How to remove thermal epoxy?

Discussion in 'AMD Processors' started by dexvx, Oct 13, 2018.

  1. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    On eBay, I bought a socket 939 CPU + heatsink. For whatever reason, the CPU is literally glued onto the heatsink by some means. I was wondering if there was a safe way to separate the CPU and the heatsink?
     
  2. chappedstick

    chappedstick n00b

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  3. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yup warm it up and pry it off.
     
  4. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    If it is an actual thermal epoxy, ive heard it is weakened by freezing it, not heating it up. If thermal compound, heat it up. Either way, keep it in the motherboard and turn the heatsink clockwise after you release the retention mechanism. Do not pull up or your cpu will come with it.
     
  5. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    wooooo there you never go clock wise only counter! ;) its a 939 so it has an ihs. if its actually epoxy, which I doubt, it would bent the pcb befor ripping the ihs off. I really think its just old dried TIM, seen it many times. some heat and twisting or prying should get it loose.

    op you could even mount it and get into bios for a few minutes to warm up then twist the heatsink off while the chip is in the mobo(power off first).
     
  6. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Ok I'll try putting it in a system and warming it up. First, I have to straight out some bent pins.

    Like it literally does not budge. I've never seen a CPU this stuck to the heatsink before.
     
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  7. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    the bet the TIM has had yeeeears to cure.
     
  8. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    If I wasn't worried about damaging the heatsink, I'd take a slotted screwdriver, put the end against the side of the ihs (as close to the mating surface as possible) and tap it with a hammer (just have to make sure the heatsink isn't in a position to roll when you do this).

    Of course, heating and twisting off as suggested above would probably be the preferred method if you can get it to work. ;)
     
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  9. It’s not that cement type shit is it ?

    It differs from usual paste, as it hardens over time and acts like cement, once dried it’s a pain in the ass to remove.

    If so, heat wont make it come off, I tried it on 3 dell rigs that needed overhaulin for some company ages ago. The things was purely passive and had a huge and i mean a huge heatsink, and the cement was really hard to get off.

    In the end, I tried soaking the heatsink and top of cpu in alcohol, still wouldnt move and I had to use forced to get them off.

    It never hurt the cpu’s, it just left pink thick hard stuff on the ihs that I had to scrap off.

    Btw, if its socket 939, which to be honest, I am the 939 master, removing the ihs is a good thing,

    I would also remove the mobo chipset heatsink and replace it with a decent fan one, as nvidia nf4 chipsets run hot as shit, and usually are the thing that kills nf4 mobos. Replace it with a better fan model, or at the very least, replace the paste to something better, as asus nf4 mobo’s chipset fans didn’t run at 40’000 revs a minute for nothing.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 14, 2018
  10. gigaxtreme1

    gigaxtreme1 2[H]4U

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    Just relap the heatsink after. 220, 600 to 1200 wet and dry sandpaper on a glass sheet
     
  11. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    You got it wrong, never go counter clockwise. Stop spreading misinformation!

    The trick is getting the cpu back in a socket without opening the cpu retention rod.
     
  12. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    clockwise down under maybe ;)
    oh shit good point about the rod but it might be doable, ive done it. lift the rod just a bit and jam it in there.
     
  13. GiGaBiTe

    GiGaBiTe Gawd

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    Get an adjustable spanner, fit it around the periphery of the CPU and rotate in any direction.
     
  14. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    I've done it without lifting the rod at all, but you do need to be careful for sure. Pushing down on it without lining up the pins just right would lead to 939 bent pins :D
     
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  15. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    If you cannot get it back into the socket to power on / warm it up, you could use a heat gun (not a hair dryer, they don't get hot enough). Of course those probably cost 25x what a S939 CPU is worth. Or throw it in the oven (NOT BROIL) at 450 for a few minutes? The smell will likely be incredibly... nasty. I've oven baked a few x360 motherboards and it doesn't smell great.

    Let's see, I had a Athlon 64 3000, then an Opteron 144, then a x2 3800.... I don't think any of those chips today would sell for more than 3 bucks. 10 with a motherboard. I mean those things still had AGP slots.

    So break away, you're not losing anything other than nostalgia value.
     
  16. DTN107

    DTN107 [H]ardness Supreme

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    You hit it with your purse yet?
     
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  17. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Okay so I straightened the pins. Now the problem is that if I pull up the lever on the S939 board (I have an A8N-SLI), it literally blocks the heatsink. So I'm not sure how to get it in.

    Also, this is an Athlon FX-60. Since it's the top end S939 CPU, it still holds a bit of value ~$60-80. So not exactly a throwaway, although I did get it for cheaper than eBay fare.

    Is hair dryer method okay?
     
  18. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    yup. warm it up and give it a twist or pry it up carefully.
     
  19. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    Had this exact issue with an old s754. Warm and twist. Do not recommend prying.

    They will actually pull the cpu out of the socket without opening the lever, that's how much they stick..
     
  20. N4CR

    N4CR 2[H]4U

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    But for future reference for anyone removing thermal epoxy (real deal)..
    Shear force.
    Instantaneous shear force is what you need, small tap with a screwdriver from some pliers/hammer will do it.
     
  21. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    the chip isn't in the mobo. if you use something wide under the edge of the chip you can pry upwards and it will pop lose without any damage, unless it goes flying...
     
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  22. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Okay, so I used a hairdryer and blew on it up close for 1-2 min, to the point where the heatsink base and fins got too hot to touch. The CPU still won't even budge. So is it epoxy?
     
  23. Nobu

    Nobu 2[H]4U

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    Could be just really dry thermal paste that mated well with the cooler. I know the stuff that came on my am2 sempron cooler held like glue, and my dad tore it out of the socket trying to remove it. A nice tap (and I mean it–don't do even a half-swing, as it shouldn't be necessary) with a hammer on a screwdriver should get it...just have something soft to catch it so you don't bend pins.
     
  24. gigaxtreme1

    gigaxtreme1 2[H]4U

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    Sounds like it. Take a razor knife blade and drive it in between the mating surfaces. Lap both surfaces after scaping off compound to mirror finish.
     
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  25. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    Razor blade wedge while warm is a good idea. Also if you have a plastic vise you could clamp down on the chip and try to rotate it. I'm talking about the $5 home depot plastic clamps, wouldn't use metal tools to try to clamp.
     
  26. jlbenedict

    jlbenedict [H]ard|Gawd

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    if it is a legit thermal epoxy.. gonna have to apply enough heat to get to the temperature breakdown point.. got a torch handy? :D
     
  27. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    Thermal epoxy breaks free at freezing temperatures. I really doubt anyone would do that on a cpu though. Usually used for things without retention mechanisms like ram chips on gpus back in the day.
     
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  28. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Curious, whats wrong with freezing a CPU? Is it the potential water damage?

    Is there a way to scrap off the compound off the IHS without lapping it?
     
  29. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    if its just hardened TIM soaking it in alcohol will soften it up to clean it off. using a razor blade to pop it off shouldn't do enough damage to worry about lapping it.
     
  30. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    There should be very little risk of damage to the CPU by freezing it. Even if the CPU got dropped in water, it would likely have 0 "water damage" after it dried. Throw it in the freezer overnight and see if you can get it apart. If not, go back to heat.
     
  31. Tsumi

    Tsumi [H]ardForum Junkie

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    Pretty sure what he meant is that most people would not use thermal epoxy on a CPU. People freeze CPUs all the time with liquid nitrogen and helium.
     
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  32. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    ah yes, I did indeed mean to suggest that most people would not use thermal epoxy on a CPU. ;)
     
  33. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    Which part are you trying to save here? The CPU or the heatsink?

    Regardless, I'd use a skinny drift pin punch and a hammer. Rest the punch against the side of the IHS, in a spot where there aren't any SMDs for it to mangle and give it a tap with the hammer. Maybe put a towel or something around the whole deal to keep the CPU from falling and damaging the pins. If you don't have a drift, you could probably use a flathead screwdriver, maybe wrapped in electrical tape, so it doesn't mar the heatsink.
     
  34. DrBorg

    DrBorg Gawd

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    That's a great way to recover the heatsink, lol.

    A thin razor blade works great; I just removed a bunch of epoxied 100W LED's this way.
     
  35. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    Into the freezer it goes! (I put it in a freezer bag)
     
  36. RazorWind

    RazorWind 2[H]4U

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    If one isn't a total klutz, it would safely recover the CPU, too. You're only applying force to the IHS, which is the part that's stuck to the heatsink.
     
  37. dexvx

    dexvx [H]ard|Gawd

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    The CPU (its worth ~$80) still.

    I took it out of the freezer, and it literally popped right off! Huzzah!

    Now to scrape this crap off the CPU and heatsink.
     
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  38. pendragon1

    pendragon1 [H]ardForum Junkie

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    good.
    use plastic if you have to scrape at it.
     
  39. mnewxcv

    mnewxcv [H]ardness Supreme

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    Glad to hear another successful freezer story :)
     
  40. Burticus

    Burticus 2[H]4U

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    Alcohol and a razor blade.