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CPU Overheat Message & Rear Fan Problems?


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strikethetrip strikethetrip is offline
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27-Jul-2008, 01:01 AM #1
CPU Overheat Message & Rear Fan Problems?
A few weeks back I noticed a decrease in the speed and performance in my computer. I thought it might have been the G Skill memory I put in about a year back. But then something happened. I was listening to music a few hours ago when my computer just froze. Thinking nothing too much of it, I hit the restart button only to be greeted with a CPU Overheat message. It's been a few hours, so I booted back up with my case open to see if I could notice anything.

It turns out my rear fan spins intermittently. I was pretty sure it spun at a constant, fast pace before, but I honestly don't know. I've cleaned out some of the dust and gunk that accumulated, but it wasn't that much. I didn't see any change, though.

Is this a problem? If so, do you think it's a fan, power source or CPU problem? (My listed system specs are current.)
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27-Jul-2008, 07:59 AM #2
Well, your computer shouldn't overheat just because the rear fan isn't working but have you tired cleaning out the CPU heat sink? Compressed air works best and should clean out any dust that is clogging it up. Post back and let us know if there is still a problem.
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27-Jul-2008, 05:29 PM #3
Thanks for the tip Goldfish! I've picked up some compressed air and got a decent amount of gunk and dust to come out, so hopefully that'll help my situation.

A little more background info in case the problem comes back: Right after I made the original post, my screen went gray with horizontal pinstripe lines (which I believe was another overheat problem). If this persists, what hardware do you think would be responsible for the overheat? Is there a good software you can recommend to monitor the temp of my CPU?

[EDIT] Update: Again after posting this, my computer flashed to the grey-pinstriped screen. I had just installed SpeedFan to monitor my CPU temp and it said the temp was 60 C with a flame icon next to it. It looks like a hardware failure, but I'm not sure if it's my CPU fan or my CPU which has been running slow for a while. What do you think?

Last edited by strikethetrip; 27-Jul-2008 at 06:05 PM..
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27-Jul-2008, 06:21 PM #4
Ok, next i would recommend you remove the CPU heatsink and clean off all existing thermal paste off of both surfaces. I find rubbing alcohol and Q tips or just alcohol wipes do the job perfectly.

Then you need to reapply so thermal paste, a piece the size of a large pea should be fine and just make sure it is spread evenly over the surface, re-seat the heatsink and check the temps again...

Let me know if you need anymore info
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28-Jul-2008, 11:03 PM #5
I'm back after another overheat failure.

So, after a good cleaning, I reapplied some thermal paste between the heatsink and CPU. I used Dynex Silver Thermal Paste which seemed to have mixed reviews, but it was all I had on hand. It looks like I'm still running hot:

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28-Jul-2008, 11:10 PM #6
so did u get that rear fan working?
the rear fan (exhaust) actually is very important much more so than the intake at the front
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28-Jul-2008, 11:11 PM #7
yup... and judging by those other temps for system etc. they are all on the high side...
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28-Jul-2008, 11:35 PM #8
also check the temps in the bios too.......... i'm not a big fan of speedfan
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28-Jul-2008, 11:36 PM #9
Have you tried hwmonitor for www.cpuid.com, i find that one pretty reliable
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29-Jul-2008, 09:41 PM #10
Thank you both for your replies. So, I felt like my rear fan wasn't really spinning when I checked it even though I sprayed some compressed air in there and freed it of some normal-sized dust balls. I sprayed it again, not much dust, but the force of the air seemed to get it spinning at a consistent rate.

Here's what my BIOS read:

CPU: 59.5 C
MB: 44 C
CPU Fan Speed: 2800 RPMs
Chassis Fan Speed: N/A

And this is a screenshot of what CPUID is showing me:
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v6...CPUtemp2-1.jpg

Current status: I haven't had another overheat, but I also haven't had my machine on for longer than 30 mins at a time. I'm noticing really slow startup times as well. It used to take 45 seconds, maybe a minute to load everything and I could start clickin' away. Now, it takes 3-4 minutes (and every operation now takes noticeably longer).

So, is my CPU doomed?

Last edited by strikethetrip; 29-Jul-2008 at 09:47 PM.. Reason: Added Rear Fan Info
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30-Jul-2008, 04:32 AM #11
Hmmm... those system temps are still a little high for my liking... my system is running at around 28C at the moment but never seems to go higher than 40C - 43C at full load and that is overlocked...

What case have you got too? If the rear fan is barely working.... and you have those 3 hard drives at the front warming up the little air that is being taken in that could be resulting in the higher overall system temps...

Also, is their an intake fan?
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30-Jul-2008, 10:46 AM #12
The case I have is a 5 year old Antec Sonata. I suppose the rear fan is the intake fan and now (this session) it's not spinning at all.

I do have a potentially exciting new development to share as well: I was able to identify the first overheat error because there was a message telling me so upon my reboot. The subsequent failures I'd experienced were instances where my proc would get a load and then the screen would turn dark grey with thin, darker pinstripes. I'd always assumed that those were overheats.

However, during my last computing session, I got a flash of the grey screen, but it returned to me to my desktop. It then popped up an ATI window (as I have an ATI x1650 Pro) I didn't have enough time to read it all or get off a good screenshot, but it mentioned something about "reset your graphics accelerator" and something about not responding to "graphics driver commands". I'll try to find the exact error I received and re-post that information here:

EDIT/UPDATE: After searching for some of those phrases I've found other people having this problem: The exact line is "VPU Recover has reset your graphics accelerator as it was no longer responding to graphics driver commands"

So, now I'm wondering if these grey screens are graphical errors and not overheat errors. My system has been running hot, still, but cooler than it has been (avg around 48-49 idling now).

Hmmm...
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30-Jul-2008, 11:43 AM #13
"The case I have is a 5 year old Antec Sonata. I suppose the rear fan is the intake fan and now (this session) it's not spinning at all."

the rear fan HAS TO BE THE EXHAUST fan NOT the intake fan...if it is not working REPLACE IT immediatly then your temps will be reduced
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30-Jul-2008, 12:14 PM #14
Replay- Sorry, I'm a novice in terms of fans for sure! So, I have one main fan on the rear my case and then the CPU Heatsink/Fan combo. Those are my only two fans. I really watched the rear fan this time around and got a feel for how it "behaves". Upon startup, it usually doesn't spin at all, and when it does it spins in short intermittent bursts. A while after computing, it begins to spin at a constant speed with a low, low hum.

I hope that information is helpful. Would it be helpful if I snapped some pictures of the inside of my case so you can get better insight into my setup?

Last edited by strikethetrip; 30-Jul-2008 at 12:22 PM..
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30-Jul-2008, 12:24 PM #15
OK, I see a few items that need to be addressed.

1 Is the rear fan connected to the mb or to a pw connector from the pw supply? If connected to the board, there is most likely a bios setting for the fan. Set it to 100% If in doubt at all, replace the fan. They are cheap. Antec fans often have a speed switch; set that to full speed [if used]

2 Next do you have the cpu fan set to smart fan or something like that or do you have it set for 100%

3 The prescott line of cpus run hot; that is just the nature of the beast. 55C in the bios is not too bad however with windows running [and eist enabled] it should be in the mid to high 40s.

4 Check your bios to make sure eist is enabled. This will lower cpu temps quite a bit. As an example my wife's system is a P4 940 that runs @50C or so in the bios. Under vista sp1 it runs in the high 30s.
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