Overheating CPU? Thermal Compound question.

WonkaVision

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Sep 5, 2005
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#1
Allright, was having a problem with my computer shutting itself down when I tried to do too much with it. So, I figure its an over-heating problem, since I have had similar problems in the past.

So, opened it up, used compressed air to get all the collected dust out of the heatsink, and put a nice new layer of Thermal compound on.

Went to reboot, it can't even make it to the windows screen now, keeps shutting itself off, rebooting, shuts itself off again.

Tried for an hour to tweak it, but it got no better.

Anyone know what could be wrong? Could it possibly be too much thermal compound that is fucking it up? I tried to use as little as it took to cover it.

Any suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks
 

Teddy

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Nov 20, 2005
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#2
their are different method to apply it to each processor please tell me what cpu you have and i can help
 

WonkaVision

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#3
I can post it later this evening, I'm away from my computer at the moment, and can't remember the processor for the life of me. Built this thing about 4 years ago, so perhaps its just about time for a new one.
 

blazin

Registered User
Dec 9, 2004
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#4
shut off, then right back on is usually NOT an indication of a thermal problem. If it was overheating it would stay off.

I usually apply the thermal paste about the size of a piece of rice.

Sounds like you may be BSODing with automatic restart set to ON. When the computer restarts each time, do you get a startup menu? One option would be 'start windows normally'

- there's another choice that says Disable automatic restart on system failure. Select that and see if you get the Blue Screen
 
Jun 30, 2005
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outsiddah Boston
#5
yeah, it could be ram, a cpu. or your power supply..Also, is your cpu fan monitor working/is the fan spinning? IF your cpu fan is not working the pc wont start, and if it THINKS your cpu fan is not spinning it wont start. I had this prob a few weeks ago...I went in my pc to work on something and a cable was obstructing my cpu fan. I would turn it on...and beep..nothing...adn then i realized what had happened.
 

WonkaVision

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#6
yeah, it could be ram, a cpu. or your power supply..Also, is your cpu fan monitor working/is the fan spinning? IF your cpu fan is not working the pc wont start, and if it THINKS your cpu fan is not spinning it wont start. I had this prob a few weeks ago...I went in my pc to work on something and a cable was obstructing my cpu fan. I would turn it on...and beep..nothing...adn then i realized what had happened.
Its possibly a problem with the fan. The fan that was on there stopped working, so I kind of jerry-rigged a fan onto the heat sink. Again, this is a rather frankenstein computer. I will grab a new fan tonight, thats a cheap try.


And it does boot to a screen asking If I want to start windows Normally. I tried safe-mode, but the computer shut itself off. Its not consistent as to when it shuts itself off. Sometimes 1 second into boot, sometimes at the windows login screen.
 
Jun 30, 2005
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outsiddah Boston
#7
IF you can start the PC with the case open, do so and watch to see if the fan stops spinning...that will immediately shut the pc off.
 

WonkaVision

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#8
Also, when I plug the copluter in, the top fan comes on without the PC being booted. I have 2 of those glowing LED fans, and the one on top glows slightly and spins slowly without the power turned on. Perhaps that suggest a problem with the power supply?
 
Oct 5, 2004
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#9
Being as you fiddled with the processor/heatsink, I think you may have messed something up there. Did you clean the old layer of paste off with alcohol? you need to be extra careful when handling the cpu chip, do not touch the actual chip side AT ALL. the tiniest bit of dust, oils from your hands, anything can make it go haywire. I would go back and make sure it is completely clean. and when applying new paste you only need to put a small pea-sized dot in the middle, then let the pressure from the heatsink spread it evenly.

If you're still having problems I would suspect ram. Try putting it another system and running memtest. if it's fine and you still can't boot up, unplug EVERYTHING in the case, such as hard drives, cd-rom, and pci devices. leaving just the processor, ram, and video card functioning. try starting up, listen for beeps, and look the beep codes in your motherboards manual, or online. This will figure out what is stopping the system from posting. if you don't hear any beeps, plug each device in once at a time, and repeat.
 

WonkaVision

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Sep 5, 2005
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#10
Being as you fiddled with the processor/heatsink, I think you may have messed something up there. Did you clean the old layer of paste off with alcohol? you need to be extra careful when handling the cpu chip, do not touch the actual chip side AT ALL. the tiniest bit of dust, oils from your hands, anything can make it go haywire. I would go back and make sure it is completely clean. and when applying new paste you only need to put a small pea-sized dot in the middle, then let the pressure from the heatsink spread it evenly.

QUOTE]

I should probably re-apply it. Don't think I did a good job being Sanitary about the whole process. I will try cleaning and reapplying it. I have had similar problems in the past with it shutting down, but it just needed a good dusting and some thermal grease.
 

hypes

Flying over your heads
Sep 23, 2004
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#11
When it comes to thermal paste... the less you use, the better protection you will have (some people disagree, but I speak from experience).

The way I usually apply thermal paste is: put a very small dollop of thermal paste on top of the chip, then use a razor blade to _VERY VERY CAREFULLY_ apply the paste over the top of the processor. The thinner the better. Then use the best heatsink your budget can afford.

dollop == rougly the size of a ball bearing

I've used this process for every computer I've ever built (over 200+, most of them high-end gaming rigs that are usually overclocked by the end user)... works like a charm, and I've never had a complaint from anyone.

-h

P.S. If you need to clean up old thermal paste, use the highest proof rubbing alcohol you can find (97% is the highest I believe you can get at any pharmacy... unless you use Everclear, which I would not suggest). Use very rigid q-tips that won't have a tendancy to break apart once their wet, and gently rub. The reason you want a very high proof rubbing alcohol in because it will dry faster (thus ensuring less of a chance of causing damage to the chip).
 

hypes

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Sep 23, 2004
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#12
Also, when I plug the copluter in, the top fan comes on without the PC being booted. I have 2 of those glowing LED fans, and the one on top glows slightly and spins slowly without the power turned on. Perhaps that suggest a problem with the power supply?
Most modern ATX power supplies will spin the fan for a second without you hitting the power button... where are the LED's, on the motherboard or on the Power Supply??
 

Teddy

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Nov 20, 2005
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#13
hypes is right about applying the past but i dont normaly bother doing that for the new intel cpus i just squeze out about the size of a grain of rice then put the heat sync on top and very gently turn it a little left and right.

http://www.arcticsilver.com/arctic_silver_instructions.htm

that should give u a detailed idea based on your cpu
 

WonkaVision

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Sep 5, 2005
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#14
Most modern ATX power supplies will spin the fan for a second without you hitting the power button... where are the LED's, on the motherboard or on the Power Supply??
The particular fan I am speaking about is attached directly to the power supply. And it never did this before about 2 nights ago.
 

hypes

Flying over your heads
Sep 23, 2004
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#15
The particular fan I am speaking about is attached directly to the power supply. And it never did this before about 2 nights ago.
Interesting.... could you provide the name of the power supply? All the modern ATX power supply I've owned/installed will spin the fan in the power supply once its been plugged into the wall... the older ones (i.e. the lower wattage ones) I've noticed won't.
 

Bobobie

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Oct 1, 2005
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#16
It seems that the power supply is bad 9 times out of 10. I usually have a spare one laying around to test that theory.
 

Party Rooster

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Apr 27, 2005
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#18
I would think it's probably the power supply too. If you've got a spare power supply you can easily plug it in with the case open without taking out the power supply.

Are you hearing any motherboard beeps? If there are, check this out:
http://www.amptron.com/html/bios.beepcodes.html

Definitely try redoing the thermal paste. Computer chips are manufactured in a more pure environment than an operating room.

I would then unplug all the unecessary peripherals like SOC suggested and try rebooting with just the video card attached.

Try going into the BIOS and letting the computer sit there and see if shuts off after awhile like it did on boot, it will obviously take longer cause you're really not taxing the cpu. You may also want to "Restore Defaults" in the BIOS too.
 

WonkaVision

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Sep 5, 2005
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#19
Well, I tried re-applying the thermal grease, and got the new fan installed on the heatsink, but no change. So, I am going to try replacing the power supply this evening and hope that helps.
 

hypes

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Sep 23, 2004
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#20
Bit of advice... go bigger when you get a new power supply, and go for the best you can afford. Trust me... you can have all the surge suppressors and voltage scrubbers inline from the wall to your computer, but my Rosewell 700 watt power supply will catch even the smallest variance and smooth it out.

Just a friendly piece of advice...

-h
 

WonkaVision

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Sep 5, 2005
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#21
Yea, I have always bought the cheap powersupplys...

Regarding an earlier Question, I have an AMD Athelon. Not sure the speed, got this thing ages ago. I just purchased a new Power supply, so I am going to install it this evening. I am afraid it may be a software issue...is there any chance of that?

I had recently installed Spybot beta version, and then my system crashed. I was able to boot into safe mode long enough to uninstall it, but then my comp shut itself down again.

So, the longest my computer has managed to stay on is about 3 minutes.

Crossing my fingers that the power supply will help.
 

hypes

Flying over your heads
Sep 23, 2004
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#22
Yea, I have always bought the cheap powersupplys...

Regarding an earlier Question, I have an AMD Athelon. Not sure the speed, got this thing ages ago. I just purchased a new Power supply, so I am going to install it this evening. I am afraid it may be a software issue...is there any chance of that?
Not usually... everything your explaining sounds more like a hardware issue... if the power supply isn't the issue I'm gonna assume its either the RAM or (since you mentioned you have an AMD processor) you might have "chipped" the edge of the processor core when you reseated your heatsink. AMD (at least their older processors) had their cores located at the top of the chip (as opposed to having a layer to protect the core like Intel (and every other microprocessor developer uses), which makes it very tricky to mount a heatsink unless you really know what your doing... I've seen guys break their AMD's without even trying by accidently mismounting the heatsink by a millimeter.

-h

P.S. If you really wanna ensure that it isn't a software issue, download or get a copy of Ubuntu (it's free, go to their website and they'll send you a disc...otherwise, download the ISO on another computer and burn it to a CD-R) and you can boot that from your CD-ROM drive. The Ubuntu install disks are also "Live CD's" and will actually help you diagnose what's wrong with your system if you know Linux. If it boots all the way to the Ubuntu 'desktop', then you might have a software issue... but I'd bet against it being anything to do with software.
 

Party Rooster

Unleash The Beast
Apr 27, 2005
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#23
P.S. If you really wanna ensure that it isn't a software issue, download or get a copy of Ubuntu (it's free, go to their website and they'll send you a disc...otherwise, download the ISO on another computer and burn it to a CD-R) and you can boot that from your CD-ROM drive. The Ubuntu install disks are also "Live CD's" and will actually help you diagnose what's wrong with your system if you know Linux. If it boots all the way to the Ubuntu 'desktop', then you might have a software issue... but I'd bet against it being anything to do with software.
That's a really good suggestion. If you have access to another computer download this ISO file and burn it to a CD.

http://releases.ubuntu.com/7.10/ubuntu-7.10-desktop-i386.iso
 

Hate & Discontent

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Aug 22, 2005
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#24

Hey_Asshole

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Feb 21, 2007
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#25
I had similar problem on my computer last year. I thought it was the power supply as well, so I swapped it out. Didn't change a damn thing, the computer would still shut of after just a couple of mins. After several hours of trouble shooting, I narrowed it down to the power switch itself. I guess it was shorting out. I swapped one out from one of my old towers, and it works great now.

Another thing, some higher end motherboards have a certain RPM requirement for the CPU fan. If that fan doesn't reach a certain speed, it will shut the system down. If your motherboard supports this, there should be settings in the bios.

Check and make sure the motherboard isnt grounding out (bare contacts on the back of the motherboard touching bare metal on the case)

One last thing, that you probably already know, you need to remain grounded while handling any of the internals, this can be done by using a static strap, or by touching the bare metal of the computer case (this only works if the computer is plugged in).