Missing CPU Heatsink-a problem??

  Tricky Vicky 09:38 13 Apr 2008

The Heatsink for my computers CPU have fallen off. I have only realised and I think it may have been off for some time.

One of the little hooks which is attached to the motherboard have become detached, so there is nothing to attach the 'arms' of the heatsink to.

The computer is around 8/9 years old (HP Pavillion 750) so unless it was easy and inexpensive I probably not get it repaired.

On another forum people were saying my computer may blow up etc but this has not happened yet, so I doubting that is true?

As a makeshift fix I was thinking maybe clagging a load of thermal paste on to try and get it to stick and then lying the computer on its side to help stop it falling off????????

Or can I leave it off alltogether?

What is the best solution/workaround to this problem?


  Gongoozler 09:46 13 Apr 2008

It's quite likely that the fixing arm has become detached but that the heatsink is still stuck on with compound, and so is doing it's job of taking the heat away from the CPU. It could go on working like this for years. Most of heatsinks from the era when your computer was made located on lugs moulded into the CPU socket. You really have two choices. As the computer is working normally, you could just leave things as they are and hope the heatsink remains stuck for another 8/9 years, or you could buy another heatsink and fit it. If you do replace the heatsink, or remove and refit your old one, make sure that you remove EVERY trace of old compound before applying new.

  johndrew 09:47 13 Apr 2008

There is every chance the CPU will overheat and either fail or get damaged without a heatsink. Just because it hasn`t happened yet doesn`t mean it wont.

Thermal paste is not glue and will soften as it warms up allowing the heatsink to detach.

If the heatsink falls off completely it may well cause a short circuit within the case.

I would suggest you take the advice given previously or if you wish to ignore it please don`t expect sympathy.

  Tricky Vicky 11:58 13 Apr 2008

Thanks for your help.

But the heatsink is not on at all, it will not stay in place without the arms on to hold it down.

You suggest fitting another heatsink but how can I when the hook for the 'arms' has come off. I am not going to attempt to solder the hook back onto the motherboard, so how else could I get a new heat sink to stay on?

  Technotiger 12:11 13 Apr 2008

Hi, first, I would advise you to make a backup of anything on your PC that is of importance to you, maybe like photos or letters etc. Then if the worst happens, as is likely, it won't be a total disaster.

Having said that, do you know how long your pc has been running without the heatsink? The longer it has been running this way, then the sooner it will start to go pear-shaped. The only way you can fix this is by changing your motherboard but as the pc is in todays' terms, an 'antique' you would no doubt be better of saving your pennies/pounds for a later model. You could shop around, there are plenty of good used PC's out there.

  DieSse 13:40 13 Apr 2008

If this is a relatively small heatsink, one method is to superglue it to the processor.

If it's fairly heavy, however, it could pull the processor out of it's socket in a tower case, and lying it on it's side may restrict airflow and make the CD drives unusable.

However this would be entirely at your own risk.

Another thing you could try is to "bodge" a mounting for a fan to sit very close to the processor, blowing onto it. You could supplement that with a very small heatsink superglued on, without it's normal fan. Make sure the bodge is a secure fixing.

Or you could just hope for the best - it can't be too long before you need a new one anyway.

  DieSse 13:43 13 Apr 2008

BTW - if you tried the superglue route - do use ONLY superglue (cyanoacrylate) as it needs only the very thinnest of films, which won't impede heat transfer excessively.

  DieSse 13:45 13 Apr 2008

BTW2 - a lot of heatsink compound is worse than none - if too thick it prevents heat transfer. It's only designed to fill in the minute imperfections in the two surfaces - it's not supposed to be a "layer".

  Strawballs 14:26 13 Apr 2008

I am with Gongoozler on this one, it is proberbly still stuck on with the cooling compond because if it had not been there the CPU would cook itself in less than 5 minutes.

  Gongoozler 17:25 14 Apr 2008

While I agree that heatsink compound is not an adhesive, having removed several heatsinks that have been in place for a few years, I know from experience that it can set fairly hard!
My thinking is that if the heatsink has been in place for 8/9 years with part of the latch missing, then it's unlikely to move in the next few years. If Tricky Vicky isn't experienced with working inside computers, then I feel that the risk in leaving things as they are is less than trying to remove compound that has set to a hard cheese-like consistency.

  rabadubdub 17:46 14 Apr 2008

Can you just do the 'fixing-arm' with superglue?

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