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Computer bluescreens under moderate load

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May 9, 2010 11:21:50 AM

Watching a video in summer is computer suicide and ALL games cause bsods (time varies on room temp etc) as well (even low graphics browser based games)

The interesting thing is that I checked the CPU temp after using the comp for less than 5 mins (restarted and used BIOS) and the temp was more than 60 degrees Celsius.. That seems insanely high to me

On a side note, there's 1GB of RAM, but windows task manager and dxdiag only display 512 MB

system is:

AMD Athlon 2100+ ~1.7Ghz
Asus A7N8X-E
1 GB RAM (system displays 512 MB)
Asus A9550 (ATI)
Windows XP Pro SP1

(This is my dad's oldish comp, so blowing the whole thing up to find out the problem is a no-no ;)  )

Any ideas?

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a b à CPUs
May 9, 2010 11:47:39 AM

It does sound like a temperature issue at first glance - those CPU temps do seem pretty high under low load.

There are a few things you can do, the first is obviously removing the side panel and having a good spring clean on the inside. A can of compressed air is usually handy for this job.

You can then remove the CPU heatsink and fan unit, remove the thermal paste from the old application with high concentrate isopropyl alcohol. Then apply a new application of thermal paste. The 'blob in the middle' method is probably the easiest to perform. Re-seat the heatsink and fan unit ensuring everything is seated correctly and you have good even pressure along the CPU. There are plenty of videos on Youtube if you're unsure.

How is the airflow through your case? If its an older OEM case then it may be difficult but this is a good guide to the basics of case airflow and is well worth the read:

http://forums.techpowerup.com/showthread.php?t=42853

Also, I would perform a Windows Update and update to SP3. It provides security and stability updates and is essential IMO.

Hope this helps and good luck!
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May 9, 2010 12:24:20 PM

the airflow kinda sucks.. 1 fan at the back (not the psu fan, it's a pretty small fan too) and then the airflow from the front is virtually non existent, with 3 tiny little holes to let useless amounts of air in. Fortunately, there's some okayish side vents

My dad recently took the case off to fix a problem with the power button and did a bit of a dust cleanup then, so there shouldn't be that much in there at the moment..

and with the xp version, we have some weird version that my dad says can't use SP3 or 2.. not sure why, might be some overseas version or something..
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a b à CPUs
May 9, 2010 12:35:27 PM

Unfortunately there's not a great deal you can do with a case that doesn't have the capacity for adding extra fans other than modifying the case. Are you able to fit an extra fan on the side vent you mentioned? This may help a little.

Are you able to remove the heatsink and fan unit and replace it using a new application of thermal paste? This would probably see the greatest decrease in temperature overall. An aftermarket cooler may also be a viable option if temps are still high.
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May 10, 2010 12:07:31 PM

I'm pretty sure it's possible to put a little fan on the front intake holes, I'll try and find the manual

The heatsink/fan has been replaced once already and the only place my dad could find the right socket was by going to swap meets (and even then it took a while)

thanks for he help though :) 
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May 15, 2010 1:06:14 PM

Best answer selected by Mark Heath.
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