CPU Overheating even after cleaning heatsink and fan

Hello everyone, I had a PC that was shutting down suddenly mostly at night, there were a few times it shut down during day time but it was very rare. Also when it shut down at night, if I tried to turn it on again it would shut down almost immediately.

So in order to fix it I downloaded a program named Aida64 in hope of finding what is wrong with it and I noticed that the CPU was overheating, it showed around 100 C which I believe is high.

So I went ahead and checked the fan which I found to be full of dust. I tried removing the fan but it had clips behind the motherboard which I couldn't reach and so I cleaned the fan like that and put the whole thing back together.

I turned on the PC once again but now it shuts down soon after I log in. Around that time I read that I could see the CPU temperature by pressing DEL at startup, the CPU temperature there was indicating about 90 C. I also read that I should have applied thermal paste on the CPU, so I went and bought some and because the heatsink had clips behind the motherboard I removed the cables and unscrewed the motherboard, cleaned it well, and applied thermal paste (in the correct way I believe, found how by searching the internet).

I put it all back together again and turn on the PC but same thing happens, it shuts down really fast. After putting it together and turned it on I pressed DEL again in order to see the temperature, it was 70 C and kept on rising. Then I restarted and moments after I logged in it shut down.

I'm sorry for writing this much but I wanted you to know what I've done up to now. I'm looking forward to your help and hopefully I'll be able to fix it.

I don't know what kind of information I should write about the PC so if you need to know something ask and I'll reply soon. Thank you for your time.
22 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about cpu overheating cleaning heatsink fan
  1. Can you list what cpu and heatsink you have.

    If you can get an image it may help as well.

    Some important things that must be asked.

    1. When you redid the thermal paste, did you clean the old stuff from both the cpu and heatsink with 99% isopropyl alcohol(rubbing alcohol).
    2. You only used a small amount of paste right. What was the exact method you used as some users do it a different way.
    3. I need to see how you re mounted this cooler because most stock coolers do not need board removal.
  2. Is the heatsink/fan retail (marked Intel or AMD)? Does the heatsink look level or flat? Did you build the PC or buy it pre-assembled? Did the PC work correctly when it was new? Check the CPU fan airflow. It should pull air towards the processor. Those temps can only happen if the heatsink isn't installed correctly.
  3. The fan may be failing, spinning way less than needed. What CPU does it have? a picture of the motherboard and Heatsink/Fan may help, as a replacement heatsink/fan is probably needed and will help in determining a suitable replacement.
  4. First of all, thank you all for answering!

    So, about what nukemaster asked, I'm not sure what kind of CPU I have but I remember that when I cleaned it, it was written something like Intel Core 2 Quad, hopefully that helps. About the heatsink I can only tell you what is written on the fan I guess which is :

    12VDC 0.60A

    1. I didn't clean it with isopropyl alchohol, I didn't know i need to use one, i just cleaned the old one well.
    2. I did use a small amount, I applied a little in the middle and then I put the fan back together.
    3. I took a couple of pictures, if these don't help I could take it appart again.

    Also, bought it pre-assembled and it did work correctly when it was new. But after a few months I think it started shutting down.
    There is a possibility one of the pins is broken or something cause when i reassembled it, it didnt really lock but I pressed it a little while it was locked and left it like that cause it pressed down pretty well.
  5. Best answer
    Ok, with that cooler you should NOT have needed access to the back of the board. If you used pliers to squeeze those 4 pins, you may have damaged them.

    You should have just turned each one about a quarter turn to release them then pull each one UP. That would release the cooler.

    You are going to have to check out the pins to ensure you did not damage them. If you did, you need to replace them of get a cheap LGA 775 cooler to replace that cooler

    I do not know how big your case is so I recommend the Arctic Cooling Freezer 7 as it fits almost any computer and is not overly costly if you do replace the cooler it self.

    This video shows proper installation and remove of the LGA 775 coolers. For installing i push the opposite corners down together, but as long as they pins lock in flat to the board it should be good.

    A very ghetto option(only if you have NO other options.) you may also have if the pins have been damaged is using 8-32 bolts/nuts from a hardware store to mount the cooler. You should place rubber washers under the metal edges to avoid using too much pressure. Too much pressure can bend the board.
  6. Thank you very much for answering.

    I did turn the ones that can be seen in the picture as you say, I saw how in a video, but even though I pulled, it wouldn't come off. That's why I thought i had to remove the pins, I don't know if I've damaged them but I was careful. How do I know if the pins are damaged?
  7. Just look at the ends. they should look all nice. I will attempt to get you an image. please stand by.



    You have to make sure the 2 white points are NOT bent too far outwards because if they are they will not fit he holes on the board. The second part of the image shows how the locking works. You effectively wedge the 2 plastic parts into the board(Same way you hold the handle on an axe or hammer :) ) and that holds the cooler in place. You have to make sure the bumps are PAST the board or it will not grab.

    You may find this link helpful as well.
  8. I see, this is very helpful, I'll check them as soon as I can.

    In case they are damaged, and it needs to be replaced. I looked on a site from a store near me.
    Is there any chance one of these could do too?

    Intel DRA-A for LGA 2011

    Alpenföhn Civetta 92mm

    Also, thanks a lot for your help! :bounce:
  9. The first one is for a different LGA that is larger with its own mounting system.

    The second one does fit. Its a bit finicky with the sliding push pins, but should work.
  10. I see, thank you again for answering!
  11. Please keep us updated on how it goes.
  12. Hello again! Here to report! :)

    I've removed the motherboard once again to check the pins, I also took some pictures of them.
    Personally I think they look ok:

    Also I've noticed last time and thought I should take a picture as well...this, comes off :

    I was wondering if there is anything else at fault here, for example the fact that I didn't use isopropyl alcohol or maybe the PSU.

    Thank you for your time and help. I'm looking forward to your answer! :bounce:
  13. If the black pin comes out it is not working right. They should LOCK in.

    You made sure that had all been rotated back to may sure they locked right?

    It also seems that 2 of your images do not look like the black pin is in all the way. That could just be the angle of the image. The black part should be at least as far out as the white parts

    This one looks great

    Even a single pin not locked can cause issues like this.
  14. The one with the black pin that comes off doesn't really lock, so it doesn't go all the way in, the other pins though are locked I think.
    Also, I don't think its the angle of the image, one or two including the one that doesn't lock aren't going all the way in.
  15. Well something may have been damaged when removing the actual black pin from the middle. They are just little plastic tabs(I think it is just the one, has been a while since I last took one of these apart) that can break easy.

    The part with the little circle is what had to be lifted to separate the 2 parts. It is kind of delicate and the pin had to turned the right way for it to even release.
  16. Does that count as broken then or I can fix it somehow? The black pin could be removed pretty easily when it was "locked".
    I don't mind buying a new one if need be.

    Thank you for answering! :)
  17. If it isn't locking down evenly on all four corners, you will have bad contact between the Processor and Heatsink, This will result in less than efficient cooling. One of the reasons I do not like push pins.
  18. You should replace the cooler or get new pins, It should NOT be easy to remove, you should have to rotate it and pull up.

    Its the pins that do not seem to be locking that are causing the issue. If the heatsink is not FLAT on the cpu, it does not work right.

    Again, careful use 4 4 bolts and some rubber washers could mount it, but you have to be careful to mount it flat and not apply so much pressure as to bend the board. Not a good first timer project(but still doable with some care).

    Some companies have taken the guess work out of bolting down a heatsink.
  19. Your instructions are for replacing the pins or the cooler?(or both?)
    I don't want to do something that has a chance of damaging the PC even more.
    If replacing the cooler is safer and easier then I think I'll go with that.
  20. A new cooler should do the trick. It does not have to be the most expensive thing out either.
  21. Hello, here to report once again!

    I bought a new cooler and its working very well, the cpu temperature is about 30 C.

    I asked at the shop and they gave me this one:

    It was a little tricky to set up but I'm sure I did it correctly, after all I'm writting this post from that PC now!

    Once again, thank you very much for your help! :D
  22. I had the first of those style coolers(Zalman ones) on one of my systems in the past :)

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