Troubleshooting Microprocessors

cpuTroubleshooting a microprocessor can solve the problems that arise due to the improper functioning of Microprocessor. The general problems that arise from the microprocessor are overheating and slow processing.

Overheating

A microprocessor produces heat while processing the data. The microprocessor also overheats when it is performing beyond the recommended speed. Overheating can cause permanent damage to the microprocessor. Adequate cooling devices such as a processor fan must be installed to cool down the microprocessor. To solve the problem of overheating:

  1. Check that the processor fan is installed and functioning properly.
  2. Ensure that the heat sink compound is properly in contact with the processor and the heat sink assembly and is not dried up.
  3. Check the jumper settings on the motherboard and the BIOS settings to see that the microprocessor is not over clocked.
  4. Check that the voltage supplied by the motherboard is compatible with the microprocessor.
  5. Check the motherboard manual to see that the motherboard supports the microprocessor.

Slow processing or hanging issues

The microprocessor generally runs slow if there is some fault within it. A microprocessor can also run slow if the speed settings are not correct or due to some other fault in the system. To solve the problem of slow processing:

  1. Check if the vendor has supplied the correct microprocessor.
  2. Check if the microprocessor is compatible with motherboard by referring to the manual.
  3. Check the CPU fans if it is properly rotating.
  4. Check if the processor supports the applications that are running.
  5. Scan the computer for viruses.
  6. Check the jumper settings on the motherboard and the BIOS settings of the microprocessor. Troubleshoot the RAM.

No Display

The computer may encounter a problem of no display. This problem may be due to processor failure. At this moment, the system generates beep codes about the processor failure. You may have to replace the processor in such a situation. To solve the problem of no display:

  1. Check if the CPU fan is functioning properly.
  2. Ensure that the processor with the heat sink assembly is properly installed.
  3. Restore the BIOS settings to default state and check if the problem has been resolved.
  4. While replacing a motherboard ensure that the speed, voltage, FSB and cache size of the new processor should match with that of the old processor.

Over clocking a microprocessor

Over clocking the microprocessor increases the speed of the microprocessor. You can over clock the microprocessor by changing the jumper settings on the motherboard. You can also over clock the microprocessor by changing the appropriate BIOS settings. Additional cooling devices such as a CPU fan must be installed to cool down the processor because over clocking makes the processor heat up very fast. The extreme heat level can damage the processor and also reduce the life of the processor. Over clocking must be done with a great care by increasing the clock speed as little as possible every time. You must also check the documentation of the microprocessor and motherboard before over clocking. Over clocking a microprocessor beyond its maximum capacity can permanently damage the microprocessor.

Microprocessor up gradation

The speed and performance of the microprocessors increase with the release of new processor. Besides this, every microprocessor has its own limitation. To keep the system up to date and to remove the limitations of the microprocessor, we must upgrade the microprocessor. To upgrade a microprocessor, we replace the microprocessor in the system with a new and better microprocessor which is compatible with the existing motherboard. If the microprocessor is not compatible with the motherboard, both the board and the microprocessor will have to be replaced.

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How to Find and Fix PC Memory Problems

Troubleshooting Memory

memory-chipsIn order to troubleshoot memory problems we can use the memory diagnostic software’s or the beep codes. There are two methods to diagnose and troubleshoot memory related issues.

  1. Using BIOS beep codes.
  2. Using Memory Diagnostics Software.

BIOS beep codes:

The BIOS program does the POST (Power ON Self Test) testing as the system turns ON. This test is done to ensure that the system is working properly. If the computer fails to start, a long beep is generated. This beep indicates that there is a requirement to check the BIOS of the motherboard for errors.

Memory Diagnostic Software:

The memory diagnostics software enables the user to solve memory problems. Windows 7 comes with a built in memory diagnostic software which restarts the computer and switches the computer into memory diagnostic mode.  You can also start the Quick Test mode to quickly test the memory for errors. If the memory shows an error such as incorrect memory sizing there must be a problem with the software setting in the CPU. The error number for this error is 164. The computer can easily fix this error using the memory diagnostic tool. If t he memory diagnostic tool does not show any error, check the motherboard, CPU and other peripheral devices.

Apart from these two there are other methods of diagnosing and troubleshooting memory issues:

  1. When you switch ON the computer, three beep tones are heard and then the computer stops or parity error is displayed on the screen.

Cause: This problem may occur due to improper insertion of RAM or due to defective RAM.

Solution:

  1. Check all memory modules you have installed.
  2. Check for any loose connections.
  3. If the problem is still not solved, then remove the modules one by one, reinsert and check if the problem has solved.
  4. If the problem is due to some defective memory module then replace with a new working module.
  5. Wrong Memory Size.

Cause: If the machine shows wrong memory size when you switch ON the machine, it could be due to wrong CMOS set up information.

Solution:

  1. Correct the values using the BIOS settings and save the configuration.
  2. Restart the computer.
  3. The memory card installed is not being recognized by the computer.

Cause: This could be due to improper installation of the memory card.

Solution:

  1. Ensure that the card is installed properly.
  2. Ensure that the memory chips are not defective.
  3. Check that the settings on the motherboard are as given in the manual.
  4. Pins of memory are dirty or slot is rusty.

Cause: This could be due to dust in the memory connector and slot.

Solution:

  1. Clean them with student eraser and try again.
  2. Clean the slot with brush.
  3. Wash them with pure alcohol and try again.

Hardware such as hard disks, chips and memory packages generally show problems due to aging. The hardware errors can also occur due to bad soldering performed while mounting the components on the motherboard.

If you are an IT professional or a keen amateur, there are many computer maintenance courses available to increase your knowledge and skills. QA and Paul Brown Training both offer onsite and classroom-based courses, ranging from 1 day to a week in duration.