How to know if your CPU is bad?

How to know if your cpu is bad?
How to know if your CPU is bad?

Central processing units, aka CPUs, are the nerve center of any computer. They can sometimes give you problems, however, when they break down or stop working. Certainly, you can take it to a repair shop, but what if the problem is not as big as it seems and you can fix it on your own? But how do you know if your CPU is bad?

There are hundreds of telltale signs you should be watching out for when it comes to noticing if your CPU is bad or heading towards being bad. If, for example, your computer’s CPU were to fail, your computer would be prone to random shutdowns or hanging at times.

If you suspect a problem with your CPU, then you need to check each and every component of the system, especially your motherboard, as well to figure out if the CPU is not working correctly. So, before drawing any conclusions, it would be a good idea to identify the source of the problem before drawing any conclusions.

In this article:

  • Let’s look at the most common signs and symptoms of a bad CPU
  • Learn how to avoid a CPU dying by taking a look at the most common causes
  • This article will explain how to fix a bad CPU set up that can lead to a system failure. 
  • Lastly, we’ll make sure that you know what you should do next.

Most common signs and symptoms of a bad CPU

It isn’t uncommon at all for CPUs simply to burn out at some point. Here is a list of the most common symptoms of a processor failure that can help you figure out exactly what the problem is:

  • Turns on, but turns off immediately.
  • The computer turns on, but it does not beep or display anything. 
  • When Windows is on for a few minutes, the screen freezes.
  • When the computer starts, the fans run at full speed, but there is still no POST and the operating system does not load.
  • Errors causing the system to halt.

Computer Is Not Turning On: The trouble with this symptom is that it refers to a very broad scope of different problems, so it may have nothing to do with your CPU. If your computer doesn’t respond after you click the power button, there are a number of issues that could be causing it. It may be an indication that your computer’s CPU is dead. As a result, the computer may work in the first couple of seconds before it shuts down, but it might not work after that. I do caution you not to underestimate this kind of thing, even though it is very common.

Computer Is Freezing or Lagging: In the case of sluggishness or a slow computer, it can be the CPU overheating. No matter how your computer boots, whether it is idle or how heavily loaded it is (i.e., running multiple applications at once), it could occur at any time. It may be a combination of factors. In my opinion, there are many reasons that a CPU may cease to function, but just because someone may have damaged a GPU or RAM, it still does not mean that you should not perform a temperature check on your CPU. As usual, it happens when you least expect it and therefore tends to be the most common time for it to happen. You shouldn’t ignore the problem if it ever arises.

Irregular Beeping Sounds: As you hear the beeps, pay attention to their number. Whenever the CPU beeps irregularly or has not worked properly for five beeps, the CPU is broken. A beeping noise occurs whenever you turn on your computer. In order to perform a diagnostic test, the computer conducts a Power-On Self-Test procedure every time it boots up. Testing your computer’s hardware is the primary reason for taking this test. It is the motherboard that radiates a signal whenever there is a problem with the CPU. Your computer sounds a beep when it does not start correctly. 

System Shutting Down Automatically: There are times when your computer system may shut down without any warning or indication when you are working on it. There are a number of reasons why this can happen, including overheating. If one of the components of your cooling system has stopped working, or if one or more of your fans have failed, the problem may occur frequently. There is a possibility that the system may have automatically shut down to prevent further damage. At least once every two months, ensure that your cooling system and fans are functioning properly.

Blue or Black Screen of Death: The blue screen of death is a symptom of an error code that appears on your computer screen. You will learn about the cause of the error as well as the reason why the computer is not functioning properly. Generally, a “blue screen of death” is an operating system error that causes your whole Windows system to crash. 

Burn Marks: Are you smelling anything burned? If so, it is probably coming from your CPU. Most of the time, short circuits or excessive heat are what is to blame. If there are burned marks on the board, it is quite likely that this has something to do with the short circuit. In this case, it is most likely that the CPU is dead. It is best not to use the computer until you have fixed the problem. 

Damaged pins:

Damage Pins
Damage Pins

Damaged pins are another common problem. A processor that has one or more broken or bent pins will not be able to function correctly.

Let’s run some checks!! 

It is hard to fix your PC, and it takes a lot of time and effort. This is particularly true when you consider that a symptom may originate from several causes. With the right software and knowledge, diagnosing your PC is much easier. I’ve put together a shortlist of initial checks for you. That will help you narrow down the problem.

You need to reset everything: Although it is extremely unlikely that your PC will have a component incorrectly installed, you should always test for any problems. This includes the CPU, heatsink, video card, every RAM stick, and the entire hard drive. Perform a full reset of your entire computer. It never hurts to double-check.

Test every piece of hardware separately: Testing your computer by removing a part at a time and testing it is a good way to figure out what is wrong with your computer. Remove each component one by one and replug again.

Check the functionality of each component: Once we’ve gone through the above procedures and the problem still hasn’t been fixed, it’s time to replace some parts. It’s a good idea to take spare parts for every part, then replace them and install the new parts. Replacement of a particular component that fixes the problem indicates that the component was defective. If it wasn’t defective, you can move on to the next step.

Clean the dust: Although it may seem strange, dust can be a cause of a bad CPU. In particular, dust can cause the CPU to overheat. In the event that you don’t remove the dust when you clean your computer, the dust particles may form what is known as a solid connection to your computer’s motherboard, which could lead to overheating in the future. In order to prevent dust from damaging your PC components, you should keep it away from cooling systems. Ensure that the heat sink in your computer is free of any dust or debris. 

What could cause a CPU to fail?

Motherboard Is Failing: There is a 90% probability that the problem is with the motherboard rather than the CPU. As a motherboard, it connects your components in order to maintain communication between them. It is mainly your motherboard that ensures that every component within your computer operates at the correct voltage. It is also possible that a bad motherboard can lead to a defective processor, for example. An incorrect setting of the voltage can cause the processor to damage. Furthermore, when the CPU is placed in the socket, it can’t be accessed by anything else. Mobos, on the other hand, are incredibly exposed and have a thousand points where damage and shorts can occur. 

Power Surge: It is also possible for power surges to cause the CPU to malfunction. There is a surge of voltage when the voltage exceeds the range that the device can handle. Anything that is in excess becomes a problem. There can be times when the surges in the power are so severe that they can damage parts of your computer, including the central processing unit, resulting in a non-operational processor. There are times when surges in the power can permanently damage the hardware of a computer. Often enough, however, the surges can wreak havoc on the data as well.

Overclocking: Overclocking degrades performance. Overclocking decreases the life expectancy of CPUs. Having a good cooling system is very important for these reasons. It is also a good idea to perform a stress test prior to overclocking. It is also a good idea to keep track of your temperatures on a regular basis. 

You Have an Old Computer: If you were to discover that, on average, CPUs typically last anywhere from 15 to 20 years, you might be astonished. On the other hand, the longevity of the components will depend on how well and how often they are kept cool. This is not always the case due to other PC components deteriorating before the CPU. Oftentimes, it may be caused by an out-of-date thermal paste or a faulty fan causing the temperature to rise. The reason for this is that it is imperative to keep track of each component by checking it periodically and by keeping an eye on it.

Temperature above the recommended level: A CPU’s temperature can also be impacted by the temperature of the environment. If you want your computer to run well, you should set it up in an area that is naturally cooled. You should not place your computer in a corner where things like books and other items tend to accumulate. In order to avoid dust accumulating on the surface, you will need to keep it away from windows as well as the edges of the room. According to the computing industry, it is a good rule of thumb to assume that a change in room temperature of 5°F would result in an increase of about 7.5°F in CPU temperature.

What temperatures will damage the CPU? With regards to computers and gadgets, it only takes seconds for the temperature of the computer to fluctuate. There are certain temperatures at which CPUs should operate. 

The recommended maximum temperature of the processor is between 105°C and 110°C. At idle, CPU temperatures range between 30 and 40°C, and at full load, they range between 60 and 85°C. When overclocked, CPU temperatures can safely reach 90°C. Nevertheless, there is only a very limited period of time in which they are supported, after which your system’s brain will undoubtedly suffer a significant decline that will lead to irreparable damage.

What should I do if my CPU is not working?

Unplug the processor fan

Turn off the processor fan and remove it from the processor.

Unlatch the clips

Clips secure the cooling heatsink and the processor fan to the heatsink. Locate and unlatch these clips.

Release the liver

Remove the horizontal security arm that secures the processor from its locking position. This will usually be visible as a horizontal arm running parallel to the processor’s length.

Remove the processor

Grab the sides of the processor using your thumb and index finger, and then you can lift it straight up to remove it.

Set up the new processor

Place the new processor in the desired position and press gently against the processor before turning the locking lever to its horizontal, locked position.

Apply some thermal compound

In the middle of the new processor, apply a small amount of thermal compound.

Resemble components

Replace the locking clips and assemble the heatsink/fan in the appropriate position after reconnecting the clips

What should I do if my CPU is overheating during gaming?

You need to restart your computer

Often, this is all that is needed. Simply restart the computer. Occasionally, this can resolve problems. To check if overheating persists, play your game. You can try the next fix if the overheating problem remains.

End tasks that consume a lot of resources

While playing a game, certain background programs can consume CPU resources. In turn, this can lead to overheating of the computer. In order to resolve this issue, you can use the Task Manager. 

Unclock the CPU

If you experience overheating while using the computer, you will need to reset the clock settings to their default settings. In case this problem persists, perhaps reducing the clock value further will solve the problem. 

Adjust power settings

Your current power settings could be the reason why your computer overheats when you are playing a game. You can try modifying them and see if that helps. Your CPU utilization changes afterward, and that should help stop them overheating.

Integrate your graphics card

Take advantage of the integrated GPU. Even though it will not be as good as a dedicated GPU on the software side, it will be less energy-consuming and will generate less heat.

Replace Your Charger

If your PC overheats while you play games while the charger is plugged in, then there may be a fault with the charger. Trying a different charger will help you determine if this is the case. If the problem persists then it may be a hardware issue.

Use a cooling pad to cool off

There is a growing concern among PC users about overheating problems. After you have tried all the above solutions for preventing your PC from overheating, it is highly recommended that you purchase a cooling pad. Cooling pads are able to cool your computer more effectively.


It is true that CPUs are quite durable and can still be used for quite some time before they fail, but there are many obvious signs that the CPU has been compromised before it fails to boot up. This post may have been helpful if you were trying to figure out if your CPU is bad. So, do not neglect it and keep an eye on it regularly.

Waqas Siraj
He is a student of IT; he loves blogging and traveling.