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Help reinstalling processor


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#1 darkslategrey

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 02:08 PM

Our Dell Dimension XPS burned out a motherboard. As the computer is no longer under warranty, we had to install the motherboard ourselves. From what I understood, one would lift the lever on the processor socket, insert the processor, lower the lever, insert the heatsink, and so on. However, when I removed the heatsink from the old motherboard, the processor came with it; it appears to be fused to the heatsink somehow. How should I install the processor?

Edited by darkslategrey, 24 August 2009 - 02:10 PM.


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#2 ThunderZ

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 03:40 PM

This is not an uncommon occurrence.
It is highly unlikely it is actually fused. What has happened is that there is thermal compound applied between the processor and heat sink. This can form a pretty strong bond over time and repeated heating\cooling cycles.

Since you are replacing the processor we will not worry about it but we do not want to scar the heat sink surface. You can try to gently but firmly pry it off with a very small bladed flat screw driver. Maybe warming it up a bit with a hair dryer prior to attempted removal will help.

Be sure to clean the heat sink surface and apply fresh thermal compound prior to installing the new processor.
rubbing alcohol works well for cleaning.

#3 Moby Purple

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Posted 24 August 2009 - 06:55 PM

Not to make you nervous, but the amount of thermal compound you apply can be critical. Read the instructions carefully. Too much and it can run once it heats up and cause problems, too little and you will not get a good surface bond, heat transfer can suffer and cause overheating.

#4 darkslategrey

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 08:45 AM

This is not an uncommon occurrence.
It is highly unlikely it is actually fused. What has happened is that there is thermal compound applied between the processor and heat sink. This can form a pretty strong bond over time and repeated heating\cooling cycles.

Since you are replacing the processor we will not worry about it but we do not want to scar the heat sink surface. You can try to gently but firmly pry it off with a very small bladed flat screw driver. Maybe warming it up a bit with a hair dryer prior to attempted removal will help.

Be sure to clean the heat sink surface and apply fresh thermal compound prior to installing the new processor.
rubbing alcohol works well for cleaning.


Ah. See, you appear to have misunderstood me. The processor is still good, as far as I know, I just need to place it in the new motherboard. Which is kind of hard to do, because the processor is stuck to the heatsink, which is kind of getting in the way of doing that.

#5 ThunderZ

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Posted 25 August 2009 - 09:33 AM

Yep, a slight misunderstanding. My apologies.

My suggestion(s) still stand. Except of course adding "take care" in the removal of the processor. Also, instead of prying it off. Perhaps a slight twisting motion will help in removing it.

#6 darkslategrey

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 12:40 PM

Thanks for your help. We had a pretty hot day here the other day, and I noticed that the processor would "give" a little bit when I attempted to get it off. The twisting motion did the trick. I put it back in the socket and put the heatsink back on top, it boots and runs fine, I just need to do some reconfiguring as a result of the brand new motherboard. I'll be replacing the heatsink paste before I do anything more extensive.

Edited by darkslategrey, 28 August 2009 - 12:42 PM.


#7 ThunderZ

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Posted 28 August 2009 - 01:19 PM

Glad to hear you got it worked out.

Would definitely considering cleaning off the old and replacing with new paste ASAP.




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