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CPU removal help

by NickMets7 / January 20, 2006 11:38 AM PST

Hello everyone. I have recently taken apart my notebook along with the CPU. However, the CPU is stuck to the heatsink and unless I take it off and apply some new thermal gel it won't go back on! There's some white stuff between the CPU and heatsink (best I can figure generic paste), and the CPU won't budge off. Is there any way to take it off without damaging the processor? Like with rubbing alcohol or something? I have a P4 2.66 GHz with a 478 socket, and a Sony PCG-FRV34 laptop. Thanks in advance!

- Nick

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by Willy / January 20, 2006 12:33 PM PST
In reply to: CPU removal help

Laptop makers want thier products to be assured of proper heatsink mounting, so they usually glue them on. That means what looks like simple compound isn't but an adhesive as well. AT YOUR OWN RISK, Your best bet is to freeze the cpu setup in the freezer for a hr. or more in a plastic bag, remove and then try to "knock-off the heatsink. Of couse, if its on too well, it may take the cpu die cap along with the heatsink and ruin the cpu.

If there's nothing wrong with the cpu in the 1st place, remount it. Otherwise, get another one from some laptop parts vendor.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Why do you want to remove the heatsink ?
by VAPCMD / January 20, 2006 12:51 PM PST
In reply to: CPU removal help

Best course of action .... reinstall it before it becomes damaged and unusable.

PS....might be epoxied on.

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Unfortunately, I have to remove it...
by NickMets7 / January 20, 2006 11:07 PM PST

The whole assembly won't go back on without removing the CPU from the heatsink and first mounting it to the motherboard. Are there any other ways?

Thanks again

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Unfortunately, I have to remove it...
by NickMets7 / January 21, 2006 6:21 AM PST
In reply to: CPU removal help

I took off the whole heatsink assembly and to my unfortunate surprise the CPU came off with it. Unless I can get the CPU off the heat sink, the entire thing won't go back on. Any other ideas?

Thanks in advance

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Are talking about the heat spreader ???
by VAPCMD / January 21, 2006 11:04 AM PST

. . the heat spreader came off when you tried to remove the HS ?

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by NickMets7 / January 21, 2006 12:07 PM PST

The heatsink (there is no heat spreader-just one big heatsink)and when I took it off, the CPU was stuck to it. Now, I can't reattach the heatsink WITH the CPU stuck on, so I need to take it off and put the CPU on first, and then attach the heatsink. I need ideas to get the CPU off of the heatsink.

Thanks again

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If I understand correctly ....I believe your CPU is toast
by VAPCMD / January 21, 2006 11:02 PM PST
In reply to: No
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Thankfully no
by NickMets7 / January 22, 2006 12:12 AM PST

I did not separate the CPU from its heat spreader. The heat spreader, along with the cpu core, is attached to the entire heatsink assembly via thermal pad or something, and I'm trying to get the CPU intact off of the heatsink.

Thanks again

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Actually YES
by NickMets7 / January 21, 2006 10:35 PM PST

Sorry yes. The CPU came off attached to its' heat spreader, which was attached to the heatsink which I took off. I've looked at the thing for a long time and now I think there may be a thermal pad in between there, not paste. Are there nay ways to get this off? Arctic Silver's website says to scrape it off and use isopropyl alcohol to remove the rest. Good/Bad idea?

Thanks again

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by VAPCMD / January 22, 2006 4:51 AM PST
In reply to: Actually YES

I'm confused...

I see this as 4 part

1. a CPU base (the part with all the PINs...
2. an optional heat spreader (I've never seen detached)
3. a heat sink
4. a heat sink fan

Are 1 2 and 3 still connected ?
Or did 2 (and 3) separate clean from 1 ?

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Yes, 1,2,3 are ALL still connected.
by NickMets7 / January 22, 2006 6:10 AM PST
In reply to: So.....

How do I remove the thermal pad.paste between the heatspreader of the CPU and the big heatsink?

Thanks once more

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Only way I can think of would be to
by VAPCMD / January 22, 2006 6:44 AM PST

If possible, get a second pair of hands to help.

Assuming the bond is a thermal paste vs epoxy...start
with the heastsink on the bottom. Please small non-magnetic screwdrivers between the heat spreader and the heatsink. Gently twist the screwdriver until the heatsink and heat speader start to separate. As it separates...put something like a popsicle stick in hold it open and work your way around the heat spreader until it releases. Use larger screwdrivers and more popsicle sticks as the gap opens. I'd say be careful buit I'm sure you'll do that,

If you knew for sure what the compound was...perhaps you could use a solvent to weaken the bonding materiel.

Lemme know how it works....

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So prying it off basically...?
by NickMets7 / January 25, 2006 1:19 AM PST

Also, are there any ways to weaken the bonds of the material/compound that anyone can think of? Yes, I know I'm really desperate!

Thanks again guys!

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One last question,,,,
by VAPCMD / January 25, 2006 9:22 AM PST

Why do you need/want to take it apart ?

If the heatsink is still tightly bonded to the CPU heatspreader which inturn is tightly attached to the CPU.... sounds like it's ready to lift the lever and drop it right back in as is .... no ?

Without knowing exactly what the compound is... I'm just not sure what to recommend to loosen or dissolve it. With the Desktop PC ...the HS FAN locks down over the CPU so the thermal materiel does nothing more just than provide good contact and heat transfer. But the normal methods to bond the heatsink to the heatspreader on a laptop CPU are pretty much of mystery to yours truly.

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by NickMets7 / January 26, 2006 4:25 AM PST
In reply to: One last question,,,,

I forced it out of it's "locked" position and it won't go back in otherwise.

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Are you saying there was no release lever on the
by VAPCMD / January 26, 2006 5:45 AM PST
In reply to: Because...

the CPU socket ?

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There was, except
by NickMets7 / January 26, 2006 10:38 AM PST

it was in the form of a screw. It had to be turned one way to lock/unlock. However, since I forced the CPU off the mobo, it was left in the LOCKED position and the cpu would not go back on unless I removed it, put the socket in the UNLOCK position, place the cpu in, LOCK the cpu, and then mount the heatsink.

Once again, thanks for all your help,

- Nick

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Old woodworkers trick!
by klonestar / January 26, 2006 9:58 AM PST

Im happy to hear your challenge has been overcome. Congrats!

On a little side note: When needing to seperate two pieces that are glued together first one needs to find out if the adhesive is water based or alcohol based. (get info from the manuf.) Most nowadays are alcohol based. Get a syringe with a small needle and put some alcohol in it. Start by carefully injecting the alcohol in minute doses as far as you can comfortably insert the needle.(sometimes beginning only at the outer edge) Do this repeatedly while loosening the two pieces along the way. Eventually the two parts will seperate with little to no damage what so ever.


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by NickMets7 / January 26, 2006 4:26 AM PST
In reply to: Actually YES

I have finally pryed it off and put the thing together and surprise surprise it works! Thanks very much for all you help guys, I really appreciated it Happy

Thanks again,

- Nick

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Experienced tech help
by djeve / January 26, 2006 12:44 PM PST
In reply to: CPU removal help

Ok, I'm not sure if anyone here has given a straight answer. I've been repairing laptops for 6 months for Dell. I've had this happen many times with both laptop and desktop units. Your best be is to take a small flat head screwdriver and apply a very SMALL amount of pressure between the CPU and the heat sink. It should pop off (not fly off mind you). Then be sure to unlock the socket using that same screwdriver. Line up the pins and vola! Your CPU is back in place. Your thermal grease should not be what you use on desktop systems. They use a much lighter and thinner product for laptops (it's more like a cream rather than a clay/patch). It's actually white and has the consistency of wood glue. A little dab will do ya too. Less is more with this stuff otherwise it makes big problems.

Best of luck

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Where were you when we needed you..??....
by VAPCMD / January 26, 2006 1:15 PM PST
In reply to: Experienced tech help

Actually that's what we told him once we figured out what was stuck to what. The only thing is, unless you work with laptops everyday like you do ... we're working blind.

So all (?) laptop CPU sockets have screws instead of levers to secure the CPUs. And there's nothing other than this heavier thermal compound that holds the CPU and heatsink together ? Does it have a name ?


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Checks tec bag for spare compound
by djeve / January 26, 2006 2:02 PM PST

Technically the thermal grease shouldn't make the CPU stick to the heat sink assembly. It should actually come off very easily. Usually when it sticks it's a sign of some overheating(this stands true for both towers and notebooks). I don't have the name of the compound. When I receive them with my parts they come in little clear plastic tubes for one time applications.

And as for not being around... I just got here today when I saw this post. lol

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