I'm overheating... but how?

By Eddieguard ยท 64 replies
Feb 19, 2006
  1. Lately, I have been having some problems with overheating. I have taken the case off, and it still hasn't remedied the problem. The case has 4 fans including the power supply, and they are all working, but still whenever I am downloading, playing music, watching a movie, or playing game (not graphically intensive) it will shut off. I'm pretty sure that's overheating because once it turns off I have to wait a while before I can turn it back on. My system specs are 1 dvd burner, 1 SATA 200GB drive, and 1 ATA 250GB, p4 3.0 Ghz and 1 gig of memory in a koala case. Btw I think it arose when I put in the new ata drive. Any suggestions
  2. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Hello and welcome to Techspot.

    What are your system temps?

    Download the free Everest programme from HERE

    Run the programme, and click on the large computer icon, followed by the sensor icon.

    Regards Howard :wave: :wave:
  3. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    If you take out the new equipment, does it stop ?...
  4. PaulWuzHere

    PaulWuzHere TS Guru Posts: 271

    sounds like a low power supply. howard knows about my past troubles with my cheapy PSU. :D
  5. howard_hopkinso

    howard_hopkinso TS Rookie Posts: 24,177   +19

    Ah. Yes indeed lol.

    PaulWuzHere makes a good point. It might be a psu problem.

    Report back with your system temps, and psu details.

    Regards Howard :)
  6. Nukey

    Nukey TS Rookie Posts: 110

    If it is a power supply issue it could be quite dangerous. I used to know someone who's power supply wiring actually caught fire because of the heavy loads. Worth a check on the temps, map out what is hotter than others and follow the trail. If it is the power supply to blame you should soon know. :)
  7. Eddieguard

    Eddieguard TS Rookie Topic Starter

    presently I have moved my case to a more open location so it can breathe better, and I have removed the side panels. My power supply is a 480W with two fans and it's almost brand new because my brother believed that was the problem initially. I also discovered that I lied, the case actually has 6 fans, all working, and I attached a 6" clip-on fan that I plugged into the wall. It hasn't overheated since... but I will get back to you on the system specs and temps. Btw I haven't tried removing the drive because well, basically I didn't want to mess with the actual hardware if I could avoid it. I'll try that as a last resort.
  8. Eddieguard

    Eddieguard TS Rookie Topic Starter

    my system temps when i'm not doing anything with my computer at all are about 60 C for the CPU and 29 C for the original hard drive and 35 C for the new one. When I'm downloading it goes up to about 75 C to 80 C for the CPU and about 44 C on the new drive (which I'm downloading to.)
  9. DonNagual

    DonNagual TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 2,406

    Yes, it sounds like you have a overheating problem. I'd recommend removing the heatsink/fan and reseating it with some good thermal paste.

    Here's a good article on how to do it:

    I'd stop using the computer immediately, until you resolve the temp problems.

    You'll also want to make sure that the current fan on the CPU heatsink is working before reseating it. It is spinning?
  10. Eddieguard

    Eddieguard TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Yeah, it is spinning although I already bought a replacement before I discovered that fact. I'll try removing the heatsink. I'm going to try applying Arctic Silver 5, but I was curious about another product ArctiClean. I read a review and it said that it was the only way to go to get rid of thermal pads, but do all cpu's have thermal pads under the heatsink? The review said that alcohol would work just as well for purification of the surface (it'd just take a little longer.) If you somebody has experience with ArctiClean or Arctic Silver 5, please let me know. Also, I read about Arctic Alumina and Ceramique, are these better/more effective?

  11. someone124

    someone124 TS Rookie

    Arctic Silver 5 is really your best bet. Pretty much everyone uses that, so i'm not sure about the other stuff. If you didn't build the computer yourself, chances are it does have a thermal pad. For removing the thermal pad, i would suggest *gently* using a credit card and a *tiny* bit of rubbing alcohal. Make sure you get all of it off, then apply a small drop of Arctic Silver 5 onto the CPU, and put your finger inside a ziplock bag, and rub the compound around until it coats the whole top of the CPU in a thin layer. :D
  12. Eddieguard

    Eddieguard TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the application tips, I was reading some "helpful guides" and getting rather scared, frankly.

    I just found out that my cpu fan is only going at 2600 rpms. Is this a problem?

    What is the best heatsink/fan I can get assuming money is no object? Do you think this is my main problem or should I scrap the case and look for a better one

    How much would Arctic Silver 5 drop my cpu temp if it's presently running at 64 C idle and up to 86 C load, and it will shut down at 90 C?

    I know these temps seem far too high, and I did read the "is this too hot?" thing, but my PC seems to run fine, and it's been doing this for about 6 months prior to my delayed overheating diagnosis. What do you guys think?
  13. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Personally, I am using some REALLY REALLY CHEAP stuff. Its white, and its sticky, and its crap. I know it. I really should be using something better, but AS5 is just not available where I am.

    And I have absolutely no problems. Even when OC'ed about 30% (ran it for 2 days continuous, with all sorts of tests on it).

    If putting in Arctic Silver 5 solves your problem, it is not the problem in the first place, IMO.
  14. kirock

    kirock TS Rookie Posts: 1,221

    Hopefully back to 30-40C idle and 50-60c loaded. I think the problem is either the paste you have now is dried up or the thermal pad has lifted. So by removing the heatsink from the die and doing a good cleaning and reapply of AS5 or other thermal paste you should see a huge improvement.

    Your fan speed of 2600RPM is in normal range for most manufactures, but some models/makes run even higher, lets say 4800RPM for some ThermalTake models. Thermaltake Spark7 and Vantec Copper X would be good for your P4.

  15. PaulWuzHere

    PaulWuzHere TS Guru Posts: 271

    I have some stuff i picked up at best buy. it looks good and seems so. I replaced the thermal pad on my athlon 64 and droped the temps from 35 idle to 27 idle and from 48 load to 41 load (couple hours of gaming). Also I put some on my GPU and its HSI bridge chip. droped temps from 41 idle (GPU) to 36 idle and 48 load to 45 load. The HIS ship is one hot sob so it droped it from 55 load to 45 load. If you are still having overheating problems after the new thermal compound try and make sure the heatsink is lightly touching the cpu. if it is a little higher than the cpu itself then the heat has no where to go. also remember not to use to little thermal compund and not to much. a proper amount will evenly cover the entire cpu with a thin spread out layer. (Try not to get anyone on the mobo or in the socket lol) Good Luck!
  16. 3rd_shift

    3rd_shift TS Rookie

    I recently ran into the same thing with a normally cool running P3 600E.
    The thermal pad had to go bye bye.
    I used a razor blade and 90 percent rubbing alcohol to do it.
    After that, It ran great and stayed cool even with an old socket5 cooling fan pulled from a retired pentium 133 machine.
    (I really should pop for a better fan, but, then I would have to spend money this machine doesn't need put into it anymore. ;) )

    Thick "pads" of glue are bad news for high powered semiconductors trying to get rid of excess heat.

    Also check your chipset heatsink if you can without tearing it up.

    The less material there is between your chips and heatsinks, the better. :D
  17. akaivan

    akaivan TS Maniac Posts: 470

    Clean any dust or ecsess with a vacum. Be carful though. :)
  18. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    I personally wouldn't recommend the use of a vacuum cleaner inside a PC as all the air movement can cause a static discharge.

    I service/fix plenty of PCs and firmly believe in my trusty paint brush (which has never seen paint) as a dust removing tool.
  19. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    akaivan, congratulations! You came up with the first thing to look for : DUST!

    Like what? The non-conductive Antec silicone thing? Works! 5$, 5 bags. --
    But I have to keep an 8" fan in front of my Athlon XP 2000(Upgraded cooling with CoolerMaster cheap heatsink with 80mm fan) and GeForce 4 (With the ThermalTake GF4 cooling kit)

    Let the wire plugged and turn the ATX switch off, it keeps the case grounded. I cannot tell you that there's absolutely no chance of getting a static discharge but I've just done some cleaning by disassembling the whole PC, cleaning everything with an old toothbrush and vacuum everything (+ plugged the vacuum backwards to blow off the rest.)

    Paint brush? Maybe not. My 800 is coming from a place with someone that was smoking and is the one I just cleaned. Even with a toohotbrush it was kinda hard to remove everything : I cleaned every single corners, even brushed the back of the mobo, but it still smells like **** in my room when I power the thing on and forget to power on the air filter too.
  20. akaivan

    akaivan TS Maniac Posts: 470

    Lol I have fix 2 of my freinds computers bye just vacuuming the inside. They get really dirty sometimes :haha:
  21. Ididmyc600

    Ididmyc600 TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,415

    I can go a touch wackier than that,

    I use a Leaf blower, guaranteed to shift every bit of dust and totally safe,

    Or if it's a small amount , the canned air you can buy is just as effective :grinthumb
  22. akaivan

    akaivan TS Maniac Posts: 470

    thats good to :approve:
  23. DragonMaster

    DragonMaster TS Rookie Posts: 327

    Why not an air compressor? There's just water spitting out of them... :angel: That's great for computers! They even get washed!
  24. akaivan

    akaivan TS Maniac Posts: 470

    lol :haha:
  25. CMH

    CMH TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 2,039   +9

    Lol, I personally NEVER used vacuum cleaners.

    A can of air works perfectly for me. Especially for my copper heatsink (has these really thin fins very close together). Its a great HS, and I really want to get AS5 for it. Its not from Antec, in fact its unbranded, and I got it in some plastic bag..... Thats how cheap it was. Probably dried up by now, and will pull the processor out with it.

    BTW, although it doesn't seem to do any damage, but forcing a processor out like that.... is not recommendable I believe. Is there a better way of removing HSs with processors stuck on them like glue? You can't reach the lever, and stock Intel HS sticks on processors like glue....
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