I know with the recent release of the 0.13 micron XP processor that an article explaining how to unlock that would be more cutting edge BUT with the recent price cuts from AMD the older 0.18 micron chips have become a very good buy. Not to mention a bunch of you probably already own a 0.18 micron XP processor.
I would like to say I know there are a few different guides to unlock one of these processors. My technique however is easy to do, it's reversible, and will not damage your processor if a mistake is made. For example I tried to use the method that tells you to fill in the trenches, laser cuts, between the L1 bridges with super glue then take an Exacto Knife and scrape off the excess so the L1 bridges are exposed. But me being a little clumsy I took a chunk out of the organic layer on top of the processor and exposed the ground underneath. No matter what I did after this point the processor could not be unlocked. I have unlocked 3 XP processors with the method here and all 3 unlocked the first time with no problems.
What Your Gonna Need
An Athlon XP 0.18 Processor (duh)
A Circuit Writer Pen
Radio Shack (or any other brand) White Heatsink Compound
Straight Edge, like a credit card or driver's license
Hard Plastic Surface (I used the case the Circuit Writer Pen came in)
Exacto Knife *optional
Magnify Glass *optional
Everything is pretty easy to find and stuff you probably already have laying around except the Circuit Writer Pen. I bought mine from Fry's Electronics but if you don't have one of them around most end real, not Radio Shack, electronics store should have them. The reason you need white thermal paste is because it is truly non-conductive unlike Artic Silver. The Straight Pin is a little easier to use if it has a flat head, some are spherical. The Exacto Knife is optional because I only used it to trim some of the excess tape, and the Magnify Glass is just used to inspect what you are working with.
Background - The Theory of the Unlocking
With the previous Athlon Thunderbird processors all one need to do to unlock them is connect the opposing L1 bridges with a thin line of lead from a mechanical pencil...simple. However, with the introduction of the XP processor AMD began to put small laser cut trenches between the L1 contact posts that would ground the connection between the posts if you attempted to connect them without taking extra steps.
OK so where are we at? Basically, we need to fill in the trenches with a non conductive material (the thermal paste) and connect the L1 bridges with the Circuit Writer's ink, pencil lead can't be used since it has to go across the thermal paste. By the way, the connection between the posts can not touch the connection between the posts next to it. So we are going to mask off each series of posts (there is five) as we connect them.
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