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Processor Crash...Help!!!

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
being the A+ certified retard that i am, i noticed that my heat sink fan was running awfully high on startup and considering the recent, dusty, remodel i did in the computer room, i decided to open her up and clean her out. well, the heat sink was completely clogged with dust so i pulled it out and blew it off w/ compressed air to clean it. i made sure to get rid of any ESD i had on my hands before touching any internal parts.

well, after i reinstalled everything and started her up, nothing happens. the fan comes on but the pc light doesn't blink and my HD doesn't even start up.
me thinks this is probably bad as i may have fried the processor??!

what are my options? i recently backed up my HD to my external drive so i'm good there regardless and i'm pretty sure my HD is fine, the pc just isn't going through the boot process at all.

in the case that it is fried, what are my options? it's been years since i've been into the whole geek thing and i don't remember if or how much a processor would be or a motherboard kit. i've got decent memory, vid card and drives so i'd really rather to just fix whatever i can.

am i screwed?
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
ok, update. i'm an idiot and forgot to separate the cpu from the heat sink. so i did that, put the cpu in it's place and locked it in. then put the heat sink on top and locked it in.
i powered it up and it started to work fine but froze before the logon screen. i tried to re-seat the heat sink several times but that still didn't help.

so what now?
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
Sounds like you might've chipped a corner off the CPU, or maybe fried the mobo with some static 'lectricity.

You're looking at 200-500$ depending on how fast you want to go, if this is the case.

you sure you didn't tazer it after it started walking away? ;) ;)
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
Sounds like you might've chipped a corner off the CPU, or maybe fried the mobo with some static 'lectricity.

You're looking at 200-500$ depending on how fast you want to go, if this is the case.

you sure you didn't tazer it after it started walking away? ;) ;)
hmmm, i'm getting a "CRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL" error when i try to recover but i'm still getting stuck. windows is trying to perform a disck check everytime but it freezes during the 10 sec countdown.

it doesn't seem like a HD problem so can i just by a new processor/heat sink and install it? how can i check to be sure it's the processor or mobo?
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
hmmm, i'm getting a "CRQL NOT LESS OR EQUAL" error when i try to recover but i'm still getting stuck. windows is trying to perform a disck check everytime but it freezes during the 10 sec countdown.

it doesn't seem like a HD problem so can i just by a new processor/heat sink and install it? how can i check to be sure it's the processor or mobo?
Aside from playing with a voltmeter, some local computer repair places will do free CPU/mobo testing. Maybe pop the CPU out and see if there's any physical damage.

Can you fire up BIOS? If you can, I'm going to wager it's either your RAM or CPU. I'd be more inclined towards the CPU since you were screwing with it, and it didn't work afterwards. Windows won't boot off a CD, correct?
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
Actually, let me just offer a totally different suggestion:

Manimal, did you put any new thermal transfer paste on the CPU after you separated it from the heatsink? If not, you've got a bunch of old, dried crap on both items, and they really need to be cleaned and have new thermal paste applied - the CPU might just be running way too hot.

edit: hey, 15,000th post. I've officially spent too much time here :D
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
BV, that was one of the ideas i was going to try after reading some tech forums. but would that explain the CRQL error i'm getting? it does make sense because it pretty much freezes up after about 2 minutes regardless of how i'm trying to startup. i tried to skip the disk check last night and it froze again and there were little scratchy lines along the side of the monitor.
so where can i get thermal paste on a sunday? best buy?
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
Possibly. If you have a local computer shop, they might actually have something decent, but Best Buy may have something as well. Actually, even if they don't sell it, the guys at the computer counter might be able to hook you up.

It could very well explain the error. An overheating CPU will incorrectly process data or cause crashes.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
sweet, thanks guys, i'll try that first. it seems like the most likely problem as i didn't mess w/ anything else so it shouldn't be a HD or ram issue.

btw, i did go into my bios settings and check the cpu temp, it was within range during the bios check but i'm unable to view the temp during startup to see how hot it's getting.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
Make sure you clean it both items well with isopropyl alcohol. While you have it out, you may want to check the CPU for damaged or missing pins, too.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
i checked the pins last night, they're all fine and in line. you answered my next question about cleaning off the old stuff. my wife is at radio shack right now picking up the heat sink grease. so do i spread it on in an area larger than the cpu? the more the better? can i use this type of grease in the bedroom? ;)
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
General advice is a pea sized drop on the CPU after cleaning it with alcohol, and putting the heat sink down on top of it. Oil/grease from your fingers spreading it around can mess with the thermal dissipation properties of the stuff.

That said, I doubt that's the issue. Not using thermal grease on a cpu/heatsink interface would probably be something that would cause longterm heat/stability issues, not an almost-instant overheat and crash.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
General advice is a pea sized drop on the CPU after cleaning it with alcohol, and putting the heat sink down on top of it. Oil/grease from your fingers spreading it around can mess with the thermal dissipation properties of the stuff.

That said, I doubt that's the issue. Not using thermal grease on a cpu/heatsink interface would probably be something that would cause longterm heat/stability issues, not an almost-instant overheat and crash.
i've been reading a lot of tech forums and they all say that the HS/CPU interface is vitally important and can cause major startup issues.

http://www.geek.com/forums/topic.php?id=34809&page

RickGeek (staff) @ Aug 19 2007 8:08am

Make sure you completely wipe off all of the grease before you apply the new. Just getting a tiny spec can separate the face of the HS from the CPU, and that's enough to overheat.
PCs that are not properly cooled can be quite unstable, or at its worse, it may not even boot properly.

It used to be that you could attach a heat sink and fan to your processor directly and not worry about it. Today, though, processors run too hot to do this and expect a reliable PC. One must use heat sink compound to seal the gap between the heat sink and the top of the processor.
i'll know in about an hour, when my wife returns, whether this will be the fix or not. but with all of the tech sites screaming for the heat sink grease as a mandatory step...it may very well be a simple fix.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
Poor thermal conductivity can absolutely cause these exact problems. Not to say that's definitely what's causing it, but there is no question that an overheating CPU can be caused by old/bad thermal grease and can cause these symptoms.

I wouldn't even go with a pea-sized drop. More like a large grain of rice. You don't want this stuff oozing out the sides.
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
Use 90% alcohol!

Most of the 70% rubbing alcohol you get in the supermarket or drug store has mineral oil and fragrances added to it.

Use 90% or purer and clean everything thoroughly.


Definitely sounds like a thermal problem BTW.

After re-installing everything properly go into the BIOS and check the temps.

You want it under 40 Celsius ideally. Under 50 is maybe ok. Over 60 means you need to re-clean everything and try again.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
well crap...it's not a heating issue. i applied the paste as directed and it still hangs up when trying to start windows. it gets to the disk check screen, starts counting down from 10 seconds and then reboots at 6 seconds. i let it do that a few times then go into the bios when it reboots again to check temps. the highest temp so far is 37c so that's not the problem.
possibly the MOBO?
 

H8R

Cranky Pants
Nov 10, 2004
13,965
4
well crap...it's not a heating issue. i applied the paste as directed and it still hangs up when trying to start windows. it gets to the disk check screen, starts counting down from 10 seconds and then reboots at 6 seconds. i let it do that a few times then go into the bios when it reboots again to check temps. the highest temp so far is 37c so that's not the problem.
possibly the MOBO?
Can you boot into Safe Mode?


(go hungry hungry hippo on the F8 key while booting)
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
nope, i tried. it starts listing all of the drivers in old DOS format then freezes and reboots again. i just read one tech site that said the crql/irql error is not a hardware problem but is possibly a driver problem.
i just don't see how my drivers would freak out when all i did was remove the cpu to clean it. everything worked fine before. i think i'll bring it into the IT geeks at school tomorrow, they like hard cases like this to talk about in class.
 

blue

boob hater
Jan 24, 2004
10,165
0
california
no, can't find it.
You need to do that (torrent?), or download+burn a copy of a bootable Linux OS (I'm fond of http://www.knoppix.org/, it won't change anything on your hard drive at all). Doing so will allow you to rule out any software issues before spending cash on hardware...typically the first step I take if I can't boot out of Safe Mode.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
You need to do that (torrent?), or download+burn a copy of a bootable Linux OS (I'm fond of http://www.knoppix.org/, it won't change anything on your hard drive at all). Doing so will allow you to rule out any software issues before spending cash on hardware...typically the first step I take if I can't boot out of Safe Mode.
ok, i'll try that. i can get a copy of xp from work to test it out.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
i found my xp pro disc and tried to boot from it. got through the driver loading phase but when i tried to repair xp i got the same cqrl error. does this mean that it's definitely my cpu or mobo? oh well, i guess i'll find out at school tomorrow.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
looks like its the mobo. i'm ordering a bare bones kit this weekend (something i should have done in the first place. i have the A+/MCP knowledge, i just HATE troubleshooting pc's)

so it looks like a decent mobo with a amd dual core processor for around $280 and i can just swap everything else over. taking my HD to work on friday to install it on the test pc so i can do a complete backup to my external HD....man i'm glad i bought that thing and backed up recently :thumb:

i'm still not sure how i fried my mobo but i have a suspicion it was around the cpu dock because the cpu came up with the heat sink like it was one piece. it has a little lock arm to hold the cpu in place and it was still in the locked position when the cpu came up w/ the heat sink. oh well, i'm sure i'll have questions to post when i get the barebones kit and start putting it together. i'm hoping the new mobo automatically recognizes the dvd drive so i can use the windows disk to install the drivers.
 

Changleen

Paranoid Member
Jan 9, 2004
9,890
4
Hypernormality
OK, If it is stalling around IRQ errors you may have partially unseated another device while cleaning. Check everything, cards, memory is plugged in nice and firm. Maybe remove and replace it all, you may have blown dust into something else which is shorting.
 

manimal

Ociffer Tackleberry
Feb 27, 2002
7,214
14
Blindly running into cactus
OK, If it is stalling around IRQ errors you may have partially unseated another device while cleaning. Check everything, cards, memory is plugged in nice and firm. Maybe remove and replace it all, you may have blown dust into something else which is shorting.
ok, i'll try that as well before i order the barebones. any recommendations on an intel chip, nothing too expensive but it won't take much to blow away the amd 64 3400+ series i have now.
 

binary visions

The voice of reason
Jun 13, 2002
21,653
402
NC
Uh, at the level Manimal is talking about, there are several AMD chips that perform equally well as their Core2Duo counterparts, and some are cheaper as well.

Just sayin'.

AMD isn't doomed.

Forgot to come back and see how this thread was faring. Changleen has some good advice. Get some canned air and make sure everything is clean - you can stir up a lot of dust when you start messing around inside the case.
 

Dartman

Old Bastard Mike
Feb 26, 2003
3,916
0
Richmond, VA
Just a tip for the harddrive from a dead system.

When my laptop got zapped I was able to get an external USB drive enclosure for about $20 and recover the data from the drive using another computer. Just be sure to match the interface (IDE, SATA)

I used Acronis TrueImage to create an image of the drive and then opened a copy of the image to do the file extraction on. I had to take over ownership of the Doc and Settings folder to get my stuff out.

When you're done you have a handy external drive to use for backups and stuff.