How to Test a Processor

By Ty Arthur

The processor is the central brain of your PC and actually performs the mathematical calculations that allow your computer to function. If your computer will not boot up, turns off unexpectedly, or will not load its operating system, you may have a problem with the processor. You can effectively troubleshoot your processor at home to pinpoint the problem instead of taking your computer to a repair shop.

Things You'll Need

  • Secondary processor
  • Screwdriver

Step 1

Click on the "Start" button on the bottom toolbar and choose the option to restart the computer. Wait for the boot screen to appear and then press the "F2" key on your keyboard to access your computer's BIOS settings. Look for a long string of numbers and letters separated by periods and write the string down.

Step 2

Press the "Escape" key on your keyboard to load your operating system. Open your web browser and navigate to the website for the manufacturer of your processor. Click on the link for the type of processor you have and then compare the current version of the BIOS settings available to the number you wrote down. Follow the instructions on the website for updating your BIOS if there is a newer version available.

Step 3

Read through the manual that came with your motherboard and find the section dealing with processor jumper settings. Check to see what configuration your jumpers are supposed to be set to for the type of processor you have.

Step 4

Power off your computer and unplug all of the cables. Remove the case screws and pull of the side panel. Check the jumpers located near your processor and make sure that they are set to the correct settings.

Step 5

Pull back the two clamps holding the processor fan on and remove it from the processor. Touch the processor and see check its temperature. Purchase and install a stronger processor fan if it is uncomfortably hot instead of just moderately warm.

Step 6

Grab two ends of the processor and carefully pull it straight up. Put a different processor in its place and then re-assemble your computer. Power the computer on and see if you are still having the same problems as before.

Step 7

Purchase and install an entirely new processor if the problems no longer occur when the secondary processor is in the computer.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your processor still overheats after installing a new fan you can also buy thermal cooling paste and apply it onto the processor to keep it cool.
  • Always make sure to properly ground yourself to release any electrostatic build up in your body before opening your computer. Touch any metal object connected to the ground to release the electricity.