Recipie for CPU souffle'

Ronald F. Guilmette rfg at
Tue Apr 2 03:02:14 UTC 2013

[[ Mostly, this posting is just a story.  But it does include one
   question, towards the end.  See below. ]]

Well, I accidentally found what I believe is most likely the reason
for the system halts I have been having recently, so I just thought
that I would share that.  It _is_ a bit humorous.  (The mystery system
shutdowns have _not_ been due to a power issue, it would appear.)

I just now experienced another episode in which the machine powered
itself off, as I was working on it, for no apparently good reason.

Since it was down anyway, I decided that this would be a good time to
pull out that *&^%$#@ bleedin' new USB 3.0 PCIe card I had recently
installed... just in case that was causing the problem.

As I reached in to begin extracting the PCIe card, the tip of one of
my fingers accidentally brushed up against my CPU heatsink.  I in-
stinctively yanked it away immediately.  If I had not done so, I
would probably have gotten a third degree burn.

I left the system off for a couple of minutes after that... to let it
cool down a bit before doing anything else... and then I powered it
back on, checked that the CPU fan was indeed turning (it was) and then
I went immediately to the BIOS and the PC Heath Status.

The CPU temperature was listed as being 63c == 145f !!!  And this was
_after_ I had allowed the system to be powered down for a couple of
minutes to cool down!!!

So anyway, the fan turned and I watched the CPU temp slowly inch down
to something more normal... like in the vicinity of 24c.

I don't know what to make of this, except to suspect that some loose
wires inside my case got in the way of the CPU fan turning.  (I am
not neat like some folks.  The inside of myu case _is_ really rather
sloppy, so this could easly have happened.)

I've now installed mbmon and xmbmon and will be watching the CPU temp
closely for awhile.

I really wish that one or the other of those tools allowed setting a
threshold CPU temp, beyond which the tool would emit an ear piercing
alarm via the motherboard speaker... you know.. in case the regular
external stereo speakers are turned off.

What *is* the best way to achieve the above effect, i.e. to arrange
for the machine to scream for help in case it is getting too hot?

I don't want it to just die, like it is doing now.  I want it to scream
so that I can rush over and at least try to do an orderly shutdown.


P.S.  I am loading the system pretty heavily now, and have been for the
last 20+ minutes, and xmbmon is showing me a nice constant 31c for the
CPU temp.  So for the moment at least, all is well.

P.P.S.  I have a (relatively) monster sized heatsink in this system, and
it sits atop a quite modest 2.7GHz single-core Athlon, so it is not at
all surprising that the ``stable'' CPU temp is around 30c (86f).

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