CPU overheating or Virus?

So I wan to apologize if my issue doesn't make much sense, but this has been going on for a week now and I have no idea what to do now.

So my computer is pretty old. It's

Windows 7 32bit

3.2 CPu Speed

1.8 Ram

Not sure about the rest, It's not the best computer in the world but it gets the job done.

Anyway, A few days ago it shut off randomly, and I didn't think much of it, till it started doing it again and again, and then it gave me a CPU Overheating Error message upon restarting, so I just figured my Cpu was overheating, I had a friend check it out cause I'm not too smart with computers,
So he cleaned it out and apparently I had tons of dust in it, and he cleaned and applied new thermal pasted to the CPU

So I thought the problem was solved, the computer stayed on for about an hour till it turned off again.

So I did more research trying to see why my computer was still shutting off, at this point it kept getting worse, as soon as I would log in my computer it would stay on for maybe 2 minutes then shut off. No programs open or anything, and would still give me the CPU overheating message, which made no sense, as I had nothing running.
So now I was thinking it could be a virus? I go to safe mode and with networking, the computer doesn't "overheat" in safe mode immediately like it did regularly.
I don't have a temperature thing to check the temps of my computer because my computer is pretty old. So in normal mode I would open task manager as soon as I could, and I would see the CPU usage at 100% for no apparent reason. No program was open, so I figured this is why it was shutting off immediately, something was making it shoot to 100%
So while in safe mode I try to do full scan on my computer ( I use Windows Security ) & the computer "overheats" from that and shuts down.

I figured it was a startup item or something, I found a tutorial online on doing a windows 7 clean boot. & That actually worked, I went into regular mode and my cpu usage wasn't at 100% anymore and my computer didn't shut off.

So I figured the problem was solved till I tried playing a game on the computer, this game wasn't high graphic or anything, it was a simple game I could play on a computer way worse than mine, but as soon as I started this game my mouse started lagging and the cpu usage was at 100% again.

I've played this game on this exact computer before flawlessly. Never had lag or anything, so I'm really not understanding why it's doing this now.
Anyway, after about a minute, the computer shut off because it "overheated".

So at this point I'm still using the clean boot method, and I can't do much with my computer except use the Internet. If I try to open any game, even a very old game, it will overheat.

So I'm really confused right now. & I'm really not for buying a new computer, but if the cpu is the whole problem and not a virus, then I guess I would instead of trying to hunt down a cpu for an older machine.

But I'm convinced the cpu isn't entirely the problem and I might have some sort of virus thats shooting up my CPU usage for no apparent reason. If so would a clean install work.

Anyway thanks for your help, I really hope someone can help me figure out this problem.
11 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cpu overheating virus
  1. If it's a virus, a clean install would definitely help. But before you do that, try looking at your temps.

    You said your computer was old, but it doesn't sound old enough to not have temperature sensors. Try downloading RealTemp ( and let us know what your temps are.
  2. Thank You guys for replying so quickly.

    @steamroller - I downloaded that and tried starting but got an error "The processor detected is not supported"
    I guess that means I have no sensors.

    @tourist - I'm not sure if this is correct but it says "Antec" and Basiq Power 350 watt

    Thank You both.
  3. I'm not saying that the power supply has no problems, but before you start buying parts, I would try to pinpoint what exactly is going on.

    Can you hear the fans in your computer speed up when you do something that stresses the cpu?

    Also, you said that you got a message that said your computer was overheating. Was this from within Windows or something like a blue or black screen?

    Easy way to check if it is a virus is to download ubuntu and run it from the boot cd. If that runs well for a period of time, then you might have a virus. Let me know if you need more instructions for this.

    You might also want to try SpeedFan to see if you can get your temperatures.
  4. Thank You tourist, but I'm really not looking to buy new parts unless I absolutely need too.

    @Steam Yes, you can tell when the CPU is "Overheating" & my computer is about to shut off. I guess the Cpu fan gets louder and my whole computer will start to lag, I did a test with the game I mentioned, and as soon as I opened it the CPU usage went to 100% (and would have stayed there till the computer would shut itself off) but as soon as I closed it went back down between 0%- 15% just fluctuating.

    The message would be on a black screen as the computer is starting up. I don't know the name of this screen sorry. But it's the one that shows your system specs and if your mouse is connected etc.
    At the bottom of all that it said ("CPU Overheat Error" Press F1 to continue )

    I will try out that Unbuntu & Speedfan Thank You

    & If it helps. ( My friend told me check my Events Viewer) I think everytime my computer shuts off I'm getting these errors in my event viewer:

    Log Name: Application
    Source: Microsoft-Windows-WMI
    Date: 4/24/2013 12:16:50 PM
    Event ID: 10
    Task Category: None
    Level: Error
    Keywords: Classic
    User: N/A
    Computer: HomePC-PC
    Event filter with query "SELECT * FROM __InstanceModificationEvent WITHIN 60 WHERE TargetInstance ISA "Win32_Processor" AND TargetInstance.LoadPercentage > 99" could not be reactivated in namespace "//./root/CIMV2" because of error 0x80041003. Events cannot be delivered through this filter until the problem is corrected.
    Event Xml:
    <Event xmlns="">
    <Provider Name="Microsoft-Windows-WMI" Guid="{1edeee53-0afe-4609-b846-d8c0b2075b1f}" EventSourceName="WinMgmt" />
    <EventID Qualifiers="49152">10</EventID>
    <TimeCreated SystemTime="2013-04-24T19:16:50.000000000Z" />
    <Correlation />
    <Execution ProcessID="0" ThreadID="0" />
    <Security />
    <Data>SELECT * FROM __InstanceModificationEvent WITHIN 60 WHERE TargetInstance ISA "Win32_Processor" AND TargetInstance.LoadPercentage > 99</Data>

    Sorry if that makes no sense, but it seems like every time my computer shuts down I get a new error. They are all identical and I have no idea what they mean really or if they have anything to do with the problem, But hopefully it helps.
  5. Intel (R) Pentium (R) 4 CPU 3.20 Ghz & I don't think my graphics is on board so descret?

    As an update, I tried installing a program today for work and doing that I guess "overheated" the cpu once again because my computer shut off in the middle of the installation.

    I also checked my events viewer and there was another Error again like the one I posted above. Does that have anything to do with my problem since every time my computer shuts off a new one appears. Thanks.
  6. That is a pretty old cpu. I have a similar one and it doesn't have a temp sensor either.

    That error looks pretty harmless and it looks like a known problem:

    I'm thinking your friend might not have apply the thermal paste correctly or your heatsink is not seated properly on your cpu.

    If you hear your fans speed up and then your computer shuts off, it's very likely that your cpu is actually overheating. Open your computer and try to move the heatsink in your computer. If it's not rock solid, then it's probably not seated correctly. Have your friend look at the computer again if possible.

    There are still these possibilities: Virus and bad power supply.

    Try logging into safe mode and see if that helps. If it doesn't shut off in safe mode, then its probably something software related (ex. Virus). But the easiest way to eliminate a virus is to download a linux distro (like ubuntu) and see if it still happens.

    The only real way to eliminate the possibility of a bad power supply is to test it with a working power supply. If you have a compatible power supply in another computer or if you can borrow one, you can test it that way.
  7. Yeah it's an pretty old computer. I checked out the heat sink and it seems like its on there pretty tight. But I'll have him check it again next time I see him.

    As for the power supply issue, I do have a few led lights ( I think they're called ) in the computer. 1 is on the case fan, the one that brings in air and the other is on the cpu fan. I also have an extra hard drive, could these be pulling extra power? If so I can unhook them. I don't think they're very necessary.
    I do have a few old junk computers in my garage, so I'll check those out to see if they could fit.
    I still haven't done the Ubuntu thing, I'm figuring out how to do all that. What is a p/s by the way?

    Thanks again for all the help.
  8. Best answer
    I actually think the power supply might have been the problem. I took the old one out and opened it up, there was a lot of dust like you said and I don't think this is normal, but some white melted stuff, spread all around, it looks like it used to be apart of the power supply something inside and it just melted? I'm not sure but it looked really odd and out of place.

    So I took a power supply out of an older computer, hooked everything up and it works fine so far, I started up the game that would usually shut off my computer and although the cpu usage was very high 70-100 ( I don't know if thats normal when you're playing games) but it didn't shut off like it usually would.

    So I'm really hoping that fixed the problem, and I'll probably get that new power supply you linked me to, because the one I'm using now is from a very old computer. So who knows how long it will last. Thank You guys so much!
  9. Glad you found the problem. And yes, 70-100% is pretty normal for a cpu of that class.
  10. Sorry for not picking a best answer because unfortunately the problem still hasn't been solved. I don't know If I'm allowed to reopen this for help. I was going to go ahead and do a clean install but as soon I started moving some things to my extra hard drive the cpu usage shot to 100% and stayed there till my computer shut off. I've also started getting random bsods that say "irql not less or equal".
    The problem has gotten worse as you can tell, now I can just use the internet and it will shut off. "overheat" I can have nothing open and it will shut off, even in safe mode it will shut off and I will get the CPU overheat error.

    Sometimes I think it's a virus, and sometimes maybe just my cpu, and then there are days where the computer works perfectly fine, even I can run games. I don't know if this helps but I've noticed when it's really hot/stuffy my computer shuts off more than when it's cold or I have the ac running, could that have anything to do with it? Anyway, sorry if this isn't allowed. I will open a new topic if need be. Thank You.
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