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Remove a processor and heat sink

This task has instructions for removing an assembled processor and heat sink, known as a processor-heat-sink module (PHM). This task requires a Torx T30 screwdriver. This procedure must be executed by a trained technician.

About this task

disconnect all power
The power-control button on the device and the power switch on the power supply do not turn off the electrical current supplied to the device. The device also might have more than one power cord. To remove all electrical current from the device, ensure that all power cords are disconnected from the power source.
  • Read Installation Guidelines and Safety inspection checklist to ensure that you work safely.

  • To transfer Intel® On Demand Suite from the defective processor to the new processor, read the PPIN of the defective processor before powering off the system. For more information, see Enable Intel® On Demand.

  • Power off the server and peripheral devices and disconnect the power cords and all external cables. See Power off the server.

  • Prevent exposure to static electricity, which might lead to system halt and loss of data, by keeping static-sensitive components in their static-protective packages until installation, and handling these devices with an electrostatic-discharge wrist strap or other grounding systems.

  • If the server is installed in a rack, slide the server out on its rack slide rails to gain access to the top cover, or remove the server from the rack. See Remove the server from the rack.

  • Each processor socket must always contain a cover or a PHM. When removing or installing a PHM, protect empty processor sockets with a cover.

  • Do not touch the processor socket or processor contacts. Processor-socket contacts are very fragile and easily damaged. Contaminants on the processor contacts, such as oil from your skin, can cause connection failures.

  • Do not allow the thermal grease on the processor or heat sink to come in contact with anything. Contact with any surface can compromise the thermal grease, rendering it ineffective. Thermal grease can damage components, such as the electrical connectors in the processor socket.

  • Remove and install only one PHM at a time. If the processor board supports multiple processors, install the PHMs starting with the first processor socket.

The heat sink, processor, and processor carrier for your system might be different from those shown in the illustrations.
The following illustration shows the components of the PHM.
Figure 1. PHM components
PHM components

1 Heat sink9 Clips to secure processor in carrier
2 Heat sink triangular mark10 Carrier triangular mark
3 Processor identification label11 Processor ejector handle
4 Nut and wire bail retainer12 Processor heat spreader
5 Torx T30 nut13 Thermal grease
6 Anti-tilt wire bail14 Processor contacts
7 Processor carrier15 Processor triangular mark
8 Clips to secure carrier to heat sink 
Torque screwdriver type listScrew Type
Torx T30 head screwdriverTorx T30 screw


  1. Make preparations for this task.
    1. Remove the top cover. See Remove the top cover.
  2. If the processor comes with a T-shaped heat sink, fully loosen the two heat sink screws as shown.
    Figure 2. Loosening T-shaped heat sink screws
    Loosening T-shaped heat sink screws

  3. Remove the PHM from the processor board.
    Figure 3. Removing a PHM
    Removing a PHM

    1. Fully loosen the Torx T30 nuts on the PHM in the removal sequence shown on the heat-sink label.
    2. Rotate the anti-tilt wire bails inward.
    3. Carefully lift the PHM from the processor socket. If the PHM cannot be fully lifted out of the socket, further loosen the Torx T30 nuts and try lifting the PHM again.
      • Do not touch the contacts on the bottom of the processor.

      • Keep the processor socket clean from any object to prevent possible damages.

After you finish

  • Each processor socket must always contain a cover or a PHM. Protect empty processor sockets with a cover or install a new PHM.

  • If you are not going to install a PHM back, cover the processor socket with the socket cover and install a PHM filler.

    • Open the retaining clip on each end of the memory module slots next to the left and right sides of the processor two slot.

    • Align the PHM filler with the slots, and place the filler on the slots with both hands. Firmly press the filler straight down into the slots until the retaining clips snap into the locked position.

  • If you are removing the PHM as part of a processor board replacement, set the PHM aside.

  • If you are reusing the processor or heat sink, separate the processor from its retainer. See Separate the processor from carrier and heat sink.

  • If you are instructed to return the component or optional device, follow all packaging instructions, and use any packaging materials for shipping that are supplied to you.

  • To transfer Intel® On Demand Suite from the defective processor to the new processor, see Enable Intel® On Demand.

Demo video

Watch the procedure on YouTube