Lately my computer has been shutting down abruptly due to the processor overheating. I think it may have to do with my processor fan. It came loose at one point (seven months ago) but I was pretty sure I had put it back on properly, and there was still the thermal goo on it. It's only started shutting down like this since a few days ago. I built the system in October 2006, and it's still the first and only system I've built myself, so I am a semi-noob.
I have an Intel Core 2 Duo @ 2.4 GHz and the standard fan that comes with it. Any suggestions? A recommendation for a replacement fan? Should I maybe just clean off the thermal compound and apply some new one? Brush everything off with a can of air? Something else? For the moment, I have it running with the case open and a typical house fan pointed at it, and it hasn't crashed so far - but I'd like a more elegant solution if possible.
I would try downloading coretemp, a free program, and see what temps it reports. Your cpu should max out at about 60-65 celcius under load. You can try cleaning and reapplying thermal paste. I use fingernail polish remover or isopropyl alcohol to remove old paste from the cpu and heatsink. Apply just one drop of paste in the center of the cpu lid, and spread it with a single edge razor blade or old credit card. Or, with so little, you can install the heatsink and let it spread out as you lock it down.