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PC Heating Up - and I Can See No Reason Why

overheating speedfan fan fans fire dc7600

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#1
Waste of Space

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Hi. Not sure if anyone can advise me on this one (preferably before my PC is inexplicably consumed by a ball of fire).

 

I'm running Windows 7 Home Premium (x64) on a respectably old horizontal HP Compaq dc7600 with 250 gigabytes of usable hard drive capacity, of which 181 gigabytes is free space  -  and there's nothing even remotely provocative about what I'm doing with it.

 

Three evenings ago, I noticed a smell of singeing in the room, which my nostrils traced to the PC.  I ran the Speedfan program, which gave me the following results:

 

Temp 1:  54C (plus the flame symbol)

Temp 2:  20C

Temp 3:  19C

 

I switched off, opened up the casing, discovered (as I suspected) a certain amount of dust and fluff and cleaned it all out.  When I'd put the case back on, I booted up and ran Speedfan again, only to be confronted by the exact same readings.  I ran it again and the same thing happened.  So I switched off and went to bed.  Next morning I ran Speedfan again and it was the same story, even though I'd only just booted up from stone cold, so I deleted Speedfan and then downloaded it again from this website.  When I ran it afresh, it initially showed Temp 1 as 45C, but that rapidly fell away to 31C, which was fine by me so I stopped worrying there and then.

 

However, yesterday evening, two nights after the first alarm, I smelled singeing again.  I ran Speedfan and Temp 1 was again showing as 54C, so I opened up the casing again to check whether all three of the fans were working, which they were.  And yet there was definitely a fair amount of heat around, the most noticeable amount of which seemed to be coming not from anywhere with a fan but from the simple-looking area of the interior where the basic circuitry and the memory cards are located.

 

Today, I switched the machine off earlier on when Temp 1 showed as 49C and let it cool off, but now it's back on again and is back to 49C again, so I assume I'll soon be getting the singeing smell again.

I've had this PC for three years now and have never encountered this phenomenon.  If it's true that the hot parts of PCs can withstand temperatures significantly higher than 54C, why has mine suddenly decided to smell of burning when it hits 54C?  And why now?

More to the point, does anyone know how I should go about addressing the problem?  I've backed up all my files and folders onto a memory stick in case something unpleasant occurs involving the death of my PC, but with all the computer-repair shops mothballed thanks to COVID-19, I'm unsure what to do next.  Probably it's a simple problem, but I'm even simpler, see.

Thanks for your thoughts.


Edited by Waste of Space, 24 April 2020 - 10:12 AM.

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#2
phillpower2

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Could be dust build up and possibly inside of the PSU, have a sniff around that area.

 

 

Download, run and grab a screenshot of HWMonitor (free).

 

To capture and post a screenshot;

 

Click on the ALT key + PRT SCR key..its on the top row..right hand side..now click on start...all programs...accessories...paint....left click in the white area ...press CTRL + V...click on file...click on save...save it to your desktop...name it something related to the screen your capturing... BE SURE TO SAVE IT AS A .JPG ...otherwise it may be to big to upload... Click on the More Reply Options tab then after typing in any response you have... click on Choose File...desktop...find the screenshot..select it and click on Attach This File...on the lower left...after it says upload successful...click on add reply like you normally would.

 

Screenshot instructions are provided to assist those that may read this topic but are not yet aware of the “how to”.


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#3
Waste of Space

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HWMonitor.jpg


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#4
phillpower2

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Was that all of it, looks like the bottom part is missing.


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#5
Waste of Space

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Yes, Phill, that was all that was showing.  (I cropped off the empty space below it.)

 

I should mention that just after I ran the above scan, I began to smell singeing again.  I ran Speedfan yet again and Temp 1 was shown as 51C, accompanied by the flame symbol.  It then went up to 52C. So I switched off.

 

This morning I've had the case open again and cleaned out every visible speck of dust.  As for the PSU, I didn't have the right size of screwdriver to open up the casing ('Do not remove this cover. Contains no serviceable parts'), so I just flipped it up and blew as much air through it as I could, as hard as I could, from front to back and from back to front.  Short of soaking it in the bathtub, I think I've done all I can do.

 

Here's an HWmonitor scan result from just a moment ago (and many thanks for your help, by the way):

 

Attached Thumbnails

  • HWMonitor 2.jpg

Edited by Waste of Space, 25 April 2020 - 06:02 AM.

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#6
phillpower2

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No problem, brand name BIOS never give much info.

 

Please leave opening up the PSU, they can hold a charge and are not intended to be user serviceable, did you happen to have a sniff around the back of the PC where the PSU blows out the hot air.

 

The motherboard reading of 56C is normally related to the CPU temperature sensor on the MB (Tcase) and if that reading were correct you would expect the CPU temp to be higher.

 

Edit to add

 

there was definitely a fair amount of heat around, the most noticeable amount of which seemed to be coming not from anywhere with a fan but from the simple-looking area of the interior where the basic circuitry and the memory cards are located.

 

 

Would it happen to be where the Southbridge is located on the board, large silver square with cooling fins.


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#7
123Runner

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How about a possibility of some capacitors starting to bulge?


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#8
Waste of Space

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A session with a hairdryer blowing cold air through the PSU and rear fan appears to have made a significant difference.  I'd previously brushed all the dust off the fan blades with a fine paintbrush and blown very hard with my own lungs through the PSU, but the hairdryer blew out even more dust from the PSU and that seems to have been a game-changer. Speedfan now puts Temp 1 at 35C, while HWmonitor shows motherboard as 35C/35C/39C.

I'm hoping I'm back in the clear now, at least until tomorrow.  Many thanks for your help and for introducing me to HWmonitor, Phill.

 

And now of course I'm worried that some of my capacitors are about to explode.....  (123Runner, you may well be right for all I know.)


Edited by Waste of Space, 26 April 2020 - 10:26 AM.

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#9
phillpower2

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Sounds like you caught things just before something went ablaze  :alarm:

 

The smell will have been dust getting hot on the coils inside of the PSU so it might be an idea to give it another blow with the hairdryer every couple of months.

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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#10
Waste of Space

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Uh-oh.  It appears that I'm definitely not out of the woods.

 

Yesterday evening while I was watching BBC i-Player, I smelled singeing yet again and Speedfan showed 54C along with the flame symbol, so I had to close down.

 

I now realise that on all previous occasions when I've experienced the singeing, I've been watching streamed catch-up TV. 

 

About ten minutes after switching off, I felt the top of the PC casing and the part of it that was warmest was the area immediately above the PSU.  Whether that proves anything, I have no idea, but it's worth observing that when I took the casing off on the first occasion, I had to wipe a bit of sooty blackness off the part of the inside of it which sits directly above the PSU.  I figured that it'd simply been left by burning dust, but now I'm worried that it was left by burning PSU.  However, I can't see any reason why the PSU would become extra hot while I'm watching BBC i-Player.  Could there be an adjacent part of the PC which might be caused to become hot by the process of watching streamed catch-up TV?

Holy mackerel.

 

Thanks for bringing your brain to bear.

 

PS:  UPDATE   I just checked Speedfan and it's already showing 57C even though all I've done is check my emails.  Yikes.

 

PPS:  UPDATE #2   Worried that one of the fans might have been cutting out randomly, I've taken the top off the PC and have it running in the nude, which I realise may compromise the effectiveness of the fans but I wanted to be doubly certain that the fans themselves weren't a problem. No sign of the fans misbehaving, but with the roof off the PC it's obvious that the hottest part of the interior seems to be the Southbridge, though the circuitry itself between the Southbridge and the rear sockets is also pretty dang hot.  Temp 1 is now only 32C, but when I booted up it was showing 50C already.  

 

PPPS:  UPDATE #3   I tried some the PC with some BBC i-Player.  Temp 1 went straight up to 51C, flame symbol displayed. I switched off i-Player and Temp 1 dropped to 34C.  Should I just shoot my computer with a blunderbuss and be done?


Edited by Waste of Space, 28 April 2020 - 09:14 AM.

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#11
phillpower2

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Streaming puts the computer under more load than watching pre recorded videos and tbh your present hardware is not really up to the task, a 15 year old PSU and an integrated video chip do not make for safe streaming I`m afraid.

 

I would look at trying to replace the PSU and fit an add on GPU for your intended use.


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#12
Waste of Space

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The weird thing is, it's been fine for everything under the sun until last week.  So I guess this must mean that my PC is in its death throes, then.

 

And of course it has to choose a time when PC World is shut.

 

My thanks again for your thoughts, Phill.


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#13
phillpower2

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I reckon that you getting fifteen years of service the PC has served you well.

 

If your PSU is the standard ATX type I wouldnt replace the whole computer if the most demanding thing that you do is stream BBC iplayer.

 

You are welcome btw  :)


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#14
123Runner

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I've seen some psu's with a input fan and an output fan. It could be either fan or it could be the fan has a wobble in it so it's not getting the speed to turn fast enough. Either way you need to replace the power supply.


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#15
Waste of Space

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Thanks for that thought, 123Runner.  I'll bear it in mind while I'm tossing and turning in bed tonight, unable to sleep due to PC-related trauma. :upset:


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