Home > Computer-related, How to... > How to: Fix a heat sink anchor clip on the motherboard

How to: Fix a heat sink anchor clip on the motherboard

December 30th, 2010

While resurrecting a slew of over-the-hill computers from my computer graveyard, I came across an interesting challenge that’s inspired me to catalog the repair. The heat sink to the North Bridge chip popped off because an anchor holding down the spring dislodged itself from the motherboard. I looked online for ways to replace the anchor with the least amount of effort, but couldn’t find anything that didn’t involve soldering. As much as I enjoy removing the entire motherboard from the chassis and soldering electronic components onto a board coated with anti-flux, I opted for an easier, albeit less scientific approach. I hope this post will be helpful to anyone who comes across a similar challenge.

I can say with a fair degree of certainty that the repair method depicted will not be sanctioned by anyone who’ve had the slightest training in basic electronics and logic design, and much less the manufacturers of the motherboard. I’ve tested the hardware after the repair and everything appears to be in working order (hardware and software). Personally, this ghetto repair method was justified for a computer ten-years past its prime.
Note the location of the missing clip and its non-missing twin on the upper-right-hand corner.Heat sink. Spring harness. One dislodged anchor.Visualization exercise.Gently coaxing the anchor back into its seat.Run a small bead of Super Glue between the plastic washer and the motherboard surface. I squeezed two drops and let the capillary action absorbed the glue into the seam.Post-glue observation.Slather on thermal grease between the chip and the heat sink.Take a moment to ponder why they charge so much for grease.Smack on the heat sink and lock it down to the anchors.

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