Okay, so here is another adventure I recently had. My CPU fan started to die, making terrible noises. After some time I was able to acquire a new HSF for $5.00 and, tho installation was harrowing (socket A CPU clips have a ton of force on them) it went well. Or so I thought.
Some time later I decide, I will try reducing noise overall in my computer. This was a fun wiring/fanning adventure but it seemed like, wow, things were getting really unstable. Quite to the point that I ended up putting the old fan on, and added another case fan to try and keep things cool. So much for that.
Today it occured to me, I might need to re-seat the HSF. You know, vex crashing every 2-3 minutes (and not just vex, basically any app, and misc wierd OS things happening, oh yes and I couldn't have a full game of starcraft, and windows was very very very crashy). So I takes it off, cleans off the thermal goo so I can reuse it (don't ask) then carefully scrape the CPU clean. Well it turns out, this CPU had a thin layer of what was the thermal "sticky" stuff from my original HSF. Which had totally dried-on and was nasty. I had scraped it off before but not enough. This time, I would not make that mistake. Then I looked at the HS itself. Very messy, so I brushed it with the rotary brush and lapped it with 600 grain sandpaper until it was very smooth. Not mirror-like but smooth nonetheless. Re-put on the saved thermal goo, reattached and rebooted. BIOS says things are much better.
So now I am playing around. I'll have to see if in a few hours things have gotten totally unbearbly crashy again, or what. But so far so good (and much better than before, I can already tell)
That's my adventure!