AMD’s Athlon XP processors require a motherboard with Socket A (462). This could be difficult to find as AMD discontinued both the Athlon XP and the Socket A motherboard in 2005. But for those who have managed to hold on to an Athlon XP and compatible motherboard, there is nothing in the way of running a system based on this technology.

1. Turn off your computer, unplug it and remove all peripheral devices that may be attached.

2. Fasten the grounding strap so it touches your skin. Attach the other end to a grounded piece of metal. This will prevent transfer of static electricity, which can damage delicate components inside your computer.

3. Unscrew your computer’s access panel and remove it. The processor will be on the motherboard underneath a heat sink with a fan on top of it.

4. Disconnect the heat sink cable from the motherboard. Locate the clip on the side of the heat sink. Note that there is a space on the clip about the size of the tip on a flat screwdriver.

5. Gently place the tip of your flat screwdriver in the space provided on the clip. Carefully apply pressure down then away from the heat sink to disengage the clip.

6. Gently move the heat sink back and forth to break the thermal seal and lift off the heat sink.

7. Free the locking arm on the side of the processor socket by pushing down and pulling it out and up. Remove the old processor.

8. Look at the new processor’s four corners and notice two of them have missing pins. These correspond to blank spaces on two of the socket’s corners. Align the corners with the missing pins with the socket’s blank corners and rest the processor in the socket.

9. Verify that the processor is resting level in the socket. Fasten the locking arm by pushing it down until it locks in place.

10. Consult the instructions for the heat sink that came with your new processor. If it requires thermal paste, place a dab about the size of a pinky nail on the processor core in the center of the processor. Press the flat side of a glass slide or credit card against the paste to spread it over the processor’s surface.

11. Note that the new heat sink has an indention that corresponds to a ledge on the socket. Line these up and place the heat sink level on the processor, not at an angle.

12. Secure one clip with your finger. Use your flat screwdriver to secure the other clip by pressing down and toward the catches on the socket. Gently try to pull the heat sink off to make sure it’s secure.

13. Connect the heat sink cable to the motherboard & power on the computer. The fan should spin rapidly. If it doesn’t, turn off the computer immediately, as inadequate cooling will destroy the processor.

14. Replace the access panel & run the AMD hardware identification utility. This helps ensure your CPU is running properly.

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