Recipie for CPU souffle'

Joshua Isom jrisom at
Tue Apr 2 09:25:39 UTC 2013

On 4/1/2013 10:02 PM, Ronald F. Guilmette wrote:
> [[ 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.
> <question>
> 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.
> </question>
> Regards,
> rfg
> 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).

Use stress in ports.  I recently had to fix two computers at work(and 
I'm not IT) due to overheating.  One had the fan start to go bad.  The 
automatic thermal control would turn the fan on and off for silence. 
Sometimes it wouldn't kick back on when under load.  I changed the bios 
to always on, and it worked.

Another had the thermal paste so dry, it insulated the processor.

Both were pentium 4's.  We don't get the good computers.

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