermal grease has hardened.  I didn't want to force it off the heat sink...thanks for all the info!  I feel more confident I can do this.  I am heading out and will pick up some thermal grease.  Should I remove the hardened grease from the CPU?  If so, what is the safest way?  Thanks again!!  I will check back as soon as I return!!
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by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 133 total points
ID: 34121517
When you buy the thermal paste get the best quality you can find. Silver is usually better than white. You can keep the remainder for generations yet unborn.

You can use a little alcohol to clean the old stuff off or something like CRC electrical cleaner. Even just a damp rag.

When you re-assemble using the thermal paste more is NOT better! Just put a small dab about 5 or 6mm across in the centre of the CPU. When you tighten down the heat sink it will spread the paste adequately.

You probably realise this, but try to hold the CPU only by the edges.

:)
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by:mccracky
mccracky earned 67 total points
ID: 34121677
Yes, try to clean as much off the CPU and heatsink as you can before applying the new.  Any old stuff left over will keep the two from seating properly together and basically add an insulation layer between the two items.
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by:AndyShap
AndyShap earned 66 total points
ID: 34121762
Just adding my two cents worth.  I regularly run in to this issue when servicing computers.  I have found that the best way to clean the hardened grease off the CPU and the heatsink is to use a business card.  It is hard enough to scrape all the grease off, but soft enough that it will NEVER scratch or harm the parts. I then finish up with 91% IPA.  Looks good as new, and ready for a high quality grease to be reapplied.
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by:mccracky
ID: 34122938
@AndyShap - business card or plastic card (e.g. credit, gift, debit type card)?
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 34123528
Great!  Thanks guys!!  I did buy the best Thermal grease - Artic Silver 5 - and not at Radio Shack but at our local computer electronics store...here I go...I'll keep you posted...thank you so much for your assistance and advice!
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by:AndyShap
ID: 34123763
ONLY a regular paper business card. THe whole idea is firm enough to get the job done, but soft enough not to hurt sensitive parts.
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 34124303
OK...just installed my first CPU and Heat Sink Assembly...followed the Arctic Silver 5 instructions from their website...time to turn it on...wish me luck!
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by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 34124344
Success!!  Is there anything that will tell me if it was done correctly?  Followed directions to a T!
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by:Alan Henderson
Alan Henderson earned 133 total points
ID: 34124535
If it's not done properly the CPU will get hot.

:)

You'll be fine.

You can use this tool to check your temps:
http://www.alcpu.com/CoreTemp/
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Author Comment

by:MagsMcKinley14
ID: 34124598
Thanks for the vote of confidence vallis and the link to double check...it's greatly appreciate.  Everyone's help...thank you!
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LVL 24

Expert Comment

by:Alan Henderson
ID: 34124914
PC wizard 2010 is even better. Tells you everything you want to know and a lot you don't:
http://www.cpuid.com/softwares/pc-wizard.html

:o)
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