CPU heat epoxy solvent?
December 2, 2005 12:15 AM   Subscribe

How can I de-epoxy my P4 from its heatsink?

I have a 3+ year old Pentium 4 based system - socket 478 - that right now is idling at around 61 degrees centigrade. Not good, and can only manage about 10 minutes of uptime before it hard boots itself to prevent burnout. So I bought new thermal paste, but it looks like the CPU die is epoxied to the heatsink. I haven't tried too too hard, but it seems to be stuck on there pretty solid. So is there a solvent for heat epoxy? Any other solutions?
posted by ChasFile to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
I have, I should add, tried all the obvious things like thoroughly cleaning the heatsink, all the fans, dusting the case, and so on. I've even opened the case and put a window fan right up against the side of it blasting away on high, and the processor still overheats. So its definitely the CPU-to-heatsink transfer where the heat dispersal bottleneck is. Well, that or the CPU itself is fried/busted, but let's for the moment assume that's not the problem, shall we?
posted by ChasFile at 12:22 AM on December 2, 2005

So is the heatsink still attached to the CPU? If it is, try twisting it gently, because it will come off eventually. It did for me anyway.

And I hear using Q-tips to clean the paste works. Not sure if there's some solution to use, but I'd think a naked q-tip would work.
posted by jasmeet at 12:33 AM on December 2, 2005

I would use a razorblade or Stanley knife, to get in between the cpu and the heatsink. I agree that it's probably a conduction problem between the heatsink and the CPU.

You might also want to dedust your fan and check that the fan speed is set to it's maximum.

A lot of motherboards have a bios setting to control CPU fan speed.

Also, it helps to have another fan (or 2) in the case, to move the air through and lower the ambient temperature inside. Many ATX cases have spots for 2. One above the PC speaker in front, and one between the power supply and AGP slot in the back. If you install them, make sure they are both pointing the right way to suck the air through.
posted by Dag Maggot at 12:36 AM on December 2, 2005

Arcticlean sells a "Thermal Material Remover". Smells like Citrasolv.

posted by Zed_Lopez at 1:25 AM on December 2, 2005

try to twist the cooler left and right gently, it's also safe to try knifes or flat screwdrivers

that arcticlean stuff works nice, it makes white thermal paste liquid (the cleaning part is not better than fingernail color removing stuff or cleaning alcohol)
posted by suni at 4:35 AM on December 2, 2005

Let the computer run for a bit before your next attempt. This will warm up the thermal compound and should make it easier to twist off the heatsink.
posted by lohmannn at 5:31 AM on December 2, 2005

Duh. Running much cooler now, thanks for all the help.
posted by ChasFile at 6:18 PM on December 2, 2005

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