How to Tell If A CPU Is Dead

How To Tell If CPU Is Dead? Know All Signs and Reasons

Since the CPU is the main component of your computer, any physical harm or a defective chip can prevent your system from booting. It might start, but your monitor won’t show anything. With a functioning CPU, the PC will make it through the POST test. There are numerous causes for this, though.

Frozen boot-up windows, a lack of POST (Power-On Self Test), overworked fans, abrupt shutdowns after turning on, and a total lack of operation are typical signs of a dead CPU. Examining the motherboard and CPU for damage and performing tests on them can determine the root of your computer’s problem. Moreover, listen to your computer’s noises while it boots up.

There are situations when a dead CPU or motherboard is not the cause of a computer issue but rather another component. In this article, I’ll review how to test for this and determine if your CPU is dead.

The Signs of a Dead CPU

Generally speaking, if you have one of these symptoms, your CPU is dead. Even though some of these problems might be caused by other broken parts, your CPU is almost slow if more than one of these symptoms appears.

Absence of Functionality

Attempting to start your computer is a sure way to determine if your CPU is dead. If nothing happens while your PSU is working, your CPU cannot process even the minimal amount of electricity required to start your computer.


Whenever you switch on your computer, your CPU does a Power-On Self-Test, when a POST screen appears. The test is designed to check each component of your computer to ensure it is operating correctly and to identify those that aren’t.

You can change the POST screen’s visibility and duration when your computer boots up by going into the BIOS settings on your machine. When your computer boots up, your CPU is probably to blame if the screen still doesn’t appear.


Your computer’s fans no longer have anything to control them when the CPU fails. Therefore, the computer’s fans will automatically start at full speed when you turn them on, making them all audible.

Quick Shutdown

It may be your CPU or your PSU malfunctioning if your computer goes down nearly quickly after turning on. Since the power surge has no regulator and the system automatically shuts down to be safe, it is typically the result of the CPU becoming dead.

Look Out for Bent Pins.

In most cases, the CPU chips do not deteriorate over time. As you utilize newer OS and applications, they tend to be slower. Bent pins are the only thing that can permanently harm the CPU.

Check the CPU chip for bent pins after removing the CPU from the motherboard. The nails must all be in line with one another. But only some processors have hooks to attach to the motherboard.

There won’t be any pins on Intel processors. Therefore, the motherboard’s CPU socket may have bent pins if you use an Intel processor. However, there is a possibility that you have turned CPU pins if you use an AMD processor.

Verify the fan’s RPM

The motherboard’s BIOS regulates the CPU and case fan speed when the system boots. If the computer is unable to identify a CPU, it will not be able to pass the POST test. Therefore, the fans will spin at their highest RPM if the CPU dies.

As a result, if the computer makes a lot of noise, the motherboard will likely not pick up the CPU.

CMOS Battery Replacement

The CMOS stores details about the hardware it is attached to, including the date, time, boot device, and other information. When the system shuts down, the CMOS chip is powered by the CMOS battery and can save all this data.

When the CMOS battery runs out, The PC may have trouble starting up if the CMOS battery dies. To see if the computer boots, swap out the CMOS battery.

Replace the Power Supply 

The PSU may also be at fault when the motherboard cannot recognize the CPU. The motherboard is connected to the PSU by an 8-pin power line. This cable powers the CPU chip. It is well known that a damaged 8-pin cable can lead to problems like the motherboard failing to recognize the CPU. Reinstall this cable, then turn on the computer to see if the POST test was successful.

The power supply unit (PSU) may not give the motherboard adequate power if it doesn’t operate. To see if it resolves the problem, try replacing the PSU. The power supply unit (PSU) may not give the motherboard adequate power if it doesn’t operate. To see if it resolves the problem, try replacing the PSU. Try again to check whether the motherboard can recognize the CPU if it still needs to be fixed.

Disconnect Each Wire and Reconnect it

Your computer may occasionally exhibit strange behaviour due to internal circuitry. The CPU fan will not spin if the connections are improperly connected. The CPU will run at extremely high temperatures as a result of this. As a result, the PC will abruptly shut down. In addition, cables from the power supply unit must be secured.

Try disconnecting and reconnecting the cables to see if the motherboard recognizes the CPU.

Display Freeze

Every time you switch on your computer, your CPU may die if the screen stops. Though occasionally the computer will boot up and freeze on your home screen, the net will typically freeze on the loading screen.

Blue-Death Screen

Blue-Death Screen System-Halt faults will appear when your CPU has a problem. The “blue death screen,” which appears precisely as it sounds, is the most well-known of these blunders.

How to Find the Root Cause

The next step is pinpointing the issue if any signs appear on your computer. Even if it’s not your CPU, something is wrong with at least one part of your computer.

Visible Harm

You can start by looking at your motherboard. Your motherboard is frequently apparent to the naked eye if an electrostatic discharge, voltage surge, or blunt force is applied.

When static electricity is delivered to the metal inside your computer, electrostatic discharge, or ESD, happens. This rush of voltage overloads certain of your PC’s components. A power surge has the same effect, although it typically results from a malfunctioning power supply unit or shoddy manufacturing.

Look for burn marks on your motherboard, especially near your CPU socket. Given that the metal is being heated above and above its electrical rating, this is unquestionably an indication of electrical overload. As a result, there is burning and a loss of functionality.


Most medium-to-high-quality motherboards have a beep code speaker, emitting beeps when a component malfunctions. Please pay attention to the sounds your computer makes when turned on.

One, two, or no beeps may be heard during the POST process while testing your motherboard without a CPU. A single beep indicates a memory problem with your system, whereas two beeps indicate a motherboard problem.

When the CPU is attached, if you don’t hear any beeps and your screen doesn’t turn on, your CPU is almost probably broken.

For this test procedure, you can buy a standalone attachment if your motherboard still needs to include a beep code speaker. If doing that is impossible for you,

Alternatively, you could listen to the noises your computer makes.

There is unquestionably a problem with the system if the fans are running too hard or if you hear nothing at all.

Partial Elimination Process

You can identify the defective component by removing everything from your motherboard except the power supply, processor, heatsink, power switch, and case speaker. After that, turn on your computer and start listening.

All the parts are working correctly if there are several long beeps. Your motherboard is beeping to let you know that no memory is attached.

If there are no beeps, your CPU, PSU, or motherboard is broken. If this is the case and you display several of the aforementioned symptoms, your CPU needs to be replaced.

Connect to Another Computer

Connecting to a compatible, working PC is one guaranteed approach to determine if your CPU is the issue. You must be sure that the computer can support the CPU and that the computer you’re testing it on functions properly with its current CPU to achieve this.

Replace the CPU on your test computer after removing the CPU from your present machine and try turning it on. If everything operates normally, something else is the issue—not your CPU.

Your CPU is the issue if the computer isn’t functioning correctly and you’re noticing the same symptoms as your present PC.

The Laptop did not Power On

Your computer may occasionally fail to boot up because of a hardware issue that causes a red light. Try to determine which hardware—especially the CPU—is malfunctioning. Invest in new hardware or have that one repaired.

Endless Boot

Occasionally, a screen will appear, warning of a problem with the operating system’s proper startup.


Typically, a system will begin to beep when the hardware is either improperly connected or malfunctioning. For this aim, try examining the hardware to prevent problems.

Examine the CPU on a Different Motherboard

If all else fails, take the CPU out of the present configuration and put it in another one. If this system boots, the motherboard from the previous design is probably defective.

However, there is a good possibility that the CPU is dead if the new machine still won’t boot.

Can a PC Be Operated Without a CPU?

With a working CPU, the PC will pass the POST test. Additionally, since the CPU and GPU both need to interact, a monitor display is impossible without a CPU.

The monitor will be blank even though the computer may boot up, and the casing and system fans may or may not spin.

What Should I do if My CPU is Dead?

If your CPU is dead, you should replace it with a new one. You may also need to purchase a compatible motherboard and RAM, depending on your CPU type.

Additionally, you may need to reinstall your operating system and any other applications you had installed previously.

If you don’t have the necessary hardware or technical expertise to replace the CPU yourself, you can take your computer to a local computer repair shop to have the CPU replaced.

What if the Issue wasn’t with my CPU?

If you performed these tests and found that your CPU is operating normally, you should either do a more thorough analysis of your system or get in touch with the company that made your motherboard.

You can explain the beeps you heard when testing the CPU to the motherboard manufacturer, and they will be able to explain what they mean.

From there, fixing the issue becomes much more straightforward, and having a specialist guide you through it eliminates any potential harm.

What can You do to Prevent a CPU from Dying?

While preventing a CPU from dying, several safety precautions can be used. Here I’ve included the most effective techniques that will work well for this:

The temperature of the CPU should be monitored. Try to monitor the temperature of your CPU every day, or more precisely, when you are working hard. For this, a variety of software is available.

For accurate advice on temperature-related matters, consult this article.

Purchase Liquid Cooler

Get a liquid cooler to keep your CPU from overheating. To improve CPU performance, balancing CPU temperature is quite helpful.

Place Your Computer in a Cool Place.

Try to keep your computer in a room with good airflow or somewhere that is cool. Putting your system in that location will be beneficial.

Restart the Computer.

To reinstall the processor, you must open up your computer’s chassis and locate the CPU (Central Processing Unit) card.

Next, carefully pull the CPU out of its socket using your fingers. When doing this, use even pressure to avoid accidentally bending any of the card’s bottom-mounted pins, which could harm your computer’s motherboard.

Before you reassemble everything, ensure no dirt or dust in the corners where each pin meets its socket by cleaning them with a tiny bit of rubbing alcohol and a clean cloth.

Next, carefully reseat (or “push down,” if you like) your CPU while applying firm pressure into its opening at a 45-degree angle to the board (i.e., push straight down rather than rocking it side-to-side). Reconnect your computer’s cables, reattach all its parts, and then turn the power back on.

Check for any new error messages or hardware issues after everything has been powered on; ideally, you can enjoy trouble-free operation.

Often Clean

To prevent such problems, you should keep your operating system clean. To prevent the CPU from dying, try to place the system in a spotless area with adequate airflow.


It is wise to save yourself trouble if you need help figuring out how to identify whether your CPU is dead. There’s no excuse not to upgrade since costs for brand-new CPU and motherboard combinations are at an all-time low right now, as you may have seen. Additionally, more recent CPUs will be able to run demanding applications much more quickly than earlier models.

The CPU might be dead if there are no lights on the motherboard. If you’ve ruled out other hardware issues, it might only be a defective power supply unit and not your computer’s processor. You can replace or repair the PSU to get it working again in this situation.

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