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Image of a PGAs underside

CPU and other pin grid arrays (PGA) occasionally get bent and it is often difficult to straiten these pins.


  • Mechanical pencil. Metal preferable, but plastic works OK.
  • knife: thickness must be small enough to fit between the pins
    Propelling mechanical-pencil.jpg
  • Optional: Thin needle nose pliers


  1. Using the knife
    1. Have the blunt side facing down
    2. Side the pointy part of the knife through the lines of pins
      • If ascetics are important, try not to scratch the chip
    3. Slide the knife in any direction that works
    4. For completely flattened (Be careful!) They can brake very easily
      • Gently Use the knife to pick at it until it moves about 60 degrees or so. The use the pencil
      Pin grid array straghtening pins w knife.jpg
  2. Using the pencil
    1. Remove the lead from the tip
    2. Slide the pin in the tip and bend it straight
    3. When the pins have multiple bends, you can stick the pencil a quarter of the way and bend it back. And continue utile its straight.
  3. Using the Chips Socket
    Ideally using a zero insertion force socket (ZIF)
    1. This requires a little finessing
    2. The pins can obviously be off by a 1/10 mm or more, and that's enough to make it not fit.
    3. Work in the chip by wiggling it
    4. Push firmly, but if the pins are off by too much, then they may flatten, and that's the worst thing that could happen

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