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Sudden heat problems - unusable!

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October 8, 2009 4:07:59 AM

Hi everyone,

This problem just hit me today and I'm hoping some folks here have some insight.

In March of 2008, I built an Intel Q6600 based system, 8GB of RAM, Abit IP35-Pro board with an Enermax 500W power supply, MSI 9600GT 512MB. It's got a WD 120 GB Raptor, 2 640GB drives, DVD-RW.

Since I built it, it was great. No problems. I never touched it. I never overclocked it - never needed to, as I'm not a gamer.

This morning, I powered it on and it started crawling before the boot sequence finished. It took 5 minutes to get into Photoshop. No hard drive action, just sloooowwwwwwww. My first thought was virus, but I'm very well protected and I haven't had one in at least 7 or 8 years. Then I loaded Abit's uGuru utility, and was shocked -- my temps were bouncing around the upper 80's and it had a temp warning.

The stock heatsink fan was running full tilt. All the other fans were active. It should have been cooling fine. Nothing about the load was abnormal.

I shut it down and retried it tonight. Same deal. It was crawling by the time it got near the end of its boot sequence. Again, 87 degrees.

I shut it down, let it cool, cleaned the factory thermal compound off and reseated the heat sink with fresh Arctic Silver. Firmly down, no problems. Again, same heat problem. Never finished booting before I finally put it out of its misery. It's not usable anymore. Why?

What happened?

There have been no bios changes, no hardware changes, no software or OS changes. Why all of a sudden is this thing overheating?

Is this a warranty issue? Did something just fail?

I can't be without this for long so I need help. Thanks for reading.
October 8, 2009 4:36:58 AM

Do you have a large amount of dust in your CPU fan/heatsink? thats all that i can think of at the moment, try getting a compressor if you have one, or canned air and blow out your fan, it may look clean on the inside but excess dust can kill a machine easily.
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October 8, 2009 4:50:25 AM

Boot into bios while the pc is open and on its side so that you can see both the monitor and the pc, and be very careful when you do this, but touch the heatsink (not the fan) and see how hot it feels (if you have a lab-like thermometer (not metal!) that you have access to, use that instead of touching it).
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October 8, 2009 5:05:28 AM

Thanks for the feedback.

I forgot to mention that I regularly make sure the tower is free of dust. When I opened it after it failed this morning, there was nothing substantial in there, but I gave it a thorough cleaning tonight anyway.

I don't have a thermometer handy, but I'll get one and check specifics, but it does feel warm, as does the north bridge heatsink, at the point where it was crawling and I shut it down. So it's transferring heat. I never checked that before, so I don't have a reference point.

But this thing is cooking and slow by the time it's halfway booted.
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