Dual Core Processor Troubleshooting/Bandaiding

My sister needs a computer and I've got a Intel Pentium D 820 Smithfield 2.8GHz 2 x 1MB L2 Cache LGA 775 95W Dual-Core Processor that I used a while back in another computer. I went through about three motherboards, different RAM chips, etc. trying to figure out why Windows XP kept crashing constantly and finally narrowed it down to the processor. (Had too many different stop errors to tell which hardware was malfunctioning, but only after replacing the CPU did things calm down...) I wrote to Intel and they approved my request to exchange it, but it was running my only functioning computer at the time and I procrastinated -- I've still got it.

Anyway (they might still let me exchange it) -- but I'd like to put a computer together quickly and I'm not 100% sure that this was not some compatibility issue or timing issue (I've not overclocked and am not familiar with tweaking CPUs).

If this is a faulty CPU after all, would it be likely that the fault would lie with only one processor? Can you test one processor at a time (i.e., run XP successfully on only one processor without needing the other)? If that were possible, would the machine still run fairly fast?


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More about dual core processor troubleshooting bandaiding
  1. Assuming you mean one "core" instead of one "processor", in practice you can't subdivide the CPU. Either the chip works or it doesn't.
  2. Thanks Mondoman. Yes, I meant cores...

    I haven't had any other experience with faulty CPUs that I know of (and am not 100% sure that this CPU is faulty -- was having symptoms of some nVidia component compatibility issues as well). Would you likely have stop errors in Windows with a faulty CPU, or would the system simply not work at all? (wasn't sure what you meant by the chip "working or it doesn't")

    This particular system worked fine for about six months and then (after many XP updates) started crashing a lot. I've read something about the timings of the individual cores becoming "off" over time, but didn't know what the symptoms would be.

    Are there any classic CPU trouble symptoms to watch out for?

    Thanks again.
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