4 Reasons Why Your CPU is Not Working and How To Fix it in 2024

By: Editorial Team

Central processing units rarely fail but occasionally do due to issues such as age. Once your CPU fails, there is very little you can do to save it.

The logical option is always a replacement. This article offers to enlighten you on why your CPU not working, signs of CPU failure, and possible remedies.

Signs of CPU Failure

Your PC has tons of components that can fail. For example, your motherboard might fail and disguise itself as a CPU problem. To avoid this, here are telltale signs of processor failure:

Frequent Shutdown

Your PC should continue running for extended periods even under heavy load. Occasionally, it will shut down due to overheating issues.

Without this, the CPU will overheat and fail. However, the shutdowns become frequent, which points to a CPU issue.

Your CPU may be on the brink of failure. The PC could also be shutting down because of computer viruses, problems with the UPS, hardware-related issues, or problems with the operating system.

Ideally, consult a specialist to check whether the issue is related to a failing processor or not.

Booting Issues

Every time you start your PC, it initiates a POST test. This is why you often beep sounds as you boot your PC. In case you don’t hear the beep sounds, it’s likely that PC didn’t pass the POST test.

In addition, the display will be blank instead of the usual features exhibited after booting the PC.

Confirm that the processor isn’t working by checking whether the LED lights on the motherboard are on.

Beeping Sounds

As mentioned earlier, beeping sounds are a sign of a healthy CPU. However, the number of beeping sounds can also indicate whether your CPU is working or not.

For example, if your PC beeps 5-7 times, it indicates that your CPU is failing or dead.

CPU Failure Symptoms

Physical Damage

You can also identify a failing or damaged CPU by examining the processor. Open your PC to examine the processors for signs of burn or charred marks due to overheating.

Some of these damages are reversible, while others are irreversible.

A charred processor or motherboard indicates that your PC is overheating. Replacing the processor alone won’t fix your issues since it will recur.

Therefore, replace both the processors and CPU fans to keep the temperatures low and avoid further damage to your CPU, motherboard, or other internal components.

Freezing Screen

Does your display randomly freeze as you use your PC? It’s quite annoying because you can’t use your PC, and it doesn’t respond to commands.

Another irritating issue is the Blue Screen of Death that has plagued many PC users.

The Blue Screen of Death often displays an error on your screen that your PC can’t resolve on its own. If your PC displays this message, it could be software or hardware-related.

Don’t panic just yet before you consult a pro to test whether the error is hardware-related. Also, if your PC displays the Blue Screen of Death regularly, it indicates a larger issue, such as a failing CPU.

Why Your CPU Is Not Working

Being aware of the sign of CPU failure is only part of the solution. You also have to know CPU failure causes.

This helps you avoid similar situations once you replace or repair your CPU. Common CPU failure causes include:


Processors don’t really break down due to aging, and neither do they slow down over time. You might notice your CPU getting slow over the years but it’s not due to old age.

Typically, it’s expected that software requirements will continue increasing gradually. A processor designed in 2000 may struggle against CPUs made in the 2010s or 2020s.

Processors have extensive lifespans that often rival their respective computers. However, this doesn’t mean that processors are indestructible or immune to aging. Your processor will continue to age and eventually fail after years.

Generally, the CPU fans are always first to break down, and once they do, your processor isn’t far behind. For example, if your fan fails after 6 years, your CPU is overdue for a replacement since it’s likely outdated by then.

Power Surge

Power outages and surges can be destructive. Your PC continues to run thanks to a reliable mains supply. Occasionally, your mains will experience issues such as outages or surges that affect the consistent supply.

A sudden drop or increase in the power supply can damage electrical components in your home. The sudden loss of power is also problematic, especially when editing system files.

Your PC will shut down and may struggle to boot when power resumes as it will view the files as corrupted.

If you’re lucky, your PC will resume normal function without issue. If you’re not, it could damage your processor or shorten your hard drive’s lifespan.

To prevent problems associated with power cuts or outages, invest in an uninterruptible power supply.

The unit features a backup battery to keep your PC running even during power outages.

UPS units also have surge-protected outlets to protect your CPU from surges and outages.

These units won’t keep your PC running for long but it gives you ample time to close apps and shut down your PC.


It’s not uncommon to overclock CPUs to get more performance. Unfortunately, not all CPUs are designed for overclocking, which is why some fail due to the extra stress.

Overclocking your CPU might improve performance but can also reduce your processor’s lifespan. You’re getting a faster CPU but in exchange for reduced longevity.

amd ryzen 3
AMD Ryzen 3 CPU

Therefore, instead of stressing your CPU, upgrade it to a more capable processor that can handle overclocking without affecting longevity.

If you overlook the upgrade, your CPU might overheat to over 70 degrees Celsius. Anything above 80 degrees Celsius will begin melting your CPU.


As mentioned earlier, a charred processor or motherboard often indicates that your fans are struggling to keep up with the high temperatures.

This is why computer specialists recommend upgrading to efficient fans and keeping the PC away from heat sources such as sunlight.

How to Fix CPU Not Working

If your CPU isn’t working due to extensive damage caused by overheating, replacement is the sole remedy.

Your CPU either works or doesn’t. Once it fails, there is no fixing the processor.

How To Prevent CPU Failures

Your CPU will continue failing if you don’t address the causes. For example, if it fails due to overheating, you’ve got to resolve the temperature issue before it fries another one of your processors.

Here are preventative measures:

Clean Your Tower

The more your tower accumulates dust, the higher the likelihood of CPU fan failure. Cleaning the tower and fans every few months helps prevent this.

Change the Location of Your PC

Don’t place your PC near windows as it will accumulate dust rapidly. Also, placing it close to the window means direct sunlight, which will overheat your PC. The same applies to other heat sources, such as a heater.

If you can, place your PC in a climate-controlled room to avoid heat build-up.

Invest in Quality Coolers

OEM coolers are great but don’t offer the performance of third-party coolers. Invest in these coolers as they offer better efficiency and cooling. Your CPU can last longer.

Also, when installing one, consult experts to avoid incorrect installations that damage your PC.

Monitor Temperature Readings

Check if your motherboard has tools to monitor temperature readings. These tools are accessible via BIOS, and if your motherboard doesn’t have these tools, you can download them online.

The tools set temperature thresholds, which send warning notifications every time you exceed the set points.

These tools keep users updated on temperature levels, especially when running processor-intensive apps such as games or editing applications.

Using these tools, you can monitor temperatures and respond where necessary.

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Final Thoughts

There is no coming back from a damaged CPU. If it’s not working and exhibiting signs of damage, replacement is needed. Follow the preventative measures outlined to prevent future occurrences.

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