John Bokma MexIT
freelance Perl programmer

Comments: Fixing a heatsink problem in a Compaq Presario


At the end of the day I had decided to fix the heatsink issue in my Compaq Presario myself. Around 4 o'clock, when Esme went out to do some shopping I asked her to buy thermal grease at the Steren shop, and a small bottle of isopropyl alcohol to remove the old thermal grease.

Read the rest of Fixing a heatsink problem in a Compaq Presario.


Great tutorial of the right way to do it! Not wanting to push my skill level (and admittedly doing it half-baked), I simply fashioned a spring out of heavy wire and bent it in a way to push the heatsink up against the North Bridge by hooking the ends of the wire under the case flanges.

I padded the portion of the wire where it rests on the heatsink. I held the ends of the wire in place by - what else - bits of duct tape! I have photos of this (actually pretty neat), but don't know how to upload them here.

We'll see if it works, or just sets the whole thing on fire (or shorts it all out when it slips down - but it's in there pretty tight.)

Posted by Peter at 02:34 GMT on 25 April 2008

Thanks Peter.

I used tie wraps at first to keep the heat sink in place so I could contact HP via their online support. After I had been told that it's not their problem I decided to use a more secure method of keeping the heat sink in place, although I wonder if it's really needed when one doesn't use the on board graphics (like me).

I have no idea how long the heat sink has been hanging on one clip before I discovered it was not in place.

By the way, is it the same motherboard?

I'll email you about the photos, I like to host them.

Posted by John Bokma at 21:21 GMT on 1 May 2008

hey thanx for the info :D really helped though i dont trust my sodering skills for this and will take in in but i know what the problem is thaks so much

Posted by Monkey King at 21:40 GMT on 21 June 2008

I had the exact same thing happen to my Asus K8S-LA motherboard, although it may have been clip 1. Anyway the whole thing overheated and the Northbridge is ruined. I will have to buy a replacement (as it is well out of warranty).

Posted by John Burgess at 23:45 GMT on 21 June 2008

My friend had the EXACT same problem. The heatsink was dangling for an unknown time and the little Clip2 was missing (actually, i was able to retrieve it at the bottom of the case) so ..this article was helpful repairing my friend's HP media center m1160, but in the end ....he just bought another brand new pc (his Hp was kinda outdatted)

anyway, thanks for the help on that specific problem


Posted by TigaBaka at 20:17 GMT on 25 June 2008

Mainboard was a K8S-LA (Salmon) In a Compaq SR1428OM Desktop PC

I used mineral spirits on a cue tip to remove old heatsink compound. Melted it away super fast without rubbing. Be careful not to use so much that it runs off the chip onto the mainboard. It might eat off the protective varnish. Followed up with isopropyl alcohol just to remove the spirits residue so it could not react with the new heatsink compound.

I then used a 1.25 inch paper clip. The inside arch was perfect. The diameter was perfect. Was a snug fit in the holes, but I got it to pass through with slight pressure and wiggle. Cut to fit on back and bent over in same direction. Was plenty strong so I did not need to solder. (And I was afraid of lifting a run with excess heat from my soldering iron.)

Man... you got better pictures than I did.

All is well.

Posted by BirdBrain at 00:56 GMT on 18 July 2008

Great explanation and photo's of the same problem I am having with my Asus K8S-LA from a Compaq SR1320NX I also don't trust my soldering skills and was glad to see from one of the posts that a bent paper clip might solve the problem of replacing clip 2.

Posted by Al at 18:51 GMT on 24 August 2008

My daughters HP desktop computer with the same K8S-LA motherboard had the exact same problem with a failed clip #2 (sounds like a manufacturing flaw--should have been a recall). She reattached the heat sink with heat sink compound in the center and JB weld compound on the corners. It did not fix the problem--computer starts to load Windows XP and then the screen goes blank--integtrated chip must have been fried with the heat sink dangling and useless for who knows how long. I took an old 16MB? AGP video card from a working computer and installed it in the broken computer and it worked just fine. Now I'm looking for another AGP card for a permanent solution--$50-70 for 32 to 512 MB on the card.

Posted by Bruce Lloyd at 16:05 GMT on 23 December 2008

Fixing a heatsink problem in a Compaq Presario What's with these people and this mother board? I opened the case on my unit and discovered the same thing! The unit was already a year old. If I had seen this at first I would have sent it back!

I took it to a "repair shop" and they refused to try to repair this.

Posted by Corky at 15:28 GMT on 26 December 2008

Many thanks for details here. Flipped my Presario sr1320nx (with K8S-LA mb) on its side to put in GB NIC & found heatsink sitting on top edge of sound card. Fortunately was able to find clip2 & resolder it to mb successfully.

Posted by dianedebuda at 16:21 GMT on 18 January 2009

Same problem with Compaq Presario (with K8S-LA mb) Clip#2. Unfortunately i can't find clip in case so I will try the paper clip method. I just wish there was a website or store that sold these clips. I can't find them anywhere.

Posted by CajunWarrior at 20:34 GMT on 30 July 2009

Same problem with a clients PC. I ended up using picture hanging wire to create a heat sink post. The wire has 8 strands and was too big as one. I cut a 2 inch length, separated the strands so I had only 3, fed then up through the mobo and then down again. tightened until the loop above the board was about the same as the existing post, twisted the loose end strands together on the underside of the board, cut off the excess extra, and now the system is up and running. As for cleaning the old thermal paste. I used the dull side of a nail file from a Swiss army knife, and then some 70% rubbing alcohol soaked tissue for a final cleaning. A little smear of new Arctic thermal paste and its up and running. Will let it run all night for a test. Hopefully this will be the solution.

Posted by kman at 05:04 GMT on 6 June 2011

Those heatsinks where made by:

I heard they made a modification to the later run and also offered a fix for earlier models.

Posted by tayteck at 05:49 GMT on 4 July 2011

thank you. your directions were perfect

Posted by chris at 22:46 GMT on 23 August 2011

You did a great job with a lot of detail and helpful information. This is the first time I bother adding my comment to a Post but since you took the time to make such a helpful one, I felt compelled to give you my feedback. I've been working with computers for many years and came across one Pavilion with same missing clip. I hope I can push the "new" clip wire through the MB or else, I suspect the solder alone will not be enough to keep the heatsink in place. The heatsink is missing so I will try to follow the site posted in previous review and see if I can get one. I know the PC is old but it's still worth it.

Posted by crome911 at 19:46 GMT on 23 February 2012

Thanks for the post! Great photos and descriptive process. I found a paper clip (using the medium bend) to be a perfect fit and something most people have on their desk. I also recommend the use of Arctic Clean 1 and 2, for heat sink compound removal and surface prep. I would recommend also to very closely match the height of the remaining clip and lean towards a little longer versus shorter. You don't want to put more strain on the existing clip and have it pull out in the future. As long as you have thermal compound on the surface, the heat sink should perform adequately if a little loose IMO.

Posted by Brad at 20:25 GMT on 5 March 2012

Thanks, and good to read that people are still fixing their computers based on what I wrote several years back. The computer mentioned in the blog post is still up and running, although I don't use it very often.

Posted by John Bokma at 18:42 GMT on 16 March 2012

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