The Weekly Geek

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Hardware Issues Part 1

April 18th, 2005 · No Comments

So, where do I start? Fussing at AMD? Case manufacturers? Cooling requirements? Or heaven forbid, myself?

It has been a couple of weeks since I posted here. I would love to give you some dramatic excuse. My birthday came and went this month, a friend got his hand caught in some machinery and lost his fingers, I chaperoned a class of kindergarteners at the zoo. None of these really hold water, after all we all have these things in life.

A couple of weeks ago I built an AMD XP 2500 PC for a customer. Actually I had built it a little earlier in a translucent green case with a matching mouse and monitor. The business owner wanted black and since he continually buys computers elsewhere and then I support them and the business, I decided to rush a case purchase and buy a new inexpensive but nice looking case from a local computer shop.

When I built this computer I turned it over the kids to test out. This means hours of Age of Empires, Tom Clancy games and the occasional school paper. There were no issues what so ever. After swapping the components into the black case and reinstalling the operating system and installing the security software and programs needed for this business I happily delivered the PC, set it up, tested the accounts and went on my marry way.

The next day I received a call that the PC had locked up a couple of times that morning. A complete freeze of everything, no blue-screen-of-death, no slowdown just a lockup. I checked it out and could not duplicate the issue, however since the end user used a lot of programs at once, I decided that maybe the RAM was at fault. I ordered it and placed a rush shipment on it.

By the way, I only use Crucial RAM. In my humble but accurate opinion, it is the very best for everyday usage (Gamers don’t flame me, I know your needs are different). When the RAM came, I promptly replaced it only to have the system promptly lock up on me. Well, that did not make me a happy technician or businessman.

I then decided to watch the temperature of the system. Since this was an ASUS motherboard, I activated its monitoring software. Sure enough the case was about 110 F and the CPU was running about 160 F. Well, I was doubtful that was the issue since AMD processors of this style should be stable up to about 185 F. Since inexpensive cases might have poor air flow I decided to do a double test. First I removed the cover where the 2nd floppy or a 3 1/2” device would go, this dropped the temperature about 20 degrees both in the case and on the CPU. I decided to come back later that day and check on the system and thus I was off.

To be Continued..

Tags: Hardware