How to Fix an AMD Processor

by Ruri Ranbe

An AMD processor (also known as a central processing unit, or CPU) plays a key role in determining the performance and system capabilities of a computer. The heat sink and fan control the processor's temperature, but without adequate cooling, the CPU can overheat and cause the system to freeze or shut down. Overclocking the processor can also cause system instability. To fix an AMD processor, reset your CPU settings and then check the temperature of the processor to determine whether the component requires better cooling. If resetting the CPU and upgrading your heat sink and CPU fan do not work, you may have to replace the processor.

Revert AMD Configuration to Default

Turn on the computer. Press "Pause Break" to freeze the boot screen. Locate the message displayed at the bottom or top of the screen showing which key to press to access setup.

Press "Pause Break" to unfreeze the screen. Press the setup key to go to the CMOS setup utility. CMOS is the semiconductor at the heart of the processor.

Review the legend at the bottom of the screen. Press the designated key to reset the BIOS, or basic input/output system, to fail-safe defaults. The setup utility will restore the AMD processor's original settings.

Press "F10" and highlight "Yes." Press "Enter" to exit from the BIOS.

Reduce Overheating

Turn off the computer. Remove the power cord and all devices. Touch the back of the computer to ground yourself. Press the "Power" button to drain the system board of residual electricity.

Release any screws or clips locking the heat sink in place. Rock the heat sink back and forth to loosen it from the processor.

Lift the heat sink from the processor. Check the top of the processor and the bottom of the heat sink for thermal paste. Thermal paste facilitates the cooling of the processor. A lack of thermal paste, or a too-thin layer, can cause the CPU to overheat. Apply thermal paste to the top of the processor, if necessary.

Place a finger on the processor to test the heat of the components. If you cannot keep your finger on the AMD processor for longer than a few seconds, the heat sink and CPU fan are not adequately cooling the CPU. You may have to upgrade to a better model.

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About the Author

Ruri Ranbe has been working as a writer since 2008. She received an A.A. in English literature from Valencia College and is completing a B.S. in computer science at the University of Central Florida. Ranbe also has more than six years of professional information-technology experience, specializing in computer architecture, operating systems, networking, server administration, virtualization and Web design.