Computer locking up after 10 mins of use.

By FireBrand ยท 18 replies
Jul 7, 2004
  1. Well this is very depressing. I had to replace the CPU in my computer today, A intel pentium4 2.0Ghz with a 400 mzh FSB. The chip i got today was the same specs, but now whenever i boot I see a message about "bios update information invald CPUID" and the computer locks up after about 10 minutes of use. but no error sound like the chip isnt properly seated or such.

    The specs on my computer.
    Intel Pentium 4, 2.0 ghz 400mhz FSB Socket 478
    Asus Mobo, I think its one of the P4B's Socket 478
    400 PSU
    Leadtek G4 ti4600, which i was about to upgrade to a BFG 6800 GT before this happened.

    Now common sense would tell me that something is wrong with the chip. But considering the chip cost me $150 (a rip off im sure) and the store wont take returns on opened CPU's and Intels policy would probably take weeks to get a replacement... Im kind hoping theres some other cause to this problem. I just don't know what. The Bios message raises some flags to be sure, but the chips stats are exactly the same as the one i replaced, so I dont know exactly what to do to fix that error.

    *sighs* Im really hoping someone can help me. this is really depressing and it makes me kinda feel helpless to be unable to fix it on my own.
  2. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Are you sure the specs for both CPUs are identical?
    The 2.0 comes in 2 flavours: Williamette (with 256KB L2) and Northwood (512KB L2)
    If not, reset your BIOS to its default values to see if that makes a difference.
  3. Shiney

    Shiney TS Booster Posts: 160

    Can you tell us why you had to replace the chip?

    I know its basic but is the cpu fan working :)

    The stores policy on not accepting opened products is interesting, ask them how you are supposed to put it in your machine and find out its not working if you cant even take it out of its packet.:confused:
  4. FireBrand

    FireBrand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Both the cpu's have the 512k L2 so they should both be Northwoods...

    The fan is working yes.

    Why i had to replace it is kinda embaressing... I was taking out the old fan/heatsink so i could blow out a bunch of dust that had accumlated on it over the years. Well started to take it out and then i figured i shouldnt mess with it, so i lowered it back down and pushed the levers back in place. What i didn't know was that the CPU had pretty much fused itself to contact strip on the bottom of the heatsink, and when i had pulled out the heatsink it had forcebly removed the CPU from the mobo. so when i hit the levers i got treated to a nasty sound and a row of bent pins on the CPU -_- I already checked the chip to make sure non of the pins broke off or were inside the mobo, and that didnt appear to be the case. So i got the new CPU installed it and everyting appeared to be working fine until suddenly it started locking up like this.
  5. poertner_1274

    poertner_1274 secroF laicepS topShceT Posts: 4,172

    I would do as realbackstuff stated and reset your BIOS to the factory defaults. Maybe something is just a little different and that will hopefully take care of it.
  6. FireBrand

    FireBrand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    well thanks for the help guys but I finally swallowed my pride and took it into a repair shop. So now I just have to worry about some stranger mucking about in my baby and hope to get it back quickly.
  7. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Sorry to hear that.
    I'm sure we could have talked you through the problem, and by doing so, we could have saved you some bucks as well.
    That's why these forums are so popular, you learn a lot and save money on the side.
    Be a bit bolder next time, okay?
  8. Rick

    Rick TechSpot Staff Posts: 4,572   +65

    Now you have to worry about being ripped off. ;)
  9. FireBrand

    FireBrand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well unfortunatly, as to be expect you were right in chastizing me for going to the repair shop. I got the machine back and it worked for about an hour and a half but it started locking up again.

    Its odd, because the way the computer would work for a while, and then keep locking up rapidly makes me think that the CPU is overheating. But using both the new and old CPU's heatsinks didn't make any difference. One would also have to wonder why suddenly the CPU, which is the same model as before, would be having heat problems when the old one wasn't.

    I thought for a while that perhaps the Power backup i had the computer plugged into was dying and not providing enough power, but even when plugged directly into the wall the computer was locking up. Maybe the PSU in the case is going bad? Still it seems strange timing.

    Its annoying because its such a vague error when you get right down to it. nearly anything can cause a computer hang suddenly. Driver conflicts, heat, power problems, hard drive errors, just about anything in the computer can cause windows to lock.
  10. STK

    STK TS Rookie Posts: 102

    Hmm, try some programs that will test your temperatures. Also, how many watts is your power supply putting out?
  11. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Having replaced the CPU, did you apply thermal paste between the newCPU and cooler? Is its fan blowing AWAY from the CPU?
    If overheating is the cause, D/L and install CPUIdle from
    In many cases this drops the temperature well over 10 degrees C.
  12. FireBrand

    FireBrand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Im not really sure how much wattage the PSU is putting out. its supposed to be a 400, but i don't really know how to tell if thats what its putting out.

    The CPU didnt come with any thermal paste and I was informed it wasn't needed/used on p4 chips so no the only thing between the heatsink and the CPU is the strip of material that was already on the heatsink.

    Im letting the system sit unconnected to any power or anything right now incase it is overheating, so I'll have to get to the rest of that later.
  13. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Immediately stop ALL ACTION on that PC.
    Go buy a tube of Arctic Silver II or 3.
    Then follow the instructions here:

    Your PC is overheating something chronic!

    Make sure to clean the CPU and bottom of the heatsink first properly, without making any scratches on either surface.

    A search in this forum will tell you how to do the cleaning best.
  14. FireBrand

    FireBrand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well I'll certainly take a look into that. Right now one of my friends has the machine, he said hes got some tools to measure the heat so hes taking a look at it now. Seems odd that the old CPU was fine with just the thermal pad between the heatsink and CPU and that this one wouldn't be, but come to think of it the heatsinks did look different, this one had less space between the fins.

    Odd thing is that we stuck a 2ghz celeron in the machine and it locked up before it even got into windows, and the celerons I didnt think got terribly hot. But once we stuck the new CPU back in it loaded and ran for maybe 45 minutes before it locked again. Didnt seem like either chip was hot when we removed them either...

    But yeah, I'll take a look into that arctic silver and see if that dosnt help things out. The case is an old Antec that dosnt have and side ventilation, so going to see if running with the case open dosnt help either.
  15. BrownPaper

    BrownPaper TS Rookie Posts: 407

    Realblackstuff, the stock Intel heatsink with the thermal pad underneath should be fine. The thing I worry about is the reuse of the thermal pad. If Firebrand is reusing the same thermal pad each time he is testing, that may be problematic because the thermal pad might have gotten warped and not make good contact with the cpu. Btw, if you remove the thermal pad from the heatsink, Intel may void your warranty.

    To me, it sounds like the cpu is overheating.
  16. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    Which is why I recommended the Arctic Silver.
  17. FireBrand

    FireBrand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Well im still trying to hunt down some Artic Silver 3. Thought maybe I could find some in town but dosnt seem like it. And its friday so even if i order it now it wont get here till tuesday probably.

    And now i've got different people telling me different things so I'm not even certain its overheating anymore -_- . Someone suggested reinstalling Windows so I tried that and the instillation keeps locking up at different points towards the end when its saving data to the HD, like 7-3 minutes left in the install. So maybe the HD is going. At this point I wouldnt be surprised if I found out my computer was being haunted by a vengful ghost :dead:
  18. RealBlackStuff

    RealBlackStuff TS Rookie Posts: 6,503

    There are other brands of thermal paste available. If Arctic 3 is hard to come by, use whatever you can get, as long as you put it on correctly, it will be a lot better than it is right now. I advised Arctic Silver 3 because it is (one of ) the best.
  19. FireBrand

    FireBrand TS Rookie Topic Starter

    lol. im so like absent minded. I was so happy to get my comp working again i forgot to post a reply. As it turned out putting thermal paste on it didnt do much. So we tried changing the mobo and it worked this time. So I guess I damaged more than the CPU the first time. It seems a little wierd and inconsistant with some of the symptoms, but the computer has been working for a week now so it seems to have been the core problem.
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