One of my friend tried to overclocking his computer using third-party software. He followed all the instructions, including switching on the software (8rdavcore)'s Auto FSB feature. With this option on, the processor's multiplier would vary depending on the computer's needs. When not in use, the fan would be going slow down and generate less noise. He was trying to create a "Centrino desktop".

He manage his computer to be silent, but not by lowering the speed of the fan. Suddenly his computer stopped function.

The diagnosis is many similar cases are actually caused by processor overheating. Users might have forgotten to apply thermal paste between the processor and the base of the cooler, or they might have not used generic heatsink fan. In this case, he had actually invested in a nigh-end cooler with provision for automatic fan speed adjustments. And of course he applied the thermal paste and properly installed the device. If you can't do these two things right, don't even think of bumping up your computer's speeds (FSB, multiplier, AGP/PCI or RAM).

With WCPUID, I attempted to find the exact frequency that hung the computer. As can be seen in the problem, the processor was running at 133MHz FSB. Athlon XP processor with Barton core should be running on 166MHz FSB. That means the "8rdavcore" tool he has couldn't be used.

Another interesting finding was that the processor was not an Athlon XP, but an Athlon MP. This is a server processor, which runs on 133MHz FSB at the maximum.

The Solution:
Driving your car too fast puts yours and others' lives at stake. Likewise, driving your computer too fast can cause permanent damage to the CPU. Luckily, the computer only required a hard reset.

The 8rdavcore tool configured to a higher FSB, which forced the processor to run beyond its capabilities. Then I modified the original 8rdavcore to get its auto FSB function working within the 66 to 133MHz range. As expected, the operation was much more stable though the noise level wasn't as low as the owner wanted.