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Thread: How to safely remove heat sink & CPU?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Spokane, Washington USA

    Question How to safely remove heat sink & CPU?

    I've been reading the threads about installing heat sink/fan and CPU's on mobos, and I'm getting a little worried. I have to replace my Asus P4P800 SE mobo, but I want to reuse the heat sink and CPU. Would someone be kind enough to give me some step-by-step instructions for the removal of the items from the mobo? It looks like, somewhere along the line, I'll have to use some brute force to un-stick the heat sink from the CPU. I fear damaging the CPU. Then also I'd like some step-by-steps for cleaning the heat sink for re-installation with the CPU on the new mobo. All comments and suggestions are welcome.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    I'd say go search google. That's how I learned it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Hmm. Advice I would give would be to remove the Mobo first. If you try to take out the heatsink while it's still in the case, you may bend or snap the motherboard. Secondly, be gentle with it; taking it off is the easiest part. Just lever out the clips from the mobo with your fingernails (long fingernails recommended). Then, you pull off the heatsink from the cpu from the top, not from the side. If it doesn't come off immediatly, then i'm not sure. It should though, if the CPU is correctly fastened to the mobo.

    I use an petrol-based solvent (lighter fluid, natch) for removing the thermal grease from the CPU. This is probably a bad idea, and you should ask someone else.

    If you require more bad advice, just ask.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2005
    Philly, PA/Melbourne, FL
    Don't worry yourself all too much, the internals of a computer are tougher than you think. The worst you could ever do is bend a pin, which you can carefully fix with a screwdriver or needlenose pliers.

    With a standard "clip-on" heatsink, I put a small screwdriver in the little notch, push down and out, and just lift straight up and off, twisting it if I need to. I have actually pulled off a heatsink before and the CPU CAME WITH IT... But the CPU is fine (the computer died due to HDD-related problems).

    Once you have it off, you want to use something like ArctiClean (by the Arctic Silver guys) to get all the thermal material off of the HSF and CPU die.

    Good luck!

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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Land of 10,000 Lakes and Minnesota nice!!
    Quote Originally Posted by Spokaneman
    I want to reuse the heat sink and CPU
    Do you know if they are compatible? What will the new motherboard support and will your old CPU work?
    Lighten up! --- A merry heart does good like a medicine. (Proverbs 17:22)

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Don't worry so much about it. The hardest part is actually getting the heatsink of of the motherboard, those things clamp on TIGHT. Some force will be required to break the clamps free of whatever they are attached to. Once that is done the HSF and CPU should just lift apart, at most requiring a slight twist to break the thermal grease free.

    Worry more aobout making sure that the old and new parts will work together.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Spokane, Washington USA
    Thank you all for your suggestions. To answer a question asked by some of you, yes, I've checked that my CPU will work on the AsusP4P800E-Deluxe mobo as well as on the AsusP4P800SE. Both are socket 478 boards, and both use the same types of RAM. Were it not so, I'd be getting a mobo that was a little newer, and (gulp) also getting a new CPU.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Nov 2000
    The Mountain State
    It is also a bit easier to do if the heat sink is slightly warm...remove it first thing after shutting down the machine.
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