Cautionary tale - LGA 775 socket

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Cautionary tale - LGA 775 socket

Post by matt_garman » Sun Jun 08, 2008 10:55 am

Yesterday I was swapping socket 775 processors. Using a paper towel, I went to clean off a bit of excess thermal paste that had leaked onto the CPU retention hardware. I noticed a few fibers of the paper towel snagged on the CPU socket pins. I hastily picked them off with my fingers.

When I inserted the new CPU, the computer wouldn't POST. Thinking the new CPU was bunk, I put the original CPU back in... still no POST. I got worried, thinking maybe I killed both processors or the motherboard with static electricity. Then I remembered snagging the paper towel on the socket pins.

Using a flashlight, I examined the socket---it looked like something was wrong with one of the pins, but it was hard to tell exactly what. At least on this motherboard (Intel D975XBX2KR "Bad Axe 2"), the pins don't just stick straight up (e.g. like the pins on AMD processors). Instead, they come out of the motherboard at a slight angle, almost parallel to the motherboard, then have a bend in them where they narrow and "go vertical". Basically, what this amounts to is an arrangement that's hard to see what's going on, with metal effectively going in several directions.

After studying it long enough, I realized one of the pins was bent, almost touching another pin! I had to take a tiny flathead screwdriver and bend the pin back to where it was supposed to be. It was like delicate surgery! :)

Anyway... just want to warn others not to get sloppy with their CPU installing like I did. Wasn't there a thread not too long ago about bone-headed things you've done when working with PCs? Add this one to the list.

Fortunately, I was able to fix it and everything is now working fine.

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Post by Riffer » Mon Jun 09, 2008 12:12 pm


I did the same thing. Some kleenex fluff fell into the socket and I brushed it out. I don't have the best eyesite and hadn't realized that the pins weren't straight up and down. I bent four or five.

Fortunately, I have some pretty good tools and magnifying glasses for fine work, so I managed to fix the pins.

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Post by Das_Saunamies » Mon Jun 09, 2008 11:54 pm

Bending the ever delicate pins was my main concern when I was installing my current rig - my first contact with Intel since the 90s. I was sweating bullets when I saw how fragile the contraption was, and how it was supposed to go down in the socket...

They should really make it less susceptible to damage if they can. Says on the manual the socket can take just 20 CPU swaps! :o
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Post by somename » Tue Jun 10, 2008 9:45 am

Best tool I've found for unbending those pins was a mechanical pencil. The holes for the pencil lead is about the perfect size for the pins. Thank and headband magnifiers.

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Post by Sizzle » Tue Jun 10, 2008 11:51 am

That is why I clean all of the thermal paste up before removing the cpu from the socket.
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Post by smilingcrow » Fri Jun 13, 2008 3:52 pm

Sizzle wrote:That is why I clean all of the thermal paste up before removing the cpu from the socket.

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Post by yamawho » Fri Jun 13, 2008 5:06 pm

somename wrote:Best tool I've found for unbending those pins was a mechanical pencil. The holes for the pencil lead is about the perfect size for the pins. Thank and headband magnifiers.
Used this tool often with socket 478 cpus ...
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Post by ppl4golf » Sat Jun 14, 2008 6:52 am

I had a bad bone-headed incidence with a 478 CPUs.

Firstly, I ripped the heatsink out along with the CPU stucked, then I tried to rip the CPU off the heatsink and the CPU came flying and hit the Northbridge heatsink and bent a few pins.

It was a miracle everything still worked but it was pretty hard when I was fixing those delicate pins when tears were trying to come out of my eyes :D

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