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#669933 - 08/24/21 07:36 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7540
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7540
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
No matter how much we think we know, it's so easy to overlook the obvious. My computer suddenly would not wake up yesterday morning. I usually leave it running for several days then let it reboot. This time no matter what I did it would not wake up so I had to do a hard shut down. Rebooted it and it took forever, then I see a blue screen MS update error. Oh, oh I thought. Did this thing shut down or lock up in the middle of an update? I get past that and then it booted to the bios screen for no apparent reason. Nothing wrong there as far as I could tell.

I exited the bios and it finally booted to the desktop but I could tell something was very wrong. I did another reboot. It took like 6 minutes and then I try to go online and it's like everything had slowed down 90%. I close the brower and opened a couple programs, same thing. Lots of hanging before anything happens including typing. My system was very sick.

Thinking I had a corrupted update I did a restore back to August 19. That only took 3 1/2 hours and when it rebooted I could tell it was still not right. Same long bootup, same hiccups going online and other things, same restarts hoping for the best but nada.

Suddenly I realized when I was standing next to it I couldn't hear the fan. I bent over and put my ear close and definitely no fan. I immediately opened CPUID and sure enough the CPU is running at 85c! I looked up my processor and the range is supposed to be 56-65c with an absolute max temp of 71. I shut it down for an hour and booted it up again but with my big floor fan blowing directly on it from two feet away. That was 5 hours ago and it runs perfectly. CUPID says it's about 59c. I say about because it measures each core, plus other stuff separately.

All that grief, and what happened is the fan stopped working and it overheated.

AARGGHH!

At least I don't need a new computer. Yet. I think it knows I'm replacing it when Win 11 comes out.

Bob
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#669977 - 08/25/21 06:45 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1499
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1499
Loc: Miami, Florida
LOL, I am laughing with you not at you Bob. I think your poor Intel 4770 should file an age discrimination lawsuit.

I had a similar overheating problem which I think was the eventual cause of the motherboard failure. I just finished rebuilding that Intel 4770 machine. New motherboard and new Intel i5 processor. I am very happy with the results.

Billy
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Sears, Roebuck and Co guitar, Black Diamond Strings, RCA Victor Radio

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#669980 - 08/25/21 07:02 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 22307
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
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Good work diagnosing. The next step will be to see if the replacement fan runs, so you can determine if it’s the fan controller on the motherboard, the power supply, or just a plain burned out or frozen fan.
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#670038 - 08/25/21 02:55 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 5373
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
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Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
I had a fan go on an old laptop. It wouldn't start, instead it gave me a DOS-Like "FAN ERROR" message. Fortunately, UTube taught me how to replace it.

I hope your replacement goes as easily as mine did. The hardest part was disassembling it enough to get to the fan.

Notes
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#670050 - 08/25/21 04:17 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: Notes Norton]
Registered: 05/19/20
Posts: 1144
Simon - PG Music Online   content
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Registered: 05/19/20
Posts: 1144
Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
I had a fan go on an old laptop. It wouldn't start, instead it gave me a DOS-Like "FAN ERROR" message. Fortunately, UTube taught me how to replace it.

I hope your replacement goes as easily as mine did. The hardest part was disassembling it enough to get to the fan.

Notes

At least the computer told you what was happening, and you didn't have to chase the problem down like Bob did! Thankfully for him his computer was designed to throttle the CPU when overheating to prevent damage, which was causing the slowdown and weirdness - though I'd personally give it a stress test once the fan is replaced, just to make sure there was no damage!
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#670079 - 08/25/21 06:02 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1499
Loc: Miami, Florida
Planobilly Online   content
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Registered: 07/10/15
Posts: 1499
Loc: Miami, Florida
Bob, there is a free program called Core Temp that you can download and put on the desktop. You can program it to display alarms/temps and even turn your computer off.

Billy
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#670087 - 08/25/21 06:52 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7540
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
jazzmammal Offline
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Registered: 06/08/05
Posts: 7540
Loc: Redondo Beach, Ca.
That sounds better than CUPID, thanks. That would have saved me some time for sure. I'm away from home again but before I left this morning it booted up normal. I opened both Firefox and Edge to multiple pages, played some Biab songs and streamed some vids and it runs perfectly as long as my big fan is blowing on it, haha. When I get back I'll take it apart and see if I can replace the fan. It will be tight because it's a ZOTAC Zbox mini PC that I love because it uses mostly standard components without using mobile stuff. It's about the size of my 4TB full size external drives.

Bob
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#670092 - 08/25/21 07:40 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 15997
Loc: Hamlin NY
MarioD Offline
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Registered: 12/27/03
Posts: 15997
Loc: Hamlin NY
Bob, I use open hardware monitor:

https://openhardwaremonitor.org/

It reads the cpu temps, fan speeds, and a ton of other information. Plus its free.
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#670148 - 08/26/21 06:15 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: Simon - PG Music]
Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 5373
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Notes Norton Offline
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Registered: 07/06/00
Posts: 5373
Loc: Fort Pierce, Florida, U.S.A.
Originally Posted By: Simon - PG Music
Originally Posted By: Notes Norton
I had a fan go on an old laptop. It wouldn't start, instead it gave me a DOS-Like "FAN ERROR" message. Fortunately, UTube taught me how to replace it.

I hope your replacement goes as easily as mine did. The hardest part was disassembling it enough to get to the fan.

Notes

At least the computer told you what was happening, and you didn't have to chase the problem down like Bob did! Thankfully for him his computer was designed to throttle the CPU when overheating to prevent damage, which was causing the slowdown and weirdness - though I'd personally give it a stress test once the fan is replaced, just to make sure there was no damage!

I agree. Another reason I use ThinkPads

I can troubleshoot PA systems, and even Cable TV Systems (I had a job doing that when I was testing out what it is to be 'normal') but inside the computer itself I'm afraid I'm pretty worthless at diagnosing all but the simplest problems.

I do know a good repair shop, though I hardly ever need to use them.

Notes
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#670167 - 08/26/21 08:46 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7648
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
Jim Fogle Offline
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Registered: 08/20/11
Posts: 7648
Loc: Winston-Salem, NC USA
I visited the website and discovered Zotac makes some nice looking, purpose built computers.

The +++ Zotac Download Center +++ has manuals available by model number. There maybe an exploded diagram or parts list to help with the fan.

The +++ Mainboard +++ picture on the website show the fan is held in place with spring clips. It's difficult to say from the picture but the fan looks to be a standard size.
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#672994 - 09/14/21 11:36 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7783
Guitarhacker Offline
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Registered: 04/03/09
Posts: 7783
Interestingly, the fan on a refrigerator will also cause it to stop working. The evaporator fan.

Computers. Yep.... I worked for a company doing some 3rd party servicing on their equipment and systems. I got called to a hospital and was told the system was crashing and wasn't running right. I get there and the head of security starts telling me he wants a brand new server installed TODAY! I explain that I'm a 3rd party factory trained tech but I don't carry $25k servers in my truck. So he storms off and I start working on the system. I open it up and go into the CPU. First clue was the air intake filter was clogged by dust. Inside the CPU I found more dust than should be in the entire hospital. I used canned air to blow it out and the cloud of dust and dust bunnies was unreal. I reassembled it and called him to come back to the nurse station. He gets there and says... "Well?" I pointed to the dust bunnies on the desk, explained where they came from, and told him he really needed to set up a PM schedule to clean the dust filter on a monthly basis. He yells about wanting a new server and I pointed out that I doubted that they were going to replace a 9 month old server that had dust blocking the cooling air intake. Veins were throbbing on his temple and he stomps off.... I tried to call him back to sign the paperwork but he never returned. I left. The system worked well from that point and didn't crash as far as I know. He was not happy and told the company to never send me back. OK.... I'm actually good with that.

BTW.... I started this computer a few minutes ago.... the screen was blank. Nothing.... I know the HDMI died so I have been running on the VGA. I'm thinking the worst as well.... Oh great, the video outs are toasted.... I start checking the wires and the VGA cable had fallen out of the connector on the monitor. (wipes the sweat).... up and running. Maybe there's a lesson there? I should be looking for a replacement computer and switch everything before the inevitable happens?


Edited by Guitarhacker (09/14/21 11:40 AM)
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#673084 - Yesterday at 12:32 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: Guitarhacker]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 13471
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
VideoTrack Offline
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Yes, in my early years in repairing electronic equipment, a very experienced colleague used to always say: "start with a visual inspection". Your two examples above demonstrate how that is generally the best starting point.
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#673099 - Yesterday at 05:08 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 22307
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
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Also, consider it may be a short between the chair and the keyboard.
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#673106 - Yesterday at 06:15 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 10/28/08
Posts: 240
Loc: Florida
etcjoe Offline
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Registered: 10/28/08
Posts: 240
Loc: Florida
Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Also, consider it may be a short between the chair and the keyboard.


Yeah my problems are always a loose nut on the keyboard.
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#673111 - Yesterday at 07:39 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: Matt Finley]
Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 13471
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
VideoTrack Offline
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Registered: 06/05/12
Posts: 13471
Loc: Melbourne, Australia
Originally Posted By: Matt Finley
Also, consider it may be a short between the chair and the keyboard.

PICNIC? (problem in chair, not in computer grin )
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#673118 - Yesterday at 08:10 AM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 22307
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Matt Finley Offline
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Registered: 07/12/00
Posts: 22307
Loc: Hudson Valley & Lake George NY
Yep. But to be fair, even these problems are not helped by poor software design or weak documentation.
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#673223 - Yesterday at 04:23 PM [Help! Tech S.O.S (Off topic)] Re: So easy to get fooled. I thought my computer was toast [Re: jazzmammal]
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Guitarhacker Offline
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O.M.

One of the things I say all the time in my business.... Operator Malfunction.
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