Overheating in Intel D915GAG

By jwr_1986
Oct 6, 2009
  1. My computer has been stored since mid-May and now it shuts down randomly. When I restart it the bios page tells me that it shut down because the CPU overheated. The odd thing was that nothing crazy was running. The temp according to SIW was in the 120 degree F range.

    It's a D915GAG intel board and a Pentium 4 2.8Ghz Prescott processor.

    Any ideas as to what may be going on?


  2. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    It's possible that the OEM thermal compound has given up the ghost, the HSF needs cleaning, or the CPU fan is not operating up to speed.

    The least likely, (but still possible), thing is perhaps something is driving the CPU at or near 100% usage.
  3. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Thanks for the quick reply, I just yanked the cooler out and the paste was more like chalk. Definitely doesn't seem like it's effective anymore. I'm going to try replacing that tonight.

    Thanks again I'll try to remember to post an update.

  4. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Well I went out and got thermal paste. Scraped off the old and applied new. It was a noticeable difference about 15 degrees F. But the problem persists. I even found the Intel Desktop Utility. It does a great job of monitoring all the temps for me.

    It also would let me change the settings for when the system shuts down due to overheating. It is set at 165 right now and the computer once again shut down while the temp was only in the mid 120's.

    Any thoughts?


  5. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Just in case it was a bios issue I updated those as well. Still the same thing. CPU temp was 111 and it shut down.
  6. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    As you already know 111F is not overheating.

    The only thing I'm coming up with, is the BIOS is set to trigger shutdown at too low a temp. I think CPU temp warning and CPU shutdown are 2 different settings, you might want to boot into BIOS just for a look. I've never seen a full Intel BIOS for this board, so this is a guess.

    IDE light wasn't lost, so you didn't actually find it. (just kidding here) It is the best hardware monitor for your system though.
  7. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I've been watching it close and it doesn't seem to actually care what the temp is when it goes. I've had it up to 145 and it didn't shut off. But then sometimes it shuts down just idling.

    I couldn't find any way to change the shutdown temp in the bios. I had even updated them just in case. Also it has now done this a couple of times without giving me the overheating message on restart.

    I'm really starting to think that the Motherboard is just kicking the bucket. I'm considering an upgrade right now.

    Thanks for all the help.

  8. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 11,455   +1,759

    Well, I hate to see a good board go. The 915 chipset is one very stable platform. Plus, as old as it is, it even has PCI-E and SATA!

    Are the capacitors showing any signs of burning, especially around the CPU? Can you beg, borrow, steal, or buy from a flea market, another old P-4, to sub out? It's gotta be an older Prescott model, Cedar Mill P-4s won't work, they're 64 bit.

    I'm always one to not advocate throwing good money after bad, but you might test and/or replace the CMOS battery before you chuck it, although that's probably a long shot.

    If you need a little push to upgrade, these facts might provide some impetus. The Intel 915 chipset is only 32bit. DDR costs way too much for as slow as it is. Any CPU that you could put in a 915 board, would be about half as fast as today's dual core Celerons!
  9. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    My plan was actually to upgrade the motherboard and, consequently, the memory first. Doing so would be a huge upgrade but without the $120 + price of the core 2 I was looking at. If problems persisted then I would say it must be the processor and I'd have to upgrade.

    Either way my main complaints are the DDR and the SATA 1.5

    My planned upgrade would be the Gigabyte GA-EP45T-UD3LR with 2GB of PC3-10666

    Those two items come in at just over the cost of a new processor. That is why I planned to do them first then as money allows upgrade the processor to a dual core.

    Thanks again,

  10. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    Maybe the motherboard is shorting. During storage maybe a spider or something got in there and when you started the PC, zap! Something like that happened to me once. I took out the motherboard and used a soft brush and cleaned off all the dust and debris. I went over every inch of the board on both sides so I wouldn't miss anything. Since then it's worked fine. I costs nothing to try except your time and you don't have much to lose since you're thinking about getting a new board anyway.

    BTW, you might need to flash the BIOS to support the older processor in the new Gigabyte board (F2 BIOS version or higher). I looked up what processors are supported by that board and the F2 BIOS adds support for your older processor.
  11. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Thanks for your post. I hadn't thought about pulling the board completely for a clean but it is worth a try.

    As for the bios I was aware (Details are kind of my thing) but I do appreciate that someone else had an eye out for me.

  12. mailpup

    mailpup TS Special Forces Posts: 6,964   +355

    In my case I left the heatsink attached to the motherboard so I didn't have to take the extra steps of dealing with removing and replacing the thermal compound but that's up to you.
  13. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I just went through that so i was planning on not removing it.


  14. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Well here's the update.

    I replaced the motherboard and the problem continued. So I replaced the Processor too.

    What I'm having now is a similar issue where after playing a game for about an hour or so the computer just clicks off. No warning and no messages etc. The lack of any messages indicating the source of the failure points me to the power supply perhaps?

    Thoughts would be appreciated. I tested the memory with memtest 86 so I don't think that is the issue. I'm thinking the power supply because, though temperatures are all reasonable (The GPU is the hottest at 116 Deg F), the failure seems to only happen when playing a game which should mean higher current draw.

    Thanks again for all your thoughts.

  15. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    Sorry to bump but any help would be appreciated.


  16. Ritwik7

    Ritwik7 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,672   +9

    Well, from what I understand it seems like it's the PSU. Do you have a spare or can you maybe borrow one and check?

    Else it could be the motherboard is shorting like mailpup said before.
  17. jwr_1986

    jwr_1986 TS Rookie Topic Starter Posts: 22

    I'm considering buying another. I don't think I have a spare anywhere. I doubt that it is a motherboard short as it seems to only happen when playing a game and I have replaced the motherboard already. I'll have to see if my boss will let me borrow one from work.

    Thanks for the input. I was just looking for confirmation before I spent more money.

    Thanks again

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