For Data & OS files, BACKUP on another is the "Mother of all precautions" ! (remember that!)

In BIOS disable Cpu L2 Ecc checking if you can till the tests are successfully passed, then enable it again!

First I prepared adequate progs for testing & made a huge zipped file (more than 500Mb) with more than a thousand smaller different type of files inside it & checked it for data integrity (with WinZip - Actions/Test , for CRC errors).

Than, there is a need to use an electric heater (hair dryer is ok) to heat up the setup from outside directed to a front intake fan from proper distance (I partially covered the setup with a big card-box too...), measuring the intake air temperature till it reaches around 35°C - simulating maximum ambient temperature, till it stabilizes there for awhile and keep that temperature during heavy testing! (if you live in a very warm place go to 40; if living in less warm place like Alaska, 30°C would be enough I think! and if using WaterCooling setup, water chiller-radiator should also have that intake air temp!). I also enabled my additional 1V boost voltage to the fans (the red switch on the back side of PSU for extra hot places; after recently replacing PSU, the same kind of switch serves to bump fan voltages from 5 to 7V...).

I started TESTING with that different heavy load programs described down later for minimum of 20min constantly looped each, checked temps time to time & checked in-between tests the data integrity of that huge *.zip file few times. In the meantime I was also defragmenting a HD to heat it also a bit more-it gets really warm than. All this kind of testing takes maximum of 2 hours!

(click on pics & fire to get details)

Aditional HEATING Heating it !
... & so is done the another alternative way to do the CPU & sistem Burn-in by overheating the machine (simulating hot Summer) ..."Burn baby, Burn"...SiSoftSandra Burn-in Wizard also helps doing a job ... ... even better using a DownLoaded CpuBurn4 suite, but than is not advisable overheating the machine, if your´re not absolutelly sure what your´re doing & about possible consequences !!!

WinZip WinZip testing This program is quite well known compressing/uncompressing utility, so here is nothing special to say; I used 7.1 version of it. Testing with it a large compressed file stresses mostly CPU & immediately shows if any data corruption /CRC errors/ occurs ...
RallyMasters RallyDemo Game running

... well, this one is kind a standard Car Race game; I ripped the demo out of its CD to take much less space on HD & so does not requires installing (but is zipped still 45Mb) It stresses very much Cpu/chipset & Video card (so good to test also that if OC-ed), but any dynamic video game demo with a fast changing graphics with a lot of textures should do the same job just fine ....

Discover Discover Mem test This program is a special kind of animal! I ripped it off a Network Associates McAfee Nuts&bolts´98 suite (competed with Norton Utilities), so it is less than 1Mb and does not requires installation under Win9x OS-es, but does not work under Win2k & XP OS - maybe would, if started in compatibility mode, but I´m not shure about that since I did not tried that or searched for newer versions ... I do not know exactly what it does "inside", but it disables ALL softCoolers (like Rain), disabling HLT instructions under Advanced/Benchmarking Tab running & HEATS like hell the machines CPU/chipset & Ram if benchmarking it !!! This proggy has to be used with much care just like CpuBurn4 suite for only CPU heatup!

This last ones are dangerous (could actually kill any weaker components) , they can heat up my Cpu to over 65° & chipset over 75°C running Memory benchmark, but it shows ANY anomalies regarding the PC,. If diagrams (graphs) do not look like the ones on the slide &/or some of the numbers at the beginning of the single partial bench "jump madly" to "crazy" levels, there is something wrong, maybe Cpu, maybe Ram, but probably chipset or MosFet voltage regulators overheating, even if if does not make an Illegal Op. or resets/freezes the machine!

The RallyMasters Demo is also nice to check OC-ed video card; if any "blinky" parts of the screen flickers where should not at for example setup screen, then is time to lower the clock! Happened to me even if the known ArtifactTest program did not show any problems (it is not to be trusted on that one completely!) ...

So, if the machine passes this "HardCore" tests with no problem, is not just 100% stable, it is more than Rock Solid! ... especially if passes also from a DOS/cmd box : runprio -P high burnmmx.exe from that upper mentioned CpuBurn4 suite with detailed explained its behaviour here ... (you can also DL directly already prepaired 16kb test, just read instructions inside ...)

IMHO, if those reported CPU OC-ing achievements posted on the Net would be verified with this mine testing, not much of that PCs would pass without lowering their set&reported frequencies at least a bit !...

BTW, I do not recommend this kind of tests during summer, isn´t than already hot enough than? I did once & I was naked sweating like a pig ...