make sure the wires ur talking about aren't touching anything else because if it touches one of the capacitors or anything else in ur mobo it can blow or die. if the wires arent in use then cut them off.
about the thermal paste, u want to take off the heatsink, then whipe off the old thermal paste from both the cpu and the heatsink (dont take off the cpu from mobo), then squirt about a boiled size of rice on the heatsink, smear it so its a thin layer and make sure it doesnt go on the mobo. reinstall the heatsink and ur set to go
also to test ur RAM download this:
ur gonna hav to create a boot cd or floppy in order to run it on system boot