Well my motherboard and QX6700 quad core extreme are officially destroyed. I'm not exactly sure what triggered it but I have a pretty good idea. I'll tell you one thing, hind sight is 20-20!
Xmas 2006, I went and purchased the first quad core extreme model. I think I paid $1100 for it and it's served me well. At the time I was living in the UK and purchased everything in New York and flew the components back and put it all together. I vaguely remember how annoying those four cpu heatsink clips were to install.
About a year ago, I moved back to California, and all my stuff was shipped on freight container. When I got my computer back, everything seemed to work mostly... but my computer had a tendency to overheat and shut down. I didn't think much of it at the time but it tended to happen on hot days and when I was doing gaming with my SLI 8800GTX rig.. running games at 2560x1600. After taking off the side panel allowing it to get more air, it improved but not too much. I resigned myself to remove one of the 8800s and drop gaming resolution and that seemed to improve things a great deal.
But two weeks ago, my computer suddenly seemed to overheat within a minute or two even if I did nothing. At this point I started diagnosing all my components and doing a good dusting but that didn't fix it. With two computers, I had all the components I needed. I concluded it was my motherboard, so I went to Fry's to buy a new one. Went home and swapped it out.... and that is when I realized that one of the 4 heat sink clipped seemed stripped and wouldn't fully clip in.
So it was at this moment I had my epiphany. With one of the clips not secure it would cause the CPU to overheat thus all my prior problems. Ugh, if I had only realized that a year ago, I could have saved much headache. So I returned the new motherboard without even installing it and purchased a new heatsink fan... one with rear mounted steel screws! Got home and installed everything and voila! Everything was perfect and stable.
Then two days ago my computer stops booting, however booting in last successful boot config worked about 2 or 3 times. Then today, no matter what I did, it wouldn't boot at all... but it would always die in EXACTLY the same place. It would shut down about 0.5 seconds after the vista loading progress bar showed up. In safe mode, it always died loading crcdisk.sys. Because of how precise the timing of the death was, I assumed I had a corrupt harddrive or something.
I was back to square one narrowing down and swapping hardware... but eventually went to rule out the motherboard and make sure my quad core was still good... I opened up the cover and immediately noticed a couple messed up pins on the motherboard but a piece of my cpu was stuck to it, like paint flaking off... two of the gold contact pieces were stuck to the mobo. So I realized it was dead and will be shopping for replacements.
This is where I am wondering what you guys think. given the situation, either a) the cpu was already done in from all the overheating shutdowns over the past year that it was it's time and/or b) perhaps I installed the new cpu heatsink on too tight or at least tight enough to cause the damage.
I'm thinking it's possibly a combination of both where the cpu was weakened and having a properly installed heat sink might have caused some damage that seemed okay for a couple weeks.
Anyways, hopefully some expert can chime in, and hopefully some of you out there will learn from my errors
Yeah but once you've read it. Man have you just tried reinstalling windows on another drive, sounds like your windows install has been corrupted when the CPU was overheating and would have been writing errors to your HD. if your pc is getting past the bios screen and starting to load then its unlikely to be hardware failure.
i read the whole thing. the story was captivating.
"I opened up the cover and immediately noticed a couple messed up pins on the motherboard but a piece of my cpu was stuck to it, like paint flaking off... two of the gold contact pieces were stuck to the mobo. So I realized it was dead and will be shopping for replacements."
ive never heard of such a thing... especially in a core2 which has its own heatsink, right on the cpu... those cpus look like one big piece of metal. i cant even picture what you are describing.
oh wait, i just totally pictured it... sounds like you were trying to make a diamond... extreme heat and pressure. ^^
Well, if you look at the bottom of the cpu you'll see a grid of gold contacts. Basically two of those contacts had peeled off and were stuck to the pins on the motherboard.
I am thinking that because my CPU had been shut down dozens of times over the past year due to overheating, it may have weakened it. It's possible that installing it with the new much tighter heatsink, it just peeled off. I don't know if perhaps I installed the heatsink too tight or if the cpu was already damaged and that was just the catalyst.