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How to Change the Cooling Fan on Older CPUs

    • 1). Turn the computer off completely. Pull the power cable out of the back of the computer. Remove the computer case cover by removing any fastening screws and pulling the side or top panel off of the case.

    • 2). Disconnect the CPU fan's power supply connector from the small power pins on the motherboard.

    • 3). Look for clips or caps on the side or corners of the heat sink portion of the cooling assembly. There are a few different styles of cooling assemblies in older computers. Two common styles are the AMD Athlon and Intel Celeron stock heat sink and fan combination.

    • 4). Push any clips on the fan to an upright position. Insert a flat-head screwdriver down the corner groove of the heat sink on Intel-based systems. Work the end of the screwdriver between the heat sink's clip and the latch from the CPU socket. Twist the screwdriver to release the clip. Look for side clips or corner caps on AMD-based systems. Press down on side clips to release them or turn the corner caps 90 degrees counterclockwise. Pull slowly up on the heat sink.

    • 5). Put the new cooling assembly into the computer by lining up the corners or sides of the heat sink with the latching mechanism on the CPU socket. Press the heat sink and fan firmly into place. Push the corner caps down into the motherboard if you're working with an AMD stock cooling assembly.

    • 6). Connect the cooling fan's 3-pin power supply into the motherboard.

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