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Alert! Chipset heat sink not detected. - Solution
08-05-2012, 07:37 PM (This post was last modified: 08-05-2012 08:33 PM by Bullseye.)
Post: #1
Alert! Chipset heat sink not detected. - Solution
I had a computer that wouldn't boot. Instead it had the error message "Alert! Chipset heat sink not detected. System halted!" I'm sharing how I fixed this to help other people that have this issue.

   

I purchased this old computer at an auction mostly for the monitor. Getting a computer to play with was a good bonus. I'm to new working with computer hardware so it's good to have one that I can work on and not worry if I accidentally break it. The computer is a Dell OptiPlex SX280.

I start by opening it up. You may notice there is no hard drive, the computer didn't come with one.

   

Here's a close up of the problem. The hook should be connected to a loop of wire that should be connected to the motherboard where it is labeled HS2. The bracket is connected like this on both sides. If one side isn't connected, then the computer thinks the heat sink is missing and won't start up.

   

Here's a photo where you can see both sides of the bracket. It is hooked correctly on the left but not on the right.

   

If you're lucky, the loop of wire that came loose will still be in the computer. I found mine rattling around the bottom. If you can't find it you can replace it by bending a piece of wire into a loop.

   

Here's where I ran into a problem. Ideally, this loop should be soldered back into place and the bracket hooked into it. But if the loop is soldered in first, the bracket doesn't have enough give to fit under it. It looks like the loop would have to be soldered in place while the bracket is hooked in, but the bracket has a lot of tension pushing the loop out. I'm not sure how it could be held in place long enough to solder it in. At one point while I was trying to figure this out I accidentally let go of the bracket it flung the loop. I spent a minute frantically looking for it before finding it on the ground half way across the room. Or more accurately, my cat found it and started batting it around.

On top of this, the printed circuitry around where the soldering would need done is is very close. I don't trust my soldering skills enough to try to do it in such a small area.

So I needed a work around. I don't think the pressure of the bracket pushing down is really necessary. What I really need is to complete the circuit to convince the computer that the heat sink is there. With this in mind, I decided to push the loop back into its slot, and instead of hooking the bracket directly to it I took a piece of wire and tied them together. This way the circuit will be completed but there isn't much force pulling up on the loop. It shouldn't come out of place even though I just put it in without soldering it.

   

I put the computer back together and turned it on. It starts, no more error message! It took more time than I care to admit to figure this out, but hopefully this post will save someone else the time it took me.
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07-09-2013, 03:01 PM
Post: #2
RE: Alert! Chipset heat sink not detected. - Solution
Brilliant!
This is what forums are all about!
My "loop" that had popped off was on the other side of the heat sink - but your solution worked perfectly.
Thanks very much.
Mike
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08-23-2013, 03:15 PM
Post: #3
RE: Alert! Chipset heat sink not detected. - Solution
This just helped me a lot.. I was thinking of getting new computer as it was totally ruined up with that problem.. I'm actually done with everything but I can't find the hook, any alternate wire name or any other solution please? Thank u a lot, Danyal.
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03-14-2014, 09:37 PM
Post: #4
RE: Alert! Chipset heat sink not detected. - Solution
I bow to your brilliance. I would have never thought of the wire idea. Simplicity really is perfection. Thank you.
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07-10-2015, 01:18 AM
Post: #5
RE: Alert! Chipset heat sink not detected. - Solution
I had this error message, followed the instructions, and now I'm up and running again. Thank you.
Scott Mijares
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