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CPU overheating causing restarts

by Epiphany / April 5, 2005 10:27 AM PDT

I've been having restart issues for some time now but I've been unable to figure out what was wrong. I've tried swaping out ram, endless fiddling with drivers and bios settings, etc. Finally it occured to me that 75c sounded pretty damn hot for a cpu. My fan says it is running at around 5,000 RPM though, so I simply assumed that was how hot CPUs are. Now that I've poked around on the internet a little bit, that doesn't seem to be the case.

I restart mostly when I'm doing cpu intensive things- Loading into video games, loading into windows, and playing video games. Very rarely does it restart when I simply idle, chat, or surf the net. It does restart occasionally when doing easy stuff, but only occasionally. When I'm playing games it is VERY spikey, it will restart 10 times in 20 minutes and then be fine for 4 hours.. and then restart 10 more times over the next 30 minutes.

It 'seems' like when I turn down video settings I restart less, which originally made me think it was a video card or memory issue but now leads me to believe it is the lesser stress on the CPU that is important.

Anyone have any suggestions on how I can cool my CPU? I don't 'think' I'm overclocking, but if someone could tell me how to check I would be glad to. I clean my CPU of dust as best I can, but I can't really see deep into there so there might be some dust I can't see clogged in- I don't know how to release the cpu and am really worried about hurting it somehow.

I have an athlon cpu, I don't know the name of the fan but it is very fast. I'm using windows xp if that matters. If you have any other specific questions I'll check this decently often and try to provide answers.

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Sisoft Sandra
by Critter_97 / April 5, 2005 11:08 AM PDT

You can download a free version of Sisoft Sandra from and it will tell you if you are overclocked. An old desktop I had was overclocked by the manufacturer and it kept overheating and freezing up. In my case the front side bus speed was set too high according to Sisoft Sandra. If your computer is a desktop you can add fans to the case openings or into the slots where extra CD rom type drives would fit or where a pci slot is in back.

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Look at...
by Willy / April 5, 2005 1:20 PM PDT

If the cpu setup was improperly installed, meaning too much paste and/or not fully seated can cause the cpu to overtemp and with a bios temp setting can reboot, if so reset. Try setting the overtemp setting to react by shutting down. If it shuts down then its a cpu heat problem. If the problem still reboots then you may have a power supply problem. ALL FANS must be working where ever they are. Plus, a cluttered case of harnesses, wiring, etc. can cause poor aitflow reducing the effectness of any setup. The graphic if a hi-perf type maybe drawing too much wattage and it can cause a reboot. All these factors come into play by themselves or in concert cause an unstable system. Open case and allow it to vent even better. Also, understand the damage maybe already done as in a "over-stressed" cpu just can't stay stable, Athlon don't like heat more so than Intels. Check all these componets as best you can. Clean all dust bunnies and verify any fans are working. Verify what the bis setting for over-temp is and reset to deafults by clearing the CMOS using the clearing pins. -OR- use the safe setting mode some bios provide.

tada -----Willy Happy

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overheating cpu
by frankie1963 / August 29, 2008 6:11 AM PDT
In reply to: Look at...

i have been having similar problems and i was putting it down to the cpu overheating but my computer freezes, it does not shut down. Do you think temp can cause this?

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Screen freeze
by mobileccs / July 6, 2011 4:04 AM PDT
In reply to: overheating cpu

Absolutely CAN be due to overtemp.

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CPU overheating causing restarts
by jcrobso / April 6, 2005 5:45 AM PDT

You didn't say how old the PC is. The fins on the CPU heat sink can plug up with crud and you will start having overheating proplems. Turn off the PC, vacuum all the loose dust first. Get a can "air" , now turn the can of "air" upside down an blast the CPU heatsink with the spray. This will blast the crud from the heatsink. Some eye protection would be a good idea. I hold the vacuum cleaner nossle close to the heatsink when I do this. John

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CPU overheating
by gsandersjr / April 7, 2005 8:51 AM PDT

I had the same issue on one of my older computers. If you notice it works longer if you keep the "hatch" open, then you might be on the right track. All I did was install an auxillary fan in the computer case (near the air vents) to draw in cooler outside air to circulate. You can find these at most stores that sell computer supplies.

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cpu overheating?
by tkdgirlms / April 7, 2005 11:32 PM PDT
In reply to: CPU overheating

I had a similar issue a few months ago but mine turned out to be a bad power supply. It took awhile to figure that out but once I put a new power supply in, I quit having reboots and such. Just a thought!

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power supply problems?
by JulieP19363 / June 22, 2008 4:21 AM PDT
In reply to: cpu overheating?

"Post 6 of 16 | Back to topic cpu overheating?
by tkdgirlms - 4/8/05 6:32 AM
In reply to: CPU overheating by gsandersjr
I had a similar issue a few months ago but mine turned out to be a bad power supply. It took awhile to figure that out but once I put a new power supply in, I quit having reboots and such. Just a thought!"

i was having problems with the pc turning itself off also. before this finally shut down my system completely, i got a dinging sound, and then the screen darkened when i rebooted the word TASK kept scrolling down the monitor screen. the pc gets power, but when i touched the power supply, it was/is cool to touch and there is barely any air coming from the 2 fans on the power supply. when i say barely, i mean, almost nothing. is the cpu fan itself seems to be working, that still runs. but with the errors and all, is it possible to have the pentium chip to have gone bad with the error message just before the final crash saying CPU OVERHEATED!

any and all help is greatly appreciated,

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JulieP's post
by JulieP19363 / June 22, 2008 4:30 AM PDT
In reply to: power supply problems?

sorry, the error message said, TRAP, not task

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slow cooking
by mcgilbdd / April 7, 2005 11:42 PM PDT

All of the previous answers were good answers, based on my expierence. I have found the most common to be clogged finns on the heat sink, and poorly mounted heat sinks follow a close second. If you are kinda handy with tools, I would recommend that you take the case cover off, in a good area with plenty of light, ect. and remove the fan/heatsink assembly. Clean them with a brush, and use a rag with a small amout of alcohol to remove any old heatsink paste that remains on the heat sink or processor, then using some fresh heat sink compound purchased at a local computer shop, remount the heatsink/fan assembly to the processor. If you do this, and the 75C heat range problem persist,it is time to consider purchasing a custom heatsink and fan assembly, or a waterblock system. 75C is too much heat.

If you manage to get the heat under control...but discover that you still have the reboot problem, it is almost certain that you have a memory timing problem, a defective memory chip, or a bad chip on the mainboard. To isolate this, first go into bios and set the memory timings to the slowest settings available. This will make your computer seem extremly slow, but if it keeps on running, you know that your settings were just too aggressive for the memory chip you have installed. If is still shuts down with the slowest memory settings, buy another stick of "middle of the road " brand name memory. If that doesn't cure the problem....the mainboboard ,hard drive,and power supply are the next items to consider.

Hard drives that overheat will somtimes cause a shutdown, but will reboot the computer just fine. Is yours "hot to touch"? If it is...find a way to cool it.

Just remember that clogged heat fins, and agressive memory timings are the two most common causes of the problem you described. Most (but not all) mainboard bios settings have a "throttle down" setting that lets the CPU start reducing the clock cycles as heat reaches a dangerous point...and the computer will just get tremendously slow as the bios throttles the system clock down to a safe level. If that is not happening....I suspect a memory chip/timing problem. Good luck.

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by johnathanbc / April 7, 2005 11:57 PM PDT

i have an AMD athlon (barton) 3000. clock speed around 2100 and according to AMD's site, overheating is an issue with the faster chips. I replaced the processor fan with an upgraded thermaltake fan and larger heat sink which also has speed control and thermal sensors to monitor cpu, board and other temperature as well as fan speeds. I can now control the fan speed and thus regulate the cpu temperature hwen i am using intensive apps. I also have a power supply fan, case fan and a hard drive fan installed. the cpu cooler draws air directly from outside the case to the larger heat sink. seems to work for me

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heat paste?
by seaside / April 8, 2005 9:04 AM PDT

This sounds like a problem I had with an older computer.
In my case it turned out to be the heat paste, between the cpu and the heat sink.
This is a toothpaste like substance which help transporting heat from the cpu to the heat sink.
With time it dries and then starts to get isolating properties.

Cleaning the surfaces and adding new heat paste fixed my problem. It is worth a try.

Good luck

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System Monitor - Temperature Solution
by albon / April 8, 2005 11:02 AM PDT

I recommend this utility to monitor
your computer
HD Tune 2.10 hard Disk Utility

I simply leave the case open
to regulate sys temp

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High Ambient temperature
by jastootle / April 8, 2005 11:10 AM PDT


I encountered the same problem, after fighting with it for quite awhile, I bought a larger cpu cooler (and applied new paste) and mounted one 80 mm case fan and one 120mm case fan(in the top). The problems continued. This computer was sitting on a high shelf close to the ceiling, finally I dropped it down one shelf and the problem went away. I guess that there was just enough difference in ambient temperature that it made the difference. Should have tried that months ago. Good luck

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cpu overheating
by ukzero1 / April 8, 2005 6:58 PM PDT

Hi there,
Take a look at the heatsink itself, it may be clogged with dust (the fan may also be clogged). Please bare in mind that, if removing the fan and heatsink, you will need some heatsink compound when you come to re-install it. There is no need to use a lot, just a smear will do the trick. You could also check that the heatsink and fan are the correct ones for that particular cpu, I always buy a bigger one, i.e. if buying an AMD 2.0 gig cpu, I buy a cooler that's capable of cooling a 2.6. I hope this is of some help to you..

goood luck.

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ok, here you go
by ozos / April 9, 2005 1:57 PM PDT

are you using an Athlon or AthlonXP?

well, even i'm gonna suggest this HSF either way
what you need is a new HSF, in other words, a new CPU cooler

as I'm guessing you don't wish to spend $60 on the thing
i'd get this
or this
or this
or this

75C is about 5C under what AMD lists as the melt temperature of AthlonXP T-Bred Core, and about 10-15C under the melt temperature of the AthlonXP Barton Core

I am not sure what Athlon's T-Bird core (or older, such as Orion) or AthlonXP's Palomino core are capable of

good luck

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Cpu overheating
by yeshuaiam / January 11, 2009 7:07 PM PST
In reply to: ok, here you go

I had this problem too. This is how i fixed mine.first i went into my bios and disabeled cpu external cashe and increase fan size from 60 to 80mm. you can find fan adapter at web site ( parts for pc ) for about 7 bucks. My cpu temp. droped about 20 degrees and current temp. is hovering around 35c. I'm using pc wizard 08 to monitor my computer.

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Causes of restarts
by dowesner / April 11, 2005 2:32 AM PDT

A possible cause of restarting is an inadequate power supply. For example, if you are trying to do too much with a 250 watt supply, you will run the risk of restarting. 350-450 watt supplies are cheap, and highly recommended if you have less that this -- especially if you are a heavy disk/optical drive user. Second: if your CPU is running too hot, you will run the risk of restarting. You may need to get a heftier fan. Look into the Zalmac fans - they're very good; and be sure other fans (e.g., chassis fan) are doing their job. If both the MoBo temp and the CPU temp are too high, you will definitely run the risk of restarting, and you have a cooling problem. ALSO: Microsoft guides will tell you that faulty RAM may cause restarts or stop-errors. I personally have never experienced this, even with very cheap RAM strips, and suspect that faulty RAM causing restarts is rare. Finally, an intermittent short will cause restarts. Last year I had a few unexpected restarts and discovered that a tiny wire supplying an aux. fan was occasionally touching the chassis frame. I covered the end of the wire with tape and fixed it. The possible causes of restarting are many, but the above are among the most common. Hope this is helful.

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cpu overheating
by josrogues26 / April 15, 2005 9:46 AM PDT

If the cpu os over heating you can try using another cpu fan that is better. Copper is the best when it comes to cpu fans. try that, and then if it don't work try checking you cpu seetings on your bios ( some bios you can). Hope this will help you. Take care

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Heat Paste
by dagmarpiano / July 4, 2005 8:54 PM PDT

yeh, I think it's the heat past... you need to take the fan & out, scrape off the paste, add some more and put it back in, as the man above says...


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software problem
by amritapaul5 / September 29, 2010 2:34 PM PDT

I have a intel pentium 4 processor cpu 2.00 ghz.and gigabyte 945 motherboard with 1 gb cpu is 4 year old.Now when i install any game like fifa 07 then during installation it shows some file is being collapsed. But the same game is running perfectly on other computer.Previously I play this game in my computer also.Also when i install antivirus software it doesn't work.And cpu restart again and again.I can't understand what the problem is! Is it for motherboard or for processor? I use windows xp sp 2.I had format my all drive but the problem is constand.I can't install office 07,autocad 2006.

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I can bet it is over 4 years old.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2010 1:43 PM PDT
In reply to: software problem

Tell us about your cleaning of the machine, how you installed fresh heat sink compound and tried it with the cover off.

Sadly when machines get that old, you have to start replacing parts or machines.

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