Did I just commit a unspeakable mistake...

mikeny

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Aug 6, 2006
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I was attaching the CM Hyper 212 + and I didn't realize I had a minute smudge of thermal compound on my finger. When I was holding the motherboard on the side tightening the nuts, it looks like I smudged a very small spot on the back of the motherboard. Did I kill my motherboard without even turning it on or there shouldn't be a problem? I didn't wet my finger or use a cloth...i gently tried to take it off but to no avail.


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If all you did was to smudge some Thermal Paste on the MOBO then clean it off using Isopropyl Alcohol (90%) and allow it to dry for 5~10 minutes. The big problem is getting conductive Thermal Paste on the CPU pins...which is a nightmare to remove without bending the CPU pins.
 

mikeny

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Phewww...dodged a bullet. No, I never touch or go near the CPU pins. What do you use to wipe the area? Toilet paper? I figure paper towel would be too rough and a cotton ball would break apart and make a bad situation worse.
 

mavroxur

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Just use some isopropyl alcohol and clean it off. I'd recommend using a Q-Tip with the alcohol and swabbing the area. Change Q-Tips a few times until there's nothing left on the board. Just make sure you get it all, as some compounds are conductive / capacitive (especially those that contain silver / aluminum compounds.
 

Don't tell my wife - I use older washed 'good' cotton towels (lower lint), but as mentioned Q-Tip's work fine.

Don't worry you'll be fine! :sol:
 
D

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^ This.

Coffee filters work great.
 

kitsunestarwind

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Dec 24, 2011
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It won't do any Damage motherboard tracks and most solder points are coated with something similar to varnish making them non conductive, the problem only occurs on cpu pins/any slots or exposed copper/solder joints for mounted circuitry
 
I've lost count how many times I cleaned-off thermal paste (CPU, HSF, & Blocks). I've tried both the Mr. Coffee white & brown filters both are not good for (CPU, HSF, & Blocks) paste cleaning. Try a lint free towel and you'll leave the filters to your coffee.

In the case of the OP - a thin smear can be cleaned with a filter, Q-Tip, or lint free towel.
 
To make you feel better I dropped one on a tile floor and cracked it in two 10 seconds after getting it out of the box. I felt like a dumba$$. Like my wife backing into my new car with her 20 minute off the lot as new as it gets car. Stuff happens and you learn to laugh about after &^*%&% everything else is out of your system.
 
I have used both the Q-tips, coffee filters and even used fabric sheets; they all work well in parts. Using filters/fabric sheets to clean most of the old junk off and then the Q-tip and alcohol and than dry with another filter/fabric sheet to make sure that isnt any lint left.

Christian Wood
Intel Enthusiast Team