This is my trusty Geforce GTX 260. It has seen better days, the enclosure has been hacked up to fit on a motherboard that it should have never been on. Normally that hole has Bubba Billy duck tape on it. But anyway when I started to drive this card hard it was running hot. I loved this card so it was time to try to save it.
You will need:
Phillips screw driver
Heat sink compound
Some Orange Glow
and as always a Banana
Step 1: Disassembly
On the back of the card there are screws galore. You will need to remove ALL of them. This will release the front housing and the heat sink. Some of these screws will be location specific. Make sure you note where they come from when you remove them. Once you have all the screws removed you should be able to wiggle the housing. It may or may not come off easily. I had to wiggle and pull at the same time to separate mine and over come the heat sink compound. At this point you will have a power plug for the cooling fan to unplug from the board. It is most likely a three wire plug. Ground/Power/RPM reference.
As you can see in this photos the heat sink compound was a mess. Most of it was dry and shoved off the edges of the processor.
Now take your Orange Glow on a paper towel and wipe off the compound with it. This stuff is super messy as the cleaner re-constitutes it. Don't get this junk on your hands and for crying out loud don't wipe it on your clothes; it will never come out. Wipe it off on your buddies shirt.
Make sure you get all of it.
After you have all the processors and chips clean wipe them down with rubbing alcohol. This will clean off any residue the Orange Glow left behind.
Apply a small dot of compound to all the chips that surround the main processor. Then make a cross on the main processor and don't forget the other one I pointed out in the photo. Don't go crazy with the compound as it will squeeze out and leave nasty noob goop, half on the board. Once you have all the compound in place put the two halves together once you have them together give them a little wiggle while pressing them together. This makes sure the compound spreads correctly. Now lay the card housing side down and replace all the screws. Do not run them all the way down until you have all the screws started. As you tighten them watch for anything to bind. If it does bind correct it. Once you have all the screws tightened flip it over and make sure the fan spins freely and does not hit anything. When tightening them make a pattern that tightens opposite side screws as you go so that it tightens down evenly. This will keep the board from distorting and or being damaged.
Now go check the notes in the photos for details of the repair............
Now go install it in a machine and test it. First and foremost make sure that cooling fan is spinning. If not you may have forgotten to plug the fan back in. If this did happen and you have to take the card apart again don't add any more compound just do the wiggle and push them back together again when you put the halves back together.
After doing this or anything like it I always run the Passmark test for the specific component. This ensures that the repair will be durable and reliable.
Lastly enjoy your banana; but wash your hands first ;)