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Remove a processor and heat sink

Processors are in the system boards that are accessed from the front of the server. 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.

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 the installation guidelinesPower off the serverStatic sensitive warning
  • 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.

  • To ensure the best performance, check the manufacturing date on the new heat sink and make sure it does not exceed 2 years. Otherwise, wipe off the existing thermal grease and apply the new grease onto it for optimal thermal performance.

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. Remove the front cover. See Remove the front cover.

  2. Remove the compute tray where the system board is installed. See Remove a compute tray.

  3. If you are removing a PHM from the lower system board, remove the upper system board or system board filler. See Remove a system board.

Figure 1. Processor locations on system board
System board processor locations
Figure 2. Processor layout for multi-processor systems (viewed from front of server)
CPU layout for multiple-processor systems

Complete the following steps to remove a PHM.

Remove the PHM from the system board.
Figure 3. 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 4. 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 processor or heat sink, follow all packaging instructions and use any packaging materials that are provided.

Demo video

Watch the procedure on YouTube