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My motherboard has been diagnosed with the Sandy Bridge issue ( so I am asked by my reseller to send back my motherboard to have a new one compatible with the previous one.

My problem is that I have a not cheap Intel CPU currently on it, with its standard heatsink/fan. I would obviously like to keep it to plug it on the new motherboard. I am quite woried about the thermal paste. I was planning to:

  • Remove the CPU and the HSF together (I think they are sticked to each other).
  • Try to separate the CPU and the HSF (I'm not sure how)
  • Clean both of the surfaces
  • When the new motherboard is here, put the CPU back on it.
  • Have new thermal paste to put again on the CPU, put it on the CPU
  • Add the HSF again

Do you see any problem about this process? Recommendations? Is it possible to keep the CPU and the HSF together for the whole process or is it impossible to plug the CPU back on the new motherboard in this case?

Thanks in advance for your answers.


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closed as not a real question by Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007, Indrek, Nifle, Canadian Luke, 8088 Sep 4 '12 at 0:49

It's difficult to tell what is being asked here. This question is ambiguous, vague, incomplete, overly broad, or rhetorical and cannot be reasonably answered in its current form. For help clarifying this question so that it can be reopened, visit the help center.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

Your cooler should be removed from the system before your CPU. Otherwise it sounds like you have the basic idea, but there's no real answerable question here. If you're really that worried about it, perhaps take it to the local shop and have them do it for you (and take the responsibility). – Ƭᴇcʜιᴇ007 Sep 3 '12 at 19:03
I'm guessing the computer was built from parts (because you're asked to send back only the motherboard), and that you didn't build it yourself (otherwise you'd know how to remove the CPU and cooler). So maybe you should ask whoever built the computer for you to take care of this? – Indrek Sep 3 '12 at 19:41
You are guessing almost right, except that I am used to mount PC, I always build them from parts. The problem is that I never dismounted one and am just afraid to fail at some point and need to buy a new 200€ CPU. – jolivier Sep 3 '12 at 20:05
According to that Asus site, the replacement period ended a year ago. I guess your reseller is treating you better than Asus requires. – Ben Voigt Sep 3 '12 at 20:50
they better not tell me the replacement period ended, I was never warned about this bug and found out in a remote post on the ubuntu site on stack exchange. This bugged my installation for several months, with random messages as the faulty disks was in a RAID, then random system freeze when I put the system disk on the faulty port. I will ask for compensation for not having been warned ~ 18 months ago (when I was not using the faulty slots). – jolivier Sep 3 '12 at 20:55
up vote 1 down vote accepted

It is very unlikely that you can remove the HSF and CPU from the socket as a single assembly, because an installed HSF will block movement of the retaining latch release for the CPU.

As long as you used a recommended thermal interface substance, and not an actual adhesive (paste can mean either!), you should have little difficulty separating the HSF from the CPU.

When reassembling, you'll have several options. Worst would be to just line up the HSF, carrying remains of a phase change pad, atop the CPU. Better would be to add some Arctic Silver (or other paste) to fill in where the old phase change pad was torn during separation. Best is to completely remove the old phase change material, clean both surfaces, and then apply a very thin layer of Arctic Silver. Of course I mean any non-adhesive non-conductive thermal paste, or which Arctic Silver is just a common example.

Of course, the biggest difference in cooling effectiveness would be provided by a better HSF. There are many good options in the $30-$40 range.

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As long as you take static discharge precautions and don't touch the gold landgrid points on the bottom of the CPU you should be OK. Do what @techie007 says. Have an antistatic surface handy to set your heatsink/CPU on until your new board comes in.

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