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[Solved] Diagnosing orientation disorder

Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
70
Location
Sydney, Australia
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#1
The desktop (tower) PC has been suddenly 'dying' without notice, after varying numbers of minutes. The CPU heatsink fan stops turning, but a LED on the motherboard stays lit. I experimented with the RAM sims and slots, but got very inconsistent results. I tried to run MEMTEST to get a 'sophisticated' evaluation of the RAM, but the PC kept dying before the test ended. I thought I had heard some 'arcing' noise, so my next suspect was power supply. A replacement 'fixed the problem' ONLY while the PC was left on its side; when it was turned upright - as a tower is supposed to be - the problem returned. Any suggestions what loose connection to look for ?
 

KenB

Administrator
Joined
Oct 19, 2008
Messages
9,245
Location
Wirral UK
#2
Hi

I does sound like a loose connection although the CPU fan not working will not help as the CPU will start to get very hot.

The LED on the motherboard is no indication that the PSU is OK.

Download Speccy if you can.
click here

You want the FREE version.
Run it - and post the log here.
It will give an indication of the internal temperatures.

Do you get any error message when it dies or does the power just shut off and screen goes black ?

I thought I had heard some 'arcing' noise,
This is not good.
Take a look inside - specifically at the motherboard and around the CPU
You are looking for discoloured capacitors and see if there is an electrical burning smell.
I don't advise you doing this with the machine on - you could run it until i crashes then switch off at the wall.
 
Joined
Jul 25, 2009
Messages
70
Location
Sydney, Australia
PC Experience
Very Experienced
#3
The heatsink-fan being loose on the CPU turned out to be the problem. I had replaced it earlier, as the original was clogged with accumulated dirt; but since there is no easy access to the lugs securing it to the motherboard, the clamps had got broken off in the process of trying to fix it. It seems that the 'new' heatsink had not been properly secured (for the same reason of inaccessibility).