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Windows 7: CPU stuck to heatsink. Help!

16 Oct 2012   #1
Xeno Morph

Windows 7 Home Premium SPk1 x64
 
 
CPU stuck to heatsink. Help!

I was replacing my heatsink for my cpu. Unfortunately the cpu came up with the heatsink. Before I get out a chisel and hammer, I thought I might first check on the forum for some advice on how to gently separate the cpu from the heatsink. Is there a solvent that I can safely use to disolve the goop without damaging the cpu? Computer is about 5 years old and has never had the heatsink removed before, so the cpu goop that was put on at the factory is probably like glue now. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Baron


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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16 Oct 2012   #2
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

I have never heard of that before. If your cpu came off with the heat sink I would be looking for more damage to the motherboard and cpu. Something broke. Has this computer been overheating? A slow gentle back and forth twist should separate them.
Ethyl Alcohol might help in small amounts.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
16 Oct 2012   #3
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Xeno Morph View Post
I was replacing my heatsink for my cpu. Unfortunately the cpu came up with the heatsink. Before I get out a chisel and hammer, I thought I might first check on the forum for some advice on how to gently separate the cpu from the heatsink. Is there a solvent that I can safely use to disolve the goop without damaging the cpu? Computer is about 5 years old and has never had the heatsink removed before, so the cpu goop that was put on at the factory is probably like glue now. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

Baron
I've had that happen. Fortunately, the CPU pins and the socket were undamaged. The heat sink compound was one of the viscous ones (Arctic Silver, possibly).

I'd be leery of solvents. Mild ones (isopropanol) may do no harm, but I'm not sure what your tolerance for risk would be. I'd first try moderate heat (<40C, or about 105F) and gentle prying.

I hope that the thermal material isn't like the phase change stuff that Intel used to use. It was supposed to be effective, but it was also rather permanent. (I always scraped it off, and replaced it with conventional goop.)
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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17 Oct 2012   #4
Xeno Morph

Windows 7 Home Premium SPk1 x64
 
 

Thanks for the reply. No over heating and as for damage, that was my first thought as well. No visible damage, none of the pins were bent, but I was able to separate the cpu from the heatsink with a single edge razor, a little pressure with my thumbs and it popped right off. Anyway, didn't have the alcohol, but a little mineral spirits worked well for clean-up. All said and done, I set the cpu in the socket and it dropped in like it was brand new, no friction or resistance, spred a thin layer of goop/heatsink paste and locked it in place. I installed my new psu and nVidia GTS 450 graphics card. Booted right up, so far so good. Thanks again for your input.

Baron

@bobkn
Thanks for your input also. The mineral spirits and an old t-shirt did the trick for disolving the paste after separation.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #5
bobkn

Windows 7 Pro X64 SP1
 
 

Congratulations.

I've also used mineral spirits (paint thinner) for clean-up. I've never soaked a CPU in the stuff, though; I've limited its use to wiping off the CPU heat spreader and the base of the heatsink.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #6
DeaconFrost

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1
 
 

That's happened to me a lot, and I don't recall ever having any damage. The trick is, if this happens again, grap the processor by the sides and gently twist, as if you were opening a bottle of soda. It will separate without putting any force on the processor itself. Luckily, with the newer Intel designs that have a metal brace coming down over the processor, you don't have to worry about it.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
18 Oct 2012   #7
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1
 
 

A coffee filter is good instead of a cloth, no lint.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
22 Oct 2012   #8
Xeno Morph

Windows 7 Home Premium SPk1 x64
 
 

Layback Bear,
Thanks, good idea! I will have to remember that one.
DeaconFrost,
Mine also had the metal case/housing covering the cpu itself. I think the large surface area of the metal case was why the heatsink was difficult to separate. Once I did get it separated, I was surprised how heavy the cpu unit was. Must have weighed almost as much as a roll of dimes.

bobkn,
Yes, it did work very well. It cut right through the heatsink compound, no problem.


Thanks everyone for their input. It was very much appreciated.

Baron
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 CPU stuck to heatsink. Help!




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