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Windows 7: Help cleaning thermal paste off motherboard

29 Jul 2013   #1

Windows 7 home premium x64
Help cleaning thermal paste off motherboard

I got my new Asrock 990fx extreme3 motherboard today. As I was applying thermal paste to my CPU I accidentally got some on my motherboard. I cleaned it well with a fine paint brush and 91% isopropyl alcohol. As I was getting ready to apply a new layer of thermal paste and attach my CPU cooler I noticed something on the back of my motherboard. It had some white residue on it, the same color as my thermal paste. I've tried to clean it off the same way as the stuff on the front but it won't come off. When I get the affected areas wet with isopropyl alcohol it seems to go away but shows back up when it dries. I'm using dynex silver thermal compound which is conductive. What should I do?

I will try to post a link to pics but I'm on my phone.

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #2

Windows 7 home premium x64

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #3

Win8/8.1,Win7-U64, Vista U64, uncounted Linux distor's

I prefer using denatured alcohol, less added H2O. Clean with q-tips and your iso Alky.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

29 Jul 2013   #4

Windows 7 Ultimate x64 SP1 OEM

Hello, I think you will find that the residue you are looking at was already there before you started cleaning your compound off.
Let me explain.
When the through hole components were placed on the PCB (the components with wire legs) the board was then sent over a wave of molten solder. Prior to this it was sprayed with flux and then pre heated to semi dry the flux and bring the board up to a closer temperature to the wave.
The flux is supposed to be auto cleaning and is burnt off over the wave however sometimes residue is left and it looks just like you picture.
It can be cleaned but it will not hurt to just leave it as it has lost its etch and clean ability.

Thank you

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #5

Vista Ultimate X64/ Windows 7 Dual-boot

My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #6

Windows 10 64 bit

I have an Arctic Silver cleaner kit that I bought from for cleaning off old paste.

Arctic Silver Arcticlean Thermal material Remover & Surface Purifier ACN-60ML (2-PC-SET) - OEM -
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #7

Win 7 Pro 64-bit 7601

MeOnMine is right. That is just dirt left over from the manufacturing process. Leave it there as it does nothing while trying to clean it could damage the board.

And for the love of your board, please use a non-conductive thermal compound. Any decent modern compound is non-conductive.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #8

Windows 7 home premium x64

I live in a small town and that was all that was available at our local computer store. I will order better stuff next time.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #9
Layback Bear

Windows 7 Pro. 64/SP-1

I never new they made a conductive thermal paste. Doesn't sound to wise to me.
My System SpecsSystem Spec
29 Jul 2013   #10

Microsoft Community Contributor Award Recipient

Windows 7 Ultimate 64

Maybe you can tell us the brand you used and we can check it's properties. Remember when using thermal paste less is more or a little goes a long way. Also take a clear picture of the mobo top where the paste went by mistake.
My System SpecsSystem Spec

 Help cleaning thermal paste off motherboard

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