Question Failing system, first BSoDs, now just freezing and rebooting with fresh OS install on new SSD


Jan 11, 2016
My system has always been... Let's say quirky... Since I got it. It was a custom build but hardly used, and I've added mem and a graphics card since.

The guy I got it off had set it up to dual boot but this caused problems so I disabled that. One of the main issues is that whenever it soft reboots it always comes back on unresponsive. No signal to monitor, keyboard and mouse disabled, but fans all going as if it was on. This causes problems installing windows as the system reboots a few times, but also with stuff like starting in safe mode, running chkdsk on the main hdd etc.

Another issue is it seems to randomly shut off at the Bit Locker screen, after a few seconds, making each logon a race against the clock. In the last few months I'd also get BSoDs on booting, but after a restart or two (or five or six towards the end) the system would boot and continue to function unhindered.

These problems were manageable over the last year but they finally got to the point where every boot was a BSoD and no amount of (cold) rebooting was able to get past them.
BSoDs ranged from Irql to Critical Process Died and a handful of random ones in between. Never seemed to be the same one twice in a row.
Accepting the fact that my HDD was probably dead I did a fresh install on a newly formatted SSD (less than a year old and hardly used) but I would now get random BSoDs after 5 to 20 minutes of use. I did an sfc from powers hell and found corrupted files so I downloaded a brand new USB install from the Microsoft site. This latest install shows no corrupted files, and gives no BSoDs but instead the fans will spin up to max speed and everything will freeze then restart. Disabling restart on crashes makes it just hang frozen forever until I press the power button.

One thing I did find in my troubleshooting was that the Bios was reporting cpu temps of 88 degrees C, way too high.

I took the heatsink off to clean it to find that the thermal compound was only making contact in a thin strip down the side of the cpu (there was a virgin mesh pattern on the rest of it) I scuffed it up a little with a clean screwdriver and made sure to tighten the heatsink as much as possible and that brought the temps down to around 40 degrees in the Bios. Still the same errors.

Is my cpu fried? Could it be something else?
Memory test came up fine, but that was only the standard. Extended hung forever on 21%
Appreciate any help, even just narrowing the possibilities.