Thursday, August 4, 2011

Broken CPU Pin? I FIXED IT.

So I ordered new RAM for my desktop. To install it, I had to remove my huge CPU heatsink. I own a Zalman CNPS10X 120mm, which, for any PC building enthusiasts out there, is a moderately sized heatsink. For laymen, it’s huge. It looks like a metal brick in the corner of my PC box. It’s a bit of a chore to take it out, but an upgrade is an upgrade, and it had to be done.

For an AMD CPU mount, specifically an AM3 socket, there’s a black frame around the socket itself on the motherboard. The bracket that attaches the heatsink to the motherboard is just a band of steel that uses resistance to stay on, with two loops at either end of the black frame as hooks. I popped this off and pulled the heatsink off, and the CPU chip came with it. Oh snap, not good.

The thermal paste was so stuck on that it had yanked the chip from the socket. I panicked a bit, and carefully pried the CPU from the heatsink, gray glue all over my fingers. I took a look at the CPU and it seemed fine, so I put my new RAM in, replaced the CPU, heatsink, wires, and turned it on.

Didn’t post. My heart started to race.

I unplugged everything, took off the heatsink, took out the RAM, and examined all the hardware. Everything seemed fine, and I started to do RAM musical chairs to see if I had gotten some bad sticks. It didn’t seem to be that, and then my heart sank at the notion that meandered across my mind. The CPU.

I have an AM3 Phenom II 965 Quad-core processor; at the time that I bought it, it was over $200. It’s honestly a really good processor and has never given me any trouble, but right there and then, I pretty much just gut-punched it by accident.

I took off the heatsink and looked at the processor. There was a bent pin. NOOOOOOOO.

I tell myself, “I can fix it, just a bent pin. No biggie.”

I took some eyeglass screwdrivers and started fiddling with it, pushing it carefully here and there, and then my hand slipped and the pin snapped.

I broke the most miniscule little bit of metal off the most important piece of hardware in a computer. I died.

I stared at the CPU, my hands against the sides of my head. It took my five minutes to muster up the mental faculties to even think.

I suddenly had a stroke of inspiration. I went to a closet in my house and found an old VGA cable. I yanked out a pin from it with some needle-nose pliers. I counted the pins on the CPU chip to the vacant spot where the pin was. Then I counted the pinholes in the motherboard to the exact location of the essential pin. I shoved the VGA pin into that pinhole, carefully replaced the CPU, heatsink, wires, and turned it on.


I am PRO. :D

I honestly can say I didn’t think it’d work.


I JUST found this. Apparently, Linus had the same EXACT thing happen and he made a video of it. Pretend he's a blood elf and you've basically got my situation. :P