"Computers feel the heat too"

  Forum Editor 07:15 15 Jun 2004

That remark was made to me yesterday, when I visited a client's office to find that someone had removed the case sides from each of the twelve machines on the office network. The explanation was that one of the people in the office had put a hand behind a machine and felt the airflow from the PSU fan. It was warm (as it would be on a hot summer's day), and so the decision was made to "cool" the machines by letting the air get to the insides.

When I pointed out that in fact this measure would reduce the airflow across the internal comoponents and increase the tendency to ovverheat the computer I received sceptical and amused looks - as if the heat had affected me, too.

I persuaded the staff to replace the case sides, and no doubt the hardware breathed a sigh of relief, but I thought it worth mentioning here. Many people do mistakenly think that opoening the case will improve cooling on a hot day, but it has the opposite effect. Make sure that your machine is not jammed in a corner, tight against a wall, and that a month's supply of newspapers haven't slipped down the back, and all will be well. Keep a window open, and a door too, to improve the flow of cooler air through the room, and both you and the computer will feel the benefit.

  Forum Editor 07:16 15 Jun 2004

Obviously the heat HAS affected me too.

  TECHNODIMWIT 08:02 15 Jun 2004

thanks for correcting the error of my ways

  ventanas 08:23 15 Jun 2004

I always have a problem with the main server in hot weather. It is locked in a safe. I take the door off every morning to be greeted by a rush of warm air. I now leave the door off all day and place a fan in front of the machine. Doesn't solve it for weekends though.

  recap 09:29 15 Jun 2004

I have recently been to a company to install Windows 20003 Server. The server is locked away in what I would call a broom cupboard, but no they instist it was built to house the server. One overhead 4" fan is all that helps cool the room down. The fan is only activated when the door is opened, the blast of hot air that came out when I opened the door, WOW.

I am just under sixfoot tall, if I hold my arms out I can touch the side walls with my forearms. If the door opened in over it would bang against the server.

Think I lost a couple of pounds that day.

  byfordr 09:42 15 Jun 2004

Is Windows 20003 as much of a resource hogger as its predecessors?!!!

It really is incredible what people from non-technical backgrounds think is adequate to cool important servers. I'm currently sorting out the mess someone has made of a aircon system installed but never serviced. T shirts and shorts are too warm!


  ventanas 11:20 15 Jun 2004

Hi recap. That sounds a bit similar, but this server is in a proper computer safe, box or whatever, which is bolted to the floor. I'm not sure what to really call it. It has a number of vent holes etc., but still gets very hot. It would help if I could get some small fans to fit inside this box to help keep it cool. But these would still need switching off a night for safety. It's quite a problem because security must be maintained.

  Wak 11:33 15 Jun 2004

It sounds like it's time for you to invent some kind of water-cooled jacket and pump for the outside of the box????

  €dstowe 11:40 15 Jun 2004

An office near my studio has just had a BSOD followed by a total shutdaown. I was asked to go and have a look at it. Poking out of the back through the fan grill was a pencil. I asked why it was there. "Well, it was making a lot of noise and we found it we stuck the pencil in, the noise stopped."

This raises several issues, amongst them:

1. How did they find out that a pencil inserted there would stop noise?

2. Why didn't they think of the consequences of stopping fans working before they did such a stupid thing?

3. Why didn't anyone in authority in the place realise what was going on?

Fortunately, when the machine had cooled down and the pencil was removed the computer doesn't seem to be suffering any damage.

I am getting them a quieter fan.


  recap 12:07 15 Jun 2004

Maybe a muffler jacket that workmen use for pneumatic drills would suite them even better?

  byfordr 12:19 15 Jun 2004

Is it a Sun server?

Sounds like it needs to be in a proper airconditioned room.


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