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Thermal paste got into PCIE slot, do i bother using it now?

By Vegs
Feb 26, 2008
  1. Hello all

    i was just about finished my first build but noticed that there was a small slither of thermal paste that some how got into the primary PCIE 16x slot. Must've gotten got on when i pulled the thermal paste away from the CPU heat-spreader.

    Anyway, only one single pin inside the slot got touched with a minute amount and the rest went around the slot housing itself, so no biggie there. The small amount was high enough on the pin for me to somewhat "lift" most of it off but there is a barely noticeable discoloration on it now.

    If it makes a difference, it is a XFX 680i LT SLI mobo. Now my question is, is this MOBO good for scrap now? I haven't dared install my video cards yet in fear that I might fry something.
     
  2. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    Try to clean it out the very best that you can with Isopropyl Alcohol that has a high purity percentage before letting electricity flow through your machine. Hope for the best.
     
  3. Vegs

    Vegs TS Rookie Topic Starter

    kk, ty for the reply.....would 70% purity be enough for that?...
     
  4. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    Should be fine, just make sure the socket is dry before you turn the machine on.
     
  5. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,703   +1,887

    You might try......

    A small amount of spray-can electrical contact cleaner. Personally, I would hold the board upside down, (PCI socket pointing toward the floor), so that any of the fluid (and paste) would run away from the circuit board.

    There's probably no actual danger to the electrical contacts from the paste itself, BUT, there is a danger if the paste manages to BRIDGE two or more contacts since it's electrically conductive and could cause a short circuit.

    Contact cleaner would likely be better than alcohol since it contains no water and evaporates much faster. (The other 30% of the alcohol is water).
     
  6. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Good post captaincranky,
    The thermal paste should be cleaned out with alcohol too
     
  7. Whiffen

    Whiffen TS Rookie Posts: 235

    I suppose I should do this with my processor as well. While trying to take off my heatsink it took the processor with it so I warmed it up and got the processor off but some thermal paste got on me when trying to separate them and a tiny amount got onto 1 or 2 of the prongs. I did get most off but I did see a really small amount that I couldn't get. It seems to be working fine, it has for a month now but I would still like to clean up whats there. Although I'm sure with all the heat some of that paste is in the AM2 socket. How would you go about cleaning that xD?
     

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  8. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Don't worry about it, let it be since everything is working
     
  9. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    get a can of electronics degreaser/cleaner. It is available at electronics stores and spray it out. Of course you will have to disconnect everything.
     
  10. Vegs

    Vegs TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thank you all for your replies. Found myself some 99% isopropyl, clean as a whistle and no sparks on first power up :D
     
  11. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,703   +1,887

    Winds of the Old Days.........

    Sometimes I get misty when I think about the glory days of Carbon Tet...!
    Grease cutter AND fire suppressant par excellence.
    Though I take it you're on board with the Chloro-Flourinated Hydrocarbons, as am I. LOL :grinthumb
     
  12. Matthew

    Matthew TechSpot Staff Posts: 5,268   +92

    :) Nice. Good job, be more careful in the future :D.
     
  13. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    Me too captaincranky,
    I really miss the stuff. Boy, did it ever do a great cleaning job! :approve:
     
  14. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,000   +15

    alcohol is not a thorough degreaser. The only way to be sure is to use a solvent like electronics degreaser. Hopefully no silver particles are still on your mobo, these can create micro-currents.
     
  15. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 17,244   +234

    I have a few motherboards here that have had severe "silver" contamination around the CPU sockets. If we could still use Carbon Tet or MEK life could be easier. Denatured Alcohol and a toothbrush works in a pinch
     
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