Thursday, March 20, 2008

(Long)Short Note: Late Night PC Repair.

This is actually a longer Short Note, and it has to do with PC hardware. Reader beware.

Note to self, don't start motherboard swaps after midnight.

I got to swapping all my shit to the new mobo, and all was going smoothly until I tried pulling off the CPU heatsink. The damn thing wouldnt come off as easily as expected. A gentle tug still did the trick, but when I looked down into the socket, I had a slight 'OMG' moment. The CPU came attached to the heatsink when I yanked it off! (It's what I get for using the pre-stuck thermal paste that came with the retail box I suppose.) The chip seemed like it was cemented onto the sink, so I figured, "Well, dont wanna deal with having to clean off cemented thermal paste, if the chip came off without having to lift the little socket latch, mebbe it'll go in the same." I went forward, installing the 8800, my two gigs of ram, and left it at that to see if I could just get a post. No dice. So, I took my pocket knife and started cutting at the cement, which turned out to not be as cemented as I thought. The chip popped off with some work, and it was a sticky mess. Luckily, it wiped off easy enough, with some scrubbing with a box of cleanex that I had nearby. After wiping it all off, getting it all over my fingers and on some of the CPU pins and subsequently wiping those off as well, I finally had a decent looking heatsink and CPU that I could reapply a new thermal compound to and mount.
At this point I get to the moral of the story. I've always been one to wipe down the CPU die and contact area on the heatsink with some Isopropyl (sp?) alchohol or nail polish remover, to be sure that the old compound isn't in the little pockets in the metal that are too small for the eye to see. So, where do I get said cleaning liquids? Alchohol? Parent's bathroom, which I would probably awaken if I went looking around for it. Nail polish remover? Same place, as well as my sisters bedroom, who I certainly do not want to wake in the wee hours of the morning. So now I'm stuck. I had to clean up a bit to type this stuff up and put the project on hold. I really dislike leaving my box unfinished like that, but I see no way around it. Worse still, I have plans pretty much for the rest of the week. Maybe on Sunday, I'll be back for another post about how I finally got my box working. It'll be a good day.

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