Question Can't remove CPU retention brackets on MSI x470 Gaming Plus mobo


Dec 5, 2014
I bought a Nocuta NH-D15S fan/heatsink and it asks to remove the retention modules by the CPU to install it. The problem is, they feel completely stuck. No amount of force I can muster can unscrew their screws. My screwdriver always just slips out. I've tried several different screwdrivers that should be the same size as the screws but to no avail. I'm going to try the rubberband trick later today and another screwdriver I found, and another one I bought that I know should be the correct size tomorrow.

Does anyone have any tips on removing these screws safely? I don't want to try a new mobo just because I can't unscrew these brackets.
Do you mean the two plastic 'hooks' that you can clip some heatsinks too? I've never had any problems removing them before. Be sure to use a quality Philips screwdriver, usually a #2 tip, and press firmly into the screw while loosening. And remember: lefty-loosey/righty-tighty. Turn to the left, counterclockwise, to loosen. Press firmly (take the board out and place on soft surface to back it) and build torque gradually, keep screwdriver straight so the tip doesn't cam out.

If it absolutely can not be unscrewed some gorilla may have cross-threaded them in there. You may have to resort to time-honored screw extaction: drilling them out. You'll probably lose the backplate if you have to do that, so plan on getting another if the Noctua heatsink doesn't include one.

It's not so hard to drill out, just mask the area around the screw with sheets of paper to catch the metal chips. Be sure to put strips of tape on the CPU socket, each of the PCIe connectors and the memory DIMM connectors. After words brush off the board with a clean paint brush and blow it off with canned air to get any little metal chips you may have missed.
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