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Slight burning smell

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September 8, 2007 5:29:53 AM

I recently finished building a computer, and untill now has worked fine. I was watching a movie (on my comp) when i noticed a slight smell, at first it had almost like a "noodle soup" being made, but then as the smell got stronger, i started smelling around and noticed that it was indeed coming from my comp. I immediately turned it off and opened it up. I didn't notice any burn marks, and i literally rebuilt my computer and triplechecked all the connections. I changed the PSU and it seemed to be fine. Today I noticed the same smell, turned the comp back off and started posting this. There are only two possibilities that I can think of, either the e6420 cpu doesnt have enough thermal grease, or the video card is problematic. I have OC'd the cpu, reading that people have successfuly OC'd it past 2.8GHz with the stock fan, to 2.34Ghz (up from 2.16 i believe). Any suggestions or recommend any tests i should run? I can use my computer, usually up to an hour before any issues occur. Also, I noticed that it seems to be only when watching videos that there is a smell.

Thanks!

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September 8, 2007 6:37:29 AM

whappo said:
I recently finished building a computer, and untill now has worked fine. I was watching a movie (on my comp) when i noticed a slight smell, at first it had almost like a "noodle soup" being made, but then as the smell got stronger, i started smelling around and noticed that it was indeed coming from my comp. I immediately turned it off and opened it up. I didn't notice any burn marks, and i literally rebuilt my computer and triplechecked all the connections. I changed the PSU and it seemed to be fine. Today I noticed the same smell, turned the comp back off and started posting this. There are only two possibilities that I can think of, either the e6420 cpu doesnt have enough thermal grease, or the video card is problematic. I have OC'd the cpu, reading that people have successfuly OC'd it past 2.8GHz with the stock fan, to 2.34Ghz (up from 2.16 i believe). Any suggestions or recommend any tests i should run? I can use my computer, usually up to an hour before any issues occur. Also, I noticed that it seems to be only when watching videos that there is a smell.

Thanks!


DVD laser heating up in the casing? If you don't smell anything except when watching a movie, try installing another DVD/CD drive. If you still smell something, you can eliminate the drive. Other than that, it could be almost anything in your system.
September 8, 2007 7:15:38 AM

Quote:
either the e6420 cpu doesnt have enough thermal grease

Wow, it's far more common to put on too much thermal crap. You should only have enough to fill any gaps in the mating surfaces. Once youve sinched the hsf down, try to wiggle it a bit, to work out any extra thermal interface material.
If you have a lot of wiggle, it's what I suspect, that the hsf is not fully cinched down.
See if you can localize the smell. A new psu will give off an odour like burning shelac, (as will the toroid coils on the mobo) until trhe newness is gone.
Most mobos also come with a prog that will let you check chip temps in widows. See what that says.
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September 8, 2007 8:17:35 AM

whappo said:
when i noticed a slight smell, at first it had almost like a "noodle soup" being made, but then as the smell got stronger,Also, I noticed that it seems to be only when watching videos that there is a smell.
Thanks!


The main reason for this type of carbon smell (reminiscent of noodle soup indeed) is a small arc on a failing connector. In other words a pin handling high current on a DC connector such as the ATX or CPU connector has a bit of resistance which is causing contact failure and building up a carbon skin (like a welder.) Remove the ATX, CPU/EAX, and GPU power connectors and look closely for any darkening of the surface of the contacts for both plug and socket, and/or browning of the plastic shell. This type of thing is frequently overlooked even though it can become so bad as to cause a fire, as has actually happened according to other threads in this forum.

And yes it could be failure of the fan or heatsink contact of the video card.
September 8, 2007 12:25:29 PM

Is it a new powersupply?

I have noticed with a couple of new power supplys that I would get a burning smell the first few times I used them.

Double check everything and make sure you don't see any actual burn marks. If it's just what I would consider to be a normal new power supply smell I think it would be safe to use your computer. Just turn it off when you're not using it. When the smell goes away then you're safe to leave it on whenever you want (assuming it's just the PS).
September 8, 2007 1:08:40 PM

I find that everytime I get a NEW videocard or NEW mobo, I get a "break in" period smell of motherboard, which is totally normal for the first 100 hours of use.

PSUs ALWAYS have the "dirty penny" smell when they are NEW, if you DONT know what I mean, grab a bowl of change and stick your nose in it, or rap your sweaty little mitts around some dirty pennies and lick/smell your hand after (LOL). That is normal.

Now the only thing I'd be concerned about is your HSF installation. If it is overheating the socket it might get a funky smell MAYBE. The simplest way to check is run Prime95 and monitor your temps under load with both cores going (2 instances of Prime), if you are UNDER 55C or even 60C (your OC is so small on that proc it should be less than 45 on a hot day) you'd know if your HSF install is done properly in 5 mins before the temps really climb.

Then, I'd run 3DMark06 and monitor your temps on your videocard. Again, under 70-80C you are good, so there should be no worries there.

Doing the above would at least eliminate some concerns.

The next thing to do is watch a movie, and if you smell it again, it is the drive, just grab another, really simple fix.

If, after you install the new drive, it STILL smells, there may be the problem BustedSony suggested (I hope not) you'll have to strip apart your computer and RMA your board. This is a pain from the downtime till you get another board, but it should fix it. And make sure you use AS5 to install your new proc. That stock stuff aint so great.

HOPE this helps!!!
September 8, 2007 8:50:19 PM

Alright guys, here's an update.
~First of all, thanks for all the quick replies!
1) I hadn't read endyen's post and added more thermal paste (which made the situation worse)
2) I managed to get a cpu temp monitor program working on it, and when it did, it said that my cpu was 127C and my bios flashed a warning saying it was too hot....
3)The thermal paste that I added was actually a paste from one of those heatsinks that have thermal paste already on it (i just scraped it over) and after doing so, my cpu seemed to heat up much faster, wonder why eh?

So, Im going to buy some (real) thermal paste and remove the junk-paste. (I read Q-tips and isoproply alcohol works well) I'm quite certian that it is my cpu overheating causing this smell, when I opened it up last time I tried smelling some components and the HS is the only thing that seemed to smell.
I'll be posting an update fairly soon.

Thanks again!

[EDIT: my program temp. monitor was not working properly, and although my cpu was hot, it wasn't 127C :pfff:  ]
September 8, 2007 9:15:20 PM

is there any chance someone (lil brother/sis) spilled noodle soup on your comp?

on a more serious note, it would be your cpu because the computer would freeze/shutoff if it were over heating or burning.

i would physically pull out the video card and give it a close smell test jsut to rule that out.

other than that have you noticed any fans not working? and does it smell like electrical (plastic) burning or more like cooking food?
September 9, 2007 6:48:50 AM

HYST3R said:
is there any chance someone (lil brother/sis) spilled noodle soup on your comp?

Nope, as I am the youngest :D 
Anyways, the problem was in fact poor thermal paste. Today I bought some isoproply alcohol, quality thermal paste, and a ram stick, the combination of the three seemed to have solved the problem. The ram was bought just because it was a good price, but now I can say that my computer is better then ever.

Im now running at a cool 36C :sol: 
Thanks guys!
September 9, 2007 7:50:37 AM

Congratz on hopefully fixing your burning problem Whappo. You can easily OC your E6420 a bit more on stock cooling. I'm running mine at 2.66 (1.30 Vcore, 333 FSB x 8) with a max (fully loaded for 1 hour continuously using Prime95) temp of 57C in warm ambient temp room. She will idle at 38 to 40C depending on the ambient temp in the room.

Cheers
September 9, 2007 9:43:55 PM

Quote:
noodle


HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA
!