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I've not had much difficulty myself because I tend not to use adhesive ... normally a light twist and levering action from one side allows it to separate nicely. Never use more force than necessary ...
Where it is adhesive epoxied and taped, I try to get a thin knife wedged between the chip's package and the heatsink so that the force is "wedging" the heatsink away from the package rather than applying force to the whole package.
I have had one case where it was well and truly stuck - so I gave it a firm tug as it was a socketed chip and it came out with all pins straight ... then I could wedge a knife inbetween to separate the heatsink from the CPU. That's where overly firm twisting might get you undone ...
> I've not had much difficulty myself because I tend not to use adhesive
I've had difficulties where the thermal adhesive had dried onto the processor or chip. There've also been problems when the bond was just too good, with only thermal grease, as though it had a vacuum or suction holding it together.
> so I gave it a firm tug as it was a socketed chip and it came out with all pins straight
Haha yep, that's it. I've had that happen.
This is a topic that has been tried and tested since the beginning of the Pentium era in personal computing when heatsinks and fans become the mainstay for cooling your processor and enabling the ability to overclock.
For a lot of people, this is new ground when it comes to the Raspberry Pi, as this Reddit user found out:
I've personally found that a light, twisting motion helps to remove heatsinks, or ensuring it is a little warm before attempting removal.
Of course one of the more obvious is, don't accidentally use thermal adhesive
Have you had similar difficulties? Or has it been a walk in the park for you?