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What are the M.2 heat sinks made of?

Xpoint
Level 7
Hello there,

I just bought a second M.2 SSD. It arrived today and I tried to install it to the lower M.2 slot of my Maximus XI Hero but the right screw won't come out. It sits so tight that I already completely rounded it out.
Now I am not sure if I can save the lower M.2 SSD slot somehow.
One way to save it would be to cut the heat sink covering the connector near the screw with pliers or something like that.
But for that I need to know what the right black part of the lower heat sink is made out of. Is it a aluminum kind of hard material under the black plastic or is it maybe just plastic at the right end?
Can someone maybe look at the back of your shield and check whether there is some harder material than the black plastic at the right end? That would be of great help.
I bought this board a few months ago, so couls I return it and ask for warranty since the lower M.2 slot is not usable like that?

Thanks for any help!
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15 REPLIES 15

edrickjk
Level 7
First , if it feel to tight or slip usually you have the wrong size screw driver. Second At this point the smart way would be to remove the board cover the area arround the shield and use a dremel to cut 2 slot in the screw. This way you will be able to use a larger Philips to remove it.

edrickjk wrote:
First , if it feel to tight or slip usually you have the wrong size screw driver.


May be, but how am I supposed to know what size this screw needs exactly? And I don't think that a mainboard manufacturer should just expect their customers to have a set of small screw drivers at home just to install a SSD. And lastly there is absolutely no point in tightening these screws at all. Not after installing an SSD and certainly not in the factory.

edrickjk wrote:
Second At this point the smart way would be to remove the board cover the area arround the shield and use a dremel to cut 2 slot in the screw. This way you will be able to use a larger Philips to remove it.


That might be the best way to do it but I never used one and I guess I would need a VERY small "blade" (don't know how these are called).
And I can imagine that the vibrations from doing that may damage the board. And how to fixate a PCB? I can't just put it in a lathe.

I still tend to just cut the cover near the screw. It'll be ugly but not really visible under the graphics card anyway.
So it would be really great if someone could tell me what this shield is made out of.

But thanks for sharing the proper way of dealing with it!

edrickjk
Level 7
shield is made of aluminum and you occur more chance to damage something cutting the heat sink then cutting to small slot with a dremel . Lay it flat on your motherboard box for ex,there no vibration,extreme shifting .

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9PyXa1Irnys ,take a smaller cutting disk of course but it will work the same . Reason i say to cut 2 slot is to give you more leverage ,but you could try with just once,the important is not to cut to deep .

dingo99
Level 10
You might also consider a "screw extractor" tool... they're designed for exactly this type of situation.

dingo99 wrote:
You might also consider a "screw extractor" tool... they're designed for exactly this type of situation.


Yes, I thought about that too since I was in a similar situation just a month back and searched for ways hot to unscrew a stripped screw. I guess you mean one of these devices your hit with a hammer and then convert that force into a turning motion? Those are quite destructive and I won't dare to use these on a PCB.

But I think I will just try that dremel thing out. I never did that but there is a first time for everything, ey?

But what do you mean with "extreme shifting"?

Xpoint wrote:
I guess you mean one of these devices your hit with a hammer and then convert that force into a turning motion? Those are quite destructive and I won't dare to use these on a PCB.

Hammer?? LOL, no, of course not. There are screw extractors that work with downward pressure and turning. For example, iFixit has a set for precision screws, but they don't make clear what sizes are included.

mdzcpa wrote:
You need this
https://www.lowes.com/pd/GRABIT-Grab-It-1/1000967290


Yes, but these screws are SO small, I doubt there are bits small enough for that...

EDIT: and the problem with these is that they rely on friction, which is probable less strong that the profile of the screw in the beginning, so if that wasn't enough to loosen it, that probably won't work either.