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thermal glue dissolver?


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#1
gerryf

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Hmmph,

Well, this is a fine pickle.I have an old ATI all in wonder 8500 videocard whose gpu cooling fan has recently rolled over and died, so I thought I'll just replace the fan and be off in happy land. Unlike modern cards, this card has a heatsink and fan glued onto the gpu.

So, as I've done in the past, I wrapped the whole card in an antistatic bag, then put it in a freezer bag, and placed it in the freezer for an hour. This is to make the gleu brittle. Then, I put a credit card down on the pcb board to protect it, took a screwdriver and placed it beneath the fan and gave it a little twist....pop, off it comes, just like it always had when I've done this before.

OK, before I put the new fan on, I need to clean the old glue to from the GPU.

Don't want to risk anything with the GPU, so I am experiementing with the heatsink and the thermal glue that remains there

Tried heating it up with a blowdryer and scraping it off. Nothing
Took a little Dad's Drip Strip, which is similar to Goof off, which takes just about anything off and has worked on other cards I have done this with. Hmmm, nothing..
Tried acetone. Nothing
Tried paint thinner. Nothing
Tried lacquer thinner. Nothing
Tried lighter fluid. Nothing
Tried a citric cleaner (this is normally a no-no, since it leaves oil behind, which will decrease the heat transfer later but I was getting desperate). Nothing

What the heck is this crap? Anyone ever had to remove this stuff from an ati card from around 2002? What did you succeed with
:tazz:
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#2
warriorscot

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What kind of paste is is, ceramique, epoxy?
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#3
gerryf

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it is not thermal paste, it is thermal glue--and since I did not apply it I can not swear as to its type, but based on prior experience, it looks like a thermal epoxy.

But, whenever I have tried to remove similar gunk before I have had success. It is almost like they used something different for this card, realized that it was not easily removed, and switched, because I've never encountered this trouble with the other cards I have switched cooling solutions on.

Of all of the above, it appears that the acetone is working the best...it actually seems to be dissolving microscopic thin layers, at least if the residue on the cotton swab is any indicator.

Whatever it is, it is absolutely impervious to everything else. I even took the heatsink to the hardware store and me and one of the employees spent an hour trying everything they had that they could open with no luck,

Tough gunk...I imagine this is why today's cards have thermal paste and detachable fans/heatsinks. Remember, this is anolder videocard--ati 8500 all in wonder.

It is wasn't an all-in-wonder, I'd junk it all ready, but I like the tv and a/v in/out capabilities
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#4
mcpscomp

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If it is that hard to disolve and sound like epoxy it should powdered off or chunked off if you scrape it with let say ultility nife blade?
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#5
comanighttrain

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Ahhh....use tinfoil, thatll sort it
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#6
dsenette

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so far everything i'm seeing about thermal epoxy...is that it's impossible hahah...everyone's saying either scrape it off or sand it off.....i would imagine that any other thermal adhesive would be MUCH less aggressive than an epoxy based adhesive ( i love glue)....that said...THE best epoxy remover i have ever had to use for anything (never for computer stuff) i s nail pollish remover...none of that sissy non cancerous fruity scented stuff...the hard core stuff you get at the ghetto nail shop from bunifa...i once epoxied my fingers together...(more than two..less than five of them)...i had to soak my hand in a jar of the stuff for about an hour before i could pull my fingers apart...but from there it went alot better
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#7
comanighttrain

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hahahahahahahahahaha, howd u manage to epoxy your hand?
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#8
dsenette

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when one is trying to epoxy something in a very awkward place...above one's head..inside of a box...one handed...on a ladder that is at least 2 rungs too short...strange things can and will happen
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#9
warriorscot

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Probably in similar fashion to the way ive super glued it and ive done it with modelling epoxy while helping cadets out. Mind you i got my finggers apart the old fashioned way, pulling and painkillers after.
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#10
comanighttrain

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arrrrr....computing is a mans activity......no geeky namby pamby here
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#11
Rockster2U

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no geeky namby pamby here

Hehehe ...........
Patience - the best catalyst (pun intended) for that ATI card.

Since epoxy breaks down in heat, this would be your best course if you could figure out a way to apply it without damaging the PCB, soldered components or traces. Might want to see if you could mak a template cutout and then use a heatgun very carefully on the exposed chip. Acetone is probably your next best bet and I think thats what most nail polish removers contain. (never polished mine so no hands on experience). A flat blade (paddle blade) x-acto knife will also do wonders in the right hands.

Quick sidebar - If you are familiar with the I-Openers from Netpliance a few years back - this was a crippled computer with a full OS loaded on a 16MB sansdisk coupled with a small socket 7 CPU - winchip etc. A guy from Las Vegas, Linux Hacker, figured out a hack to convert it to a full blown computer running virtually any OS with an internal laptop drive. Nice piece of equipment (flat screen and all) for $99 (way below actual production cost). This little quasi-computer became quite the underground rage. Then Netpliance tried to foil the hack using various techniques - one of which was to epoxy the BIOS chip into its surface mount. No 5 minute epoxy - this was the real industrial grey stuff. Voice of experience here - took hours to get it off using a combination of techniques but an x-acto knife was mandatory. Did four of these conversions for friends and kept one for myself - still have it running Win98 an a 6 Gig HD, 128MB memory, wireless mouse and keyboard and fully networked. (also taught me how to solder a surface mount socket - yup, I hosed one) Definately a man's sport - no mamby pamby.

Good Luck
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#12
gerryf

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forgot abou this: update

eventually it took me about 5 hours and some industrial grade acetone from the hardware store and an entire box of q-tips to take it off one freaking layer of molecules at a time

I did try the heat idea, but I couldn't get it hot enough without getting nervous
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