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Dried up thermal paste or no thermal paste?

Discussion in 'Overclocking & Cooling' started by boogerlad, Jan 11, 2013.

  1. boogerlad

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    Hi, I'm in a bit of a dilemma. I only have a used Intel stock cooler with several day old thermal paste that looks to be dried up. I need to show my client that his computer works. Would I be better off with no thermal paste (cleaned with alcohol) or using that old thermal paste?
  2. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Unfortunately neither will work and the system may crash while showing it off to your client. Get some new paste.
  3. Tardan

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    I would say neither, but some thermal paste is better than nothing. You risk damaging his computer if you do either option. If your goal is to show his computer works I would make sure you actually achieve that goal. :) Play it safe!
  4. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    If it is only a couple of days, I would see no issues in reusing the older TIM. My issue is the thought of it actually drying out that fast in the first place.
  5. erocker

    erocker Super Moderator Staff Member

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    Depends how dried out it is. If it is just a hard/powdery substance, no good. If it has some pliability left in it, it should work.
  6. Random Murderer

    Random Murderer The Anti-Midas

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    It's overpriced as hell, but if you're in a pinch you could always grab some AS5 or Ceramique from RadioShack.
  7. sneekypeet

    sneekypeet Unpaid Babysitter Staff Member

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    Oh I agree, I just can't see that happening, I mean I have kept stock coolers in the box for a year and the TIM was still usable. Just seems strange.
  8. cadaveca

    cadaveca My name is Dave

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    +1. Stock paste will always seem dried-out if compared to, say, MX4 or similar. I've re-used paste on stock heatsinks more than once, a few days, OK, but not optimal, but after a couple of weeks, it becomes even more questionable...but I've still done it. :p
  9. natr0n

    natr0n

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    use old paste dab your finger on it with a drop of mineral oil to moisten it till you get some fresh paste.
  10. erixx

    erixx

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    ok ok, wait a sec. Can't you humidify the old paste somehow to make it good enough to use it?

    Or just use toothpaste or mustard. As seen on youtube!! :)

    If nothing works, disable CPU speed management (thus set it to a fixed high speed) or downclock the CPU...
  11. radrok

    radrok

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    This, not the best thing to do but works like a charm even with several reuse :toast:
  12. lilhasselhoffer

    lilhasselhoffer

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    The point of thermal paste is to create a complete contact, given that both metal surfaces are not perfectly flat. To that end you've got two options:

    1) You need a 20-30 minute demonstration, and will put good paste on later.
    Try a small amount of oil. Heavier silicon based oils will make the paste somewhat motile for a short time (just use the oil extremely sparingly!!!). This isn't going to work long term, but it will allow you to hobble through a demonstration.

    2) You're just trying to get this thing done, and out your door.
    Neither option. Spend the money at Radioshack, or a local equivalent. Dried paste doesn't form a bond, and no paste forms such a poor bond that overheating is in your near future.
  13. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    Since you pulled the heatsink off you have to replace that thermal paste. Clean the CPu and heatsink off using Rubbing Alcohol and get a Tube of AS5 or even Antecs stuff and apply it per directions. When in doubt change it.
  14. OneMoar

    OneMoar

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    you aren't gonna kill anything by running it with old paste modern pastes are fairly resilient unlike the older plastic goop they used to slander on pre pentium 4 chips just make sure you change it before it goes out the door
  15. eidairaman1

    eidairaman1

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    erm P4s used that same crap
  16. Pehla

    Pehla

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    i have done this once...paste was powder dry so i just give it a drop of oil and mixed it nicely and it actualy work'd!well i dont know how it is holding now after few months..,i never heard from that guy i fix his pc! :eek:

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