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Author Topic: Overheating processor problems... how to fix?  (Read 10383 times)
haywire
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« on: April 02, 2010, 02:47:07 pm »

My linux box has started to die on me after a few hours, apparently according to the messages on restart, it shuts itself down due to a "Thermal event".

Its a 3.0ghz hyperthreading intel board and processor. It has a big heatsink and fan already. Should I add a couple of fans inside the case and see if that stops it or should I just get a new system/motherboard?

Seems to happen more on heavy load, like many apps open. I'm pretty disgusted because I spent months customizing this computer with vector and the system is finally exactly how I like it, I'm not looking forward to starting all over again with a new system or motherboard.

Also, can I just transfer the hard drive to a new pc or will that cause major problems? With windows, you can do that it just kind of re-configures video/sound drivers whatever for the new system.

Steven
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retired1af
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2010, 02:52:10 pm »

Do you have sensors on board that can take temp readings of the processor? It could be a simple fix, such as removing the heat sink, and reapplying thermal paste.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
haywire
Vectorian
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Posts: 507


« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2010, 04:19:25 pm »

I'm not at home at the moment, but I think there was something in the bios to monitor that stuff so I can check. Where can I get some thermal paste?

I thought I might cut a vent in the side of the case and put a couple of fans in, could not hurt before I resort to a new motherboard or system.

Steven
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retired1af
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Vectorian
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2010, 04:26:12 pm »

No need to cut holes, you can just open the case and point a house fan into it.

You can obtain Thermal Paste pretty much anywhere where you pick up computer supplies. Arctic Silver is a very common brand and is generally considered one of the best pastes out there.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
haywire
Vectorian
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Posts: 507


« Reply #4 on: April 02, 2010, 07:48:52 pm »

I don't have any computer supply places near me really, but I suppose I can order it. I will try taking the side off and using a house fan to see if that stops the problem before resorting to cutting holes in the side of the case. I once had a dual processor pentium 2 ages ago which had a similar problem. I fixed it by cutting a hole in the side and installing an always on exhaust fan. Messy and noisey but it fixed the problem.

I'm hoping to fix this problem. From what I recall, the cpufan is right on top of a very big heatsink. Hopefully I can fix this because I'd rather not have to start up a whole new system. Takes a while to get a linux system all setup how you like... I have custom icons, virtualbox, eau (amiga emulator) dosbox and all kinds of stuff installed that I'd rather not have to do all over again.

This is just my luck, software all installed, perfect custom user interface after lots of tweaking... now this hardware wants to crap out on me...

Steven
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retired1af
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« Reply #5 on: April 02, 2010, 07:55:18 pm »

Clearing out all the dust and dust bunnies will go a long way to cooling things down.
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
Pita
Vectorian
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Posts: 1310


« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2010, 09:18:19 pm »

Thermal paste does the job and make sure the heat sink fits snug unto the processor.
I had this problem recently when it was not properly installed.
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toothandnail
Tester
Vectorian
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Posts: 2527


« Reply #7 on: April 02, 2010, 09:51:27 pm »

Even if you do have to go to a new motherboard/cpu, there is no reason to lose you current system. With the exception of the video drivers, pretty much everything else will be autodetected.

Its usually a lot easier to move a Linux system to new hardware than it is a Windows system, unless there is something exotic in the hardware. All you would normally need to do is start the system in TUI mode and run Vasm to set up X properly and you should be back in business. Much better than going through 'detected new hardware' nonsense multiple times with Windows.....

That said, a good clean and possible replacement of the thermal grease on the CPU should clear the problem. It would be a good idea to check that things like video card heatsink fans are working - I've seen the tiny fans fitted to many video cards fail in the past. Also worth making sure your wiring is tidy and there aren't leads obstructing airflow in the case. When replacing the thermal grease on the CPU, make sure to clean the original off, and make sure that you a apply a thin and even coat of new grease. I've seen many commercially built systems that have overheating problems because too much thermal grease has been used.

Oh, and when you come to renew the thermal paste, be careful taking the heatsink off. I had an instance a couple of weeks ago where the original thermal paste had been heavily applied, and the ZIF socket for the CPU wasn't as secure as it should have been - a bit of a tug to get the heatsink off the CPU resulted in the CPU coming out of the socket! Not a nice thing to have happen.... Forturnately I didn't bend any pins in the process, but I would much rather not have done that....

Paul.
« Last Edit: April 02, 2010, 09:56:23 pm by toothandnail » Logged
GrannyGeek
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Vectorian
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« Reply #8 on: April 02, 2010, 09:56:06 pm »

Also, can I just transfer the hard drive to a new pc or will that cause major problems?

I did that once several years ago (VL 4 or 5, I think) and had no major problems. After I plugged in the hard drive that was from another computer, I booted into Vector in text mode and ran VASM to autodetect hardware before I did anything else. Then I was able to start VL and go into the GUI and I took care of whatever else needed fixing. I don't recall anything except the bogomips and other stuff on the screen before login were what the old system had. There is a file that controls that (just the report, not the actual CPU speed or anything not cosmetic). Someone on the forum told me which file (it was in  /etc but I don't remember its name). I'm not sure I have all the details right because I did this a long time ago.

If you're removing the old thermal paste and putting new paste on the CPU, be sure to use a *very* thin layer. The function of the paste is to fill in any microscopic irregularities on the surface of the CPU and heat sink and having anything but a very thin layer prevents effective thermal transfer.

When I upgraded a CPU on a motherboard about 2-1/2 years ago, I think Arctic Silver's Web site had good illustrated directions for applying the paste and putting the HSF on the processor.
--GrannyGeek
« Last Edit: April 03, 2010, 08:07:14 pm by GrannyGeek » Logged

Registered Linux User #397786

Happily running VL 7 Gold on  a Sempron LE-1300 desktop (2.3 GHz), 4 G RAM,  GeForce 6150 SE onboard graphics and on an HP Pavilion dv7 i7, 6 gigs, Intel 2nd Generation Integrated Graphics Controller
nightflier
Administrator
Vectorian
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Posts: 4019



« Reply #9 on: April 03, 2010, 04:27:23 am »

Also check the attachment points of the heat sink.

On a couple of occasions I have found broken hold-downs on the standard push-down devices. They broke underneath where the center pin forces the plastic outer pieces into the locked position. It was very hard to detect, because the device was properly depressed and turned to "locked".
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retired1af
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Vectorian
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Posts: 1258



« Reply #10 on: April 03, 2010, 04:52:34 am »

Then again, this may be the perfect excuse to get that latest and greatest mobo and CPU setup that you've dreamed of getting. "But HONEY! If I don't get this, you won't be able to play Solitaire any more!"  Grin
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ASUS K73 Intel i3 Dual Core 2.3GHz
haywire
Vectorian
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Posts: 507


« Reply #11 on: April 03, 2010, 03:20:28 pm »

I tried taking the side off the case, putting a house fan blowing directly on the motherboard and it still dies after about an hour...

I'm glad to hear I can just transfer the hard drive into a new system but funds are very tight right now. I really don't want to downgrade to a lesser computer, I have a few 2ghz dells sitting around here but I got kind of used to the 3ghz dual core.  With this computer, I can run windows in virtualbox
and compiz nice, if I downgrade, I don't think I can do alot of that stuff I did with this one so well...

Maybe I will upgrade to a quad core system and salvage the ram, video card and hard drives from this system. I will order some paste and try that first.
I have some junk I was going to sell on ebay anyway, maybe I can trade my way into a new quad core barebones system... I have a good video card, 4 gigs of ram and some hard drives that can be put right in...

Geez, I'd really like to just prefer to fix this one I have though. Lets hope the paste does it.

Steven
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tomh38
Vectorian
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Posts: 913



« Reply #12 on: April 03, 2010, 04:12:02 pm »

Steven,

If the paste does work but you still end up putting in an exhaust fan, you might be able to make it substantially quieter by adding some lubricant (WD40 works for me, but I'm sure there's other stuff which is fine) to the bearing (ball- or sleeve-) of the fan.  I've been doing this with all the fans (including cpu fan) of my machines for a while now.  For some reason even good fans often don't have sufficient lubrications.

Application can be a little tricky, but I don't think it's particularly dangerous.  If you do end up with a fan, Google how to add lubricant and you'll probably find some good instructions for that particular fan.

HTH,
Tom
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"I'm doing a (free) operating system (just a hobby, won't be big and professional like gnu) for 386(486) AT clones." - Linus Torvalds, April 1991
haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #13 on: April 03, 2010, 04:46:30 pm »

Thanks for everyones help. I am on the linux box posting this and keeping my fingers crossed. A friend gave me some thermal paste.

It looks like there was TONS of paste before, so I cleaned it all out, applied a thin new layer and replaced the cpu/fan.

Also, I found a couple of old cpu fans that plug into like the hard drive power pockets. These are old fans from pentium 200 mmx days.

I jury rigged both fans to point directly at the cpu/heatsink.  I have another fan for exhaust on the side of the case. If this dosn't fix it,
I don't think anything will. Its surprisingly, not so horribly noisey, but when I get a chance I will try the wd40 on the fans.

Thanks guys, cross your fingers, this may work! Otherwise, I picked out a really nice quad core system, just not sure how I will pay
for that yet, but the solitaire argument with my wife won't work... She does need to check her mail occasionally, I'll use that excuse Smiley

Steven
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haywire
Vectorian
****
Posts: 507


« Reply #14 on: April 03, 2010, 09:53:53 pm »

Well looks like I may have fixed this box, which I am sooo happy about.

I have become quite dependant on it as just about my main computer.

Thanks to all who chimed in for your help, seems to be working now but I'm leaving it on for awhile to
see if it takes a dump again. Otherwise, seems to be okay now!

Steven

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