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Author Topic: Dusty computer is REALLY dusty (need advice)  (Read 969 times)
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Misguided
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« on: February 26, 2012, 11:20:11 PM »

Ok, I was looking inside my old machine trying to figure out why it sounds like a freight train. There is a lot of dust in general (see where I swiped my finger...), and the CPU fan is just NASTY.



Is the best way to clean this with compressed air? Is kicking all that dust around going to hurt anything inside the machine?

On a side note, I now think the fan that is making most of the noise is this CPU fan. I can't figure out how to make it run slower, and suggestions would be appreciated. I don't see anything in the bios, I tried the Q-fan program in the Asus utility suite and nothing happened, and I don't see a setting in XP like there is in Win 7.
« Last Edit: February 26, 2012, 11:47:51 PM by Misguided » Logged

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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #1 on: February 27, 2012, 02:09:09 AM »

CPU fan sounds like a freight train, at a guess, because it is motherboard controlled, and the cpu is too hot, so the board is increasing speed to max, trying to cool it down.

Cpu be hot because you have a nice caking of dust insulating the heatsink.

The other fan probably generating noise, will be your power supply, which is almost certainly, internally coated with the same insulating layer of dirt.

And the gpu, just so you didn't think you missed anything biggrin

Step 1: Take case outside after disconnecting cables, and gently, but thoroughly, blow it out with the compressed air you mentioned.

Step 2: Judging from case, do step one twice biggrin

Remember to try and shoot some down through the gpu and psu, and get those blown out as well.

You should notice a massive difference at this point.

Good lord man, the computer gods are giving you the evil stare at this point biggrin

Dust builds up because of lack of filtration in the cases, combined with charged surfaces, even if it isn't much. Charge attracts dust, etc.

Basic solution is to open up the case every few months and give it a thorough cleaning. Your fans will last longer too.

Atomic
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« Reply #2 on: February 27, 2012, 04:26:27 AM »

Thanks, Atomic. As to the CPU fan, I think it is running full out all the time from the moment the machine boots up. I can't figure out why.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2012, 04:41:59 AM by Misguided » Logged

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Misguided
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« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2012, 07:33:52 PM »

Atomic, I am really perplexed. I have cleaned out the dust the best I can, but read on.

This is a Q6600 with a Zalman CNPS 9500 cooler. The fan monitor in the bios reports a speed of about 2650 which is full bore. I have checked to see if the monitor is working by slowing the fan down by touching it, and it seems to work. CPU temps are at 23-24 C at 2.4 GHz or 29-30 OC'd to 2.9.

The CPU fan spins full bore like this even when the system is asleep! I have tried changing the fan settings in the bios to run at 60% but nothing changes.

Any ideas?
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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #4 on: February 28, 2012, 09:41:55 PM »

Assuming little things like plugged into the correct fan header, of the proper type (4 pin pwm controlled fan needs that type of header to function properly, etc)

Basically, if it was working properly before... it could be that the control chip for the fan itself has become borked, and is forcing on at 100%, all of the time. Which I suppose is better than shutting the fan off.

It could be that your motherboard header is no longer being controlled properly by the motherboard. You could try installing speedfan and trying to manually tune the cpu fan speed...

http://www.almico.com/speedfan.php

If you can force it with speedfan, then something weird is up.

Your temps are real good btw. biggrin

Atomic

ps: basic fan lesson... old 3 wire fans are voltage controlled. it uses 2 wires to supply varying levels of voltage to the fan, to change the speed... the third wire is an rpm monitor. 4 wire pwm fans use pulse width modulation to control the fan speed... 2 wires supply the 12 volts for the fan, third wire is rpm monitor, 4th wire sends the pulses to the fan that control the fan speed. (the fan has smarts inside to interpret x number of pulses per millisec equals y speed, etc etc) Pretty sure in the absence of a pwm signal on the 4th wire, most pwm fans will default to 100% speed. Someone chime in here if they know for sure on this one.
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Misguided
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« Reply #5 on: February 28, 2012, 10:10:46 PM »

I tried figuring out Speedfan earlier and it just confused me. I'm thinking of taking one of the low noise adapters (voltage limiter) from the Noctua cooler I just installed and seeing if I can use that to drop the voltage on the Zalman.

You know, one thing that is interesting is that the mobo was replaced on this machine at one point, switching from Gigabyte to Asus in the process. I wonder if that change might have caused something...
« Last Edit: February 28, 2012, 10:13:18 PM by Misguided » Logged

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TheAtomicKid
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« Reply #6 on: March 03, 2012, 07:32:03 AM »

http://www.techpowerup.com/forums/showthread.php?t=145287

Look what I found! biggrin

Atomic
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Grimwar
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« Reply #7 on: March 03, 2012, 09:36:14 AM »

I wanted to add, just compressed air isn't normally enough in my opinion.  I clean my PC every 3 months or so and I can not stand one spec of dust being left behind.  I usually come at it with a bottle of alcohol, an army of Q-Tips and a thin, lint free cloth.  The Q-Tips with alcohol get in between all of the nooks and crannies. Then I use the cloth and canned air afterward to do a final wipe down and get rid of the remnants of dust an Q-Tip lint.  It takes some time, but it's worth it.
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