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Windows 7: Safe removal and prevention of a CPU being stuck to the CPU fan

10 Nov 2013   #1
Twario

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP-1
 
 
Safe removal and prevention of a CPU being stuck to the CPU fan

Yet again this is another topic (hopefully the last) about my broken CPU. That day when I decided to clean the stock fan under a lot of stress, everything went wrong. Other than my own carelessness, the main cause of all of this was the CPU (AMD Phenom II 965) basically being fused to the crappy stock fan with the thermal paste that came pre-apllied with the fan. So when I went to take the fan off, the CPU was forcibly pulled out of it's slot and came with the fan, bending some of the pins and loosening one causing it to fall off later. It's also worth pointing out that it was the first time I tried to separate the fan and CPU, and I had first built the PC months before.

This turned out to be a very expensive mistake, since I had to get a newer replacement CPU ($120) when I finally had the money. So now that I bought the new CPU and a Hyper 212 EVO, I want to prevent this from happening again. So what do I have to do to prevent the fan and CPU from being stuck together with thermal paste? And if that does happen, what do I have to do to get them unstuck without pulling it from the slot and damaging the CPU?


My System SpecsSystem Spec
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10 Nov 2013   #2
Mellon Head

Win 7 Pro x64/Win 10 Pro x64 dual boot
 
 

I never seem to have the stickiness problem, but it might be the paste that I use. (Arctic Silver 5) Something that I do when I'm taking off the HS/Fan is to gently (very gently) turn the HS a tiny bit from side to side first, and then I tilt the HS (very gently) to one side. Doing this, it usually comes off quite easily, without sticking.

However, your experience may vary.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #3
smarteyeball

 
 

Quote   Quote: Originally Posted by Mellon Head View Post
Something that I do when I'm taking off the HS/Fan is to gently (very gently) turn the HS a tiny bit from side to side first, and then I tilt the HS (very gently) to one side. Doing this, it usually comes off quite easily, without sticking.

.
The turning/twisting method is indeed a good one. As is gently prising it loose.

The real key here is GENTLY.

If for some reason this doesn't work, you can use something thin to insert between the cooler and CPU to loosen the grip. Preferably wooden, like a satay stick or even a match stick broken so it has a sharp beveled edge.


To have a cpu stick the HS, you must have used a fair amount of paste? Typically there is a bit of stickiness, but not glue like sticky.

Fingers crossed you don't need to remove it again.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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11 Nov 2013   #4
TVeblen

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 64 Bit Home Premium SP1
 
 

Cheap thermal compound is primarily silicone paste. The problem you experienced happens when the paste gets old and dries out, becoming more of an adhesive than a paste. Silicone is used in many caulking products because of it's excellent adhesive properties.

More expensive thermal pastes are formulated to remain pliable indefinitely - meaning they will not dry out and become adhesive.

For a while I was salvaging PCs from the local waste station and found a lot of Processors with fans stuck solidly to them. My procedure was as described above - gently twist and pull to release the fan - but if this did not happen without additional force then I would stop and work on removing the Processor and Fan together from the socket. This can be difficult and sometimes requires dismantling the fan body. Once removed you can use the wedge method as described above more easily than you can on the motherboard.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #5
essenbe

Windows 7 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Enterprise X64/Windows 10 Pro X64/Linux Mint
 
 

Along with all the excellent methods mentioned above, I find it much easier to run the computer for a little while to heat up the CPU, and thus the paste. It makes it much easier to remove usually.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
11 Nov 2013   #6
Twario

Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit SP-1
 
 

Thanks for the excellent replies guys. These will definitely help.

One more thing though, for anybody reading. If it weren't for that damn AMD stock fan that came with the Phenom II X4 965 none of this would've happened. The fan was extremely loud (an understatement) and it came with cheap thermal paste glued to it already so it dried out easily and was a big reason for the CPU damage. Believe me, it's worth the extra $30 for a new fan to not have to deal with that crap.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
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 Safe removal and prevention of a CPU being stuck to the CPU fan




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