CPU Overheated

Here's my workstation. I never have issues with it but there was a snafu recently. 

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Yesterday my computer was running super slow so I turned it off and turned it back on. I got a message that was disconcerting: CPU overheated! 

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So, I took apart my machine and blew out some dust. I've had it for over four years now, ad only dusted it out a couple of times. The fan over the CPU was in fact very clogged up and I knew that was my issue. I wonder how long my CPU has been running too close to overheating. 

 

Here is the heat sink, free of dust.  

Here is the heat sink, free of dust.  

You can't just put a heat sink back on a CPU without changing the thermal paste. So I took some rubbing alcohol and cotton and cleaned off both parts. 

Nice and clean now.  

Nice and clean now.  

I applied some thermal paste and put that crap back together. Fired it up and we're good to go.  

Putting it back together was a little funky, haven't done it in four years.  

Putting it back together was a little funky, haven't done it in four years.  

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Back to work! Any tips you all have for keeping your processors cool? One day I might like to build a new rig and water cool it... one day. This works great for now.