Dying CPU. Weird Circumstances

Intel Core 2 quad q6600 processor
June 8, 2010 at 08:02:48
Specs: Vista Premium
Long story short i think my CPU may be dying.

The problem is is that there are so many odd ball factors to consider that it could be any one of the components or programs on my computer causing it to fail.

Intel Q6600 @ 2.93, v3.75, Custom Air Cooling, Temperature: 33-45 degrees.

8800gt Custom fan non-overclocked.

Asus P5KC Motherboard (Intel P35 Chipset) Non-overclocked.

Creative PCI soundcard, PCI-E Wireless Card

I have had my pc for about 3 years now. One year after i bought it i thought i would give it a bit of a spring clean. I added a new soundcard, wireless adaptor, New Fans for the cpu and gpu, updated all the bios and attempted to overclock the cpu (the standard cooling on the 8800 gt was terrible)

When installing the new cpu fan i needed to take the motherboard out of its case. in doing this i managed to fry the onboard network adaptor and disk drive input (i have forgotten the name of it but i replaced my disk drive with a sata one to solve the problem) as far as i know only these two parts of the motherboad were damaged as i have had no further problems with my pc untill now (2 years).

I managed initially to overclock the cpu to 3.2 changing the volts to 3.75 to maintain stability with temperateures varying from 45-53 degrees. Over the following few months i slowly stepped down the overclock at the sign of any issues as a safety measure. reaching my final speed of 2.93 that i have stayed at untill now with no problems. The need to step down may have been ram related, i attempted to under/overclock my ram at some point in time but decided to leave it on auto for the sake of ease and step the cpu down to scale. When stepping down the overclock i forgot to lower the voltage, which may or may not have been causing the CPU to degrade faster than usual.

One final hardware Factor may be my PSU. This may just be a reflection on its build quality, but whenever i turn on my computer the psu fan bashes against its own casing for about 3 minutes untill it heats up and the bashing stops. THe fan still spins but just makes a horrible noise.

It may also be useful to note that for about 4 months prior i have neglected to run any anti-virus or anti-spyware scans, but having only had one case of a virus being found on my pc for the 3 years i have had it it seems unlikely to be a problem. The active antivirus software has been running, i just havent ran any scans recently. I use AVG and AD-Aware anti spyware.

about 4 weeks ago after restarting my pc it claimed that one of my disk drives was corrupt and it needed to run checkdisk. I ran checkdisk and it them worked fine with no apparent loss in data.

The Problem:

About 3 days ago i shut down my PC after a hefty windows update, As far as i know everything went well and shouldnt have been an issue but is the last thing that happened before the problem began.

The morning after i turned on my pc and made a coffie as usual and came back to see that the computer had made it to the dektop and completely frozen. The image on the screen was of the dektop. The mouse pointer was unresponsive, Alt-Ctrl-Delete and other commands failed to give any response. I attempted to disconnect and reconnect my mouse and keyboard. when i reconnected them there was no reponse and no power was sent to them (LED's on the wireless emmitor usually light up)

i pressed the main power button to turn off the pc. (similar to interupting using task manager and shutting your pc down from there) that was also non responsive. i then pressed the reset button, the pc restarted and worked fine for the rest of the day.

the next day the exact same thing happened. this time it froze twice and required two restarts untill it worked fine. on the second time the it worked fine for about 5 mins and then froze in a similar way. and then went into a bluescreen. i restarted and it worked fine. It remained on for at least 12 hours operating completely fine whilst i played two epic games of Sins of a Solar Empire XD.

Now we get to today.

The exact same thing happened as on the second day. First power on the computer freezes at the desktop, second it reaches the desktop and works fine for five minutes freezes and then bluescreens. This time on restart it goes into the bios menu and reads overclock failed, enter setup.

i chose to ignore this the first time and choose to continue startup assuming that the cpu would just default itself back to stock speeds of 2.4, only to get a bluescreen.

on the next startup all of the system fans ran, but the monitor did not display any image giving the response -no signal- when turned on. no harddrive noise occured suggesting that the computer didnt make it past the inital bios startup.

this happened several times each time i restart it doing the same thing.
i then disconnected the power checked all the cables and component connections and tried again.

the pc started up reading overclock failed. i manually reset all of the clocks to stock speed and started the pc as normal. This time i reached the desktop and the pc worked. I opened various hardware monitoring utilities to check voltages and temperatures. everything seemed to run as normal.

i went to get lunch, came back and it was working fine. i went to check my e-mails and search the interwebs only to be cut short about 5 mins into it by another bluescreen. upon restart it no longer mentions the overclocking failed message, but bluescreens after about 5 mins of activity.

and this is my current situation.

THe bluescreen reads something like: windows has shut down your computer to prevent hardware damage.

So from all this information i have narrowed it down to:

-Broken CPU from overclocking
-Broken PSU because its of a poor quality
-Broken RAM after failed tinkering (mabe crashing due to build up of data over 5 mins)
-Broken Motherboard because of my bad hardware installation.
-Broken Windows attempting to prevent hardware damage where none is evident.
-Computer is too cold in the morning and has bad connections untill warmed up.

If anyone can help me it would be a huge help: I have recently finished my studies and have little to no money at the moment so buying a new pc is out of the question.

thanks to anyone in advance.


Edit: i think the computer actually freezes midway through the blue screen.

it does the first 3 checks to 100% but when it gets to the fourth; dump to disk, it only reaches 70-75% and then stops.

when it reaches the blue screen in safe mode it completes the dumpt to disk task and then restarts but restarts unresponsively with no display or power given to usb controls or hard drive noise suggesting it insta crashes.

See More: Dying CPU. Weird Circumstances

Report •

June 8, 2010 at 08:54:46
You keep mentioning blue screens but you don't state exactly what the stop codes & error messages are.

The problem is NOT your CPU.

Report •

June 8, 2010 at 09:00:57
in the latest bluescreen it mentioned a file called partmgr.sys
a quick search on the internet suggests reinstalling windows without a hard drive reformat. any idea if that would work?.

by error codes do you mean the long strings of digits and letters eg. 0x00000102FA (not a real one)

if so i can post them here. theres quite a few though.

Report •

June 8, 2010 at 09:16:02
When you get the BSOD are you writing down any of the
information that is shown on the screen? There is useful
information that could help determine what is at fault. I would
start by posting that data. A BSOD can be caused by software,
like a bad driver for a device.

There is also a tool call dumpchk from microsoft. You can use
this to look at memory dumps. I have used it successfully to
track down a bad driver that was was causing a BSOD.

Report •

Related Solutions

June 8, 2010 at 10:15:51
There are plenty of sites that list XP stop code errors & possible fixes:




Report •

June 8, 2010 at 13:39:42
i think i may have resolved the problem for the moment.
either that or it has fixed itself for today and will be broken again tomorrow XD.

I had a play around in the bios again and found a reset to stock settings button. this appears to have solved the issue.
To make sure; i ran disk checks on both my hard drives, checked my memory for errors, virus and spyware scanned my pc (was clean), updated drivers, defragged and pretty much did every pc maintainance thing i know to do.

i'm going to give it a few days and attempt a small overclock again. i am still unsure as to why it the problem has occured. and why it seems to come and go.

thanks to all who have offered help. check back tomorrow if you want in case the problem is back.

Report •

June 8, 2010 at 14:02:50
If you don't understand any of what you are posting here, then don't attempt to overclock.

Report •

June 9, 2010 at 05:47:35
I am now inclined to think that it may be a hardware issue.
The problem is not currently fixed and has frozen once again.
i havent had any bsod's yet but will post all error messages when it does happen.

the fact that only seems to work after the computer has been running for a while suggests that it is a connection problem with one of the pieces of hardware. Similar to the problems with the first generation xbox360's that required a 'towel trick' to get them working.

Report •

June 9, 2010 at 06:15:45
Did you self build that rig? Sometimes poor choices on cases, power supplies and CPU cooling can come back at you.

Report •

June 9, 2010 at 08:59:56
it was kind of self built.

i was going to self build the exact same rig but i saw it for cheaper made by a fairly unknown maker. My case and psu seem pretty crappy.

my cpu cooling is brilliant though. it cut down the temperatures by 20 degrees or so from the stock cooler.


ive managed to temporarily 'fix' the problem by throwing a towel over the pc for ten minuites whilst it runs to give the components time to heat up and expand. (I know that this not good for the computer but it was a way to test the theory)

i'm going to try and totally reassemble the thing to make sure all the components are properly connected.

i had a bluescreen once earlier but it crashed midway before i could write down any of the error codes.
just to clear things up i am using vista premium and not xp. i think the bsod is different on vista to xp.

mine reads shutdown to prevent hardware damage and the traditional xp one says windows has encountered a fatal error.
mabe i'm wrong but thats just how i remember it.

doing the towel trick and due to the error message recieved leads me to believe it is not a software error.

also i did quite a bit of research before overclocking my computer as i cant really afford to fry any more components than i already have. i started getting confused when it came to memory timings and so i gave up there. i have also studied computing at collage which has a few modules or hardware so i'm not completely stabbing in the dark.

Report •

June 9, 2010 at 10:10:28
A cheapo power supply or substandard RAM can cause a multitude of issues. Also, check the system and CPU temperatures.

Fatal errors are probably related to OS or software issues.

For a primer on overclocking I suggest you ask at the CPUs/overclocking forum on the proper techniques for overclocking your setup. It is largely dependent on what hardware you are running.

Report •

June 11, 2010 at 06:50:26
I finally managed to get a picture of the elusive BSOD

Here are all the error codes and non standard info. i can add a link to a picture if i have missed anything important.


*** STOP: 0x0000000A
(Open Brackets)
(Close Brackets)

i'll try searching these error codes online, i have had a few random system files mentioned in bluescreens before and will keep and eye out for them in the future.

i followed a guide on overclocking my specific cpu q6600 which is brilliant at overclocking, most reaching 3.0 - 3.2 ghz and some crazy people getting 3.6 at the cost of faster degredation. but since you can buy several q6600's for the price of the higher end part you save money in the long run.
Temps were stable sub 50 degrees at full load when clocked at 3.2 so i dont think i was pushing it too much and i am convinced it was my memory that was causing any issues.

but it would probably be better to talk to some actual people about it rather than just reading and guessing.

Report •

June 11, 2010 at 07:24:01
IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL error message indicates RAM problem.

Download Memtest86+ from here, burn it to a CD, boot from it and post back with the results...

Google is your friend



Keyboard not present,press F1 to continue...

Report •

June 12, 2010 at 04:54:56
I'm just trying to track down a spare cd and i'll give it a try.

I just a had a crazy fatal error causing lots of beeping from the case.
I know that one long beep means cpu failure. But i had lots of little beeps, about two every second which i can only assume means memory failure. Crashed before i could get eny of the codes down from the bluescreen.

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 11:01:10
ran memory tests fine and had no errors.

i got a few more crashes midday so it may not be a heat related problem

considering reinstalling windows.
if anyone thinks it might be a hardware issue then i wont.

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 12:51:53
I am pretty sure it`s OS problem. A repair installation may do the trick.

Google is your friend



Keyboard not present,press F1 to continue...

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 14:04:59
this has confused me beyond belief now.

i reinstalled windows (without formatting my my hard drive).
it installed and downloaded updates correctly and restarted a few times and on the final install screen it froze. to make sure i left it on that screen for about half an hour and it remained frozen. same kind of freeze as normal. i have had to roll back to the previous windows install in order for it to work.

it must be a hardware problem. unless the new install of windows was being governed by the previous and caused the crash.

i could try again by reformating my hard drive but i'm not overly keen on reformatting as i have such a huge amount of things built up on my computer reinstalling them all would take weeks. especially if it doesnt even fix the problem.

IRQL_NOT_LESS_OR_EQUAL after a quick search suggests it is based on a driver issue rather than a memory one. however i have been experiancing a lot more stuttering than before in everyday usage of my comuter. including mouse lagg which i have never had before using this pc. (extreme amounts of mouse lag like freezing for a second and them slowly moving in the direction i pointed it)

despite Memtest86+ claiming that my RAM is fine i have noticed something weird that may be at the root of the problem. In the screen displayed during a run through of memtest 86+ it listed ram types in two different places. the one at the top claimed i had DDR2-400 and at the bottom it claimed i had DDR2-800 but running at 400mhz rather than the 800 it is meant to be. i know for a fact that the memory in my computer can run stable at 920mhz (forgotten timings mabe 6-6-6-18) it is probably just a flaw in the programs memory detection, but its a possibility that somehow my memory has been underclocked severely when i reset the bios settings causing unstability. can anyone varify if this is possible?

reason to suggest this might be true comes both from the memory tests and also through playing Sins of a solar empire where i could previously play 10 player games in the largest maps it struggles on four player medium now.

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 14:09:27
When you lose all that data that would take weeks to reinstall you will come here begging for help.

Backup your personal data and image your drive/s.

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 14:31:56
i was pretty sure that you need to reinstall all your programs and games after backups as some configure themselves around the os during install and break if you boot with a different os setup. mabe that has changed since last time i tried it but meh. Most of my files are of that type rather than music and photos that evidently wont have a problem.

on a seperate matter

i just attempted to run Crucials memory test and it crashed. (attempted twice) giving a bsod saying:
stop code: 0x000000D1

stop code 0x000000D1 is supposed to be closely linked to stop code 0x0000000A

ie a driver problem. so that is where i am aiming for next.
does windows use pre-installed device drivers during reinstallation? if it does then it makes this theory seem possible otherwise i am still lost.

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 14:51:55
just brainstorming on the driver idea.

i see no immediate reson that there should be a driver problem. i can think of:

corrupted when the hard drive thought it was corrupt a few weeks ago but later turned out to be fine after a disk check.

dodgy network drivers. installed a new wireless card a few weeks ago. and have been having slow network speeds during the last few weeks.

and thats all really. i am pretty sure drivers dont just go corrupt randomly, it always happens for a reason. and i dont see many reasons there. since i havent personally installed any new drivers for a month or so. the only other thing could be that windows (during the windows update i mentioned) installed a new driver and did it badly.

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 18:00:17
If you are able to, try the program BlueScreenView: http://www.softpedia.com/get/System... If it is a driver problem, it might list the faulty driver.

Report •

June 17, 2010 at 18:35:11
cheers for the tip but i forgot to mention i use the 64 bit version of vista. bluescreenview only supports 32 bit at the moment from what i can see.

Report •

June 30, 2010 at 04:02:37
problem solved
reinstalled windows

now i feel stupid.
thanks to all who helped

i might see you in the overclocking forums soon.


Report •

June 30, 2010 at 04:31:45
Did you install Windows while your rig was overclocked? You should not do that.

Report •

July 1, 2010 at 18:16:22
although some settings may not have been on the bios's auto setting, i am pretty sure that everything was at stock speeds. i didnt set it like that to avoid problems whilst reinstalling windows so there is a chance i may have missed something.

what kind of things happen when you reinstall windows overclocked?

it has taken quite a while to finish all of the windows updates. i reinstalled it june the 29th and has only several hours ago got to installing service pack 1 on july 02. most likely just a side effect of my terrible internet service but i have used the computer extensively during that time assuming that all windows updates have been performed only to find new ones appear every now and then untill service pack 1 appeared earlier today.

i have overclocked my cpu slightly to 2.7ghz and memory on stock (forced and not on auto) low temps and stable. is it a good idea to have it overclocked at the moment or should i go back to stock speeds untill i know all crucial updates have been applied or does it matter?. i overclocked it the night before the service pack one update appeared assuming no further updates existed.

Report •

Ask Question