How To Tell If Your CPU Is Bad

How To Tell If Your CPU Is Bad? – Basic Troubleshooting

If you are a tech enthusiast, then you should know that the CPU is the heart of the computer and does every task, which includes all kinds of calculations and necessary operations. So, if your CPU is defective or not working, then it becomes impossible to operate the system. This is why we are going to discuss How to tell if your CPU is bad

There is a list of symptoms available which indicate if the CPU or Processor is defective or not. For example, whether the system restarts without any reason or the system just randomly turns off at times; this indicates that the CPU of the PC is bad. You can even expect the same issues that you are facing when the other internal components like RAM, motherboard, etc., are damaged. Let’s quickly look at some of the signs or the symptoms about How to tell if your CPU is bad. 

What Causes a Processor to Heat Up

It is quite natural for the CPU to heat up while it is doing some task because there are billions of transistors and gates inside the CPU which pass electrons rapidly to perform multiple tasks. This is why a minimum amount of heat is generated as per the law of thermodynamics in physics. But there are certain reasons due to which the CPU or the Processors get overheated which we will discuss here.


When we push some heavy load or CPU intensive task on our system, then to complete that overloaded task, more electrons need to flow inside the CPU to complete that, and we all know that the CPU’s temperature is proportional to the number of electrons passing through the CPU’s transistors itself. So simply, it will heat up. But when we do the normal day-to-day tasks like watching movies, playing music, web browsing, normal Microsoft office work, etc., then it won’t overheat.


To keep the CPU cool, many cooling components work together like CPU cooler fan, CPU case fan. You will even notice more advanced cooling systems in different machines. But if there are some airflow issues due to dust and grimes in the air vents or in the heat sink, then the hot air cannot be removed, and the fresh cool air cannot enter the system, so the whole air circulation gets stuck, and the CPU or the processors start to overheat.

Cooling Components Failure

As we have already said, there are lots of cooling components that work together to keep the CPU and other internal components at optimal temperature. But if there are any common issues in the CPU cooler fan or in the CPU case exhaust fan even if the thermal paste gets dry, then also the entire system and, of course, the CPU or the Processors start to overheat.


Many advanced users do overclocking in their CPU to get more performance than the normal output that they generally receive. While we overclock the CPU, it generates more heat than the normal usage, so if you don’t take care of the heat management system or install the advanced aftermarket cooler, then the overclocked CPU will heat up like crazy and can do hardware failure permanently.

Test If Motherboard Or CPU Is Bad

To test if the problem is with the motherboard or the CPU, you need to detach all the piece of hardware components like CPU or the Processor, RAM or Memory, Video card or Graphics card, etc. After dismantling all of these parts, you have to test the motherboard POST run. POST stands for Power On Self Start. It will check whether all the hardware is working perfectly or not.

When the CPU is not connected to the motherboard CPU socket, then you will notice the Debugging LEDs are flashed, or you will hear the beep code sound with some error message. Nowadays, every mid-range and high-end motherboard by default comes with the beep code speaker. But you might not get any inbuilt beep code speaker in the budget motherboard for that, and you have to buy or arrange a beep code detector speaker separately. 

If you hear one beep sound that means, there is a problem with the memory itself. Or, if you hear the two-beep sound, that means there is a problem with the motherboard itself.  

Result of this POST Test:

  • After pressing, the power button if the motherboard doesn’t power on, then check the power connection, one which you have done from the PSU (Power Supply Unit). Check whether the 24-pin power cable is connected perfectly or not.
  • After all the checks, if it still doesn’t power on or the blue screen doesn’t come on, then the only option left for consideration is that it is a bad CPU or due to the Processor failure.

There may be some other reasons also, like the CPU Socket may be damaged or the 8-pin or the 8+4 pin CPU power connector might be damaged. So, you should check the entire motherboard and the components very perfectly. Now you have got the answer to how to tell if your CPU is bad.

Four Common Reasons Why a CPU Goes Bad


Every electronic component has a certain life span. For a computer that is six years old or more than that, the CPU might not work that great as compared to when it was brand new. If you have used this extremely, then the life span might reduce, also more than that.


Heat is the main enemy of every electronic device. If there is any problem with the heat management system of the CPU or the thermal compound, then overheating can damage the CPU health day by day, and you can notice the outcome in your daily usage and still if you do not take any necessary steps, then the CPU can stop working permanently. 


Many of us overclock the CPU unnecessarily or don’t know how to do it the right way, and for that, it produces extreme overheating and can do hardware damage.

Electrical Power Surge

If the PSU or the power supply unit goes bad, then the high voltage spikes or the power surge can damage the CPU from that faulty power supply, and your CPU can stop working permanently. Not only the CPU, but it can damage the other electrical hardware component also. That is why it is recommended to use an anti-surge power strip or surge protector or make sure that there is no problem with the power supply connection.

The Simple Approach To Finding The Problem

You can find the problems, I mean the overheating CPU issues, by checking this step.

How to check if the CPU fan is working properly: To check if the CPU fan is working properly or not, you have to first check if the CPU temperature is optimal or not. If you don’t do anything CPU intensive and still it is overheated, then try to open the CPU cabinet and check if the CPU air cooler is moving or not. In this way, you can tell if the CPU fan is working or not.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if I need to replace the CPU?

Ans: Generally, if you feel the performance is not that great, like when it was new, or the age of the CPU is now more than five years old, and you’re not satisfied with the raw performance, then you need to buy or replace the CPU.

How do I know if my CPU or motherboard is bad?

Ans: We have already answered the question in detail. It will be better to read the above article for a better explanation.

How can I test if my CPU is bad?

Ans: You have to perform the POST on the motherboard to check if the CPU is running or working absolutely fine or not.

Is 100% CPU usage actually bad?

Ans: Yes, you shouldn’t use your CPU 100%. 


We have already discussed the How to tell if your CPU is bad. There is a lot of reasons for CPU overheating, and we have also explained all of this and also told how to test a bad motherboard by performing the POST.

So, after all of this, if you still have some problems, feel free to ask the doubts in the comment sections.

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