A customer says his PC wont start.
He reinstalled XP, and then set about cleaning the dust from inside the case.
He says he removed the CPU, and cleaned the heatsink and fan, but when he reinstalled the CPU/heatsink/fan, the PC wouldn’t boot.
Once I get to the PC, I remove the heatsink clips, remove the heatsink/fan, and I see a familiar sight: a pentium 4 cpu stuck to the heatsink (luckily there are no bent CPU pins).
This happens a lot. A large heatsink, a small (and sometimes very hot) cpu, mix in some heat transfer compound, and when the compound dries out, it acts like glue… strong enough to rip the cpu from its ZIF socket when the heatsink is removed.
The customer didn’t realise that the ZIF socket needed to be opened, in order to insert the CPU, and besides, you can’t reattach the heatsink without closing the zif socket first… a slight catch 22, until I remove the CPU from the heatsink (very carefully).
The ZIF socket doesn’t seem to open / close as easily as I would expect, but the CPU does go in.
I apply some heat paste to the CPU, reattach the heatsink/fan, restart the PC, and then:
The fans spin, but there is no beep, and nothing on the screen.
I check for loose wires, but everything looks ok.
I remove and reinstall heatsink, CPU, etc. but no luck.
Looks like the CPU, or the motherboard (or both) are stuffed. Either the ZIF socket got damaged by the force of the CPU pressing down on it, or the CPU got damaged by static or by the pressure of the heatsink.
I tell the customer that his options are:
- a replacement CPU / motherboard (and maybe some new RAM… he was wanting to upgrade from 512Mb to 1024Mb anyway).
- a new box (with some faster components than what he already had)… slightly more expensive, but an easier and more reliable solution.
So I email him some prices… and I see what he decides to do (he might even get a new PC from a shop, but thats OK).