Hardware Issues Part 2

I think I was gone about 20 minutes when I received the phone call that the system had locked up again. Sure enough the temps were alright, the case was steady at about 98 degrees and the CPU had creped up to about 145, still not enough to cause the lockup. On this next visit I decided to install another case fan, the case was so thin at the front between the cover and grill a standard fan would not work and I do not stock the skinny fans. Thus, I added an 80 mm fan at the back of the case. Once Installed the system warmed up to 92 inside the case and 140 for the CPU and no lockup, to add a measure of security, I decided to order a front case fan the blows in from the CD areas.

When walking back to my car I decided to get out and install a new heat sink and fan on the processor. I had used the factory provided one and I have used them for years without any issue. I had one that’s capacity was well above this CPU (it was for an XP 3000+) so I properly cleaned and replaced it.

The next few days were cool and cloudy outside and the system worked fine. The day before the new fan arrived was warm and sunny. Guess what, the computer locked up. I greatly apologized to the end user but was beginning to wonder about the weather. The end users office has one entire wall as a window, floor to ceiling. The back of the case faced the window, however due to the location of the building, the sun at this time was not beating through the window so I decided to rule out that possibility.

As it turned out the new fan that I received blows air out not sucks it in. Since air should flow from the front of the case to the back this was not ideal. So that was promptly shot down. Out of sheer embarrassment, I decided to build an Intel system for this customer adding a DVD/CD-RW, a little more horse power and giving them a wireless keyboard all as an apology for the last 10 days of problems.

That system is working perfect and cool. Now the AMD is sitting on my office floor. When I was speaking with my son about it he said “oh, yeah, it did tend to lock up while we were playing on it.” Great, thanks for letting me know before hand.

My next step are to swap out the power supply, faulty electrical current could be the issue and inexpensive cases come with inexpensive power supplies (the green case had an inexpensive but reliable in the past power supply I installed). I will continue this adventure later, just remember this…

Cheap parts (even one) mean a problem computer.

Right now I have:

  • an additional stick of RAM ($50)
  • An additional fan ($12)
  • A specialty fan ($15 plus freight)
  • A 2nd heat sink ($21 plus freight)
  • About 4 hours diagnosis
  • About 2 hours setting up a new PC, transferring user data and the such
    Mileage back and forth to visit this customer all that are not reimbursable and of course not charged to the customer.

Well, enough about this issue until we meet again I hope your hard drive stays defragged and all you Halo enemies get fragged.