Fans & overheating

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letchworth

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My daughter's computer has 512MegRAM, 40GigHD, Motherboard: MSI KT4V (MS-6712), running XP-home. It is about 2 years old.

All of a sudden it started overheating according to the built-in PCAlert4-- and shutting itself down. At first I thought it was too close to a support piece on the computer desk (blocking the power supply exhaust fan) so moved it out several inches-- but that didn't seem to solve the problem.

Then I added an additional case fan- exhausting the air. Still didn't solve the problem.

The only other fan was the CPU fan- it blows air onto the CPU- but I noticed a thin layer of dust on the surface of the cooling fins (directly in the path of the fan). I blew that dust off and temperature today hasn't risen above 59 degrees C- so I assume that is a pretty good temperature as shutdown temp was set at 78 degrees.

Tricky Part: Even with the dust in there, it would only shut-down occasionally (might shut down after many hours- or might shut down after an a hour or so)?? CPU fan SEEMS ok- any time I check it. Any thoughts?

Second question: Someone else built the machine- power supply (400watts) has one fan taking air from tower and a second fan exhausting it from power supply---- and there was a CPU fan---- When I added the case fan I installed it to exhaust case heat; should I have installed it to bring in cool air instead?

One last note: I just noticed a PGA (golf game) CD in the machine-- and the light was on (now that I think of it- the CD light is often on- Her husband is a golf-nut--- I don't see under any profile a call to this game; I think he starts the game whenever he wants to play--- Is it possible that the CD could be causing any problems? (When I removed the CD- the light went off; returning it turns the light back on-- but it is not listed in either start-up folder nor is there an icon near the clock- and it is not listed under Startup in MSConfig).

thanks for any input,
letchworth
 
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What is a letchworth? $5, $20, more?? :eek: :D

There is more to cooling than installing fans! The airflow path and volume are very important.

If the path of air circulation is poorly planned, you may be moving HOT air from a component such as the HD's or Video Card onto the CPU.

Likewise you may create stagnant air pools inside the case which lead to overheating.

Since hot air naturally rises a basic plan is to exhaust from high up and intake from down low. Since room air will be cooler than internal xase air, a side case fan blowing 'fresh' air in the vicinity of the CPU is good!

Also, if the thermal connection between the heatsink and the chip is not real good, you'll have a problem cooling.

Balancing air in and air out is important. If there are not comparable vents or fans "paired up" you will NOT get good airflow.

Now as for the CD. If AutoPlay is turned on, then the OS will periodically check to see if there is a CD in the player....the light will come on.

Also IF the CD has an autorun file on it simply inserting it or reopening and closing the door will start the program.
 
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if it is just now over heating you may have a dying fan or you may need to just open it up and thouroughly blow out dust with a can of compressed air(or 2) but would also be best to increase air flow also.
 

letchworth

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Thank you both--- your answers are both insightful and thought filled

I do think the canned air has helped tremendously-- and your insights on fans/air-flow will give me a couple of additional things to try.

As for the thermal-transfer compound; I think I'll try the other things first (chicken here).

But have already found good improvement with canned air.

"What's a letchworth?" Depends who you ask.......... I just came back from seeing the Narnia movie (CS Lewis) I was reminded, "It depends upon who you ask".

Thanks,
letchworth
 
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Make sure when you blow it out that you stop the fan blades from spinning and that you blow out the heat sink also.
 
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last month i had to take the fan off of the heat sink to get the dust out.. you may not need that much extreme but dont be surprised of you do
 

kidcnote

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buddhafabio said:
last month i had to take the fan off of the heat sink to get the dust out.. you may not need that much extreme but dont be surprised of you do
I just cleaned mine out and turned the machine on it's side and removed the 4 screws off the CPU fan (Filled with thick dust) and vacuumed it all out. I use a long artist paint brush to loosen any hard to get spots off the MOBO..I use "Everest" to check my CPU temp and it's usually around 50c (120 degrees)..I remove the cover and within 3 min it's down to (110 degrees) It's pretty much dust free where I use my puter and I just put the cover back on when not in use..I have a slighty over clocked Nvidea card which contributes to the heat increase and will be adding a X-Fi Audio card and TV capture card next month. I'm thinking of just buying a small " Hurricane" fan and keep it blowing in the case with the cover off while surfing or playing games..
 
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it wont be too much longer till stock computers are going to need more then fans to cool them down
 

Willy Duitt

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kidcnote said:
I just cleaned mine out and turned the machine on it's side and removed the 4 screws off the CPU fan (Filled with thick dust) and vacuumed it all out. I use a long artist paint brush to loosen any hard to get spots off the MOBO..I use "Everest" to check my CPU temp and it's usually around 50c (120 degrees)..I remove the cover and within 3 min it's down to (110 degrees) It's pretty much dust free where I use my puter and I just put the cover back on when not in use..I have a slighty over clocked Nvidea card which contributes to the heat increase and will be adding a X-Fi Audio card and TV capture card next month. I'm thinking of just buying a small " Hurricane" fan and keep it blowing in the case with the cover off while surfing or playing games..
Are you saying you removed the fan from the cpu??
Did you not clean and replace the - Thermal Compound??
Bad move if you didn't??


.....Willy
 

JohnWill

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Willy, the four screws for the fan do not remove the HS from the processor, maybe you should take a closer look at yours. :)
 

Willy Duitt

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JohnWill said:
Willy, the four screws for the fan do not remove the HS from the processor, maybe you should take a closer look at yours. :)
Mine doesn't have screws... Just two pull away tabs which once unsnapped allow the fan to be removed... I'm not sure if you were being sarcastic or not but eitherway - I was merely pointing out if the fan was removed that the Thermal Compound should be cleaned and replaced...

If I have learned anything on forums it is too never assume or take for granted what someone is doing thousands of miles away - besides, there never can be too much information... ;)

Thanks for your concern about me looking at my cpu fan - sarcastic or not...

Have many nice days;
.....Willy


BTW: My last three or four PC's have all had the snaps to remove the cpu fan - Ya'll must have some old shyte if it's using screws - I've known KidCnote for years and I know he's using an old dinasour...
 

JohnWill

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Actually, I was just pointing out that with most processor heatsinks, you can remove the fan WITHOUT removing the HS from the processor, and thus you don't need to tinker with the thermal compound. His comment about four screws would seem to be a dead giveaway that he has such an arrangement. So, in this case, removing the fan does not necessitate doing anything with the thermal compound.

I've also learned not to assume anything, but you seemed to assume that anytime you remove the fan, you have to replace the thermal compound. This is only true if you actually separate the HS from the processor. As long as it remains clamped to the processor, this is not necessary.
 

Willy Duitt

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I would never tinker with the fan without replacing the Thermal Compound - what's another couple of minutes to do it right and not take any chances??
 
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