My poor CPU

How does one unglue thermal paste? I’m upgrading my CPU after about a year, and the CPU is stuck to the heat sink…

I usually give a little twist first.


Generally, thermal paste becomes looser with heat, so I would run prime95 or something. Then turn it off and twist to break the bond before lifting.


If it is old, a medium rotating pressure applied by hand to twist the CPU in place should separate the CPU.

Or you could try and use something like a knife

When dry, thermal paste becomes pretty brittle; Once it starts going, it’ll basically go all the way.

Dental floss or a thin string in between the IHS and heatsink. Push the heatsink up against something so the CPU doesn’t fall and bend the pins.

OR you could just LINUS it :stuck_out_tongue:

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And if dropping it doesn’t do it, go to the garage and grab your hammer and a crowbar!

(Don’t do this lol)

can’t put that genie back in the bottle, the bar won’t open with the heatsink on it, he’ll have to use a hair dryer

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Twist before removing, it’s not “glued” to it, there is simply no air between CPU and Cooler, so it’s the same way you can stick 2 paper sheets together or to glass plates with few drops of water between them…

Did you just pull it up from the motherboard? Damn :smiley:

Anyway, heat it with a hairdryer and pry it off with a precision knife. Don’t bend the pins.

Bathing in isopropyl alcohol or WD 40 …

Few drops of alcohol, then gently twist it off the heatsink.

I see this a lot on the PGA style chips. I generally just twist the CPU - grabbing at the edges (clear of the pins!) and give it a few twists side to side to loosen it. You can also try sliding it off. Just don’t use a lot of pressure and just put it down if you get frustrated.

When you do get it off let us know if it was still tacky or hardened. Always curious. Was it the factory applied paste or did you use 3d party?

Thanks everyone. I cooked it a bit with my heat gun and gave it a twist. I don’t think the heat gun made a difference. I think the issue was the stock TP getting out around the edges and getting crusty. The middle was still liquid even after it cooled. I tested it and it’s still good. No more stock TP for me anymore.
Thanks again. Your suggestions helped so much :wink:


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