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Merch Gwyar

Overheating

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I bought my computer in 2008 and there were no problems for ages. Then, a couple of years ago, it suddenly started randomly shutting down. It didn't happen often enough for it to be a major issue. It might happen a handful of times one day, then not happen for weeks. I looked into it and discovered that this was a known issue with my computer.

 

It's a HP Pavillion Slimline s3400. There are whole forums full of the overheating problem. The issue seems to be that the manufacturers were so busy making a small computer run to a high spec, that they skimped on keeping it cool. I've discovered that I can control it by restricting what I do. For example, if I play a DVD through it, then it will shut down within an hour. I then can't play another DVD for the rest of the day. I can use the internet etc quite happily without it shutting down.

 

I've just downloaded a programme that tells me how hot the inside of my PC is. Unfortunately, I don't know enough to understand the readings.

 

pcheat.png

 

My question then: is this too hot? Should I be doing something more to cool it down? Has my PC reached the end of the road and therefore I should be looking to get a new one?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

Edit: After posting this, I thought I'd be brave and open up the computer to see what was inside. I easily spotted the fan because, well, it looked like a fan. It didn't seem too cluttered. However, I could see that it was attached to some sort of grill, so I wondered what was behind. This was screwed down, so I raided the toolbox and unscrewed it. Once it was free, I could see a literal wall of compressed dust behind it. I scraped that out in great chunks. Whole wedges of it came away in my hand. Once I could see daylight through the fan and the grill, I screwed it all back together and my computer still appears to be working. Moreover I can't hear it! I've been hearing this PC chugging away for years!

 

I ran the speedheat thing again and got these readings:

pcheat2.png

 

I still don't know what I'm reading though. Could anyone please give me pointers on what to watch out for? Thanks in advance.

 

Edit: Hour later, it just switched itself off again, after reaching heat akin to that which I initially recorded.

Edited by Merch Gwyar

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Those temps really aren't that bad. I would watch the temps and then do something intensive and see how high they get.

 

The fan is your fan (obviously) and the grill underneath is your heatsink (which draws all the heat from your CPU away through a conductive metal like copper). Behind the heatsink is the actual CPU and sandwiched between the CPU and heatsink there's a thermal paste that aids the conductivity. Many times both the fan AND the heatsink can get clogged with dust and hair (though more likely on a laptop, but still possible) along with the exhaust fan on the back of your computer. I would suggest just going to a local shop and buying a can of compressed air (office stores sell this for sure) and clearing out any dust in the fans and the heatsink.

 

Also download and install hwmonitor, I think it's better than speedfan and gives more accurate results. :D http://www.cpuid.com/downloads/hwmonitor/1.17-setup.exe

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Thank you. I've downloaded that. I've also had the back off my computer and unscrewed everything that I could find to unscrew. I've blown down holes, scraped with my nail and brushed with an eyeshadow brush. I looked for the paste that you said and I think it's gone. When I took off the platform, with the fan and heatsink on it, there was a little copper coloured square underneath. This was covered in a white-ish grey powder, which just blew off.

 

I'm sitting here with everything reconnected, but the casing still off, and here are my temperatures:

 

pcheat5.png

 

That core temperature did go as low as 16 C, after I'd first reconnected it, but went up as I downloaded the program that you suggested.

 

Which of these figures should I be watching and what is the danger temperature?

 

Thanks in advance.

 

PS I'm in shock that there's something 186 F in my computer! :D

Edited by Merch Gwyar

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Invest 6$ in a can of compressed air (dusters I think they call them).

Use around half of it to clean your computer in a well ventilated area or outdoors.

 

 

This will help a lot.

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Doing all of it won't hurt, but specifically your processor and graphics card.

Does your case have any fans other than the processor cooler?

Edited by SatansFate

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Your processor temps are fine, but your graphics card looks to really be heating things up. I'd just start blowing air into every fan and heatsink you see. Air shouldn't hurt anything (just don't let the fans spin too quickly or else they can break).

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Bear in mind that I'm a noob, therefore I'm not 100% certain what you're asking.

 

It had a big fan in the middle, which I've cleaned out. At the bottom, there was a green card and a red card. In between them was a tiny fan. I took that apart and cleaned that out too. There wasn't a grill behind that, just a little fan. I didn't find any others.

 

Your processor temps are fine, but your graphics card looks to really be heating things up. I'd just start blowing air into every fan and heatsink you see. Air shouldn't hurt anything (just don't let the fans spin too quickly or else they can break).

 

Thanks, I will. :D

 

 

cimg0165j.jpg

That's the fan that I cleaned the gunk from the back of.

 

cimg0166c.jpg

That's the little fan, in between the green and red cards that I cleaned.

 

cimg0167.jpg

Just a front picture so you can see the context. The heat is coming from that rectangle box at the very top, towards the back corner of the unit.

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You've both mentioned compressed air. Do I just spray this into any hole I can find?

Take off the cover to your computer and just blast away.

Be sure to aim for METAL areas (such as the battery, cpu, video card, and hard disk). Read the instructions. Some people shake and spray, but you're not supposed to.

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You've both mentioned compressed air. Do I just spray this into any hole I can find?

Take off the cover to your computer and just blast away.

Be sure to aim for METAL areas (such as the battery, cpu, video card, and hard disk). Read the instructions. Some people shake and spray, but you're not supposed to.

 

That actually sounds like fun. I'll do that. I just added pictures to my above post by the way. We posted at the same time.

 

Re-reading all of your advice so far, I've just spotted something else. Redmonke said to beware broken fans. The tiny fan, between the red and green cards, had a split right down the middle. Have we found the culprit?

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You've both mentioned compressed air. Do I just spray this into any hole I can find?

Take off the cover to your computer and just blast away.

Be sure to aim for METAL areas (such as the battery, cpu, video card, and hard disk). Read the instructions. Some people shake and spray, but you're not supposed to.

 

That actually sounds like fun. I'll do that. I just added pictures to my above post by the way. We posted at the same time.

 

Re-reading all of your advice so far, I've just spotted something else. Redmonke said to beware broken fans. The tiny fan, between the red and green cards, had a split right down the middle. Have we found the culprit?

Please keep in mind to do it outside or in a well ventilated area!

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The red one is your graphics card and it looks like the green one is a network card.

 

If you're feeling courageous you could take out the red card (unscrew the thing on the left) and clean it out. If the fan is CRACKED (the white block? That's connected to the red one) then that would explain why your graphics card's temperature is so high.

 

Also be sure that you've unplugged your power cable to prevent potential electrocution.

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Please keep in mind to do it outside or in a well ventilated area!

 

I'll do it outside. :D

 

The red one is your graphics card and it looks like the green one is a network card.

 

If you're feeling courageous you could take out the red card (unscrew the thing on the left) and clean it out. If the fan is CRACKED (the white block? That's connected to the red one) then that would explain why your graphics card's temperature is so high.

 

Also be sure that you've unplugged your power cable to prevent potential electrocution.

 

I've already done this and yes, the white block fan is the one that is cracked. Should I still be going for compressed air or getting a new graphics card/little fan?

 

And I love that you're all here to ask this. I would never have worked that out on my own! You lot = win in abundance. <3

Edited by Merch Gwyar

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Can you take a picture of it? If it's cracked then you definitely need to get it replaced and it should fix the rebooting problem.

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Can you take a picture of it? If it's cracked then you definitely need to get it replaced and it should fix the rebooting problem.

 

Here it is in situ:

 

cimg0168j.jpg

 

And here is it out. I didn't crack it any more than it was, just opened it slightly, so you can see the extent:

 

cimg0170.jpg

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The fan probably isn't even spinning since it looks cracked right on the axle part!

 

You can buy the same card and just plug it in (ATI Radeon 2400) though we may be able to find a newer, faster card that also fits. Giving you better performance AND better stability. :D

 

You could probably replace it with this: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sapphire-RADEON-HD...6722&sr=1-3 Idk about these slimline computers, they're tricky to work with. Can you take a picture of the back of the computer so I can see what exactly that green card is outputting? If it's something like a modem then you don't need it. You can see that it's really affecting the airflow to the graphics card fan (pretty much blocking it).

Edited by redmonke

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cimg0172.jpg

It's that aeriel type socket that's connected to the green card. I never use that.

 

Incidentally, I recently bought a new gaming headset. The headphones work fine, but the microphone doesn't work. I have got them in the right sockets, haven't I? I only ask, as you can see the sockets in that picture too. :D

 

cimg0173a.jpg

The major heat seems to be coming from the very top. Around that vent where you can see a pinprick green light.

 

Thank you all for this. :(

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The very top is the PSU where you're getting all the power, so yes it'll be the hottest.

 

Take out the green card, it's practically useless. This will give you more room for a newer graphics card and allow it to vent properly.

 

Your microphone inputs are correct. Go to your notification tray on your computer > right click the sound icon > recording devices > make sure yours is selected > right click > make default.

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Thank you very much. I'll remove the green card and order the red card that you linked me to. <3

 

I think that the microphone is faulty. I followed the instructions and the microphone was there and enabled, so I did a voice test. It couldn't hear me. :D There's no mute button, so it's not that. I'll return it to the shop and see what they say.

 

You lot own in this forum. <3

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By the way Merch, what's your budget for a new graphics card?

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I'd go up to about £60, before I'd start wondering if I wouldn't be better off getting a new computer.

 

My home computer isn't just for leisure for me, it's what I work on too. Therefore it needs to be good.

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Thank you for your reply, but I'd already been shopping by the time I saw it. I went to several different shops before I could even find a Sapphire graphics card, let alone something close to what Redmonke had suggested. I was in PC World and took the old card in and showed them what Redmonke had said. I ended up with Sapphire Radeon HD 4350.

 

I've replaced the old card and left the green card out, as recommended here. I also bought some compressed air and gave the inside of my computer a good clean.

 

I installed the new drive, but I keep getting an error. It says that the ATI driver isn't functioning or hasn't been installed. However, the computer is working perfectly. I can't hear it chugging away and I have graphics. I can't see what isn't working for it to be whinging on about this ATI driver.

 

As for the original issue, here are the temperatures right now:

 

pcheat6.png

 

Is this now a happy computer?

 

Thanks again for all of your advice and help here. <3

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