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I took off the CPU heat sink to blow out the dust. Now I can't get it back on. I've tried everything I red from Google: I pull up the black pins so they're inside the white part before putting the heatsink in place, and then push firmly down. Usually 2 of the 4 pins don't make a clicking noise. Is it possible the pins are broken? I need this computer for work so would buying a new heat sink solve the problem? Here are some pictures. Normally I apply the thermal paste to the CPU but when I moved the heat sink around it got messy and I cleaned it all off, but I'll reapply it before replacing the heat sink.

UPDATE: it must be something else. 1) all 4 pins clicked in 2) the thermal paste on the CPU had been smeared around so the heat sink had made contact bottom of heat sink side of heat sink another side image of heat sink top of heat sink mother board

I know the heat sink isn't sitting on properly because when I turn on the computer I get a CPU over heat error (and have to turn off). Is there anything else I can try or should know before buying a new heat sink? The fan works fine so it's only a problem with the connectors.

  • If you feel you would have better luck with an after market heatsink you should indeed try one. Its not clear what you want from us. – Ramhound May 2 '16 at 17:18
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    And you need the thermal paste ... – DavidPostill May 2 '16 at 17:19
  • @Ramhound is that a possible solution? If a heat sink that doesn't fit (and it did before) buying a new one could help? – Celeritas May 2 '16 at 17:29
  • I suspect your just installing it wrong but the stock Intel heatsinks are not easy to install in the first place. How easy an aftermarket one is to install really depends on the brand. – Ramhound May 2 '16 at 17:31
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    You may need to squeeze the lower end of the pushpins a little to make them fit through the holes again. Use some pliers, but don’t apply too much presure. Also make sure the pushable thingy is completely retracted. – Daniel B May 2 '16 at 17:39
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make sure they are pointed out when installing. pop each pin in a diagonal fashion to ensure that one side isn't completely seated before the other. if you cannot get it with the board installed in the case. pull the board and then try on a plastic surface, preferably using the esd bag the board came in underneath to prevent static discharge.

once you hear the pins pop into place you can check that they are indeed popped in by flipping the board over you should see the white plastic pins spread out with the black plastic pin popped through the hole pushing them apart. if that seems unclear I found this video that will help you visually.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JcQgZX-4W0o

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It's entirely possible that you aren't pushing hard enough. Sometimes this takes more pressure than people expect. I would suggest supporting the back of the motherboard while trying to stick it in. You may also find it useful to point a camera at that pins when you attempt the install so that you can look at the problem from an angle you might otherwise be unable to see from.

  • it's the pin nearest the middle of the motherboard that won't go in – Celeritas May 2 '16 at 18:48
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    If that's the case, I would suggest supporting the back of the motherboard while trying to stick it in. You may also find it useful to point a camera at that pin when you attempt the install so that you can look at the problem from an angle you might otherwise be unable to see from. – Johnathan Andersen May 2 '16 at 19:41
  • @Burgi good suggestion. – Johnathan Andersen May 3 '16 at 15:39
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Old thread, but the problem with these is that after they've been used for a few years the plastic changes shape, and the part that goes through the hole is bent outward making it bigger than the holes. You need to order new ones. They're cheap, but it's also frustrating dealing with this issue if you ever take the heatsink off again.

I'd recommend just buying a cheap third party heatsink with actual screws to avoid the issue in the future.

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