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Separate the processor from carrier and heat sink

This task has instructions for separating a processor and its carrier from an assembled processor and heat sink, known as a processor-heat-sink module (PHM). This procedure must be executed by a trained technician.

About this task

  • 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.

  • Do not touch the processor contacts. 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.

The heat sink, processor, and processor carrier for your system might be different from those shown in the illustrations.


  1. Separate the processor from the heat sink and carrier.
    Figure 1. Separating a processor from the heat sink and carrier
    Separating a processor from the heat sink and carrier
    Do not touch the contacts on the processor.
    1. Lift the handle to release the processor from the carrier.
    2. Hold the processor by its edges; then, lift the processor from the heat sink and carrier.
    3. Without putting the processor down, wipe the thermal grease from the top of the processor with an alcohol cleaning pad; then, place the processor on a static protective surface with the processor-contact side up.
  2. Separate the processor carrier from the heat sink.
    Figure 2. Separating a processor carrier the from heat sink
    Separating a processor carrier from the heat sink
    The processor carrier will be discarded and replaced with a new one.
    1. Release the retaining clips from the heat sink.
    2. Lift the carrier from the heat sink.
    3. Wipe the thermal grease from the bottom of the heat sink with an alcohol cleaning pad.

After you finish

  1. Install the PHM. See Install a processor and heat sink.
  2. 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