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CPU Overheating Error

Hey I'm hoping somebody can help me with a problem I'm having with my desktop.

I have had this computer for about two years (built it not bought it) and I restarted yesterday and I got a CPU overheat error at the BIOS screen, not allowing me to continue on to windows. I shut it down for awhile hoping to let things cool off. When I turned it on again I checked in the BIOS and it says my CPU temperature is at 101.5C. This freaked me out a little so I shut it down entirely overnight and waited until this morning.

The first time I turned it on this morning the BIOS gave me the same temperature reading. How can this be? The CPU can't immediately be at 100 degrees as soon as I turn it on. However, my computer now restarts after a few minutes and won't let me do anything else (I'm posting from a different computer). I can get into windows (Vista) but it doesn't last long, restarts pretty much right away.

So is my CPU ACTUALLY overheating? Or is the computer just shutting down because the BIOS thinks its overheating. Should I try and re-seat the fan/heatsink over the processor or is that really the problem? I haven't had any trouble with overheating up until now.

I have the Intel Core 2 Duo E8400 Dual Core Processor and ASUS P5Q Pro Motherboard. I've never even attempted to overclock anything either.

If anybody has had a similar problem or any ideas I'd appreciate the help. Thanks.

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Comments
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So did you reseat the heat sink?

I've lost count how many times those fall off.

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Not yet...

I haven't yet, I'd rather not do it unless I have to. I'm wondering if its a false overheating error and there's an issue with my BIOS.

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The downside

Is that you'll may get a new computer sooner. Checking that the heat sink is in it's place seems to be the safe and cheaper thing to do.

Of course we all have stories about that red check engine light on the dash.
Bob

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Uh oh.

I bought a new Cooler Master Hyper TX3 heatsink and seated it using as5.

I booted up and the BIOS said the temperature was around 99 degrees. It steadily climbed to 120 Celsius and then shut down. How can it be that hot?

It was completely cool when I installed the new heatsink. But the BIOS says it started at 100 degrees as soon as I booted it up?

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My kid's d5000 did the same

By the time the BIOS got on screen it was over 70C. Thankfully it was new and I knew to check the mounting. Sure enough, just like hundreds of other machines I've checked over the years the heat sink was wobbling and not installed proper.

SO yes. It can get that hot fast.

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