Can a Bad Piece of Downloaded Software Cause Overclocking of the CPU?

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fdugrad

Joined Aug 30, 2010
16
I have a Dell Dimension laptop that still runs on Vista. After downloading and running an older version of Opera Browser from a third party, I noticed the laptop’s internal fan was running at high speed. Something overheated and caused a shutdown. Removing the program and all of its components, using System Restore, CCleaner, Malwarebytes and Avast help somewhat but the PC still goes into high-speed fan operation many times. All virus and malware scans were negative. Is there any way I can check the CPU’s clock speed and reduce it if necessary?
 

dl324

Joined Mar 30, 2015
10,462
All virus and malware scans were negative. Is there any way I can check the CPU’s clock speed and reduce it if necessary?
By overclock, I assume you mean a higher speed than the microprocessor supports. If you mean higher, but still less than the "turbo" speed the processor supports, that could be the OS reacting to additional load from a virus.

A new virus could give a negative scan result. They can do more bad things if you let them run with elevated privileges. From user privilege, I don't see how it could change speed. Did you reboot after getting the suspected virus?

You can check and change in BIOS. Right clicking on the "My Computer" icon and selecting properties should show you speed (maybe that's just the nominal speed). Task manager can show current speed.
 

joeyd999

Joined Jun 6, 2011
4,370
Compressed air or a can of Dust-Off may solve your problem. A Vista era PC is bound to have massive amounts of dust caught up in your fans and heatsinks.
 

JohnInTX

Joined Jun 26, 2012
4,007
+1. Also, it's possible that the heat sink compound between the CPU and cooler has deteriorated. That will cause slow running and/or shutdown on an Intel CPU. It's happend to me but it's easy to replace.
 

atferrari

Joined Jan 6, 2004
3,912
Compressed air or a can of Dust-Off may solve your problem. A Vista era PC is bound to have massive amounts of dust caught up in your fans and heatsinks.
A recurrent advice I've seen is to block the fan while you apply compressed air to avoid it generating a voltage when acting as generator.
If it is true or not, cannot say. Motors are my stumbling block by far.
 

bertus

Joined Apr 5, 2008
20,442
Hello,

Perhaps a hacker has put some software for cryptomining in the downloaded package, for his own bennefit.
Cryptomining takes a lot of CPU power.

Bertus
 

Reloadron

Joined Jan 15, 2015
5,333
He says the problem started after he downloaded new software so that's the cause.
I don't know. Maybe coincidence. I have an old Dell Laptop also running Vista. I had a similar problem after years of use. The thing just ran hot so I opened it up and got in there with canned air removing years of dust and then I replaced the heat sink compound after cleaning the CPU mating surface. That old laptop still runs fine and after cleaning.

Should be able to view the Task Manager and look at CPU usage. There are also plenty of software routines which will show temperatures throughout the entire system. I would start by looking at CPU usage pitted against CPU temp.

Anyway, less a good looking over I would not be too quick to blame a Browser download I would look at where my resources were going in the Task Manager.

Ron
 
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