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I have an Intel E29477 heatsink with those push-pin quarter turn fasteners in the corners. I just replaced my motherboard and apparently didn't get the thermal compound on right when installing the heatsink on the new motherboard.

I've been trying to remove the heatsink to reapply the thermal compound, but it won't budge. The little black tab just won't come up on two of the four fasteners. I've yanked on it pretty hard with pliers and it stays put.

underside of the motherboard, showing black piece stuck in the white fastener

I've already done this once when removing from the old motherboard, so it's not that I forgot to turn the tabs. This is one of the tabs in question: I'm pretty sure I've got it turned the right way.

topside of the CPU fan, showing arrow on the tab pointing away from the heat sink

Is there anything I can do short of breaking the white tabs off and buying a new heat sink?

. enter image description here

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up vote 6 down vote accepted

You need to turn them in the direction of the arrow (ant-clockwise), then pull up on them. It's a bit hard to see in the underside picture if it's currently locked in or not. If you still can't get them to come out try pinching the underside of the pins with some pliers while pulling them out.

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Sigh... you're right. I had the locked & unlocked positions backwards. Blergh. I could have sworn that's how the instructions said to do it, but clearly not. :) – Tadmas Nov 13 '11 at 19:13
Lefty Loosey, Righty Tighty. Or as I was admonished until I got it, "No, your other Left Hand" <grin> – Fiasco Labs Nov 13 '11 at 20:51

To remove the fan/heatsink assembly:

  1. Using a screwdriver in the slot on the "shelf" atop the actuator, rotate each of the four actuators counterclockwise (in the direction of the arrow). That unlocks the PPL.

  2. Then, one-by-one, pull up on each actuator, retracting the black central pin from the split pin, allowing them to slip back through the motherboard holes.

Pull up (gently) with a rocking motion to free the fan/heatsink assembly from the motherboard and the CPU.

Source See post by CAOgdin

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