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Belial's Comprehensive Guide to Fixing Broken/Bent Pins

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post #1 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 01:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Sometimes we screw up and bend/break pins. But all hopes not lost. You can also find bent/'broken pinned CPU's for a quarter for their new price online (yes, they aren't totally worthless), and after following this guide, you'll never buy a new, or used even, CPU again, and you'll only buy (amd) CPUs with bent pins! What better way to get a fully functional Athlon/Phenom/FX for under $40!

To unbend my pins, I simply used a mechanical pencil (the thinner gauge the better), and straightened them all out. The more screwed up ones, I used a knife to pull it up slightly, and then the mechanical pencil. I had hundreds of bent pins, about 2-3 rows on each edge, and then some, so after unbending with the pencil and a few with a knife, I used a credit card to make the rows more straight (it fits right in there). Your supposed to avoid the magnetic edge to the CPU, not sure if I did that oops.



It doesnt need to fit in perfectly. A perfect CPU would just drop right into the socket. If it doesnt fit quite right in, test it by just sticking a corner or edge in, see if it'll go in. Then lightly keep pressing around, to see how far it'll go in. Usually you can figure out exactly where that bent pin that's giving a problem is, and fix it up, even if it's in the middle (it'll sort of teeter). You should never have to force the CPU in or use any force, but you will have to wiggle it and push it in edge by edge, corner by corner if the pins are really bent out. You really can't 100% bend a pin back 100% straight, especially if you have a ton of them, but you can get close.


As for broken pins:

Here's a bunch of pics of my processor with broken pins and ****ed up pins, and how i fixed it:

This is the processor. Many of the pins are still bent, even after I straightened many out. On the left side you can see they are still slightly bent, and in the right you can see a really ****ed up pin, and 2 missing pins. The CPU won't smoothly go into socket like a normal chip, but with this CPU, I take this worst corner, and put it in first, and then VERY LIGHTLY push on each edge to sort of crimp it in. You never want to force it in, but with bent pins you might not be able to smoothly drop it in, but have to sort of do this edge by edge to get it in. It's more about wiggling it in, one side/corner at a time, than trying to force it in.


You need to use COPPER or GOLD wire - aluminum or other wire, will shrivel up and burn. You can get the perfectly sized copper wire (which isn't any worse than gold, dont worry) from an Ethernet cat5 rj45 etc cable. Each ethernet cable is like 5-7 wires (forgot which exactly), of each is made up of about half a dozen copper threads. Use those (you dont want the wire that's like twine, but you do need very thin wire, although thicker would be fine, whatever).

You actually don't need to worry about getting the perfect length of wire. What you do is, is you get a piece clearly 2x the length of a pin. Then, stick it into a pin hole, and slightly bend it, so you know how long it 'needs' to be. Then, simply cut so it's still like a good half a pin extra.


Then, very simply, smash smash smash it in with a phillips head screwdriver (has to be phillips, the pin holes have a slight indention to them, just as the cpu pins have a slight, circular, base at the bottom of each pin). This is actually a MUCH better method than trying to use finesse and cut the perfect length, literally .001mm too short, and you won't get contact, too long, and it'll possibly hit another pin and screw things up royally. You also won't be able to pull it out if it's just slightly too short (or too long, even). This also ensures very good contact with the CPU, and makes sure it won't touch any other pins, the best of both worlds, and more convenient, and easier to do.


Close-up. You can see I got a little overzealous and mashed the actual socket, the plastic is quite soft. Not a big deal though, I actually probably used a little bit too much wire here.


This is a picture of the replacement pins I made before using the smash smash smash method. I found what is easier than trying to cut to length, was cut to 2x the length + a bit, fold the wire, and then stick it in, with the bend up top. I still smashed it in a bit, but I suppose I used more finesse here.


In total, 5 replacement pins.


If you really screw up, you can always just turn the motherboard upside down and the pins will shake out. Use tweezers to place the pins in.

I've hit [email protected] so far, and the chip doesn't look like it's going to stop anytime soon. I will be testing 3.8ghz and above later this week, but I know it can last at least 10 passes of IBT and 2+ hours of p95 on [email protected] Note that most C2 revison 955's hit 3.6ghz 24 hour prime95 stable, so the chip has already proven to be well above average. I have not seen any reports of 3.7-3.8ghz prime95 24 hour stable on C2 revision, but I have heard general reports of 'stable at 3.7-3.8', although they are in the very, very small minority, and I'm not sure they were 24 hour prime95 tested.

C2 revisions are generally thought to hit 3.6-3.8ghz at most though. I think the record for 'stable' (dont think it was 24 hour prime95 stable) was around 3.8.
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post #2 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 03:50 AM
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Very nice write up!

I have a X2 550 C2 that will do right at 3.7Ghz stable, but it wont unlock even one core. Haven't done the 24h burn in, but it had an uptime of around 4 months before I updated the GFX drivers. So I assume it would pass a 24h burn in.

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post #3 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 02:47 PM - Thread Starter
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Im assuming you tried unlocking on stock speeds right? Unlocking tends to reduce overclocks, or vice versa. Sometimes you have miscellaneous stuff prevent unlocks as well.

For example on my athlon ii x3, I coulnd't unlock it until I downlocked ht link speed from 2ghz to 1.6ghz. I think it was a multi/mobo issue, as my ht link was fine at 2ghz when my FSB was 253 and the ht link multi was below stock, it just simply wouldn't unlock until I downclocked it (i believe this is a somewhat common issue with athlon ii x3 unlocking, i say somewhat because most people just say their athlon ii can't unlock, and we dont know how many of those people are people who dont know that your supposed to reduce ht link speed). Athlon ii is a deneb chip, so maybe you'll have luck if you do the same, too.

ACC can also mess with overclocks too, i believe.

Ive had plenty of things pass 13+ hours of memtest and 10+ passes of high ibt and 6 hours of p95, but always fail at 16-20th hour, or fail consistently at the 6th hour. I've had overclocks fail consistently at the 26th hour, so you never know, but i believe 24+ hours of p95 is really necessary. Really Im most comfortable with 30 hours, as if it fails at hour 26 that still means its just as unstable as failing anytime else (i mean maybe further from the right settings, but unstable is unstable is unstable).
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post #4 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 02:57 PM
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I cannot help myself but wonder what would happen if you wanted to use a different processor later on.

Perhaps if some day I find another processor that works but has broken pins I'll ask you to add the 'soldering new pins' method to this guide smile.gif


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post #5 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-09-2012, 10:15 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Artikbot View Post

I cannot help myself but wonder what would happen if you wanted to use a different processor later on.

Perhaps if some day I find another processor that works but has broken pins I'll ask you to add the 'soldering new pins' method to this guide smile.gif

If I wanted to use another processor later on (on an am3 board? really? am3 is already quite outdated and quaint except for niche uses, ie h264 codec work and overclocking), I'd just turn the motherboard (or entire case if I was lazy) upside down and shake shake shake.

I've done it before, actually. The first pin I attempted to put in was way too short. Fell right out.

Even if they don't, there's no problem. Those 2 pins you see where I really mashed them in, they are actually sitting on top of 2 pre-made pins I put in earlier. I put 2nd pins into the same holes because I was worried a certain overclock issue I was having might be because those 2 pins were too short (turned out to be a motherboard issue).

In fact, one of those pins, I actually took the snapped off pin from the CPU, and stuck it in. Turns out a real pin is WAY too short, as the only reason it doesn't fall into the abyss, is because it's stuck to the CPU. I didn't feel like shaking out my computer after sticking in 3 pins already (this was before I really figured out how to do it quickly and easily) so I just left it in there. No problems at all.

All 5 broken pins that I have are critical pins, they aren't redundant or grounds. if any of the pins were not making proper contact, my computer would not post or it would have serious issues with power, ie it wouldnt wake from boot or run an overclock on generally reached voltages, etc.

Soldering new pins is a terrible idea, and I'm pretty sure it's just a myth on the internet. Before I did what I did, I actually called at least 2 dozen jewelers and goldsmiths asking if they could replace a CPU pin, and described what needed to be done, and they all said no and they had never heard of anyone doing such a task before. I know AMD does pin replacement, but I don't know if they use highly specialized machines, or do what 90% of manufacturers do when you have a hardware RMA - just throw it away and give you a refurb. I have seen a million threads and posts recommending it, but I haven't heard of a single person who actually had it done or knew someone who had it done. It's bull****, and not worth the trouble frankly.
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post #6 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 01:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belial View Post

If I wanted to use another processor later on (on an am3 board? really? am3 is already quite outdated and quaint except for niche uses, ie h264 codec work and overclocking), I'd just turn the motherboard (or entire case if I was lazy) upside down and shake shake shake.

Pardon my stupidity. For some reason my head assumed you actually 'squeezed' it inside tongue.gif Very clever though, didn't think of the possibility of shaking the motherboard upwards biggrin.gif

And soldering a new pin is easily doable. How hard it is, depends on the placement.

If it's on the edges (like most cases), you just apply a tiny bit of flux, use low lead solder and solid copper wire (appropriate gauge, CAT6 Ethernet cable seems to have the right thickness), and solder that guy in place.

Later when I go to the garage I'll pick an old non-working Thunderbird, cut off a pin and solder back on a replacement. After all the old pin is soldered on a copper pad, and even if it is covered in gold, both are the easiest materials to solder on.

Edit: There you go.

The pin I snapped off, before evening it out with a very sharp xacto blade:


Added a bit of solder to the base...


There you go, soldered a piece of ethernet cat6 wire.


Trimmed down to size.


So you see it's not some bullcrap I made up:



Of course the width between pins on a socket A processor is much larger (about 2X) that the one on an AM2 and posterior processor, but the principle is the same. But I didn't feel like cannibalizing my 1055T for testing purposes wink.gif


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post #7 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:17 PM - Thread Starter
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That's amazing, I stand corrected. I was wrong.

What kind of equipment and materials (and cost of said equipment and materials) are you looking at to do such work?

You could make a fortunate advertising services to replace pins on CPUs and motherboards.

edit: how do i read what people whom gave me rep said?
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post #8 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 03:28 PM
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Its not so difficult to solder pins. I used to solder a lot of my guitar pedals but i am far from being good at soldering:P You need a soldering iron,solder and some practice first tongue.gif
I just find a good site for a newbie biggrin.gif

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post #9 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-10-2012, 04:37 PM - Thread Starter
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this is the first ive ever heard of anyone doing it. Ive seen a million posts saying to try it, but ive never seen anyone say they do it, and ive looked up every single thread on the internetz about it when i was trying to figure out how to solve the broken pin problem when i first got my phenom -5 pins.
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post #10 of 15 (permalink) Old 12-11-2012, 01:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Belial View Post

What kind of equipment and materials (and cost of said equipment and materials) are you looking at to do such work?

You're going to laugh.

-A regular JBC 50W soldering iron.
-A 1.5mm pitch ballpoint tip for the iron.
-1mm rosin core solder (you'll see 'use lead free solder' everywhere, mine's 60 tin 40 lead and works wonders).
-A steady hand.

I'm not using third hands, nor magnifying glasses, nor any fancy equipment. I've made enough soldering jobs in my life to cover full months of 24/7 soldering though smile.gif


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