Thermal paste question

Discussion in 'Chassis and Enclosures' started by T_Minus, Aug 4, 2019.

  1. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    One of my new\used SM chassis has thermal paste in random places :(

    I only noticed because I removed the riser to install an AOC and saw paste INSIDE the riser.

    I then looked closer and found a chunk the size of a pea sitting on the motherboard, two other flakes sitting on the motherboard... at this point I'm 30m+ into cleaning\checking and still haven't fully cleaned the riser out :(

    I assume this is the stock\oem SM paste -- is it conductive ? In most enterprise\data center installs is the paste conductive?

    Shipping a chassis is such a hassle but burning up ssd and GPUs I already own\know working with 0 warranty would be a huge loss so at this point I'm unsure if I should return it or ask for a new motherboard or ???

    What would you do.
     
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  2. Spartacus

    Spartacus Active Member

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    Kinda depends on you, I have servers running prod just fine with paste all over the place from former IT monkeys that went apeshit with it and/or wiped old stuff off over the equipment rather than the trash. It ‘should’ be nonconductive, you could always try cleaning it yourself with isopropyl alcohol.
     
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  3. marcoi

    marcoi Well-Known Member

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    If you can afford down time of sending it back, might be worth it. If you tell the vendor that they need to check out the replacement before sending it to you, you should be able to get a clean board.

    Maybe they can swap out the parts affected without sending it all back?

    Doesn't hurt to ask what your options are.
     
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  4. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    For anyone who finds this thread in the future too I reached out to SM, and the SM tech said it's slightly conductive and suggested removing as much\all as possible.

    Time to get out the DataVac (which for those unaware is a blower not vacuum)
     
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  5. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    Thermal grease in the CPU socket is the worst. :mad:
     
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  6. Spartacus

    Spartacus Active Member

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  7. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    My wife would argue cleaning it out of the washing machine and dryer are even worse...
    :eek::oops:
     
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  8. BlueLineSwinger

    BlueLineSwinger Active Member

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    Pffft, you'll never get good thermal coverage of all the pins applying it like that. At least use butter knife to spread the mayo over the socket first.
     
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  9. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    Add a little paint thinner and it will spread itself.
     
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  10. redeamon

    redeamon Member

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    #10
  11. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    #11
  12. BLinux

    BLinux cat lover server enthusiast

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    another option: remove the battery, put the motherboard in the dish washer and wash it off. let the board fully dry, or assist with hair dryer, and then re-install.
     
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  13. T_Minus

    T_Minus Moderator

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    Update:
    After spending more time on the board in my kitchen under a lot of lights, with a large magnifying glass and super precise esd safe tweezers I was able to clean the slots completely, checked the other side and found 2 pieces of plastic the size of a grain of rice in addition to the thermal paste on that side... the plastic chunks looked like broken off spacers for something and luckily came out easier than the thermal paste.
    Booted up yesterday 100% working including the PCIE slots off the risers so yaye ;)
     
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  14. kapone

    kapone Active Member

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    Sweet!
     
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