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Intel CPU is overheating and PC is shutting down

by Tom Valdez  July 18, 2015

Owner / Mountain Peak Computers


We received a call around 6:30 pm last week from a new client.  He told me that his desktop’s CPU was over heating and would shut down every 10 to 15 seconds.  He had turned off the mother board temperature monitoring setting for the CPU, it was always going into alarm mode because it was over heating.


He told me that he had just moved to Colorado and his PC had been over heating since the move.  I told him that the CPU heat sink had probably come loose.  He told me had checked it and it was attached.  I told him that Mountain Peak Computers provided a free pickup and delivery service.  We could be by to check out his computer in an hour, at 7:30 pm.  He agreed and we set the appointment.


I arrived at 7:30 sharp and took a look at the PC.  The client had remove to cover from the case because he said that the PC would stay on longer and not over heat as fast.  I checked the CPU heat sink and it seemed to be attached and the fan was turning.  As we talked the PC never shut down.  I did notice that the mother board was not secured in the case properly.  My client said that he would like me to install the screws to hold down the mother board and find out why the PC was over heating and shutting down.


I gave the client an invoice, shut down the PC, and disconnected the USB and video connectors.  I told my client that I would give him a call when I had discovered the reason the CPU was overheating.


Once I was able to look at the PC in the shop, I discovered that 2 of the 4 Intel heat sink pushpins where loose.  First I turned the 2 pushpins to the correct position and then pushed both of them into place and they clicked.


The CPU was an i7-4790.  Motherboard was an ASUS Intel Maximum VI Extreme.  The client had 4 Corsair 8 GB memory sticks installed for a total of 32GB.  His boot drive was a Samsung 1TB SSD drive and a 2TB SATA drive for storage.  There were two GTX 980 PCI Express video cards to drive 4 24” Dell monitors.  They were configured with a SLI cable to connect both cards.  To power the custom PC he was using a Corsair RM Series 1000 watt modular power supply.


Once I had found the cause of the overheating, I removed both video cards and looked closer at the motherboard and found that there were no screws installed to hold down the motherboard.  I first positioned the motherboard into the correct position and installed 6 screws.  Then installed both video cards and reconnected the power cables.  Both video cards required direct power.


Once the PC was powered back on I verified that both video cards were detected in device manager.  Then I rebooted and entered the BOIS and check the CPU temperature.  It was steady at 114 degrees.  Before rebooting I enabled the CPU temperature monitor in the BOIS.


The PC stayed running and never over heated or shut down.  I verified that all the hard drives were visible. 


After discovering the problem and having fixed it, I gave the client a call and told him what the answer to his problem was.  We agreed to the time to return the PC to his home.


I returned the PC the next day around 2 pm.  After connecting up the power cable, USB and video connectors my client was having a problem powering on the PC.  I noticed that he was holding the power button down for about 1 second each time.  The power button was to be momentarily pushed and not to be held down for any more than that.


After more than 5 or 6 tries to power up the PC, I asked the client if I could try.  He moved back to give me access.  The first thing I did was to pull the power cable and let the PC sit for about 15 seconds.  Then after connecting the power cable I pushed the power button and let it got quickly.  The PC then powered on and beeped once.  The BOIS screen came up and the PC then booted up.  I told the client that he was holding the power button to long.  He acknowledged that he had always had a problem powering the PC up and now he realized why.


The client verified that his 4 monitors were properly configured and opened up the internet.  I told him that he could increase the performance of his PC by installing a SSD drive as the drive boot.  He told me that he would consider it and do some research on SSD drives.  He paid the invoice and I left for my next stop.


Mountain Peak Computers provides free pickup and delivery of all computer repairs.  We have a 24 turnaround in most cases.  We had this clients PC back in less than 18 hours.



If you have a similar problem or any other computer problem you may have give Mountain Peak Computers a call at 303-400-4000 for the personal service you demand and we provide.