By Alaina Yee
Q: What’s the proper way to remove a cooler from a CPU? I don’t want to accidentally rip the CPU out of the socket and bend the pins.
Usually warming up the thermal paste before unmounting a CPU cooler does the trick—cold thermal paste is more likely to keep the heat sink and processor welded together. Just run your system for about 10 to15 minutes, then go about your normal process for removal. (Powering down, unplugging from the wall, etc.) The thermal paste should have become gooey and pliable, allowing you to detach the cooler with ease.
When you do remove the cooler, use a very gentle back-and-forth twisting motion. Start very small first, moving slowly in a direction until you meet a bit of resistance, then going back in the opposite direction. With warm thermal paste, you shouldn’t have too much trouble freeing the cooler and then pulling it up and away.