CPU Failure?

I have been using a 5 year old laptop (VAIO) with an Intel T5800 Duo-Core processor running at 2.00 GHz, while building my first enthusiast computer system. The CPU is real-time monitored by a CPU performance meter, 'Gaget'.

Today, while posting comments on an often visited site, the monitor started showing the 2nd core as maxing out at 100%, the laptop cooling fan ramped-up and stayed at it's highest output level, and the site I have been using 'locked-up' completely. I've had to reboot the laptop each time it happens (3). This has happened (to a lesser degree) on other sites as well, though this is the first time I've had total 'lock-ups' occur.

QUESTION: Could/would these be the early signs of a CPU/other component failure?
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  1. Badly coded javascript/php/flash can cause cpu usage to ramp to 100% and cause a system lock.

    Run taskmanager, sort processes by highest usage and then go to one of these sites and see what hits 100% cpu time.
  2. Thank you for replying 'das_stig'.

    *I took your advice and opened Task Manager. It seems that the CPU is maxing out with the "iexp.exe" process (Internet Explorer execute[?]). I checked the Microsoft Update (automatic) history to see if there might have been a download that is affecting my system. One update was downloaded today which adds an .OPXS Format to the XPS Document Format suite, but that shouldn't cause the problem, should it?
    *I also ran a virus update, a virus scan (negative), a register cleaner, a disc clean-up, and a defrag, all of which I run on a regular basis anyway.
    *It has come to mind that the 'lock-up' may actually a 'freeze-up' and is caused by slow execution of the processes in the "Wait Chain". Additionally, there has been a delay during the shut-down of my laptop while waiting for programs to close, even though it seldom actually lists any specific programs (notice on screen).
    *Any ideas or suggestions?
  3. I disabled Java and ran a diagnostic on memory, neither of which solved the problem so I finally ended up installing a different web browser which appears to have solved most of the problem I was having. The rest I will chalk-up to just an old and much used system laptop that is on its lasts legs. Maybe not, but it gives me another excuse to expedite the new built I've been slowly working on. LOL
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