Sytem Crashing - Overheating

  luckydime 11:44 30 Jun 2005

I have a second PC which has recently been donated to me. The reason for this is that it is hugely unstable. It is about 2 years old P4 2.4 chip, Win XP.

I have only had it a couple of weeks and havent had much time to fiddle with it. However I have pretty much confirmed that the problem is heat related as it crashes every time it is used usually within half an hour. HOwever I took the side off one evening on a pretty chilly night and it ran fine. Also it crashed while I was in the bios the other day.

I have cleaned out the dust and the fans but with no real improvement. I was wondering if it might be a component breakdown or the power supply failing???

Any ideas?

  TomJerry 11:59 30 Jun 2005

memory is first suspect, cheack it using memtest86

as for overheating, it is very easy to check, you can install motherboard monitor software or speed fan software to check temp., both software can be find by google

  wee eddie 12:12 30 Jun 2005

It sometimes helps to make a quick Airflow diagram on a piece of scrap paper. People have been known to reverse fans so check for direction and cleanliness of the blades.

Fans to pull air in are largely excessive - a clear air input passage is more important.

Usual setup:

Air in at bottom front.

Air expelled through PSU at Top Rear.

Too many holes makes for no draft - most inefficient.

  woodchip 12:16 30 Jun 2005

In your post I think you coverd all that I would check. other that fit a better CPU fan. use some heat paste under it if you fit a new one

  gudgulf 12:21 30 Jun 2005

If it ran ok with the side off that suggests that there is not a good circulation of air through the case.Check all the case vents are clear...take the front panel off and check there--the main cool air entry should be at the front lower end of the case and it's often difficult to check that area.Also look to ensure that the IDE ribbon cables and other cables are not getting in the way of the air flow through the case or obscuring the memory sticks.If there is no exhaust fan fitted at the back of the case consider fitting one if possible and make sure that the power supply fan is running.

It would be a good idea to remove and reseat the memory and any pci/graphics cards and all the cables to make sure there is a good clean connection in all cases.

  TomJerry 12:23 30 Jun 2005

how do you know it is overheating

  luckydime 12:39 30 Jun 2005

Thanks for all the replies, dealing with them as posted:

TomJerry - I will try memtest86 and see if that sheds any light. Motherboard monitor has been running on it for a while now and the logs show that it tends to crash as the case temp goes over 40 C which doesnt seem excessive to me? I think I have got it set up right and the voltages look fairly spot on.

Wee eddie / woodchip / gudgulf - I have thought about airflow but kind of discounted on the following grounds. The bottom front intake is not obstructed. Their is a single exhaust fan and a psu fan both spinning correctly and blowing out warm air. Also there is only one card installed a graphics card (128mb), only one ide drive - and in a full size tower.

Tomjerry - I'm not positive that it is heat related but i thought that if it crashed while in the bios setup this would point to heat not software etc?

  gudgulf 12:54 30 Jun 2005

It might be worth removing and refitting the cpu with some fresh thermal paste....It's possible that the contact between the cpu and heatsink may be unsound.

Is the memory the same type as fitted to your main pc? If it is then a bit of swapping around might help.Some known good memory in the 2nd pc and seeing if the main pc runs ok with the memory from the spare pc will help check for memory issues.

Crashing whilst in the BIOS generally points to either hardware or heat issues.Whilst on the subject of BIOS you could try loading the default settings in case something is set just beyond the stable limit for the system.

  TomJerry 12:54 30 Jun 2005

so it maynot be overheating problem

after memory, you can check HDD use manufactur's diagnostic software

also consider bios upgrade if you can find new bios from manufacturer's website

  luckydime 13:13 30 Jun 2005

Gudgulf - I have tried loading the default bios settings but no difference. The memory in my main PC is different and as there is only one 512mb in one slot of the 2nd pc i cant just take one out unfortunately. As for refitting the CPU mother board monitor gives fairly low readings for the CPU temp. The cpu fan is an oversized zalman fan. I think i will try some other stuff before the CPU as i dont want to screw it up.

TomJerry i will try and find the relevant HDD software. Is there a generic HDD test for this?

I think the Mboard is an Abit IT7 - need to check when i get home.

  Micro-Man 15:47 30 Jun 2005

See click here

click here
"Thus far, only Abit has come forward and stated that its capacitors have been faulty, although it is widely believed that many other motherboard manufacturers have purchased capacitors from the same component manufacturers as Abit. IBM admitted to using some of the Abit motherboards in its PCs." and

click here

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