My CPU Temp is 65+ C While Idle!


I have no idea how this happened!

Everytime I restart my computer, it tells me "Overclocking Has Failed" (at the BIOS), but I have never OCed it.

And now, I've just realized the temperature is 65+C while I'm doing menial tasks (like right now, it's 66C, and all I have open is Firefox & MBM5). It also regularly reaches 70C.

Could someone tell me what the hell is going on?! I know for a fact that the reading is right (and that it's in Celsius).

I have a P4 2.8C
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  1. are you sure it is installed right? did you do it? has this just started happening or a new system build?

    thanks for the extra information. are you saying the heatsink assembly would burn your finger up (make sure you shut it down first) if you left it there for 5 secs? (that's how I feel 65-70c) whereas 35-40 is kinda warm and hot at the same time but would hurt after 20 secs or so I guess (although I've never gone that long).

    fishbyers takes no responsibility for the actions of those reading this forum. Anyone touching their cpu's heatsink may burn themselves or kill their computer and therefore it is not recommended to do so for any reason. Keep computing safe!

    I always find it has been worthwhile for me to clean all the paste off my heatsink and cpu and plop some more on again. Each time I have done so, it has been a carefuler and better job that has lowered cpu temps.
  2. Yes, 60 is hot and can only be touched for a short time, but have you tried touching a 128 degree vga cooler? they almost sizzle when your finger touches, and burn nastily.
  3. It's quite common to not-quite-properly install the Intel 4-pin socket 775 CPU heatsink/fans, leading to elevated CPU temps. This post may be helpful:
    (e.g. step 2 onward)
  4. ya if you have a after market cpu cooler it will do odd stuff. My friend installed a spark 7 on his p4 2.6ghz and it gave him all kinds of cpu failure crap
  5. Whats so funny?
  6. you wither mean pc 8000 which is ddr1000 or ddr2 800, which is pc6400 pc800 is only running at 100mhz, or ddr100
  7. ya i did mean ddr2 800, but infact pc800 is rambus which i believe did 400mhz I have a gig of pc1066 rambus in my old machine that stuff ruled, was about 400$ for a gig tho.
  8. Thanks for the replies all.

    Just to address some of the questions:

    1. I assembled this system about 3-4 years ago. The CPU temps have never been quite right (especially towards the end), and I would receive "Overclocking Failed" from time to time.

    So yea, unfortunately, a myriad of others problems followed soon after I posted this...

    1. Everytime someone stamps their foot on the floor, the computer restarts (it's sitting on carpet - we recently removed, so the old desk is no longer with us).

    2. The screen goes blank after the Windows Loading screen goes away.

    3. More "Overclocking Failure" messages.

    4. The computer will no longer turn on. When I hit the switch on the PSU, nothing happens (not even the small green LED illuminates).

    So... yea.... I guess now would be the time to say that just 2 days ago, the power went out about 3 times, consecutively in a short period of time, while the computer was on....
  9. First, forgive me if I sound condescending. Generally people asking questions realize they are in over their head, and so I try to be very basic, because sometimes it's that darn little pesky basic concept you skipped. Isn't the question posted because you are thirsty for information?

    It may sound like you need a new PSU reguardless of anything else that's wrong with your CPU. The only thing that really makes me think you have a PSU failure now is your LED light doesn't come on. On that note, I'd be willing to bet money your heatink isn't/wasn't installed properly. Although all your other new problems seem like 'OMG the computer is done for', it could be that your CPU is simply overheating faster now and the CPU is locking itself to prevent damage(or an error in the processing due to the temperature).

    A friend's computer would work fine except when he tried to reencode DVDs. It would also randomly lock up at other times, but the only time he could reproduce it would be to reencode a DVD. He built the machine to copy DVDs and now he couldn't. He wasn't too happy about it. He put up with this for over 2 years. When I found out about his problem, I was ready to put $50 on it that he didn't install his heatsink properly. Well, he finallly listened to me. He pulled off his heatink, cleaned the CPU and heatsink, applied some Arctic Silver 5 and installed his heatsink CORRECTLY. Suddenly his CPU wasn't 170F in the BIOS, and... he could copy his DVDs. Of course, he had reinstalled windows many times because the constant hard resetting of his computer eventually corrupted the system, but after a new Windows install his computer has been great ever since. It's amazing what a little bit of experience and a tube of heatsink glue can do for CPU temps.

    This tip just might ring a bell for you too. If you unclamp the heatsink from the MB, you should clean and reapply new heatsink glue. I can't tell you how many poor newbies make this mistake and they don't see what's so bad at checking out their awesome rig that they've built and are so proud of.

    I recommend you do a few things:

    1. Get a UPS. They seem to be a lifesaver at times. Especially those pesky power surges from the power company. All 5 of my computers have UPSes, and they'll all shutdown if they lose power for 5 minutes. I'd rather not have to reinstall windows yet again, and the $50 is worth the money for the hours and hours of pain of reinstalling everything.

    2. Check to see if your CPU fan seems to spin at a speed you'd expect. It should appear to spin about as fast as the rest of your case fans. Bootup is the best time to check it because most computers that use fan throttling will initally run at full speed. Get yourself some Arctic Silver 5. If you got some of the cheap stuff you can use that, but if you are gonna go buy some, you might as well get some Arctic Silver 5. 1 tube is good for many applications. Then pull off your CPU and heatsink and clean them very well. I recommend rubbing alcohol, but you can buy the cleaner kits at newegg. I've used both, and I can't really say either is better. I use my cleaner kit and when it's gone i'll just use rubbing alcohol because it's cheaper and more convenient to buy. Then reassemble them using the convenient guide on arctic silver's homepage

    3. Try to boot up your system. If it doesn't boot, i'd try getting your hands on a spare PSU just to see if it's the power supply. You might find you need a new PSU at this point.

    4. If you get this far, flash your BIOS with whatever the newest version is, then do a reset to defaults. Then, go through and set the settings as you see necessary. As a general rule, if you don't know how a function works in the bios, leave it alone.

    5. If you get to the point where the computer is POSTing and you still can't load windows, I won't be overly shocked. You'll probably have to reinstall Windows. Windows hates having corrupted system files. What a shocker huh? Even if you can boot into windows, I'd back up your data and do a clean install of windows just so you don't have all that past drama from possible corrupt files creeping up in the future. Who wants to fix a computers hardware, but leave the software broke? I'd rather fix it all in 1 swoop and be done with it. Then, just for my own sanity, I'd do a ramtest and a CPU test. I recommend memtest86+ and prime95 for both. Memtest86+ is a boot CD, so that will work reguardless of your OS status. If your computer can boot into XP, I'd do a prime95 on it before I reload it. If prime95 fails with a botched OS, chances are it's not the OS.If you wanna know how to use memtest86+ or prime95 send me a PM. At this point, i'd say your hardware is probably working okay, and you just need good software for your good hardware. Congrats on fixing your computer!

    6. Reinstall Windows if desired. I'd recommend it reguardless just to make sure you have a good OS install.
  10. Thanks for the reply Cyberjock,

    I removed and cleaned the heatsink (cpu) unit, and just as you said, it was very loosely attached, even more, there was quite a bit of dust built up in the fan and the heatsink.

    I also went ahead and ordered a tube of AS5, and a new PSU (one with a 3 year warranty). Granted, it's not the best (Thermaltek 430W), but I think it ought to be sufficient for my needs.

    As for the UPS - well, I'm pretty broke, so...

    Once everything arrives, I'll update with the changes (hopefully). Thanks again.
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