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Thermal paste in the processor socket, a user asks for help on Reddit

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If the cooling paste is not stuck on top of the CPU, but underneath between the pins of the socket, fear quickly sets in. But Reddit has reassuring answers ready to help you stay calm in the future – and clean properly.

How can cooling paste get into the CPU socket? When assembling a PC, inserting the CPU into the socket, followed by attaching the heatsink, is probably one of the steps that people fear most. This is probably the case for the user who is asking for help on Reddit because he has dirty his CPU socket.

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There literally needs to be a thermally conductive paste between the cooler and the CPU. However, this can overflow and, when trying to fix the problem, get onto the CPU pins or into the socket.

We’ll show you what to do in such a case. To do this, we’ll use the helpful answers on Reddit and a video from tech YouTube expert JayzTwoCents.

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Handling thermal paste on a CPU socket

Is cooling paste in the CPU socket or on the processor pins bad? No, first of all, keep calm. Because if you haven’t used liquid metal – which should rarely be the case – cooling paste on the pins is nothing dramatic. Because it doesn’t damage any components and it doesn’t conduct electricity.

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So you can simply insert the CPU despite dirty pins as soon as the paste has dried. The only condition is that there is so little paste that contact is not prevented. This is also pointed out in the top comment (more than 5000 upvotes) written by Reddit user Positive-Olive3530.

How do I clean the CPU socket or the CPU pins? First of all: turn off the power as soon as you start working on the motherboard. The easiest way to clean it is to moisten a soft toothbrush with isopropanol alcohol and gently rub it over the pins in the socket or on the CPU. The alcohol breaks down the cooling paste and the bristles strip it off.

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Once all visible paste has been removed, gently dry the pins with a cloth and/or simply wait a while until this happens on its own.

But how do I get the paste off the socket and the motherboard? You blow it away, no joke: Spray the pre-cleaned socket with a large amount of isopropanol alcohol. Then take a can of compressed air (or something similar) to blow out the liquid with the liquefied paste dissolved in it. The mainboard should be removed for this.

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If you want to see the steps described demonstrated by a PC hardware expert, you can watch this YouTube video by JayzTwoCents. He takes on a much worse thermal paste mess than the one that happened to the Reddit user above.

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At this point you will find an external content from YouTube that supplements the article.

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If you are interested in cell phones beyond the hardware and the pitfalls of assembling them into a complete gaming PC, we have something for you on MeinMMO. This is not about getting your hands dirty, but there are still some questionable stories about their use. We have listed six myths about cell phone use that you should definitely stop believing.

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