My DIY computer which has worked fine for 3 years has recently been behaving erradically and getting worse. A few months ago I started getting the dreaded BSODs with varying files or reasons - page fault in non-paged area, tbcwdm.sys, and the latest NV4_disp.dll to name a few. It would happen sporadically, and I couldn’t pinpoint one cause. I have also had screen freezes which are happening more frequently, and when they began, I was hearing a rhythmic noise coming from my system - sounded like wooden percussion instruments at a luau (I know I know - never heard that one before LOL). I opened my case while it was running, but couldn't see what was making the noise. Then, about a week ago, my CPU fan died. I have a Gigabyte GA-K8NS socket 754 motherboard with a AMD Sempron 3100+ processor. The GA-K8NS shuts down automatically if the processor gets too warm, and it did just that. I replaced the non working CPU fan with a Thermaltake A4022 TR2-R1 CPU Fan Sockt AM2/939/754. The new Thermaltake runs, so I know there is power going to it (wasn’t sure if it was motherboard not powering old fan, or old fan just dying). HOWEVER, when I check the core temp of my CPU using a program called “SpeedFan” it is reporting my CPU to be running an average temp between 58-65 degrees centigrade and that is booting up cold. I also noticed that my CPU fan speed is substantially different from the one I originally had in there. The original CPU fan ran around 3000 rpms, the new thermaltake, though larger, is reporting at 1383 RPMs. Is it normal for a larger fan to run at less RPMs?

Now after updating the fan/cooler, I am still getting BSODs, screen freezes where I have to reboot, and now, occasionally when I try to start up my computer, it will power up for a second or two and then shut down and I have to keep retrying to boot, then it eventually will let me. Logic tells me that the CPU could have been damaged because of a faulty and then dead fan. (I’m assuming the dying fan was making the luau percussion noise LOL) BUT could all these aforementioned problems be caused by a faulty CPU or could there be something wrong with my motherboard? I am trying to be cost effective and only buy a replacement for what I need since my husband is currently out of work, is there any way to narrow down the problem so I know if I need to replace the CPU, the motherboard, or both?

The problems could be virtually anything, but I think that 1400rpm is very low for a CPU fan. It sounds to me like you replaced a dead heat sync with one that's not performing properly.

If possible I'd replace the fan, although since you're using a sempron anyway you might consider just buying a socket 754 Athlon 64 with it's own fan. That would cover you if it was the fan or CPU.

If it's in your budget this might not be a bad time to just upgrade your system, you can get a low-end dual core, motherboard and a gig or two of ram for around $120.

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