I have had that PC since 2001 and it overheated in January 2009 (southern Summer). Naturally I tried to check the contact between CPU (an AMD Athlon 64 3400+) and heatsink. In my enthusiasm, I lifted out the heatsink with the CPU still attached.
They were so tightly joined that I couldn’t think of a safe way to separate them. Fingers and hands were no match. So of course I left it on the workbench. There was no way to replace the pair of them onto the motherboard because the little plastic arm could not be raised without touching the huge heatsink.
A while later, another PC had dry heat paste problems. I tried wiping away the paste with Meths and it worked!
Unfortunately, on my PC, no amount of wiping around the tight join with a brush dipped in Meths did any good. In desparation I found an old shallow dish and soaked the CPU and the bottom of the heatsink in the Meths.
After 24 hours I still couldn’t shift it.
Finally after 48 hours, I gave it a moderate twist and it came free. Joy.
After a thorough clean and a careful reassembly (with new heat paste), the PC is now alive and well.
With a lot of updating to do. Opera 9.64 and Firefox 3.5.2 just to name two. And Microsoft, of course:
What a relief!