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Smelly computer

Recently i have become aware of a strange smell coming from my 4 year old Dell Insipiron PC. The smell could be possibly caused by a melting cable, for that it what it smells like. (something burning)

I have opened it up and cleaned the vents and fans and applied new thermal paste to the CPU cooler. This has helped a bit, with the smell now less potent, but still there.

Does anyone have any idea or suggestion, etc?

Thank you in advance.
6 answers Last reply Best Answer
More about smelly computer
  1. let your house vent :)
  2. nothing should be hot enough to melt the plastic on cables if everything is in order, and you'd see instability etc. if it wasn't. If it weren't a dell I'd suggest PSU capacitor issues, but Dell PSU's are normally quite good. Have you upgraded it at all?
  3. 13thmonkey said:
    nothing should be hot enough to melt the plastic on cables if everything is in order, and you'd see instability etc. if it wasn't. If it weren't a dell I'd suggest PSU capacitor issues, but Dell PSU's are normally quite good. Have you upgraded it at all?


    No actually i havent, but it does get quite dusty. it is used for office work, so not much strain on it.
  4. OK, was concerned that you might have added a beefy graphics card and left the PSU alone.
  5. Best answer
    Is it a horrible burnt electrical smell or just a generic burnt plastic smell?
    If it smells electrical it most likely a resistor or capacitor has blown in one of the devices. In which case its best if you turn the computer off then check each part one by one.
  6. Best answer selected by phatthefirst.
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