Quote: Originally Posted by mickey megabyte
i would definitely remove the old stuff - i've used a cotton bud dipped in alcohol successfully in the past.
let it dry well, or give it a good rub with something sensible.
apply a thin layer of fresh thermal paste, et voilą...
+1 This is good advice I just wanted to add not to over saturate the cotton ball or swab and CPU, handle with care let the alcohol do the work. It's an easy task to accomplish.
Then choose a quality thermal compound and apply a thin layer on the CPU and after cleaning off the cooler as well your good to go.
I would stick to a 20% Isopropyl Rubbing Alcohol. Commonly found in most persons medicine cabinet. Works very well.