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PC shutting down several times a day.

A CPU temperature problem?



11:02 am on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Since yesterday my computer has shut down without any warning several times. I had this problem before, at that time the problem disappeared after cleaning the CPU fan.

So I checked the fan, however not much dust and the fan seemed to be running ok. I removed all remaining dust from the CPU block and installed speedfan to check the temperature. However speedfan shows two temperatures: One is 50-to 55 C, the other 62 to 65 C.

So does anybody now if this is ok or unusual hot? And why does speedfan show two temperatures although I only have one CPU fan? (Speedfan shows an icon of a burning flame next to the temperatures, this makes me a little uncomfortable.)


11:17 am on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

I don't know about temps and fans, but what I DO know for sure, from experience, is that once a computer starts to shut itself off, it's time to back up whatever needs backing up - yesterday, if not sooner. It's happened to me twice.

This last time, just recently, the computer was 2 years, 5 months old and ended up dying completely soon after the shutting off problem started. I should have known when it started slowing down and needing rebooting too often.

When I called the store, the tech knew before asking that it was an emachine, and said it was either the power supply or the mother board. It turned out that the processor & motherboard were visibly "fried" and they ended up giving me a brand new machine (a Compaq) as replacement under my extended warranty. But the data couldn't be retrieved - all lost, including my favorite fonts.

New computers are way, way down in price now, prior to new ones coming out with Vista installed, so it's a good time to watch the sales and buy a new machine with XP, even as a backup.


12:13 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 5+ Year Member

Could be a virus.

If PC boots regularly for no reason, it is most probably a Virus.

Do a search on G and you will find the specific antivirus solution.

Of course, it is time to take a back up ;-)


1:09 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

Your machine is running way too hot ..neither temp should be over 40C and ideally both should be well below that around 35C max even when running under load such as burning DVD's ..

Speed fan is showing "2 temp readings" ...IMO ( dont know that particular software ..but they are all similar )
because one of the values is the temp of your power supply fan ( usually enclosed in the power supply module itself and designed to blow out of the case .."extract" hot air that is sucked over the power trannie from air inside the main motherboard case ) ..the other temp reading will be the temp of the CPU ..try to get an evaluation download of sysoft sandra ..search it ..install and then check on the motherboard and CPU info ..that will tell you which temp is which ..

If you are not used to working with your own hardware take the entire box for servicing ..it's running too hot ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 1:12 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2007]


1:21 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member marcia is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member

Mine was a case of overheating, both times. I guess they replaced because the consumer isn't expected to know how to open it up and clean it, but it was overheating because of accumulated dirt inside - the processor literally got cooked from heat. Now I know it's only $20-30 to take a machine in periodically and have them clean it, but I learned my lesson about backing up.

Added: mine was shutting down when it got hot, then started up again and then shut down again.

[edited by: Marcia at 1:23 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2007]


1:39 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

40-50' is fine. In fact CPU's can go 60+ before having problems.

Check your bios. You should be able to see alarm thresholds and shutdown thresholds. For the CPU they may be 65 by default and that is what is causing the shutdown. Maybe your alarm threshold is the same as the shutdown threshold in which case you won't be hearing the 'dee-dah' siren :-)

The two temps you are seeing are probably for the CPU and the disk. Speedfan is picking up the SMART info and displaying the temp which I presume here is the 50' figure.

I'd be more concerned about the 50' for the disk than the 65' for the CPU! So sort this out quick.

As the disk temp is high too then it's clear you are not shifting enough air in the box. Do you have an inlet fan? Is it spinning / dusted up?

Is there an outlet fan or does is the only outlet via the PSU?

Maybe you have spaces to accommodate extra fans and there are spare headers on the mobo. If not try fans with 4-pin disk type connectors.

CPU Overheating
If the CPU is overheating but the rest of the case is fine then if not dust, dried up thermal paste could be your problem.

If the CPU is a few years old or was not fitted efficiently then the paste which joins the CPU to the heatsink can dry. You may need to clean both parts and re-apply new paste. This is an easy job to do but removing the heatsink and CPU is tricky. You may want to take it into a store to get it done.

[edited by: Frank_Rizzo at 1:43 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2007]


1:52 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member leosghost is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 10+ Year Member Top Contributors Of The Month

When they get too hot many things can happen ..usually they will shut down for no reason and restart ..or the response to mouse movements will become very sluggish ..or sometimes the display will veer towards another colour ..the whites will get a bluish tinge fro example ( that is frequently a sign of the powersupply overheating and sending the MOBO or the graphics card unstable supply ) ..Some high end graphics cards also have their own chipset fans as they can get just as hot as the CPU ..

Some people manage to fry their CPU's by simply forgetting to replace the heat transfer paste between their CPU and the heatsink that sits on it when they are replacing a CPU fan or maybe upgrading to another faster CPU on the same MOBO ..or some overclock the processor into oblivion ;-).

You can cure a lot of the dirt and therefore blocked airflow holes by blowing compressed air over the opened case components ..but again if you dont know what you are doing you can get the air pressure too high ..or blow a fan against it's normal rotation direction ( it will not be happy thereafter ) ..or just fry a board with static ..We had a thread on cleaning in foo about 2 years ago ..

A clean machine is a happy machine ..which will make you money and give you less frustration than a dirty one ..and heat and dirt are it's enemy ..

So best invest a few dollars or whatever once or twice a year and have it professionally cleaned ..think about it ..is it as important to you as your car? ..how often do you have that cleaned ..right :)

Frank posted on the paste issue while I was typing ..
agree with you there Frank ..but for me anything over 40C is too hot unless very very sporadic and even so is not good for the CPU ..tolerance temps are not meant to be the target to hit ..but what the components can survive occasionally being exposed to..

hot CPU's do flaky calculations..

PS ..something I always do on anything except laptops ..the moment they are out of warranty ..drill extra outlet holes all over the top of the case and mount extra fans outside to pull hot air out ..and drill more all over the lower parts of both sides and the base ..and then put the base on rubber legs ..airflow is your friend ..

[edited by: Leosghost at 2:01 pm (utc) on Jan. 2, 2007]


5:12 pm on Jan 2, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member 10+ Year Member

Thanks for all your comments. After backing up my files I went to the computer store and bought the most expensive 150ml air of my life. What a rip off to charge 8 EUR for a small bottle of compressed air.

However it worked. There was still plenty of dust in the heatsink. Temperature is back to a reasonable 45 C. I think I'll take the rest of the can with air to the swimming pool and try if I can breath under water - James Bond style. So if this is the last you hear of me - you will know what happened. ;-)


1:20 am on Jan 3, 2007 (gmt 0)

WebmasterWorld Senior Member jtara is a WebmasterWorld Top Contributor of All Time 5+ Year Member

CPUs have specific thermal specifications, and they vary widely. For example, AMD Athlong 64 X2 processors have a Tcase Max ranging from 49C to 71C, depending on the specific model.

Many GPU (video card) chips run routinely in the 70s and much higher under load. It really depends on the chip specification.

Your temp monitoring program should tell you what is what. Most typically if you see two numbers, they are the motherboard temperature and the CPU temperature. The MB temp is the temp of a sensor bonded to the MB and will vary from one kind of MB to another. As with CPUs, check the spec for your MB. You can find thermal specs for your CPU on the manufacturer's website. You will need a SPECIFIC model and rev level.


8:32 pm on Jan 13, 2007 (gmt 0)

5+ Year Member

[quote]Leosghost: ..or blow a fan against it's normal rotation direction ( it will not be happy thereafter )[/quote)
LOL. Don't listen to this joker. These are brushless fans that run on magnetism.

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