PC overheated - major problems since

Hi all.

Had my PC running for quite a few years now, so I wouldn't be surprised if there is more than 1 thing wrong with it. Here's a rundown of what happened:

Installed Diablo 3.
Played large amounts of the game, and noticed PC was getting a lot hotter than usual.
About 2 weeks into playing quite a lot almost everyday, my pc shutdown due to overheating.
After leaving all components to cool back down to room temp, the pc would start up again without any problems.
From this point I started monitoring temperatures and cpu was culprit of overheating, leaving my ram extremely hot after a gaming session too. gpu was running fine though.
Another shut down a week later from overheating again, but this time the PC would not restart after cooling down. I would press the power button and only get about 1 second of fans spinning, and then its dead again. I tried this about 20 times in a row and to my amazement the PC eventually powered back on.
Two days later PC overheats again and shuts down. This time it won't come back on no matter how many times i press the power button, but I still get the 1 second fan spinning and the front case LED lighting up.

I can only think it to be one, or both of, two things - PSU is dying and needs replacing, or CPU has burnt out from the last shutdown? I am not that great with hardware troubleshooting, so I hope this enough for someone to provide some more insight into the situation.

Sorry for the wall of text,
Any help appreciated!

15 answers Last reply
More about overheated major problems since
  1. what sort of temps were you seeing?

    also, try this: unplug the power cord, and press and hold the power button for 10 seconds.

    you probably need to remove your heatsink and apply new thermal paste, but check to see if that action fixes it first.

    if that fixes it and you power on, shut back down and do the heat sink fix.

    If it doesn't, then you're probly in need on a new cpu/ram/mobo.

    if the PSU was dead, I don't think you'd get the power on for a second. check the PSU for the smell of burnt plastic though.
  2. Hi, thanks for the reply.
    Still no bootup after trying holding the power button for 10 seconds, same thing happens.

    I was getting upto 85c on my cpu temp, not sure if this is classed as way too high or not, but touching the heat sink and ram, it definately *felt* too hot.

    I remember when installing my cpu there was no thermal paste necessary, none came with it and was no mention of using any in the manual. But it definately overheated far too quickly in the last time it was running.
    Would this even help seeing as it wont boot up even at room temperature?

    There was also no burning smell at all from the tower at any point.

    Thanks again.
  3. Most certainly your CPU has overheated repeatedly. Don't know whether that has caused it permanent damage, but maybe.

    ALL CPU's need a thermal paste between the CPU and the heatsink. Sometimes that's done with manual application of the thermal paste. Often the heatsink itself has a layer of thermal paste on it pre-applied for you. However, in most such cases the paste is covered with a protective piece of plastic film that you must remove before assembling, and you seem NOT to have done that. If that is you situation, basically you have been very lucky to get the machine to work all this time with very poor CPU cooling. But now it appears your luck has run out.

    If you're really lucky, what has happened is that the marginal heat transfer properties you've been using have been destroyed by repeated overheating, but the CPU itself is still OK. You must solve this problem before going any further. First you'll need to remove the heatsink GENTLY from the CPU, then follow the instructions from this sticky posted on the Power Supplies, Cases & Mods forum.


    With luck, you will finally establish proper cooling for your CPU and it will work again.
  4. Hi. Thanks for the informative post.
    I now do remember the paste was already applied and did remove the plastic film when installing it. It does look like it needs attending to.

    Even with the application of new thermal paste, and assuming the cpu HASN'T had permanent damage, I don't see how this will help in 'powering' on the computer. Correct me if i'm wrong, but does the fact the PC no longer powers not mean it WILL be permanent damage?

    Thanks again.
  5. Got a friend bringing over a spare PSU to see if that changes anything. Ordering some arctic silver whilst i'm at it! Will post results soonish.
  6. good luck
  7. Hi again guys,

    My friend didn't managed to get a PSU but we applied new thermal paste and this did not solve the problem of getting the tower to boot. We cleaned out the heatsink, also no help.
    We reset the CMOS with no help.
    The PC still powers up the fans for a second or two and then off again, no bios, no display.
    Going to try a different PSU tomorrow hopefully. If that doesn't work I can only assume it is a problem with the CPU or the motherboard itself.

    Anymore thoughts guys? Thanks for the help.
  8. Contrary to what these guys are saying you are right in looking at the PSU first. But first can I ask that you put some details of your machine it will help a lot in diagnosing problems.

    Just an FYI from my experience in a previous problem, I was having problems with lag in BF3 so after doing some research and downloading HWmonitor I found my CPU was running really hot like 98C HOT! Anyways contrary to what I preached it ended up being just some dust bunnies clogged in my heatsink that I neglected to clean. For reference new CPU's (IE anything in the last few years with speed stepping) will not over heat until the point of killing themselves. They will step down the speed of the processor until it cools off then ramp back up which was causing my lag. So, the chance of you causing permanent damage to that CPU is slim barring your not overclocking. Secondly the motherboard also has a point set on it where it will shut down the PC if CPU temps reach a certain point usually around 90-100C to prevent damage.

    The PC turning on and spinning the fans for a few seconds is right in line with a bad PSU. If you really want to test that theory try unplugging everything except the mobo and see how long it will stay powered on. Also there is a paperclip test you can do to test a PSU (Don't remember what it is right off but I am sure a quick google can explain with pictures better than I can) but this involves jumping pins on the 24pin power connection to test it. Anyways, I know this is long winded just trying to explain in detail my opinion from previous experience on the subject that you probably did not hurt anything except the PSU. The exception being if it was not a quality PSU it could have taken out other devices as well by sending the wrong voltage to them, hence why knowing your system specs would give us a better idea.

    Happy problem solving hope this helps.
  9. Hi thanks for the reply.
    My pc specs:

    Gigabyte GA-M52L-S3P
    OCZ 600SXS
    AMD Athlon 64 x2
    4X 1GB CORSAIR DDR2 800MHz
    NVidia GTS 450
    M-Audio Delta 10/10 LT

    not sure on what the 2 hard disks and dvd drive are.

    Got someone with a spare rig that will let me test on saturday so hopefully find the problem then.

    Thanks again,
  10. Incase the PSU is the culprit, and i do believe its time to replace it now after quite a few years of good use, can anyone recommend a decent quality PSU to go with my system specs listed in the post above?
  11. Corsair CX 500W should work for your build
  12. Hi again everyone.

    Just tried my mates spare PSU in my tower and we have success!

    The hard disk is failing to boot, so I am installing a fresh windows and hopefully I'll get to the desktop soon enough. Gonna order that Corsair PSU recommended above.

    Thanks for the help, I'll post again when I get further in.
  13. Just looking at amazon for a scan on prices:


    Why are some upto £89 when the others start at 45-50 ?
    Sorry for being a total noob when it comes to this.
  14. Don't go getting an el-cheapo] PSU, unless it has been rated as being reliable by other users.. Also, if that plastic film is still on the cpu, TAKE IT OFF (should it not be melted all over the place already :I) D: Yikes!
  15. corsair's CX is Johnny Guru recommended
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