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Smokin’ hot CPU

We had a power failure today at our house while I was at work. When I got home I restarted my web server and it ran for about a minute then shut itself off. I tried this a second time, and enjoyed a repeat performance.

I’m a bright boy. I quickly concluded “something is wrong”. Off came my server’s side cover, and I powered on again…this time, I could see that the fan on one of my two CPUs was spinning anemically- I could almost still read the writing on its center label. Sure enough, the heat sink on the CPU was a bajillion degrees, while its partner was just pleasantly warm.

You’d think that, with all the computers I’ve rebuilt in my house, finding a CPU fan would be easy. No such luck- I eventually canibalized the CPU fan from an old Pentium III- its the wrong size, but its amazing what you can do with a few pieces of miscellaneous plastic. I also activated CPU throttling via the system’s BIOS.

With luck, this will last until tomorrow when I can go and buy a couple of new CPU fans. Hopefully the overheating didn’t do too much damage…

2 comments to Smokin’ hot CPU

  • Chris

    Heh. Strange coincidences – Just spent most of the afternoon dealing with the after effects of a power “bump” and outage at work yesterday evening.. You’d be suprized how much electronic dohickymajigs they can cram into a simple automatic door… and how sensitive those thingy’s can be. The really scary thing is that even if you have to replace your whole machine it will probably be cheaper than fixing the doors. ($240 just for one glorified electric eye! And there are usually 2 per door. That’s just the sensors … I don’t want to think what the control curcuitry will cost to replace.)

  • If that door was a computer, I’d say “Buy a power filter”. For a computer, that’s about $30- probably adding a power filter to your do would cost $1000 😉

    Its funny to me, though, that a device can work perfectly so long as its running. As soon as you stop it and try to start it back up again, though, you reveal all its weaknesses. Its the old “starting/stopping is where all the wear and tear comes from” theory.

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