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Infinte restart loop

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December 15, 2012 11:06:16 PM

So recently my PC broke down. Somehow the heat sink became disconnected which caused the CPU to overheat like a motherf***er. I didn't notice until the thing reached above 100°c at which point i shut it down immediately. After which i opened up the case, and removed the heatsink to see whats up, Then the heatsink stayed off for a few days cause i didn't have any thermal paste, Then when i finally got some, i put everything back together and tried to boot, But the PC only got about a second into the "loading windows" screen and then restarts (and does that infinitely). Can't boot it into safe mode, Or even from a different hard drive (which is i know for sure works since i'm using it right now on this PC).

Since the CPU overheated i figure i fried it, But i did take it out the other day and it looks fine. Also according to the BIOS the cpu runs on average around 40°c, But i don't know if that has to do with anything.

So i guess my question is, Can a CPU be fried and not look fried? Could this be caused by some other component?

My specs if that matters:
CPU: Intel core i5-3450
Motherboard: GIGABYTE H77M-D3H
Graphics card: Gigabyte HD 7770 OC 1 GB

Any help would be appreciated, Thanks in advance.

Also if this is the wrong section, I apologize.

More about : infinte restart loop

December 15, 2012 11:11:27 PM

If the computer boots up black post screen, allows you to go into the bios, and manages to go to the "loading windows" screen, then your CPU is fine. No worries.

Your Windows installation seems shot. -> you need to re-install.

That's all.
December 15, 2012 11:15:24 PM

egaille said:
If the computer boots up black post screen, allows you to go into the bios, and manages to go to the "loading windows" screen, then your CPU is fine. No worries.

Your Windows installation seems shot. -> you need to re-install.

That's all.


I tried reinstalling windows, Can't do that. When i boot from the windows CD, I'm not able to install it on any existing partitions, And it doesn't let me make new ones or anything. And the update option wont work either. Also since i cant boot from the drive i'm currently using on this pc (the pc i'm posting this from not the one the topic is about), I'm pretty sure this problem is hardware related.

Also i've tried booting into ubuntu, No luck there either.
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December 15, 2012 11:19:10 PM

how did the heatsink get disconnected? If it happened once I imagine it's fairly likely it would happen again. I would put a new heatsink in there unless you just didn't install it correctly the first time. Could just be overheating again. Also, try resetting the bios.
December 15, 2012 11:23:20 PM

AM2A said:
how did the heatsink get disconnected? If it happened once I imagine it's fairly likely it would happen again. I would put a new heatsink in there unless you just didn't install it correctly the first time. Could just be overheating again. Also, try resetting the bios.

I'm pretty sure i didn't install it properly the first time, That's the only logical explanation i can think of, But I'm fairly positive that it's properly installed now as the BIOS claims the CPU temperature is around 40°c on average.
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December 15, 2012 11:34:28 PM

Ok, you getting any error codes? If it still isn't working after a bios reset I'd pull it from the case and disconnect anything you don't really need (GPU etc). See if it will run outside the case. If the cpu is damaged you probably wouldn't know by looking at it, but the fact that it's getting through post and starting to load windows indicates it's most likely ok.
December 15, 2012 11:40:18 PM

AM2A said:
Ok, you getting any error codes? If it still isn't working after a bios reset I'd pull it from the case and disconnect anything you don't really need (GPU etc). See if it will start run outside the case. If the cpu is damaged you probably wouldn't know by looking at it, but the fact that it's getting through post and starting to load windows indicates it's most likely ok.

Not getting any error codes, But before it goes into the windows loading screen it gives me an option to run startup repair or start windows normally. Startup repair tells me to insert the windows cd and stuff, and starting normally does what i described in the first post.

Another thing i forgot to mention, I may have done a few things wrong while cleaning off the thermal paste, I've been using toilet paper and nothing but that, And I've read that's bad. Could that damage the CPU? (It's worth noting that i have little experience with computer hardware)
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December 15, 2012 11:48:23 PM

v3p said:
Not getting any error codes, But before it goes into the windows loading screen it gives me an option to run startup repair or start windows normally. Startup repair tells me to insert the windows cd and stuff, and starting normally does what i described in the first post.

Another thing i forgot to mention, I may have done a few things wrong while cleaning off the thermal paste, I've been using toilet paper and nothing but that, And I've read that's bad. Could that damage the CPU? (It's worth noting that i have little experience with computer hardware)

Not at all. Thermal paste needs to be able to cool the CPU - 40 degrees C sounds good, especially if its a stock cooler. I wouldn't use toilet paper - paper towel with rubbing alcohol, clean it 100%, then shine it with microfiber cloth - best way to go about that. Also, could you disconnect your drive, put a different PC drive in there and install Windows onto that?
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December 15, 2012 11:50:23 PM

Startup repair runs normally and doesn't detect anything?
If you got all the old paste off I wouldn't worry about it. You only used a little pea sized amount of thermal paste, right?
December 16, 2012 12:15:13 AM

AM2A said:
Startup repair runs normally and doesn't detect anything?
If you got all the old paste off I wouldn't worry about it. You only used a little pea sized amount of thermal paste, right?

Startup repair doesn't run at all. It takes me to a screen that tells me to insert the windows cd and something. Don't remember what exactly.

And yeah i did get all the paste off and used a pea sized amount.
December 16, 2012 12:16:55 AM

payturr said:
Not at all. Thermal paste needs to be able to cool the CPU - 40 degrees C sounds good, especially if its a stock cooler. I wouldn't use toilet paper - paper towel with rubbing alcohol, clean it 100%, then shine it with microfiber cloth - best way to go about that. Also, could you disconnect your drive, put a different PC drive in there and install Windows onto that?

I've tried booting from the drive i have in my laptop (which i'm on right now so it definitely works fine) and it wouldn't work either. So i'm pretty sure the drive isn't a problem.
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December 16, 2012 12:24:05 AM

v3p said:
I've tried booting from the drive i have in my laptop (which i'm on right now so it definitely works fine) and it wouldn't work either. So i'm pretty sure the drive isn't a problem.

Wait, you tried booting your laptop drive in your desktop? You know that'll never work because totally different system & drivers & BIOS settings and whatnot?
December 16, 2012 12:25:48 AM

payturr said:
Wait, you tried booting your laptop drive in your desktop? You know that'll never work because totally different system & drivers & BIOS settings and whatnot?

I figured it was worth a try.
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December 16, 2012 12:26:32 AM

If you didn't install a fresh copy of windows on it while it was in the broken system there's no guarantee it would work. You can't just swap the drive in and boot up (just clarifying to avoid confusion). If you didn't do a new install, you could make a new partition on the laptop drive and try it.

edit: payturr beat me to it I see
December 16, 2012 12:29:04 AM

AM2A said:
If you didn't install a fresh copy of windows on it while it was in the broken system there's no guarantee it would work. You can't just swap the drive in and boot up (just clarifying to avoid confusion). If you didn't do a new install, you could make a new partition on the laptop drive and try it.


Yeah that is on my list of things to try, I just wanna get a few things backed up from the drive first in case something goes horribly wrong.
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December 16, 2012 12:47:58 AM

Let us know your results!
December 16, 2012 1:18:21 AM

Ok well you're gonna either have to reinstall windows or repair it. So yes you will need a cd or something. Switching HDD may work, but I wouldn't expect it to. Specially when you're pulling it from a laptop or prebuilt computer.

But keep in mind just because you don't have the cd doesn't mean you can't use somebody elses. I speak from experience on this. I had the exact same problem (not the heatsink lol, but the infinite loop) when my power went out on my old computer. This actually happened a few times.

I went and borrowed my aunt's cd, did a repair, and it worked just fine.
December 16, 2012 9:44:29 AM

v3p said:
I tried reinstalling windows, Can't do that. When i boot from the windows CD, I'm not able to install it on any existing partitions, And it doesn't let me make new ones or anything.


IN THE INSTALLATION PROCESS, DID YOU SELECT "DRIVE OPTIONS" TO ERASE AND CREATE A NEW PARTITION ?

It is nearly impossible that Windows can not delete the existing partition, and create a new one...

THIS IS DEFINITELY NOT A HARDWARE PROBLEM. if you had a hardware problem, you wouldn't even get to install screen (hardware check-up before install).
December 16, 2012 1:42:42 PM

Well i managed to wipe the hard drive and install windows on it, And all seems to work now. Perhaps this was just my stupidity.

I'd like to thank everyone that replied, And i'm sure i'll be back soon with another problem. haha
!