Thursday, March 13, 2008

Dust in The Fins

So, the computer problem. The one that put the kibosh on my recording plans for a few days. The one that had me uninstalling everything I could think of. The one that had me drive to Circuit City and buy a new keyboard and mouse, thinking that they were the possible cause of the shutdown. Nope, still crashing in intervals: turn it on, works for 30 minutes, crashes. Reboots, maybe good for 15 minutes. Reboot, 5 minutes. Hang up on reboot.

I typed a question using the above description of my problem on an audio engineering forum called "Gearslutz" that I frequent. In a few hours, I had several guesses, a few diagnosis, and a solution. My CPU was overheating due to excessive dust.

I have blown the dust out of the studio computer several times in the past, not knowing that there was an internal fan, sitting on a heatsink, cooling off the processor. You have to take the fan off the heatsink and then you see dozens of heat fins coated like a fur blanket with dust. Like a sleeping bag. Like a fur coat. Like a big pink roll of Corning's finest.

A quick trip to Radio Shack for an $8.00 can of compressed air, a thorough cleaning of the whole casing and my core temp dropped from 51C to 38C. I think I can get it even lower by reseating the heatsink with a conductive heatsink paste, and is sending some my way as we speak.




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18/3/08 06:51  

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