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I started getting the RSS problem on my A1297 about a year ago so I finally decided to replace the thermal paste. To my surprise I was missing 1 of the 8 heatsink hold down screws and there is no connector from my heatsink into the main board. The connector on the main board is there (as in your pictures above), but there is no connector coming off the heatsink.
Does the heatsink for the A1297 have a connector to the main board?