How To Fix Bent CPU Socket Pins


So I got a text from a friend asking me if I could take a look at their broken Ryzen CPU where some pins had got bent after they dropped. 

Fortunately, there are lots of different ways you can fix bent CPU socket pins. 

You can use specialized tools that people have come up with for the sole purpose of realigning bent pins, but I’ll share with you how I like to do it. And it won’t cost you anything!

In this article, I’ll teach you how to:

  • Figure out what causes CPU pins to bend
  • Realign bent pins using a mechanical pencil 
  • Fix bent pins with a needle
  • Bend back rows of bent pins with your credit card
  • I’ll also give you a couple of tips on what you can do next!

What Causes Bent CPU Pins?

CPU and CPU socket pins are very fragile and bend very easily. 

Taking extra care is necessary at all times when handling a CPU chip.

Improper insertion of the CPU into the socket and then locking it into place is usually how most pins get bent. 

Dropping the CPU is another sure-fire way of damaging the pins. 

A less common cause is dirt or debris in the pin grid of the socket that can distort the CPU pins.

And simply knocking the CPU against any surface will bend the pins out of alignment. 

I’ve even been unlucky enough to receive a new CPU in the post which already had a few pins bent. 

Bent pins will cause hardware issues in your computer if unfixed. Ost of the time your PC won’t even start. 

Fortunately, bent CPU Socket pins are easy to fix by just using everyday items you have lying around the house. 

3 Easy Ways Of Fixing Your Bent CPU Pins 

Realigning CPU Pins Using A Mechanical Pencil

This method works best if you only have a few individual bent pins.

Here’s how you can do it:

Step1: You need the mechanical pencil to fit snugly around each CPU pin, so you need to find a properly sized pencil that has a 0.5 or 0.7 millimeter opening. 

Step 2: Carefully remove any pencil lead left from the mechanical pencil since you need the pencil’s opening to be free of any obstructions. 

Step 3: What you want to do now is to carefully place the empty tip of the mechanical pencil over a bent pin and slowly maneuver the tip so that you’re bending the pin back into its original straight form. 

Step 4: Repeat step 3 on all the bent CPU pins. But be very careful not to bend the pins too many times, in my experience, they turn brittle very quickly and snap.

Step 5: Once you’ve realigned all the pins,remount your CPU chip back to the motherboard and try to boot up your computer to check if everything works properly. 

Realigning CPU Pins Using A Sewing Needle 

This method works best for ‘hooked’ pins or those that are bent so far that it’s impossible to straighten the pins with just a mechanical pencil. 

Step 1: Find a sewing needle that can fit between two CPU pins. If you don’t have needles at home, small tweezers or a toothpick works just fine as well. 

Step 2: Carefully slide the needle underneath an individual bent pin without scratching the surface of your CPU chip. 

Step 3: Next, you need to pull the needle up at one end to help leverage the bent pin back in place. 

Step 4: Try re-straightening all the other bent pins using the needle, and if the pins still need a bit of bending, try the mechanical pencil approach to get all the pins straighter. Again, be careful not to re-bend the pins too much so they won’t snap. 

Step 5: Mount your processor to the motherboard, and boot your computer to see if the trick worked. 

Realigning CPU Pins Using Your Credit Card 

Step 1: In this method, you need a hard, flat workspace to place your CPU chip on, pins up. 

Step 2: Next, find the right card to do the job. Make sure the plastic card (your credit card or gift card will work just fine) is not too flimsy so you can bend back the pins without difficulty. 

Step 3: Locate a row on your processor chip that has bent pins in it.

Step 4: Gently run the plastic card through one bent pin in both directions as if you’re making a “#” symbol with the card. Be careful not to bend the other pins in the process. Doing this will bend the pin straight in each direction. 

Step 5: Replace the CPU back to the motherboard without shoving or jamming it to prevent any more bents in the pins. Finally, turn on your computer to see if the method worked. 

Summary

Don’t let bent CPU socket pins get you down! Remember they can be fixed. 

Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve covered:

  • CPU pins can be realigned using a mechanical pencil 
  • Hooked pins on intel sockets can be bent back using a sewing needle
  •  A credit card can be used to realign pins on a CPU

What Next?

How do I pick out a CPU if I want an upgrade?

There are three important things to consider when upgrading a CPU:

  1. The Socket Type
  2. The CPU Speed, 
  3. The Core count.

What should I do if a pin has snapped off?

Unfortunately, if a pin has broken off your CPU, you only have two courses of action:

  • Solder a replacement pin back on
  • Buy a new CPU

What happens when you touch a processor?

If you touch the top of the CPU, which is the flat grey heat spreader, your finger oils could make your thermal paste less efficient thus give you higher temperatures.

If you touch the bottom of the CPU, also called the “contacts” or the pins, your finger oils might interrupt the connection between the pins and the sockets. So it’s best to grab the processor at the sides.

Nick Sinclair

Having played games since the golden age of the Commodore 64, Nick finally took the plunge and studied Creative Game Design in university. After 3 years of "Study", Nick co-founded a games company where he soon discovered his true calling: writing about games. 11 years later Nick writes about a tower of topics, but gaming is always stacked neatly at the top.

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