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Repair guides and support for desktop computers produced by Asus including towers and all-in-one display PCs.

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Thermal Paste in Ram Slot

I recently started making my first PC. I don't have a lot of money so I went out on a limb and bought most of the parts used. I ended up buying a motherboard off of Ebay - Asus Rog Strix x570-i. It seemed like it was in good condition but I figured you can't tell unless you inspect it yourself. When I bought the board, it was covered in thermal paste. The CPU slot and RAM slots had some inside them. I cleaned them out as best I can but the PC won't post. I checked the ram in another computer and it worked fine. What should I do to figure out what is causing the problem?

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Hi @jerequimpo,

What did you use to clean away the thermal paste?

If you haven't already tried this I suggest that you use Isopropyl Alcohol 99%+ (available from electronic parts stores) and a soft toothbrush to gently try removing any remaining paste.

Do not allow the board to get too wet when cleaning as it can damage the traces and components etc. i.e. by lifting them off the board

The alcohol will evaporate quickly but doing this still takes a bit of time.

When you think that you've cleaned it as best that you can, allow more time for the board to completely dry and then connect power and check.

You can always connect a system speaker (example only) to the speaker's motherboard header pins (see p.1-18 {32 of 92 pdf} of the user manual and check what beep error codes occur on startup (see p.2-20 - {p.54 of 92 pdf}).

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I did clean it using 99% Isopropyl Alcohol and a tooth brush as well as some Q-tips. Is there a way to take off the CPU uhh... connector? seat? thing? I hear there are pins under the CPU. I have not tried connecting a system speaker. My older brother recommended that too so thank you for the link!

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@jerequimpo

You won't be able to remove the CPU slot from the board as this would mean unsoldering and then resoldering approx 200 connections that are very close to each other. Don't even try it.

There are pins on the CPU that go into the CPU slot on the board so be careful that you don't bend any if they need cleaning.

just curious - are you sure that it was thermal paste and not corrosion (see image]?

I can understand excessive thermal paste overflow on a CPU especially if it were too thickly applied and got too hot but not in a ram slot as thermal paste should not be used anywhere near it.

If it is corrosion, then don't be surprised if there's more problems.

You may end up having to find the schematics for the board to find out what's wrong.

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I am certain it was thermal paste. I was pretty shocked when I received the motherboard in that state as the images didn't show any mess.

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@jerequimpo

Did you take any pictures of the board when you first got it, before you cleaned it?

If you did, then presumably as it didn't show or mention the condition of the motherboard on Ebay, contact the seller about getting a refund. If that don't respond or cooperate contact Ebay about the problem.

If you don't have any proof that it arrived in the condition it did you won't have much of a chance of getting a refund.

The best option is to connect the system speaker as suggested and check what happens when you connect power and try turning it on.

Watch out if it starts to "smoke" when you connect power and turn it on. be ready to pull the power cord out as soon as you see or smell anything burning.

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I did not take pictures of it... I think I ought to start doing that. I'm going to do some more troubleshooting and see if I can figure this out. The speaker is on it's way so we will see.

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