Is my CPU toast?

Discussion in 'Computers' started by Todd Stout, Jan 18, 2006.

  1. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I think that I may have fried the CPU in my PC on Monday while I was swapping motherboards in the thing. The entire swap took about 20 minutes to perform but the computer has effectively been dead since then.

    The first time I turned it on after the swap, the fans all started spinning but I had no video from the graphics card. I turned it back off and reseated everything and once again turned the power on. This time I was greeted by the motherboard’s splash screen and then the BIOS. I spent a few minutes changing BIOS settings and observed the CPU region temperature was at just over 200° F (which seems a bit high). I then saved and exited and instead of Windows starting up, the computer shut down. I turned it back on and heard what I was told where thermal shutdown beeps before the thing shut off after about 30 seconds. I tried it another couple of times but it just shut itself off after 20-30 seconds without any sort of video display.

    The PC is an Intel 560 3.6 GHz P4 machine on an Intel 925X motherboard. I have read that this CPU is very sensitive to heat and think that maybe there may have been some sort of issue with the thermal paste or heat sink/fan not being installed quite right. Is it possible that I could have fried the CPU in such a short amount of time? I am about to put the original motherboard back in to see if maybe the new motherboard is bad.

    I bought the computer from Velocity Micro in late October of 2004. Since I received it in early November 2004, the front panel USB ports have not worked. I called them about it and was walked through various possible software fixes that didn’t resolve the problem. They sent my out the chassis mount USB/Firewire/audio jack assembly to replace the one that was in there but it was so buried in the case I never got around to trying it out until just after Christmas of this year. Connecting the new jack assembly didn’t fix the dead USB jacks either so I called them again. I was told that I likely had a faulty motherboard and was sent a new one.

    Now that this has happened they want me to send it back to them at my expense and have them fix it there. I’m just afraid that it might get lost in transit or something and would rather have it fixed locally.

    What do you guys think?
     
  2. Anthony Moore

    Anthony Moore Supporting Actor

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    My advice would be to just send it in. Just insure the package and with any luck it will be lost and youll get your money back! :)

    Seriously, I would think that it would be worth it to send it in at your expense rather than fix it locally. I bet the local option would cost more, and if it still doesnt work after that I bet the place you bought it from wont touch it or honor the warranty after its been messed with my the local guys.

    Just from my experience. Good luck. I know when computer stuff doest work its always extremely frustrating.
     
  3. SethH

    SethH Cinematographer

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    What did you do with the CPU when you put in the new motherboard? Did you separate the heatsink from the CPU? If so, you probably need to clean off all the thermal material (paste or pad or whatever) and reapply it.

    The CPU shouldn't fry that quickly, it should automatically shut itself off, but I guess it's possible that it did fry.
     
  4. Todd Stout

    Todd Stout Screenwriter

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    I had to separate the CPU from the heat sink/fan assembly when I removed it from the original motherboard. I cleaned off the old thermal compound with some rubbing alcohol and an old sock (I know now that I probably shouldn't have used the sock). I then applied Arctic Silver to the top of the CPU and then put the heat sink/fan assembly back on top. I later found out that I probably used too much Arctic Silver so I wiped everything clean again and used about as much as a "grain of rice" as the Arctic Silver web site suggests.

    I was just talking to one of our PC/LAN repair guys at work and he suggested a few things that I might try. He told me to make sure I have any and all possible jumper settings correct; He told me I might also try to flash the BIOS to make sure I have one that is compatible with my particular CPU; He also told me to try resetting the BIOS using the proper jumper setting instead of just pulling the battery for an hour like I had done on Monday.

    I guess if all else fails, I can send the whole thing back to the builder. I have already pulled out the TV tuner card, extra RAM, and second hard drive that I added in case it does get lost. My biggest gripe is that it will be gone for at least two weeks (one week there, one week back, and however long it takes them to fix it).
     

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