Fix Bent CPU Pins With A Swiss Army Knife And A Credit Card

Fix Bent CPU Pins With A Swiss Army Knife And A Credit Card

Building your own computer can be fun, and it’s easier now than ever. Still, there can be some spine-tingling moments when assembling a system, and attaching a CPU fan can be one of them. The last thing you want is your expensive new processor to wind up with bent pins, but if you do, here’s how to fix it.

Photo by Public Domain Photos

Building your own computer can be really easy, and gives you the ultimate in customisation options. If you want to give it a try, check out our First-Timer’s Guide to Building a Computer from Scratch. Still, even experienced system builders can attest to how scary it can be when you’re mounting a CPU fan or heat sink and you’re not sure how much force to put on it to make it fit properly.

In most cases, you get it sorted out without a hassle, but in those worst case scenarios, you wind up taking the fan off, popping out the CPU, and discovering your worst nightmare: your brand new CPU has a bunch of bent pins on the bottom. Thankfully, MarauderFox at Instructables suggests a plastic card (like a credit card or an ID card,) a Swiss Army Knife, and a steady hand to fix the problem.

Just use the knife to slowly and gently stand the bent pins back up. Then use the plastic card to make sure the bent pins stand up perfectly with all of the others around it. Use the card from multiple angles to make sure it’s perfectly aligned.

Finally, ease the processor back in place, making sure each pin slides into its hole. If it doesn’t fit, you should be able to feel the area that’s not matching up and repeat the process. It’s important to be gentle, because you don’t want to damage the pins by trying to bend them back and forth.

If you’re an enthusiast or you just like top of the line gear, this little tip can help you save even the most expensive high-end CPU. If you’ve built your own computer, what are some of your favourite ways to get out of a jam when putting everything together? Share your tips in the comments.

How to Fix Bent CPU Pins [Instructables]


  • I don’t know about other guys out there but all the CPUs I’ve dealt with don’t have pins anymore but contacts. The only thing I have to share is, remember to put the hard to reach cables (ie CPU_FAN, CPU POWER etc) before attaching the Heat sink (if they’re huge) on to avoid a lot of scratches an man hand frustration.

  • The credit card trick saved me when I removed my fan and it ripped the CPU out with it (freaking thermal compound was like concrete).

    TIP: If the CPU is stuck to the fan, it’s easier to replace if you separate them first. Grab a hair dryer and gently warm up the paste, then when it starts to soften twist the CPU from left to right until it comes free.

  • Another way which is much easier I believe is if you have a mechanical pencil / 4-pen laying around take out the lead and the tip where the lead is fed out can be placed over the pin to straighten in the upright position again.

    • Ha, yes you’r quite right, however, a few people who haven’t properly inserted their CPU and then add their after market cooler and apply 70 lbs to keep it in place an be heard from the next suburb.

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