CPU overheating suddenly

Hello all - I have an issue that has just begun and I was hoping someone had an idea or two they would be willing to share.

I have had my computer for about a year and a half now and I've never had a single issue with it. I run games such as Mass Effect, Dragon Age, etc with full graphics capabilities enabled and my CPU temp rarely gets over 65 C. Saturday, for no apparent reason, that all changed. My CPU overheated while playing World of Warcraft. BIOS monitored (with idle conditions) my CPU temps were reaching 90 C. I removed my heat sink, cleaned the surfaces and reapplied thermal grease. All fans are still working, the heat sink and fans have very little dust on them, all the wires in my computer case are strapped together and curved out of the way so there is no air obstruction and my computer has never been overclocked. I am using the Core Temp program to monitor my temperature now and the average idle temp is around 55 C. Just loading this web page raised the CPU temperature from 54 C to 91 C. Loading a game like Wizardry 7 (from the 90's) causes the system to heat to 101 C. World of Warcraft causes an overheat crash within a few minutes. I have repeated the heat sink removal/cleaning/thermal pasting procedure 3x now with no results.

I was just wondering what could have happened that would cause this suddenly, since I still have all the same components as before?

My computer stats: Intel Core 2 Duo E8600 (3.33 Ghz)
3 GB Ram (really 4 but I'm running XP)
NVidia GeForce GTX 285 (1 Gb Ram)

I know a little about computers but I'm definitely no expert, so feel free to treat me like a newbie. :D
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  1. Best answer
    What kind of connectors does teh Heatsink assembly use to attach to the mobo?
  2. Much to my infuriation, they are the "push down, snap in" type. The mobo does not have screw pegs mounted underneath the heatsink holes or I would have switched over the first time I checked on it since I do have a screw-in heatsink on another computer. Changing this one is a real (pardon the unladylike talk) SOB. Just thinking about it makes me SOB in another way (ha ha).
  3. You sure they are in right? Those things are a constant source of frustration for me.
  4. And you are a wonderful mind - consider yourself given a big <HUG>. When you asked me that earlier, I went and took off the back panel of my computer so I could see the other side of the mobo. Seems like one of the plastic pins are so loose that it doesn't hold the central part in place. The heat sink seemed secure from the front side so I never checked the back side any of those times <doh>. It must have somehow come loose or something during normal operation and hence the beginning of my problems. I have since taken the heat sink from my boyfriend's computer (shhh, don't tell him - I want it to be a surprise when he wants to use it this weekend to play) and installed it on mine. The temperatures are now 35 C idle and 58 C with almost full load. Thank you, thank you!!
  5. No problem. I have in the past actually taken the push pins apart and taken an exacto knife to them to deepen the groove that the twist lock fits into. This is a quick fix for those push pins that keep popping out. (mind your fingers tho)
  6. Best answer selected by sersanah.
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