Easier Athlon XP Unlocking . . .

I’d like to thank everybody who sent in suggestions. A number of you offered to do this if the gentleman lived in their vicinity, but the gentleman was hoping to do it himself.

I tried to put in the less conventional/known/easier methods first, then went with more difficult (but perhaps useful to others) approaches. Again, thanks!

I have managed to unlock 2 of the XPs so far, but it is a massive PITA. So what I have been doing lately is taking all my AthlonXPs to my local and very trusted jeweler. For $10 and a couple minutes of work he has been soldering the bridges “closed” for me. I have come to the conclusion that this is the best way yet for me to get them unlocked.

Instead of using that tip on the conductive pen , I opened the thing and used a very fine artist brush that i had trimmed down to about 4 or 5 hairs. Worked very well and was a hell of a lot easier then getting ink to flow evenly from those damn pens.

There is a rather easy solution which involves
taking an old calculator or cellphone to pieces.

To make electrical contact between the glass screen and the PCB, they use a
kind of rubber/graphite sandwich with very thin conducting lines.

Just cut a piece of this rubber, position it on the L1 bridges, make sure it
stays in place and hey presto the bridges are connected.
This method was posted on Hardocp some two months ago. Ask those guys if

Another along the same lines:

I don’t know if you’ve heard of this or not, but I stumbled on some links to a Taiwanese article (Ed. note: Check the links found here, including a video.) that shows a very simple way of unlocking the XP.
It involves the use of a rubber material with a conductive surface. High magnification inspection of the rubber shows lots of tiny strands of wire running parallel (but not shorting each other) on the surface of the rubber.
According to the article, its the kind of rubber used for repairing cellphone keypads (or something like that).

Anyway, you just cut a piece of that rubber to size and tape it over the L1 contacts.

Since it is a stiff material, there will not be any contact with the pits. And the each parallel strand of wire is independent, thus won’t short the adjacent contact.
Best of all, it can be removed without a single trace, thus keeping your warranty!!!

I don’t own an Athlon XP, so I can’t really say that I know how to unlock one, but I had an idea… I it tested on one of my Durons to see if it was practical, and it might just work and also have the benefit of being simple and reversible as well. It took me 10 minutes to do (on a Morgan core Duron 1 GHz). This may be impractical, or even impossible on an XP, but I just thought I’d put forward the idea, and let others who own XP CPUs experiment with it if they wish.

I have a 760MPX board with two Durons in it, but I can only adjust the voltage and multiplier on CPU0, so overclocking isn’t very practical for me. I did the following as sort of a “proof of concept.”

As I see it, the problem is that XPs have a “wide” trench that’s difficult to cross with anything conductive, but how about something solid to make a “bridge” across the trench? I think this can be done with any very malleable metal – lead, gold, or in my case, fine electrical solder. So long as the metal doesn’t touch the bottom of the pit, it should be okay, right?

What I did was I took some fine (solid core) electrical solder, and flattened it with a pair of pliers – I flattened it down to a fraction of a millimeter thick. At this point, the width of the solder was 1.5 times the length of the Duron’s bridge – plenty. Then, I took a very good pair of scissors and cut very small pieces from across the flattened solder wire. These would be the new bridges. Then I took a piece of scotch tape, and put it over the L1 bridges (sticky side on the CPU). With a permanent marker, I drew a line over each of the bridges as a guide. I removed the scotch tape, then placed the tiny solder pieces on the sticky side, lined up with the lines I’d drawn on the other side of the tape. (This took a little patience, ’cause the scale is rather small.) At this point I had a piece of scotch tape with little tiny chunks of metal that lined up perfectly with the bridges. All I had to do was stick the tape back on, and voila…Unlocked Duron.

I stuck the chip back in my mobo (alone – without it’s locked twin), and was able to change the multiplier. I set the CPU to run at 1000 MHz, but at 133 MHz bus. I had to power down after changing the multiplier in BIOS (the computer didn’t come back up right away after the BIOS reset.) I powered it up again, and sure enough a single Duron MP 1000 MHz, at 133 MHz bus. It booted into windows just fine.

I originally did this to my thunderbird and it works fine on my ahtlon XP
1800+. As long as the homemade trace tape is not pressed deep into the
grooves on the athlon, the foil rides right over the top of them so you
don’t have to fill the gaps with super glue or any other crap.

Pass this along as it is a nice procedure, and super easy to do.

Materials needed:

razor blade
clear tape, preferably 3M Scotch tape as the adhesive on this brand doesn’t
become gooey over time
aluminum foil
pin or sewing needle
pencil, 0.5 mm mechanical preferred
1 piece of white paper

1.Start off with a piece of foil 3 cm by 2 cm.

2.On the white paper, use the razor to cut off a piece of foil that is 1 mm
in width. This will give you a piece of foil 1 mm by 2 cm.

3.Cut the 1 mm by 2 cm piece of foil into 4 pieces. each 2 mm in length.
They are small, so do this over the white paper so that they stand out.

4.Tear off a piece of Scotch tape 3 cm in length.

5.Fold the shorter edge of the tape on itself, so it makes a little pull
tab. This will make it easier to pull it off if you need to without having
the tape tearing in odd places.

6.Cut the off the scalloped edge of the tape from when it was torn off from
the tape dispenser. This will prevent the tape for tearing in odd places if
you have to take the tape off.

7.Put the tape across the Athlon chip. Make certain it is over the L1
traces. It doesn’t matter if it goes across the other traces. Make certain
it doesn’t go near the chip core however, as it does get too hot there and
may melt the tape.

8.Once the tape is over the L1 traces, lightly go over the L1 traces with
the pencil. This will copy their position onto the tape.

9.Pull the tape off. You will now see that you have their exact position,
and now know where to put the small pieces of foil that you cut earlier.

10.Put the tape on the paper so that the sticky side is facing up. You can
stick the tape to the razor blade so it will stay down without lifting up or
being an annoyance. This will make it easier to apply the small pieces of

11.Use the pin to pick up one piece of the 1 mm by 2 mm foil. It should stay
right to the head of the pin. If you have problems getting the foil to the
pin, just use a stack of paper, as you will then be able to “stick” the

12.Using a steady hand (like a shaky hand would work anyway?) place the
piece of foil on the sticky side of the tape, right where you see your
pencil marks.

13.Repeat that 3 more times, and you will be good to go.

14.Line up the pieces of foil over the traces and once applied, I used the
eraser end to lightly press the foil over the traces to make certain it made
contact and closed the traces.

15.Reapply heatsink, change multiplier, and you should be in business.

This one is more conventional than most, but might help some (at least I know some will like the first recommendation :)):

I, too am not as dextrous as I once was (due possibly to a few worse things than coffee) but was
able to successfully unlock my 1600+ by ahortcutting a few steps from the “traditional” methods. F

First, as opposed to my usual 4-5 cups of coffee that morning, i drank a couple of
beers while setting up my work area (sounds trivial but it really helped
compared to my first attempt).

Second, I set the CPU on the foam pad
that came with my motherboard to hold it quite still.

Third, superglue/nailpolish are messy and difficult to work with, so i used
acrylic artist’s paint (probably in the back of most people’s closets)
and the only masking i did was when filling the pits (i found that
applying the tape was the hardest part of the whole job).

Fourth, I picked up a $2.50 cheap plastic loupe at the electronics store where i
got the chemtronics conductive pen, and that alone made a world of
difference. (Ed.note: It does, get yourself one.)

After cleaning the contacts with an acetone/alcohol mixture,
you only need to bleed out some silver ink on a piece of plastic and dip
a pin in it (one needn’t perfectly “draw” lines between the contacts)
then just lay the pin horizontally between two dots, and don’t worry
about smudging a little. Then, the next two dots.

Bleed out more ink,
because it will be getting tacky by now and then continue until all five
are connected. Redo any that look too thin. Now, to make up for all the
time and stress you saved by not masking the traces, just lightly pull
the pin between each trace to make sure they didn’t bleed. The ink
should still be soft enough to do this fairly easily.

No Glue, no exacto knives, no scraping through the top of your cpu, and
best of all, no microscopic strips of tape that want to stick everywhere
but where you want them.

And finally, last AND least.

www.iceepc.com adds $ 45.00 to the cost of the processor to unlock. (Ed.note: Sheesh!!)

Email Ed

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