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  1. #1
    Senior Member Tony's Avatar
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    Default PC died - urgent advice please

    For a while now my main PC has been in the habit of freezing just after Windows 7 desktop appears, and all I can do is do a hard reset after which it boots OK. It has also very occasionally done the same much later on.

    Today however it did the freeze, and when I tried to reboot it got a little way then just powered itself off. I tried a couple more times and each time it got less and less far until it wouldn't even complete the POST.

    After leaving it for a few hours I tried again and it went a little way then stopped, then it was back to nothing.

    The fans all fire up, so there is some power getting through initially.

    I'm guessing it is either power supply or mobo, and I would pick power. My "spare" PS is actually too old tro run this PC. I do have a suitable PS in another machine, but I'm reluctant to strip that one down if I can avoid it.

    Any suggestions?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    Sounds like its overheating. Will it boot into windows, if you select safe mode?

  3. #3
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    First thing that springs to mind is CPU overheating and automatically shutting down to protect itself.

    I would open her up and check for dust build up on the heatsink - with case open, start it up and confirm the cpu fan spins. Depending how tech savvy you are you may also want to check that the heatsink is still making good contact with the CPU.

    Next thing you could try is eliminate... Disconnect all cards, drives etc plug back in one by one to see if a single card/drive is causing the problem.

    If you have another PSU it would be a good idea to test if yours is on it's way out - 2nd highest posibility with info given.

    *NOTE: I'm not a qualified tech but have worked on and built many pc's over the years.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Tony's Avatar
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    Well, it might be heat. I discovered on opening it up that the clip holding the heatsink to the cpu was loose, and on investigating found that the plastic anchor point on the cpu frame on the mobo is broken! WTF? On the other hand, connecting up another power supply seems to be allowing it to get further into the boot process.

    This really weird. I reconnected the original power supply and everything booted up OK. So it looks like it is heat. But how did the anchor get broken? I haven't been knocking the beast about. So it seems in the very short term I will be OK as long as I keep the machine horizontal so that the heat sink/fan is sitting on the CPU.

    Are the plastic frames replaceable/obtainable, or will I have to try and cannibalise one of an old mobo (if I can find one?) It looks like a trip to the local repair shop tomorrow to try and find one.

  5. #5
    Senior Member pctek's Avatar
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Tony View Post
    I discovered on opening it up that the clip holding the heatsink to the cpu was loose, and on investigating found that the plastic anchor point on the cpu frame on the mobo is broken!
    So it seems in the very short term I will be OK as long as I keep the machine horizontal so that the heat sink/fan is sitting on the CPU.

    Are the plastic frames replaceable/obtainable,
    Oh er. Frying the CPU.
    Never seen those clips available.
    You could try a repair DIY style.

    As for horizontal - no - it's not pushed down tight anymore - you keep doing that you're likely to kill it.
    wipe your paws.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tony's Avatar
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by pctek View Post
    Oh er. Frying the CPU.
    Never seen those clips available.
    You could try a repair DIY style.

    As for horizontal - no - it's not pushed down tight anymore - you keep doing that you're likely to kill it.
    And I guess putting a brick on the fan to hold it down wouldn't be a good idea either... What a PITA. Why do these things always happen when you really don't need it?

    It's not the clip that bust, but the plastic frame that's screwed to the mobo. I really don't understand how it could have broken. And to compound things, my other PC where I made the original post seems to have murdered its the video card. Fortunately I can at least run that off the on-board video.

    Bring back the abacus, I say!

  7. #7
    Senior member Iantech's Avatar
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    Hi Tony, what is your cpu and socket? There is a good chance you can get an after-market heat sink and fan that includes the mounting backets etc, it shouldnt be to difficult or expensive. Personally I wouldnt run it until you get the heat sorted out, you may cause more damage as has already been mentioned.

  8. #8
    Senior Member Tony's Avatar
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Iantech View Post
    Hi Tony, what is your cpu and socket? There is a good chance you can get an after-market heat sink and fan that includes the mounting backets etc, it shouldnt be to difficult or expensive. Personally I wouldnt run it until you get the heat sorted out, you may cause more damage as has already been mentioned.
    The thing is, it is not the bit attached to the heatsink/fan that is broken, but the bit that is screwed to the mobo, and AFAIK the after market stuff does not include that.

    Clearly the situation needs to be sorted quickly, but I do wonder whether I can panic a little less than I was. This whole thing started when I couldn't boot, presumably because of overheating, when the case was vertical. Now it is horizontal, and appears to be working. If the cpu does overheat, won't it just power off to save itself? I'll also only have it on for the smallest length of time, rather than leaving on 24/7 as it usually is. I'm posting this from the other PC.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    It wont stay on even for 10 mins. It'll probably shut down so it wont fry. So, you'll have to either leave it, or replace the bit thats broken

  10. #10
    Senior Member Tony's Avatar
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    Default Re: PC died - urgent advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Speedy Gonzales View Post
    It wont stay on even for 10 mins. It'll probably shut down so it wont fry. So, you'll have to either leave it, or replace the bit thats broken
    I obviously have to fix it ASAP - I just hope I can keep it alive long enought to move some vital files off to another machine.

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