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Straightening CPU pins made easier

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Category: Technical Support
Forum Name: AMD Motherboards
Forum Description: Question about ASRock AMD motherboards
Printed Date: 04 Mar 2024 at 10:47am
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 12.04 -

Topic: Straightening CPU pins made easier
Posted By: Xaltar
Subject: Straightening CPU pins made easier
Date Posted: 08 Mar 2016 at 4:35pm
I recently saw a post from Tweak Town showing a CPU with practically every pin bent with a caption "how would you fix this". One brilliant comment was simply a picture of a mechanical pencil. As soon as I saw it I remembered using the exact same tool to straiten pins on numerous old 486 and Pentium class CPUs in my youth. It is funny how easily we forget useful information when we don't use it anymore (I have not had to straiten pins for years now).

The trick is surprisingly simple and effective.

You will need:

1. Large gauge mechanical pencil (ideally one close to the gauge of the pins themselves)
2. A small, flat head jewelers screwdriver 
3. A magnifying glass
4. A soldering iron (if a pin breaks off)
5. Solder
6. A lot of patience

Step 1:

Identify the bent pins and if necessary use the small jewelers screwdriver and magnifying glass to carefully bend the flattened pin up enough that you can get the mechanical pencil nib (without lead in it) over the pin.

Step 2:

Carefully insert the pin into the tip of the mechanical pencil and align the bend point to the bottom of the pencil nib so you straiten the pin at it's bend rather than create a kink.

Step 3: 

Very carefully use the pencil to bend the pin back to it's correct position. If this step is a success then move on to other pins, if not and the pin breaks off then proceed to step 4.

Step 4:

Ordinarily a broken pin is a death sentence to a CPU as it is all but impossible to solder in such a tiny space. However, a steady hand and your trusty mechanical pencil may allow you to actually do it. 

4a: Make very sure that the pin does not get lost and remains in the tip of the pencil.

4b: Using the soldering iron carefully apply a tiny amount of solder to the pin at the break point (easiest if it broke at the base).

4c: Once the solder has "tinned" the broken end of the pin add a tiny bit more solder to it, about the size of a small metal pin head.

4d: Now with the CPU sitting on a flat surface, carefully align the pin in it's correct position using the mechanical pencil to hold it there.

4e: Use the soldering iron to heat the pencil tip until the solder reflows (melts). It is best to use a metal mechanical pencil for this as a plastic one may melt and make a mess of things. Be very careful not to allow the solder to touch the pencil tip, there should be about a millimeter of bare pin exposed or you will not be able to pull the pencil off the pin later. 

4f: Hold the pencil dead still as the solder hardens and refixes the pin in place for about 2 - 3 mins to be absolutely sure it took then pull the pencil off the pin.

Step 5:

Test the repaired CPU!

The soldering part can be very tricky (but not impossible) and may require multiple tries to achieve success but if you are desperate enough to attempt it to begin with then in all likelihood the effort will be worth it Thumbs Up 

I have used these tricks myself in the past and they are surprisingly effective so I felt I should share them here for all those in despair over bent pins on their AMD CPUs.


Posted By: captainsodas
Date Posted: 05 Oct 2016 at 3:30am
Good tip!

I spent close to two hours a few weeks ago on an X2 4800 with a dozen or so bent pins.  Luckily none of them were broken.  I used the screwdriver from a lens repair kit, a thin kitchen knife (to adjust several pins at a time) an LED flashlight, and the last vestiges of faith I had left in humanity. 

Posted By: Galane
Date Posted: 03 Jan 2017 at 1:49pm
I use a syringe needle with the tip clipped off, but not mashed. Find one the right size to just slide between the rows of pins then lift it up and out.
You'll be able to feel which rows have slightly bent pins because they'll resist lifting the needle out. Sometimes just this 'combing' process will straighten a pin enough to get it into the socket.
Look sideways through the field of pins and you should be able to spot one leaning out of line.
The needle can also be used to gently straighten pins. Use one that just slips over the pin. With the wide range of needle gauges you can find one that works better than a mechanical pencil - which are commonly only as small as 0.5mm. That's larger than pins on any CPU newer than a Socket 7.

I hit on the idea of a syringe needle after breaking a pin off a CPU years ago, trying to straighten one with a jeweler's screwdriver. It wouldn't move, wouldn't move - SNAP! Been needling CPU pins for more than a decade now. :) Wouldn't think of trying anything else on the nearly hair thin pins newer CPUs have.

Posted By: Xaltar
Date Posted: 03 Jan 2017 at 3:05pm
Great idea, hypodermic needles do come in a much wider array of sizes Thumbs Up 


Posted By:
Date Posted: 11 Mar 2017 at 11:54am
i personally picked up my fx 9370 for £40 off a friend who had bent the pins just my luck ;P

never tried the soldering pins on yet although could work

my method is:- if they are bent over so far there touching. ill use tweezers then credit card to fine adjust the line of pins but god dont push too hard. if there only slightly out of line come instal time just the credit card to neaten them up.

fx 9370 asrock, fatal1ty 970 performance 3.1, NZXT phantom f-atx, AeroCool Integrator 850W, Corsair Hydro Series H100

Posted By: 404CN
Date Posted: 31 May 2017 at 12:50am
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Posted By: yue0707
Date Posted: 12 Jul 2017 at 3:02am

I usually just use a blade from a Exacto knife or Box Cutter and use it with another blade and apply pressure on a lane of pins from both sides until they are straight. 

Posted By: cyatic
Date Posted: 23 Nov 2017 at 11:40am
I found using a mechanical pencil is the easiest way. Empty the pencil lead, stick the bent pin into the pencil tip, straighten it out.

Posted By: zlobster
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2017 at 6:16am
Here is another guide:


1700X ZP-B1 (stock); X370 Taichi (UEFI 3.10); 16GB F4-3200C14-8GFX XMP; 256GB 960 EVO; RX 580 NITRO+ 8GB

Posted By: AtomicNixon
Date Posted: 18 Mar 2018 at 2:48pm
It's possible to mount a chip with broken pins.  Just get the right gauge of copper wire that will fit snugly into the holes in the socket.  Make sure you sand off the coating on the wire.  clip the tip off, then insert all the way in and clip off just above the top.  Fingernail clippers are perfect.  Now just mount firmly and get some pressure on it with your heat-sink.  If it doesn't work, try try again because you've got nothing to lose.  I've done a few this way and my friends' machine which had five missing pins is running fine, two years later.

"Some people never go crazy. What horrible lives they must lead." - Charles Bukowski

Posted By: ket
Date Posted: 21 Apr 2018 at 2:05am
In cases CPU pins are severely bent I've found a scalpel very effective, thin but strong making gently lifting the pin up easy. After straightening the pins I tend to also slot a credit card between the pins (horizontal and vertical) to make sure they are as even as possible.

Posted By: arso96
Date Posted: 14 Nov 2018 at 11:36pm
For the minor extra effort - go to an RC Airplane type hobbyshop and buy some thin ID brass tubing that fits snugly on the Pin OD. Using this will minimize strange mechanicals, and give you a better chance with fixing 15 pins.

Ideally you'd make a little fixture which was a second offset washer-like very short tube soldered to a thin longer rod - that would be inserted first and held fixed to avoid or to limit bending the base of the pin, and the straight tube would bend the major length of the pin, back into an acceptable angle.

The thing to take care with, is to avoid bending the base of the pin since it can pop out of the BGA substrate. And do any bending slowly. Using an empty pen barrel btw is not teribly effective, as it will not let you properly apply torque limited to the point of the bend - it will often make another distinct bend point and possibly mess it up further.

btw 15 pins makes this an mostly improbable fix, unless you are very careful, PLUS wear an esd ground strap and use a static dissipative work surface set-up.

Originally posted by Xaltar Xaltar wrote:

Do not post non relevant links, this is your final warning!

Posted By: Ernst0
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2018 at 9:33am
Another vote for mechanical pencil BUT for those of us with poor eyesight add a CAM.
The Cam can zoom in on the pins better and easier than a magnification glass and the plus to it is you can see the rows by turning chip and then you know exactly how to bend back with just one bend.
The best thing is only bend as little as necessary and let the socket get it perfect.

Posted By: Williams20
Date Posted: 30 Jul 2019 at 3:51pm
Yes mechanical pencil is a good option..But sometimes it goes wrong too..So think twice befor using it

Posted By: In2a
Date Posted: 28 Mar 2020 at 8:18pm
I found using a mechanical pencil is the easiest way. Empty the pencil lead, stick the bent pin into the pencil tip, straighten it out .[]mcdvoice[/URL]

Posted By: user_mac01
Date Posted: 28 Jun 2020 at 11:34am
I had a couple of slightly bent pins on an opened box unused cpu, my guess is the original purchaser panicked and re-sold, neglected to list the bent pins until I closed sale.
Here's a fairly obvious quick fix for bent Ryzen 9 cpu pins not way past vertical (Lets say less than 30 degrees from vertical):
1. BUY a MAGNIFYING DESK LAMP they're cheap and free both the hands.
2. Box Cutter Blade (not for cutting duh)
3. criss-cross straighten using the the cpu pin grid row as a guide for bent dudes
4. Do it gently, very gently
5. My cpu popped, it didn't just 'drop' straight in. I wiggled the socket lever, sat one side in, lifted back out sat another side in and wiggled, lifted out, once I was satisfied the pins across different sides of the 4 faces of the cpu 'square' were liking this idea and wanted to seat in their socket holes gently push flat I lost a couple of pounds in perspiration at this step, wiggle the socket clamp lever back and forth. My Ryzen 9 3900X popped in a little more first on the bad side, and was tight so I knew it was going in, then she dropped all the way and shut tight with the lever down. I saved about $200 on the cpu and spent about $40 on the desk lamp. I still don't recommend buying a cpu with bent pins, but if you drop yours and the pins get bent enough to not seat in the cpu socket its not all over.

I don't know everything, but its what I do know that bothers people.

Posted By: jhansman
Date Posted: 04 Nov 2020 at 12:40am
Never underestimate the ability of system builders to figure out a problem like this. My Ryzen 5 3600 came with a half dozen bent pins; I used the blade of a small knife and a magnifier to get them aligned. Dropped right in the socket afterwards. Next time I may try the mechanical pencil; makes perfect sense.

Posted By: Gene_Starwind
Date Posted: 30 Dec 2020 at 9:42pm
Question: does anyone know the gauge of the pins on a Ryzen Threadripper? If it matters, a 1920X, to be specific.

Posted By: jhansman
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2020 at 5:36am
Sorry, can't say but I can tell you that in preparation for building a friend's system, I tried my .5mm mechanical pencil on the pins of the Ryzen 5 3600 CPU and it was not large enough. If you plan on using this method, you might want to experiment first with pencils that use larger lead.

Posted By: zzu
Date Posted: 17 Jun 2021 at 3:41pm
Manually resolder a broken CPU pin? good luck on that one. [<:o)]

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