So I took out my very dusty intel stock fan, cleaned the crap out of it, took out the q8300 yorkfield chip, cleaned the old paste from the heatsink and the chip, replaced the paste on both (zalman, w nail-polish brush that comes w/ bottle) and reattached the fan.
Ran the pc, booted up fine, switched users and went to look at coretemp.. the numbers were nonsense, -19c, -0c etc.. and they all had (!) and (?) next to them, and were written in red.
Didn't get much time to look because the PC shut off right then, and I haven't got the guts to turn it back on without a plan of attack.
What are the reasons this could happen? Is there a chance I fried the cpu by touching the little gold pins (barely, if at all, as i was very careful) or can i rule that out? Is it usually/most likely something about the heatsink fan not being on right? It seemed quite snug, but I don't know as this is my first experience with this stock cooler..
Also I bought a masscool aftermarket cooler, but i wasn't going to use it unless i had to as it requires i remove the motherboard...
I didn't wait for the paste to "dry" or anything as it seems grease based anyway and i don't think it really dries anyway, right?
Hoping for good newa as i truly love this pc and won't have $ for replacing big parts for several more weeks.