If it walks, talks, smells, and looks like a duck…..

My new ‘puter had been giving me bit of grief the last couple of days. It would lock up completely, or just shut itself down and refuse to restart for a while and all sorts of other crazy stuff. All the symptoms would normally have made me suspect that the CPU was overheating, but I ruled that out based on the fact that:

  • the motherboard is meant to have a temperature sensor on it that beeps if there is an overheat;
  • the desktop temperature gauges didn’t show any temps high;
  • the CPU heatsink wasn’t feeling hot at all;
  • there was no hot, burning smell coming from the inside of the box!

So I tried all sorts of other things to narrow down what else it could be. Taking bits out, changing all sorts of settings etc, etc, etc… No luck. Still freezing now and then.

Today I finally gave in and took the whole motherboard out and prepared to replace it with another lower spec spare. Just before I put the other one in, I noticed that one of the CPU fan corner clips wasn’t fully locked down. Clicked that properly into place, put everything back in the case and connected everything up, and voila! So far today it’s been a nice, stable machine again. Fingers crossed, but it looks like it’s all fixed now. So it’s entirely likely that it was a CPU overheat issue after all!


For a hint at the moral of the story, see the post title!

I have to say though that I am absolutely amazed that the box is still functioning at all! Only a couple of years ago if the heatsink was as loose as this one was today then there would be lots of smoke and burning smells coming from the case. It’s happened to me twice before. Indeed it’s how I managed to come by the need to get a new PC this time around. Modern CPUs and motherboards are obviously just incredible! I won’t be trying to push them too hard just to see what they can take though… Stable is good.

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