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Help Me Troubleshoot Something?


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#1 Mikey357

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:18 AM

My other comp stopped booting yesterday, and it seems to be showing me two problems (though I suspect only one). First I thought the power supply died because hitting the on-switch only produced a quick burst of power before immediately shutting down again. To try booting it again requires pulling out the power cord and replacing it each time. I tried my extra power supply on it and everything came on and stayed on, but the monitor wouldn't click on and the hard disks just idle. It's almost like they're not being prompted to do anything. I tried switching back to the other supply and it decided to work again...so i'm not sure what the actual issue is.

The problem(s) started after I opened my comp to clean it out a bit. I noticed a bunch of caked-on dust sitting on the cpu's heat sink (and fan), so I removed both to clean them off. Is it possible that i damaged the processor when i was pinning the heat sink back down or something? Could I have wiped out the bios somehow?

The OS is XP Home, cpu is an Athlon XP. I just recently added a 512 mb ram stick, but i doubt that it has anything to do with whats going on. Thanks for reading, and for any help anyone might be able to give me.

Edited by Mikey357, 15 May 2006 - 08:21 AM.


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#2 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:34 AM

Did you remove the old thermal paste and apply an appropriate film thermal paste between the heatsink and proccessor?
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#3 Mikey357

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:38 AM

Ahh crap. I wondered what that stuff was for...

Is it damaged permanently or?

#4 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:43 AM

It's like running a radiator without coolant. Apply the paste and give it a try. If it has failed it is permanent. Sorry.
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#5 ThorXP

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:02 AM

Hello Mikey357, I have worked with static sensitive devices for the last 35 years. One thing if you pulled the processor out of its socket there is a good chance that the processor is damaged especially if you were not grounded with a ground strap or knew how to handle the device. If you touched the pins on the bottom of the processor chances are that the inside traces got pitted really bad.

I really hope the processor is alright but if it is not and I suspect that it is not ok, if you want a new one put in please take the computer to a qualified person who knows how to handle this replacement and how to make sure the motherboard is setup properly.

Oh since there was such a change in the way the computer worked when you plugged in another power supply I suspect the power supply that was originally in there was having some issues and it might have damaged the motherboard also. Suggestion have the tech that works on this be made aware of the power supply problem also you might have a problem with the motherboard.

#6 Mikey357

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:03 AM

Thanks much for the info. If it's cooked, it's cooked. Hopefully it's not.

I know how sensitive hard disks are, so I probably should've assumed the same for cpus. I'm usually pretty good about tending to my own comp, but it looks like this time I might've learned a lesson the hard way.

So...power supply, mobo, cpu.... Sounds like I'd better get used to this little 233 mhz for awhile...

Edited by Mikey357, 15 May 2006 - 09:08 AM.


#7 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:06 AM

I really believe with proper guidance you can handle a simple processor change.
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#8 Mikey357

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:10 AM

I'm fairly certain that I can. I never have and never will pay a tech to manage my machine for me.

If something needs tended to, I do it myself so I can learn for later reference.

#9 ThorXP

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:16 AM

If I scared you I am sorry but static can really goof up a computer. I found this article on Handling static-sensitive devices

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/e...phak/static.htm

I hope this helps atleast with how to handle the devices.

I wish you well in your solving this problem.

#10 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:19 AM

I'm with you Mikey. Phillips screw driver and a can of compressed air, you can fix most problems.
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#11 Albert Frankenstein

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 09:35 AM

I'm with you Mikey. Phillips screw driver and a can of compressed air, you can fix most problems.

Duct tape usually works for the rest of the problems! :thumbsup:
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#12 Mikey357

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:02 AM

If I scared you I am sorry but static can really goof up a computer. I found this article on Handling static-sensitive devices

http://publib.boulder.ibm.com/infocenter/e...phak/static.htm

I hope this helps atleast with how to handle the devices.

I wish you well in your solving this problem.

Nah you didn't spook me too much. I already figured I'd done something majorly bad that could've been avoided by doing some simple reading beforehand. Live and learn though, right? And thanks for the link.

I'm with you Mikey. Phillips screw driver and a can of compressed air, you can fix most problems.

Definitely. As maintenance/repair goes, too many folks are afraid of thier computers. Unfortunately, my lack of caution might've cost me 70 bucks this time around...

Those Athlon XPs run really hot as it is, even while properly insulated.

Edited by Mikey357, 15 May 2006 - 10:06 AM.


#13 Herk

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 03:06 PM

The sad fact about Athlons is that they will crack rather than shut themselves down like a Pentium if they overheat. And damage to electronic parts can have a time factor, too - it may work now but not later.

Still, don't panic until you've cleaned the processor's top and the heat sink's mating surface and applied new thermal paste. A very thin layer is all that's necessary to fill the imperfections on the processor's surface. I use Arctic Silver.

#14 acklan

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:18 PM

By the way Mikey you fit in nicely around here. Welcome to BC.

Ahh crap. I wondered what that stuff was for...

Is it damaged permanently or?



We all make mistakes.
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#15 Mikey357

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Posted 18 May 2006 - 07:18 PM

By the way Mikey you fit in nicely around here. Welcome to BC.

Hey thanks. I'm sure I'll end up dropping by from time to time.

We all make mistakes.

This is true. But this particular mistake left me with nothing but a 233mhz comp at my disposal for the time being. It's like being sent back in time to 1998 and having to use the era's technology (i.e. maddening).


Anyhow, I borrowed a friend's tube of arctic silver and applied it just as I read on the net. Afterwards, I got the same response from my comp, so I think it's safe to say the cpu is toast. Now I'm in the market for a new one, but I'm not sure what my options are exactly. If I can replace it with something faster than a 1.8ghz, I'm all for it.

It's a socket A (462), so i suppose i just go from there. Are there any restrictions when it comes to my mobo that I should be aware of? Or can I just hop on ebay and grab something?




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