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Cleaned PC and now I can't shut down (urgent)


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#1 ConstantVariable23

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 03:47 PM

From the beginning: since the weather is nice where I live today and the instructions say you need good ventilation, I decided to open the windows and clean my computer with a can of compressed air. I shut it down, switched off the power with the switch on the surge protector/battery backup the computer is plugged into, flipped the switch on the back of the power supply for good measure, then went to it. After about 10 minutes of blowing dust from the interior and exterior, I decided I was done, and waited another 10 minutes or so for the fumes to evacuate. I then reattached the side panel of the case, flipped the power supply switch and the switch on the battery backup, and booted it up.

I then got my first indication that I might have done something wrong: a visible plume of dust was expelled from the back of the computer. It booted up fine, no warnings or anything like that, and the utility SpeedFan (which monitors fan speeds and temperatures) doesn't show anything wrong either. But I did notice that the computer was running a bit louder than before, and between that and the dust plume I got worried. I did a search on the proper method to clean a computer with compressed air, and one thing it mentioned was to be sure that you were blowing all the dust out of the computer and not into it. To be frank, I'm not sure I did that properly. So I decided to shut it down and repeat the process, focusing especially on the power supply, the fan on which seems to be the louder one.

Here's where the second indication came in, and got me scared enough to post here asking for help: as soon as the computer had shut down and the fans began to stop, the computer started automatically rebooting, the fans roaring for a second or two, after which it seemed like any other reboot. I tried again, this time making absolutely sure to push "Turn Off" and not "Restart". Same result. So I did a search on automatic rebooting after shutdown, and came up with overheating as a possible cause. To me, it seems the most likely explanation is that I accidentally blew dust into my power supply, and the fan on it is now barely keeping up with the heat produced. Either that or the compressed air damaged the fan somehow, with the same result.

Now, I could turn off my hard drive's write caching, go into the near-shutdown part, just pull the plug, then proceed with the cleaning. But I'm afraid that if I do that, the power supply won't have any way to cool itself of the residual heat and will suffer permanent damage. What do I do? My computer seems to be running fine now but I don't think I can shut it down, or that it can stay like this indefinitely. Please help ASAP!

Edit: forgot to include the other reason I've settled on the power supply as the likely problem: SpeedFan is reporting normal temperatures for the CPU and graphics card, but as far as I know it doesn't monitor the power supply. I hope I get a reply soon, I think the fan might be getting louder...

Edited by ConstantVariable23, 14 April 2010 - 03:58 PM.


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#2 the_patriot11

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 05:36 PM

first, shut it down the hard way (hold the power button down till it shuts off, if that doesnt work, flip the switch on the back of the PSU. if theres no switch, unplug it) Take the side panel off and remove all the power wires from the motherboard and plug them back in where they came out of (make sure you make note of where they came from) Then, If you are comfortable with removing the CPU heatsink and have more thermal paste, remove the heatsink, make sure you remove all the thermal paste from both the heatsink and the CPU die, (I use a damp papertowel, alchohol pads work to) and blow it out, reapply a thin but equal amount of thermal paste and reapply the heatsink. Second, remove the memory modules and blow out the slots. be careful, when using a can of compressed air, use only short, controlled bursts. Blowing it to long blows out moisture which is harmful to the computer. then give the slots a few minutes so any moisture that did collect dries out. then, if your PSU has both a intake and exhaust fan, take the can of compressed air and blow it in the intake fan (again in short bursts) pointed to the exhaust fan until no more dust comes out. now give the computer about a half hour to make sure any resdue moisture is dried out, reassemble, and see what happens.

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#3 ConstantVariable23

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 07:39 PM

Thanks, but fortunately the problem seems to have been resolved without needing any disassembly. Which is good, because I'm a software person and know next to nothing about hardware other than which bits are most prone to failure. I eventually got it to shut down after removing the side panel for better airflow and booting up in safe mode (not sure why that would have helped, but, y'know, computers), after which I blew more dust out of the power supply than I'd seen in the entire rest of the case, left it to sit for a full hour, and only then attached the side panel and powered it back up. No problems so far; I could still swear the fan is louder than it used to be, but that could just be the power of suggestion at work. It does properly shut down now, so unless I see a recurrence, I think this is over.

I can tell you one thing, the more time I spend with computers the more I learn that you should just leave them alone if they're working fine and not try to "optimize" without a really good reason. Or that I should, anyway. There was hardly even any dust in there.

#4 the_patriot11

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Posted 14 April 2010 - 08:01 PM

lol glad you got it cleaned out. What most likely happenned is that you sprayed a little long and some moisture got in there or some dust in the wrong spot and was causing a minor short. which fixed itself over time. Preventive maintanence like blowing it out is good-just make sure its short bursts. like I said hold it to long and you get moisture in there.

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Primary system: Motherboard: ASUS M4A89GTD PRO/USB3, Processor: AMD Phenom II x4 945, Memory: 16 gigs of Patriot G2 DDR3 1600, Video: AMD Sapphire Nitro R9 380, Storage: 1 WD 500 gig HD, 1 Hitachi 500 gig HD, and Power supply: Coolermaster 750 watt, OS: Windows 10 64 bit. 

Media Center: Motherboard: Gigabyte mp61p-S3, Processor: AMD Athlon 64 x2 6000+, Memory: 6 gigs Patriot DDR2 800, Video: Gigabyte GeForce GT730, Storage: 500 gig Hitachi, PSU: Seasonic M1211 620W full modular, OS: Windows 10.

If I don't reply within 24 hours of your reply, feel free to send me a pm.





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