Instructions on how to uninstall & install an AMD processor and a heatsink / fan unit in a PC system

Article Number: CPU-17


This article provides step-by-step instructions on the best method to uninstall and install an AMD processor and heatsink / fan (HSF) to ensure proper function and prevent subsequent damage to the processor and HSF.

The article consists of the following sections:


What to consider before performing any work in the system
To prevent damage to the system when uninstalling or installing the processor / HSF, the following preparations need to be considered before any work is performed to the system:

  1. Ensure that the place of work provides a stable surface to allow good access to the internal components of the system
    1. Avoid working on a carpeted area, especially in cool, dry environments
  2. Ensure that the system is completely turned off and unplugged from the wall outlet
  3. Properly ground yourself to the case to protect against Electro Static Discharge (ESD), which can cause damage to the processor and other sensitive system components
    1. Ideally, ground yourself by using an anti-static wrist strap
      1. An anti-static wrist strap or inexpensive temporary paper-type static wrist strap can be purchased from a PC component reseller;
      2. BELKIN F8E093 Anti-Static Wrist Strap sold by
      3. Ultra Antistatic Wrist Strap sold by
  4. Follow the instructions included with the anti-static wrist strap to ensure proper grounding


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How to remove / uninstall an AMD processor and HSF unit:
To remove a preinstalled AMD processor and a HSF, refer to the following instructions:


  • These instructions are only applicable for systems with a pre-installed AMD processor and HSF.
  • If you do not feel comfortable with performing any of the instructions on your own, consult with an expert.


  1. Remove the side panel or lid of the system’s case
  2. Remove the HSF
    1. Disconnect the (Molex) power cable of the HSF from the power (connector or header) connection on the motherboard
    2. Turn the cam lever of the HSF to release and relieve force on the clips of the HSF and motherboard HSF bracket
      1. Ensure that the HSF clips are unhooked and clear from the HSF retention frame anchors of the motherboard
    3. Gently hold and twist the HSF to break the adhesion seal caused by the thermal interface material (TIM) between the processor and HSF base
      1. Note! Twist in a clock and anti-clockwise rotational direction, which creates a shear force in the thermal interface. Failure to break the adhesion seal between the HSF and the processor may result in pulling the processor out of the socket, possibly resulting in processor and / or socket damage.
    4. Gently lift the HSF up vertically away from the processor
  3. Remove any thermal interface left on top of the processor
    1. Leave the processor in the motherboard socket during cleaning to prevent damage to the pins of the processor
      1. Clean off the thermal interface material with a dry paper towel or tissue
      2. Mop or dab when cleaning off thermal material from the processor
      3. While cleaning the processor, ensure that no dried thermal material or other debris falls onto the motherboard or around the motherboard socket. If so, wipe or brush it off as best possible
      4. Avoid using wet organic solvents or chemicals such as acetone or alcohol as these chemicals can cause contaminants to flow into the socket. Look for any remaining thermal interface material on the processor edge and remove the material with a cotton bud or the folded edge of a cleaning wipe, paper towel or tissue
  4. Remove the processor
    1. Unlatch and lift up the securing arm on the side of the processor socket on the motherboard to release the processor
      1. Ensure that the socket retention lever is fully vertical, which allows the processor to be fully released
    2. Lift the processor up vertically by the edges
      1. No force is required to lift the processor from the zero insertion force (ZIF) socket. If unable to easily remove the processor, ensure that the socket retention lever is fully vertical (and positioned 90 ° or perpendicular to the surface of the motherboard) which allows the processor to be fully released
      2. Avoid contact with any of the pins on the bottom of the processor
  5. Carefully place the processor into the plastic clam shell case that is provided with the new processor or originally included with the old processor