Got an Old CPU with Bent Pins? Here’s a Funny True Story…

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By Lowell Heddings on September 22nd, 2010

This tutorial isn’t really useful for modern PCs, since the motherboard has the pins instead of the CPU, but it does remind me of a funny story of something that actually happened to me.

About 15 years ago, I was working at a company that put together custom-built PCs, so we’d get boxes and boxes of components and have to put together dozens of these machines every day. The CPUs would normally come in a single container for each PC, but when we’d get a large order, they would come out on a tray, usually stacked up together with all of the dozens of CPUs together.

One day we had an order for something like 50 of the fastest Pentium machines—the CPU alone back then was something like $1000 all by itself. You can guess what happened… I dropped the trays. Bent pins and ruined CPUs everywhere! I was only making $6 per hour, and I’d just broken at least $30,000 worth of CPUs. Since I didn’t want to spend the next few years paying them back, something had to be done…

Thankfully my co-worker Rob covered for me, doing my work while I spent hours and hours unbending all of the pins using a technique very similar to what is covered in the linked article.

Amazingly, every single one of the PCs worked just fine, and in fact we didn’t get a single returned unit.

How to fix bent CPU pins [Instructables]

Lowell Heddings, better known online as the How-To Geek, spends all his free time bringing you fresh geekery on a daily basis. You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/22/10
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