Pointers on removing Socket 478 CPU HSF.

By Rage_3K_Moiz
Mar 21, 2007
  1. Hey everyone. I needed some pointers on how to remove the HSF of a Socket 478 CPU. It's my dad's PC and the CPU HSF is clogged with dust. I've managed to remove the whole assembly from the mobo but I'm not sure how to separate the HSF from the CPU. I've tried twisting it off but it doesn't seem to help and I'm scared of pulling any more since I fear I might damage the CPU and it's very hard to find a Socket 478 CPU out here. Any pointers would be really appreciated and thank you in advance for any help.
    P.S.->It's a Pentium 4 1.7 GHz Williamette core CPU, if that helps in any way.
  2. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9


    That IS pretty old...

    I've encountered this problem over and over again. I personally just yank it out, with the CPU still stuck on the heatsink, and pry the CPU off the heatsink. I've done this multiple times on the same CPU without actually running into any problems. I'm even running that CPU overclocked by 25% right now.

    However, you just gotta be careful about bending the pins. If you end up bending the pins, you'd have some real trouble. Times when you might bend the pins is when pulling the heatsink off with the CPU attached, and when prying the CPU off the heatsink (it comes off and falls on the floor). I usually pry the CPU off the heatsink while sitting on carpet to minimise this damage.

    It still sounds easier than it actually is to do.
  3. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 5,431   +28

    Yeah I know, it's really old. But he just uses it to surf the net and play a few games like Return to Castle Wolfenstein so it's perfect for that. As for the pointers, I've heard that pulling the CPU out with the heatsink is not considered a wise practice. Do you know of any other method that may work?
  4. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    You might be able to take a hair dryer and heat up the heatsink, that might loosen things. But that comes with the risk of static electricity building up.

    Other than that, I don't really know what else you can do to remove the heatsink without affecting the CPU....
  5. Teaser261

    Teaser261 TS Rookie Posts: 121

    Turn the PC on and use it for a little while. The heat that gets generated is usually enough to loosen up the thermal paste.
    this practice sounds like bad news, working on carpet alone is a bad practice. i would only do this if there was no choice and I was wearing an anti-stactic band.
  6. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Yeah, well, its either bent pins or burnt CPU..... :D

    No, I get onto carpet only to pry it off, everything else is done on tiles. Also, I follow some safety guidelines (leave computer plugged in, touch case, etc). Haven't burnt anything from static electricity.... yet.
  7. Rage_3K_Moiz

    Rage_3K_Moiz Sith Lord Topic Starter Posts: 5,431   +28

    Right, thanks for the help Teaser621. Much appreciated. :)
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