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Random crashes after overheat

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Oct 30, 2002
Lancaster, PA
Ok, here's how the story goes... after several weeks of my new setup working smoothly and stably despite the lack of air-conditioning I decided to try push it a little. I borrowed a Swiftech MC370 from a friend to hold the system over for a lil overclocking till I built a better cooler (water or phase). I pushed it to a 142 fsb for 1633 MHz, and it was running around 55° C when idle (ambient temps were at least 80° F). But still all good for a few more weeks. Then the trouble started.

As I was sittin there doin stuff on the comp. I checked out my temps and noticed they were a little high, so I continued to monitor them for the evening. For some odd reason they slowly kept rising up, about a degree every few minutes, and sometime not too long after they got above 65° C the system locked up and would not reboot at the overclock speed I had it set to, even once the heatsink cooled down. (oh, and yes, the fan was working fine the whole time).

Ever since the day that happened my system has been very unstable when I'm actually using it, although it will usually idle overnight without any problems. I frequently get KMODE_EXCEPTION_NOT_HANDLED, PFN_LIST_CORRUPT, IRQ_NOT_LESS_THAN_OR_EQUAL, and other similar BSOD's when I'm watching videos or playing games especially.

After removing my tweaks from the bios, upgrading drivers, etc, even underclocking to 100mhz fsb/1150MHz the instability remained (and was just as frequent as with the tweaks, so they're back in plus a few). I've also switched CPU's and had the same problems, so its likely not the cause.

The main thing I'd like advice on is what other people suspect the culprit is: motherboard, ram, CPU, or power supply (currently a 300w Antec). I'm leaning towards motherboard, but I'd like to hear some other ideas to. Unfortunately I have limited resources for testing it out properly to come up with my own answer...

tia for the help


Aug 15, 2002
Toronto, Canada
Try reformatting the Drive and reinstalling windows. Something may have gone corrupt on the HD when you were overclocking your setup.

Good Luck
Last edited:


Jul 5, 2002
Those seemingly random/different BSODs are often due to bad RAM. It is possible that OCing damaged a stick of your RAM. I would try to isolate your RAM to see if that is the problem. I have had these random BSODs and finally located the problem as one of my sticks of RAM that I had to replace.

Hope this helps.



Senior Band Wagon Jumper
Jun 9, 2001
Montreal, Quebec, Canada
I'd be leaning towards the CPU being the culprit. The memory may be the cause of the problem like EeyoreX said, but my personal first geuss would be the CPU. Sometimes you can burn a CPU and retain some funtionallity from it. One way to check is to load up Sandra, and run the benchmark if you can, and compare your FPU to the reference systems. If it's really way off, then your CPU might be a lil' bit toasted.