My PC overheated ! 
I wonder why?
Most PC's have a  fan, at least one, to keep it cool.  
All electronics parts (chips for sure and CAP's) do not like excess heat, too much heat and all fail, some chips get super hot and fail fast,  the top 3 are , CPU, GPU and GLUE chips.
The 2 bit processors, the CPU and GPU both can add up to 200 watts heat, full tilt. (high end  Desktop PCs)  (here RUN FAST)
If the heat is not expelled to the room (space)  that the PC resides, then that chip overheats and can do so fast, some in seconds flat !
The CPU has over temp sensors that cause the processor to shut down all by itself. (see here how this Intel magic happens)

Covering Desktops (DT) and Laptop/Notebook/pads (LT)  (this is what we call a NO BRAIN'R)
The sure is simple.
Laptops waste  up to 50-100watts power in heavy use, is the range running fast App's, this heat is all mostly inside and must escape, if not allowed to breath and escape, and vent  the hot air, parts inside over heat and fail or self shut down.
Gaming desktops PCs can use 2 times that power level and attendant more heat.
( Blowing up a $300 CPU/GPU  is not good  ?) 
Heat is the number one killer of all electronics.!  (besides lightening and floods or dropped 6 feet to concrete)
The ugly photo's below are all neglect. 
(even 1 year of neglect can pack a fan and faster with pets)

I will do a slide show now, to show how classic filth kills any  PC DEAD!

The cause and cures,  can be presented near wordlessly.  Look , find clean. (end story)
What needs be said,? This first photo speaks 1000 words.  or just 1,  neglect. (the 1000s words would be fixing some laptops, as some are a PITA)
Nothing much,  but if you neglect your PC, it will fail and fail for overheating, or worse, that right , chips (all electronics inside) can burn up  and fail overheated, the fans seen are not for fun, or giggles

  • I will now state the obvious, in simple lines of short text.
  • The vents must not be packed up in lint (I will just call that packed for short)
  • The Fans , 1 or more,  but all must spin and blow air and not be packed.
  • The heat sinks, seen in the slide show must not be loose , or falling off or packed.
  • The PC must breath fresh clean cool air or the PC will fail.
Now examples: I will show just one image from the slide show here.  The problem here is obvious, and cure same. My guess?, is  5 years of neglect.
we say RAT NASTY , at first glance.!

More examples.
Desktops are so easy to clean and replace easy to find standard parts. Desktops RULE in my book (I use notebooks only on vacation)
I can go to the garage, fire up the compressor, and blow out a Desktop in 5min work.  I do so once a year.
Laptops are not easy  to clean or service ever, nor  easy to find the vast number of non standard parts inside and a horror to clean, if neglected. (yes a horror)
But in all cases of laptops,(no pun) it varies by maker, I find HP the most easy.

Below: Example Toshiba , not too old. 2008? then a 2009 HP later...
See this heat radiator, left end? "A" ARROW  below it must not be allowed to packup in lint.  
See the FAN,at "B" ?  that fan must NOT be allowed to be packed in lint , in fact if you ignore the packup this will stall the fan and the CPU will shut it all down ! overheated,  "intel inside" did that, like magic"

Removing just my keyboard or case top, helps greatly here to clean the fan and Radiator (RAD) seen here, (a Toshiba and is horrible to undo hidden plastic snaps, I hate Toshiba LT) I'm upgrading this one to LED screen.
Laptops love to overheat way before any desktop. (due to that RAD port being so small)
The same goes for all bottom vents below, if you run the PC on a blanket it will overheat, or if the vents on the bottom are all packed full of lint, it will overheat.  See those 6 vents, do not block them or allow them to pack in lint.
SOME LT, the keyboard has vents around its rim, that suck air.  (if blocked?, oops a daisy)
The Below is HP 8540W. See the vents,  keep them clean?

The HP 8540p/w series below the key board comes off with 4 screws , the screws on mine have cute white icons for keyboard.
Every year, I  back blast the fan seen here to keep the radiator clear and clean.  (I blast it both ways at all  vents and on left then at fan port)  30PSI max if using shop air like me.
Back blasting works best with keyboard removed.  (let the dust cloud float down the drive way to the street)

Facts: The heat sink tops, Not the RAD or copper pipes run at 100F   (if say the hidden radiator on the left , is packed in lint then the heat sinks get way hotter and faster, and then the CPU shuts itself down.
The GPU runs at 105f  (room is at 78f) if the fan fails or packs in lint or the RAD it will overheat real fast. (8540p) (IR thermal GUN READINGS BY ME)
One obvious thing is if you remove all RAM the BIOS goes dead, and the fan too goes dead, so do not run it RAM free, for  more than SECONDS. My LT has 4 RAM stricks. 2 top , 2 bottom.
THE RAD can only be seen looking in the left side vent, it can be back blasted with air to clean it out, but the keyboard is best removed for the filth to land somewhere good like the back lawn or driveway, not inside case or home.

If you don't keep it clean like above, (annual)  you then  get to do this  horror.  taking the full top off, then remove 9 heat sink screws , clean it all on a bench the use this to put it back.
In most cases I never need to strip it down this much,  I use the air blower to blast it out 100% free of all lint outdoors.  Keyboard out , really helps greatly,  do not force those tiny connectors, learn now to deal  with them gently.
Some heat sinks , I discovered the HS compound turned to hard fractured glue, the cure is this.

The laptop has tiny ribbon connectors there are 3 types, force on,  hinge type or wedge type.  (each type is a skill set all TECHS learn fast) If you break one, it's a $100 to $300 fix. (new MOBO TIME)
If you fear damage, why not ask your PC shop to clean it for you.  They know all about this  , I promise.

The cure: 
Can o Air. duster

Take it outdoors, and blow it clean  using shop air or CAN-O-AIR (duster) sold in all good stores.  (never exceed 30 PSI pressure)
(I do use a vacuum cleaner first,  on the worst cases, see far above , then SHOP AIR with the 30 PSI regulator inline...)
Then blow all heat sinks and fans clean.  (and annual event here) always do this outdoors, never inside... It will be a nasty cloud like PigPen(tm) cartoon character. (wear PPE,  gear while doing this, or risk eye damage) wear GOGGLES !

Intel proof of DIE LEVEL protection: "Thermal Shut Down"
CPU: (the first time you will discover this is the first time the heat sink falls off.)
The Intel chips have this feature for many many generations, it's not a new features  at all.
In FACT Intel CPU (and AMD) auto self shut down and HALT when too hot. (in seconds) Read page 36
From"Intel 64 and IA-32 Architectures Software Developers Manual Volume 3 (3A & 3B): System Programming Guide" at

Section 14.5.1 Catastrophic Shutdown Detector
P6 family processors introduced a thermal sensor that acts as a catastrophic shutdown detector.

This catastrophic shutdown detector was also implemented in  ™ Pentium 4, Intel Xeon and Pentium M processors. (relics of the past now)

It is always enabled !

When processor core temperature reaches a factory preset level, (90-100c?) the sensor trips and processor execution is halted until after the next reset cycle.

This  mechanism is built-in to the processor. (self contained, inside and not under the control of BIOS, except the below)

But do know Most BIOS have there own thermal controls and its own sensors and will speed up the fans or shut down the PC.  (independent of Intel magic above) I even run fan controls in windows 10, a 3rd level of protection !

There are pages like this, for every Intel CPU made, this one goes in to great depth, no more guessing.

Covered here too, on modern Intel,  CORE2™. (see all pages  on thermal protections) why would Intel let you burn up a $300 t0 $500 processor? answer: they do all that is possible to protect  itself.

HOW CAN THIS HAPPEN?  (TIM = thermal interface material)
  • The CPU heat sink fell off the CPU, touch it feel it, is it loose, oops. (fix this now)
  • The CPU fan is dead or the HS fins are packed in lint making CPU cooling  near useless.
  • The TIM failed, many PC makers use some cheap crappy thermal compound that gets hard, (not me!)  and it cracks, it looks like 30 year old window (home windows) caulk that is old hard and brittle.  I use, this.
  • The best TIM is one that never gets hard, (one maker even promises that and they DON'T LIE) do not suck in to gold and silver magic TIM, it's all a.k.a heat sink grease or compound, do not use china no name grease.
  • The CPU HS (heat sink) clamps are bad/Failed or were messed with by the BAD GUYS.
  • The PC PSU and case fans all failed, making the inside of the case roasting hot and the CPU fan can't find cool air to do its job and fails.
  • The GPU chip can overheat and the screen now goes dead. (for the sames reasons state above, the Heat sink is not working at all)

Jargon: 101
CPU, the central processor unit chip, see here.
GPU, graphics processor chip,see above link.
MOBO the mother board seen here,  or seen here.
TIM , heat sink grease.
Heat sink, that metal heavy object seen on top of chips ,that tells you that chip RUNS HOT and needs lots of fresh cool air, make it so and win.
RAD is Radiator this is only seen on laptops,with a fan and thermal heat pipes,  These pipe flow heat to the RAD and then the fan blows it out of the confines of the Case to the world. (heats your room it does) even as much as 100watts heat.
PSU, power supply unit.

The HP service manual for your PC covers , dismantlement.  RTM , read the manual and not guess. hit home above, then click HP help links.
Glue logic are the other large chips not CPU, not GPU , one is called the North bridge and the other South bridges, they too must not overheat, my x38 chip runs hot and it too has  heat sink. (that must have cool air available)

version 2.  7-25-2017  (covering topic, "taking out the TRASH"), by: DeadPool