Since everyone in the house has at least one computer and I have the most experience opening up computers that makes me the home IT guy.
Interestingly, I typed SIS 760lv into Google and it came up with a forum post on the exact problem my twins' computers have: A heat sink fell off.
I do have the thermal adhesive and I hope it will do the job, because the little doodads that lock the heat sink down are goners.
I think most of my Thanksgiving break is going to be taken up with home IT tasks.
[two weeks later ...]
Well, it turns out I had Arctic Silver 3 thermal gel which is not the same thing as thermal glue. So I put thermal gel on the heatsink and the Northbridge part and left the PCs on their sides. I had to order Arctic Silver Thermal Glue from NewEgg. That arrived, but by then it was obvious that only one of the machines was fixed - the other one had too much thermal damage to the Northbridge and would lock up when doing a lot of video (2D or 3D). An internet search found the exact motherboard from HP ... in Hong Kong! The price was quite reasonable including shipping and the motherboard arrived intact a few days after that. Today, I tore one of the machines down to the bare metal, installed the new motherboard, and then powered it back up. So far, success!
I used to be afraid to play with the hardware in a PC. I'm a software guy! Then one time I put a SCSI controller into a machine when I had forgotten to turn the power off! There was a big spark and the machine crashed, but after I powered it down and restarted it, everything was fine! PCs are actually pretty resilient.
For the HP Media Center machine, I disconnected everything, swapped the motherboard, reconnected everything, powered it up, and it worked the first time.
So I'm no longer afraid of the insides of PCs. W00t.
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