A teen that I know was assembling a new computer, but messed up somehow and crunched his new CPU. (An FX-8320
- more than a couple dollars to replace!) It had a bunch of bent pins and two broke off completely. Rather than toss it in the trash, I decided to give some pin replacement therapy a go.Missing Pins (Click to show)
Tools for the Job (Click to show)
I unbent the remaining pins carefully with some old giftcards, and set to work.
The two broken ones would pose a challenge. Pins are very small and difficult to work with.
Sources of Wire (Click to show)
Since I had none of the required tools or wire, I had to improvise a bit. No wire stripper for me, but I've got a razor and some pliers!
Planning Stages (Click to show)
I started out by figuring out what kind of wire to use. I gutted this floppy cable, but it turns out they use stranded wires, which are too thin. They break off easily when the socket is locked, which is not good.
Poor cable - it lost its leftmost wire. It'll never communicate with another floppy drive again! Oh well, off to the recycler with you!
CAT5E also appears to be stranded... good for the signal, but bad for Pin Replacement Therapy™.
And then I thought back to my latest hard drive to give me grief:
It ended up not being the drive, but rather the cable that was at fault - a cheap $0.62 bulk red SATA cable. I still had it lying around, so... time to die, SATA cable! You caused me enough grief! Maybe there's copper inside of YOU!
Beheaded, just like that! Your remains shall be used to resurrect a true champion!
Bending/cutting procedure (Click to show)
I've learned from my past projects that it's a good idea to plan ahead. Since there might be some confusion about which holes to stick the replacement pins into after flipping the CPU upside down, I whipped up a precise drawing in AutoCAD:
The moment of truth (Click to show)
By inserting the copper wire into the socket, locking it, then pressing it flat, I had a good idea of how much was required to act as a replacement pin. Initially I tried to double it and bend the wire around, but this proved too thick. In the end I just cut the wire to only slightly more than the pin's length (I was VERY precise), to ensure it made good contact without touching nearby pins when the CPU clamps down on it.
My first attempt I had left too much copper wire, and could feel there was too much resistance when pushing the CPU down flat. (before even locking the socket) My second attempt went better. It locked into place, and then it was time for the moment of truth...
Eureka! SHE LIVES!
The kid was very glad to hear he wouldn't need to buy a new ~$200 CPU.
(well, not quite, but after 12% tax and stuff it gets pretty close)
Because of that, I unfortunately did not get to overclock it or benchmark it, as he wanted it back ASAP. It is
stable though, and he emailed me to say he's got Windows up and running and is reinstalling his games.
Now I leave you with pictures of the graveyard. (Or at least whatever didn't fall on my carpet or end up in the garbage can.)
If I do say so myself, a job well done.
2016 Edit: Fixed broken images.