I recently put together an i7 920 system, and about 3 weeks ago my comp stopped working following a lightning storm. I found that one of the PCI-E slots was out, and so had to RMA the motherboard. After taking off all the components I saw that the thermal paste was no longer smooth on the chip, but rather jagged bits on both the heatsink and the processor chip. When I turned on the comp finally, everything turned on just fine except a few errors showing up. I proceeded to the BIOS, and about 30 seconds after being booted up, the comp turns right back off. I ordered some more thermal paste, and am hoping that is the problem. What other things do you think it could be?
4gb of DDR3 Mushkin 1600 RAM (I accidentally sent in one of the sticks with the mobo, and will be replacing soon)
EVGA X58 mobo
Cooler Master V8
Random DVD drive
1tb Wesern Digital Caviar Black
G.Skill 64gb SSD
Antec Twelve Hundred
91% alcohol avail at most drug stores (I use 100%, but dought you will find).
I first clean off what I can with a old plastic credit card (I keep the junk ones I get in the mail, they come in handy. then use a cuetip and the alcohol. No cuetip - try a paper towel and finger.
Don't forget to discharge any static electricity (discharge self by touching case (personally I wear a ESD wrist strap when around the processor - no need while cleaning the HSF.