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  1. #1
    Member Kostas's Avatar
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    Jul 2016
    Hellas (Greece)

    Lightbulb [Discussion] Is there a way to remove solidified thermal paste?? Not joking

    So i've got this old mobo that I'm pretty sure it died from overheating since it won't post once you connect the cpu 8pin, just for fun it took it out to inspect and clean it.... I had a surprise though trying to take off the chipset and VRM heat sinks since with no screws on they still were not budging, decided to brute force it apart and actually made it without damaging anything. The thing is the thermal paste was so dried up you won't believe, like actually solidified, like cement it was acting like glue holding everything together. As expected alcohol didn't do sh*t so it got me thinking,
    -Is there anything i could try that will melt the thermal paste but not the copper or aluminum parts of both the heat sinks and the chipset's die.
    -What is thermal paste actually made of and could there be a substance(not general use acid based) to react with it so it softens it up?
    I would love to hear your thoughts on it, maybe i'll throw in a couple of pics as well you knows....

  2. #2
    Enterprise IT Consultant chiefnz's Avatar
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    Dec 2004
    Sydney AU

    Default Re: [Discussion] Is there a way to remove solidified thermal paste?? Not joking

    VRM and chipset heatsinks with no discernible mounting mechanism such as a bracket or screws are likely attached via thermal epoxy resin/glue rather than "thermal paste". Thermal paste does not have any "adhesive" properties so things do not "stick" to it so to speak.

    Some things to try;

    1. Adhesive remover - be careful with this as skin contact can lead to severe irritation.
    2. Paint Thinner
    3. Denatured alcohol
    4. Heat gun - use this with caution around electronic components on the board if you think it is still working - ideally you just want the epoxy to "melt" to a putty/blu tac consistency so you can scrape it off.

    Hope that helps.

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