Replacing CPU? Look into your computer case

…Notice all the confusing parts…? Now pull out your hair!

Seriously, it’s not that bad! Here is an easy step by step process to replacing a dead CPU unit;

replacing cpu and motherboard assembly

The first step you should always take when replacing CPU is…

Turn off your PC and unplug it!!!

1. Find a large heat sink inside (usually the largest) your PC with the largest fan attached to it.

It will probably be a big block of aluminum with fins all over it. (Another way to locate it; the CPU should be directly behind your cable input header )(Where you plug USB cables, monitor cables, and audio into the back of the PC) the CPU is behind that input header and beneath the metal heat sink and fan assembly. It should be fairly large; about the size of a small fist. (sometimes larger)

2. Remove the retaining clip or hold down bracket that holds the CPU cooler to the motherboard. There might be retaining clips or just one hold down lever.

3. Gently rock the CPU cooler in a circular motion to break the seal between the cooler and the cpu thermal compound.

a. Often the CPU and heat sink are locked together with thermal paste that has become quite hard. This is probably the most critical step to replacing CPU.

4. Gently tug up while rocking (slightly) in a circular motion. (be patient)

5. When the Cooler finally lets go of the CPU unplug the fan from the motherboard and inspect the top of the CPU.

6. Use a credit card to remove the old cpu paste from both the cooler and the back of the CPU. It is easiest to remove the paste from the CPU while the CPU is still installed in the motherboard socket.

a. Raise the latch that holds the CPU pins in place.

b. The CPU should easily lift out of the pin slots. Pull out the used CPU.

c. Place the cpu on a dry lint free cloth

7. Sometimes the CPU will not break free from the bottom of the cooler -If your CPU is stuck to the bottom of the cooler; make sure you did not bend any pins when it finally comes out.

a. If you bent pins carefully straighten them. (very carefully)

b. If some pins are broken off; replace the CPU –its trashed

If you are replacing the CPU anyway; then you need not worry about broken pins. Just make sure if some did break off in the motherboard socket that you remove them from the socket; otherwise a short is likely to occur when you power up.

To finish Replacing CPU…

You have removed the old unit. Now install the new one.

1. Find the triangle locatable in the corner of both the socket and the CPU. (AMD) Intel uses a tab, read their instructions manual to locate CPU on board.

2. Make sure the cpu latch is in the unlocked position

3. Gently place the cpu in the socket lining up the triangle marked corners

a. It should fall easily into place

4. Lock the cpu clamp down bar in place.

a. Clean the top of the cpu with a cotton ball and a very small amount of alcohol dropped onto the cotton ball. Do not get excess liquid on the cpu. It should evaporate quickly from the surface.

5. Clean the bottom of the cpu cooler and ‘lap’ it;

a. If you have access to a flat piece of steel or something totally flat

i. Use 1200 grit sand paper and wet-sand the bottom of the cpu cooler by carefully dragging the CPU contact area over the sandpaper.

ii. You should be able to see the effects of the flat sandpaper surface leveling out the bottom of the cpu cooler. This is called ‘lapping’; it must be done very slowly. Do not get into a hurry or you could round the edges of the cooler.

b. The lapping process can be skipped if you don’t care about squeezing the last bit of performance out of your cooler. By making the cooler completely flat –it will mate better with the top of the CPU (the heat spreader)

6. Apply a glob of new thermal compound the size of a large ‘pea’ in the center of the cpu

7. Use a credit card to spread the Thermal paste thin

a. Spread it very thin, but not so thin that you can read the lettering on the back of the cpu. It should look basically flat but be a consistent color the same as what came out of the tube.

b. Be careful not to spread any over the edges. Clean up as necessary using a dry q-tip

c. Make sure no foreign debris is present in the paste or under it.

8. Apply the cpu cooler to the top of the cpu (directly onto the thermal compound)

9. Lock down the CPU cooler’s hold down clamp

a. Wiggle the cooler to make sure it is secured and not bound on a corner. The cooler should be able to move a bit; the thermal compound acting a bit like a fluid bearing between the two pieces.


Okay, now what?

You may need to update your clock when finished. (I had to) The clock would not allow Windows to download updates because of the clock time… weird?

If you are using a more powerful CPU you may need to get better PSU to accommodate the extra juice.

But that’s pretty much all there is to replacing CPU in your PC Put everything back together and boot up your system.

You may need to update some software if it does not recognize your new CPU.

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