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How to Screw into your CPU Cooler (Screws are Stuck!)

Do you need to screw in the CPU cooler?

Yes, you need to screw in the CPU cooler because it helps to maintain the temperature of your computer and prevent it from overheating. Overheating can damage the components of your computer such as processor, graphics card, RAM and so on.


Why can’t I screw into the CPU cooler?

You will not be able to screw into the CPU cooler because of a missing backplate or lack of retention brackets.

If you don’t have retention brackets or a backplate in your motherboard casing, you won’t be able to screw into the CPU cooler. This is because the screws won’t have the space or screw holes to get inside of the cooler and secure it in place.

  • Absence of backplate
  • Absence of retention brackets


Absence of backplate

The backplate contains four screw holes to facilitate the tightening of screws of the CPU cooler. If there is no backplate in your computer, the screws of your CPU cooler won’t have the space to go inside and keep the cooler intact.


Absence of retention brackets

CPU coolers come with two types of tightening elements, the spring screws and retention brackets. If there are no retention brackets on your CPU cooler, there is nothing to attach with the retention frame. As a result, you are unable to screw into the CPU cooler.


How hard should I screw the CPU cooler?

You should tighten the screws on the CPU cooler only as much is required to prevent the cooler from shaking out of its place.

Tighten them to the point they don’t rotate further. This is because if you try to screw them harder, it can damage the screw as well as the cooler.

To ensure that the screws are tightened enough, tug on the cooler and see if it moves. If it doesn’t, then it’s good to go.


How do you screw into a CPU cooler?

You can screw into a CPU cooler by removing the retention frame and placing the cooler inside.


Follow the steps given below to screw into a CPU cooler.

  1. If you have a newly built system, then the motherboard is likely to have a preinstalled retention frame. To screw into the CPU cooler, you will need to remove this frame from the motherboard by removing the four screws holding it in place.
  2. After removing the retention frame, make sure that the backplate remains in its position aligned with the holes given in the motherboard. In addition to this, the CPU must also be properly seated in the socket.
  3. When you screw into the CPU cooler, clean the bottom plate of the cooler and top plate of the CPU off the thermal grease. Wipe the plates clean with a soft cloth and alcohol.
  4. After cleaning the plates, apply a fine layer of thermal grease on the lid of your CPU. Position the cooler in order to align the four screws with the screw holes provided on the backplate. Once you have aligned it properly, place the cooler on the CPU.
  5. Turn each of the screws halfway in the clockwise direction using a screwdriver. This will make sure that the screws make a connection with the backplate. Move over to tightening the other screws in a diagonal pattern.
  6. Once you are done with establishing the connection between the screws and the backplate, turn them further to make them tight enough to hold the cooler in place.


Screwing into CPU cooler


Which way do you mount a CPU cooler?

You should mount a CPU cooler in such a way that the CPU fan faces out towards the right side. This is because cooling happens when the front intake fans bring in cool air and the back/top case fans get the hot air out of the case.

Keeping the CPU cooler facing outwards on the right side enables it to take the air from the front and direct the air through the fins and then out of the CPU casing.


What does the CPU fan screw into?

The CPU fan screws into the backplate provided in the motherboard casing. There are four screw holes in the backplate which align with the screws of the CPU fan.

When you turn the screws halfway in the clockwise direction, they make contact with the backplate. When you tighten the screws further, the CPU fans get attached to the backplate. They hold the CPU fan in place tightly.


How to remove a stuck screw from a CPU cooler?

You can remove a stuck screw from a CPU cooler using a Dremel tool and tiny grinder bits.

To do this, follow the steps given below.

  1. Cut the heads of the screws that are stuck using the grinder.
  2. Pull the cooler out of the casing in the CPU.
  3. Take a pair of vice grips and fit them onto the stuck screws. Twist the screws out of the screw holes. When you reattach the screws next time, make sure that you apply some lithium grease on the screw threads to prevent them from sticking again.


Removing Stripped screws in CPU cooler

If you have stripped screws in your CPU cooler, you can remove them with a rubber band that is wide enough to stick to the screw head. To remove a stripped screw in the CPU cooler, follow the steps given below.

  1. Put the screwdriver into the head of the stripped screw that has a rubber band sandwiched between the tip of the screwdriver and the screw head.
  2. Gently push down on the screw, making sure not to apply too much downward force as the screwdriver may slip from your hand and skid over the motherboard, damaging it beyond repair.
  3. Remove the stripped screw in the CPU cooler slowly and you are done.


How do you get a stuck screw out of a motherboard?

You can get a stuck screw out of a motherboard by using an elastic band, a damaged screw to function as a screwdriver, a penetrating oil spray, a Dremel tool and a drill or an extractor.

Follow the steps given below to get a stuck screw out from the motherboard by applying any of these methods.

  1. To remove a stuck screw out of a motherboard by using an elastic band, place the band at the end of the driver and press down so that the rubber of the elastic band gets stuck to the screw. You can now pull out the screw very slowly. If you have a screw with a damaged head stuck in the motherboard, this method is very helpful as the rubber band fills the gaps where the screw head is broken and provides the needed contact.
  2. To remove the stuck screw using a screwdriver, insert the driver into the damaged screw head and tighten it very strongly. This is important because it will aid in loosening the screw and pulling it up. Start turning the screwdriver very slowly and it will easily come out.
  3. Apply the penetrating oil on the stuck screw and leave it on for at least 15 minutes. If you can, leave it overnight to obtain the best results. Keep it in a cold or a warm environment to increase the movement of the oil and facilitate easier removal of the stuck screw. Please note that this method is only suitable when your stuck screw is made up of steel and the motherboard has no steel on it.
  4. Use a Dremel tool to make an indentation on the stuck screw. Once you are done with this, use a flat head screwdriver to lift the stuck screw up from the motherboard.
  5. Screw extractors can be easily used to remove the stuck screw from the motherboard. You can buy a screw extractor from a hardware shop. To make sure that the extractor works with all kinds of screws, you can buy a complete screw extractor kit. It works on a principle similar to that of the elastic band and helps in removal.


Why are the CPU cooler screws not going down?

The CPU cooler screws may not be going down because the backplate of your motherboard casing isn’t fastened to the motherboard properly and tightly.

If that’s the case, here’s how you can solve the issue of the CPU cooler screws not going down.

  1. Remove the cooler by unscrewing the screws and washers that you may have used to secure the cooler in place.
  2. Remove the retention frame and the backplate. Make sure that there is nothing like an extra screw or washer stuck underneath the backplate.
  3. Once you have skimmed through the setup and everything is clear, put the backplate back in the CPU. Attach the retention brackets.
  4. Align the CPU cooler screws with the screw holes on the backplate.
  5. Once you have aligned them properly, place the CPU cooler in its position and start tightening the screws by turning them halfway through in the clockwise direction initially. Follow a diagonal pattern to fasten the screws. When all the screws are connected to the backplate, tighten them further until you feel the resistance to turn the screw further.

Ernie Lo

Ernie Lo is a qualified web designer and web developer. He works as an IT support technician and website manager at Benleigh Vending, and he also fixes vending machines.

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