a client gave me an older laptop with a freezing issue (compaq nc6230) running xp. Naturally I start by checking the specs and seeing how cluttered the hdd is and seeing if there are viruses that could be jamming up the cpu. Specs are decent for xp, 2ghz centrino with 1.5 gb ram. installed and ran ccleaner which only removed around 600mb (minimal compared to most pc's that come across my desk). installed and ran quick scan with malwarebytes and found nothing. stopped all non-essential startup items in msconfig. uninstalled some Computer Associates antivirus that I thought could be jamming up the cpu with its live protection...All the while the pc would freeze for a bit (15-30 secs) and then start working again for a few seconds then freeze again. Now after all this activity its pretty warm and unfreezes for just enough time for me to get to the shutdown button but then it froze while shutting down and would not unfreeze so required a hard reset by holding power button. Now that its very warm, it froze during post! then after another hard reset it got through the post but then froze during windows boot. So then let it cool for an hour and of course it boots right up and runs great for several minutes and then starts its freezing act again. So now its fairly obvious that its an overheating issue even though the cpu fan is working just fine. I guess my questions would be: Is the cpu damaged from overheating or is the motherboard the more likely culprit? If I replace the cpu, will the same thing happen eventually to the new cpu due to some compaq design flaw? Could this happen if the thermal paste has dried up and become ineffective and simply removing the old and adding new thermal paste be a simple solution? could the cpu have permanent internal damage from the years of overheating?