Now that your fresh compound has been applied, reinstall the CLEAN heat sink as evenly and gently as possible. Install the fasteners and tighten, tightening and alternating n SMALL INCREMENTS. The idea here is to tighten the heat sink in as even a fashion as possible. This helps to ensure the most even distribution of thermal compound as possible.
I have repaired many Xbox 360s and PS3s in my time, and have never had this method fail, and as en electrical engineer would encourage anyone to follow these procedures when replacing any thermal compounds.
This is not as hard as it sounds. Just take your time and get it as even as you can. And gaps in the paste will result in “hot spots”, which can easily damage your processor (this is why just “letting the heat sink spread it out” is such a bad idea). The layer should only be about 1/64” (0.016”) to 1/32” (0.031”) thick. For reference, a common sheet of paper is about 0.004” thick, so roughly 4 to 8 sheets of paper thick. Do remember that this is NOT as critical as I am making it out to be. It is simply a reference for “a thin layer of compound”. Don’t overthink it.
DO NOT DO THIS IF YOU DO HAVE THERMAL PASTE!!!
If the thermal paste is disturbed you MUST remove all the old paste and apply new (unless you are okay with destroying your processors). To remove the old paste, cotton swabs work best. Once you have removed as much as you can, dampen a cotton swab with rubbing alcohol and carefully clean the processor surface AND the heat sink surface using small circular motions, being careful to not allow any alcohol to contact the main board. Do this until ALL traces of the old compound are COMPLETELY removed. Once removed, allow a short amount of time for the alcohol to completely evaporate. Once the alcohol is evaporated, place a SMALL amount of new compound (I use Arctic Silver) directly onto the processor (about the size of a pea OR LESS). Using a straight edge (such as a credit or ID card) carefully spread the compound into an even, thin layer which completely covers the surface of the processor.
No people. Ignore that last guy. Stick to your guns and hold your ground. Even if your specific console does not HAVE the removable receiver, remove it anyways. :|
Freaking GENIUSES up in here.
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