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Remove a processor and heat sink

Processors are on the system board and are to be accessed from the top of the server with top cover removed. This task has instructions for removing an assembled processor and heat sink, known as a processor-heat-sink module (PHM), a processor, and a heat sink. All of these tasks require a Torx T30 driver.

  • 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.

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

  • 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 electrical connectors in the processor socket. Do not remove the grease cover from a heat sink until you are instructed to do so.

  • Thermal grease can stay functional on the heat sink for two years. When installing a new heat sink, make sure to check the manufacturing date to ensure the thermal grease is still functioning. If the date is over two years ago, replace the thermal grease to avoid seating issues.
Before you remove a PHM:
The heat sink, processor, and processor retainer for your system might be different than those shown in the illustrations.
  1. Read the safety information and installation guidelines (see Safety and Installation Guidelines).

  2. Turn off the server and peripheral devices and disconnect the power cords and all external cables (see Power off the server).

  3. Remove the top cover (see Remove the top cover).

  4. Remove the processor and memory expansion tray and the expansion tray air baffle (see Remove the processor and memory expansion tray).

Figure 1. Processor locations

Table 1. Processor locations
1 Processor 32 Processor 4
3 Processor 14 Processor 2

Complete the following steps to remove a PHM.

Remove the PHM from the system board.
Figure 2. Removing a PHM
PHM removal
To prevent damage to components, make sure that you follow the indicated loosening sequence.
  1. Fully loosen the Torx T30 captive fasteners on the processor-heat-sink module in the removal sequence shown on the heat-sink label.
  2. Lift the processor-heat-sink module from the processor socket.

After you remove a PHM:

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

  • If you are replacing the processor or heat sink, separate the processor and its retainer from the heat sink.

    Figure 3. Separating a heat sink from a processor
    Remove processor from heat sink
    1. Press the retaining clip at the corner of the processor retainer closest to the pry point; then, gently pry this corner of the retainer away from the heat sink with a flat-bladed screwdriver, using a twisting motion to break the processor-to-heat-sink seal.

    2. Release the remaining retaining clips and lift the processor and retainer from the heat sink.

    3. After separating the processor and retainer from the heat sink, hold the processor and retainer with the thermal-grease side down and the processor-contact side up to prevent the processor from falling out of the retainer.

      The processor retainer will be removed and discarded in a later step and replaced with a new one.
  • If you are replacing the processor, you will be reusing the heat sink. Wipe the thermal grease from the bottom of the heat sink using an alcohol cleaning pad.

  • If you are replacing the heat sink, you will be reusing the processor. Wipe the thermal grease from the top of the processor using an alcohol cleaning pad.

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