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Mom's computer on the fritz

Discussion in 'Tech Talk' started by srhoades, May 26, 2006.

  1. srhoades

    srhoades

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    Symptoms. It will just randomly restart, and then try and post a few times and the boot normally. Then it will randomly restart and be unable to post, the hard drive and power light will just flicker likes it is in a constant restart. Its windows 2000, USB mouse, PS2 keyboard, MSI KM4M motherboard. After consulting with a buddy he thought it might be the ram, which sounded reasonable to me. I replaced the RAM, and all seemed to be fine. Apparently after I left it started again. I've tried running without the mouse or the keyboard and it does no good. Everything is onboard so there are no PCI cards to deal with. Anybody have any experience with this?
     
  2. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    Motherboard. CPU. RAM. Power supply. Any or all of the above. Could be a simple heat issue, especially if it always starts OK after it's been off a while. Hows the case ventilation?

    Certain generations of MSI and Abit boards had serious issues with caps dying much sooner than they should. Look over the board for capacitors that look domed on the top rather than nice and flat.
     

  3. srhoades

    srhoades

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    I don't think its heat. I had the side panels off when I was testing it and the room temperature was cool.
     
  4. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Sounds like a Power Supply issue to me. Was there a lot of dust in the PC when you replaced the RAM? Could also be a heat problem.

    How old is the computer?

    IGF
     
  5. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    Thats(room temp) pretty much irrelevant. If a CPU fan is bad, a LOT of heat will get generated right there and cause sporadic performance. Take the side off, turn the PC on, and watch all fans, etc, and make sure they run normally.

    If that all checks out, I'd start checking the power supply.

    IGF
     
  6. HAVOC

    HAVOC Remember CLM Millennium Member

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    Wellll.... yes and no. I'm thinking more like a bad thermal junction on a heatsink somewhere. If the CPU isn't properly mated to the cooler on it, you'll get all sorts of odd things. Broken clips, dried crusty thermal compound. Or maybe something loose in the PSU. Does it run OK for a while if it's been off long enough time for all the components to get down to ambient temp (say an hour or more)?
     
  7. srhoades

    srhoades

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    I just replaced the heatsink and CPU fan prior to this problem. The computer is about 3 years old. I just blew all the dirt out of it. Its possible it could be the heatsink, when I put it on, the little tab broke off, and then I realized I forgot the thermal paste, so I had no way of taking the heatsink off without having to completly replace the fan again. But it was seated properly and it had been running fine for weeks without the thermal paste. However, thermal paste and a fan are the cheapest of the possible problems so I may give that a whirl.
     
  8. IndyGunFreak

    IndyGunFreak

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    I would say a lack of thermal paste COULD be a problem. Thats a cheap check...

    If that fails, I'd put money on the Power Supply.

    IGF
     
  9. fastvfr

    fastvfr Ancient Tech

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    Yep, I know just what happened.

    There is a brand-new gap between the heatsink and the CPU. At this point the heatsink is acting as a blanket, holding in the heat.

    That PC, or at least its processor, will die in short order unless the problem is rectified immediately. In fact, that machine should not even be started up until you are sure all known issues have been solved for.

    Even if you need a new MOBO to fix the problem that was caused with the advent of the broken-off HS tab, that's still an efficient solution compared to replacing EVERYTHING in it!

    Good luck.
     
  10. malkore

    malkore

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    doesn't matter. if the heatsink isn't pulling heat off the CPU, then the PC can over heat.

    once a year I remove the heat sink fan, and vaccuum out the fins/coils of the heat sink.

    could also be the power supply going bad, or over heating itself.