Skip to main content

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 driver. 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.
  • 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 system.
  • 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 system 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 Processor ejector handle
3 Processor identification label11 Carrier triangular mark
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 


  1. Make preparation for this task.
    1. To replace a front PHM (processor 3 or processor 4), remove the following:
      1. Remove the front top cover. See Remove the front top cover.
      2. Remove the front air baffle. See Remove the front air baffle.
    2. To replace a rear PHM (processor 1 or processor 2), remove the following:
      1. Remove the front top cover. See Remove the front top cover.
      2. Remove the FHFL risers if necessary. See Remove a PCIe riser.
      3. Remove the rear air baffle. See Remove the rear air baffle.
  2. Remove the PHM from the system board assembly.
    • Do not touch the contacts on the bottom of the processor.
    • Keep the processor socket clean from any object to prevent possible damages.
    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.
      Figure 2. 2U Standard PHM removal
      2U Standard PHM removal
      Figure 3. 2U performance PHM removal
      2U performance PHM removal

After you finish

  1. Each processor socket must always contain a cover or a PHM. Protect empty processor sockets with a cover or install a new PHM.
  2. If you are removing the PHM as part of a system board assembly replacement, set the PHM aside.
  3. If you are reusing the processor or heat sink, separate the processor from its retainer. See Separate the processor from carrier and heat sink.
  4. 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.

Demo video

Watch the procedure on YouTube