Page faults every few days

Fred Gilham gilham at
Mon Dec 15 08:19:07 PST 2003

Jaime wrote:
> On Sunday, December 14, 2003, at 10:41  AM, Martin P. Hellwig wrote:
> > Take a real close look on you're mobo, if there a some pots in
> > there which are too round (or even broke open) to look natural
> > then those pots wil disfunction above a certain temparature. This
> > is the most common failure for computers which failure can not be
> > easily identified.
> > The 'explosions' of the pods occures if a motherboard (the whole
> > thing not just the cpu) is exposed to temparatures above 45
> > degrees celsius for a long time, ofcourse this depends on the
> > quality of those pots (a hot summer with your pc in a roof room is
> > a good candidate). 
> 	This is interesting and useful information.  I always wondered
> by the manuals state an operational temperature range of about 105
> degrees Fahrenheit.  45C = 113F
> 	Of course, it wouldn't be that simple of a solution.  :(  The
> room is air conditioned to a much lower temperature.  About 73F to
> 78F, most of the time.  (About 25C.)

If I understand what Martin Hellwig wrote, he's talking about
capacitors.  I have had two computers out of a sampling of about 6 go
bad on me in the last year.  One went bad because capacitors on its
motherboard failed, the other went bad because a capacitor in its
power supply went bad.

It turns out that this is more than just bad luck.  I just googled for
capacitor failure, and got the following article which explains what
I'm talking about.

Sounds too much "spy vs. spy" to be true, but there is a definite
problem with many capacitors manufactured during the last couple years
or so.

Usually if capacitors are starting to go bad, you'll see intermittent
behavior.  Then eventually you get full blown (pun intended) failure.

If the capacitor is poorly designed, it will slime the area around it
on the motherboard and the problem will be obvious.  A better-designed
capacitor will vent through the top, and all you will see is that the
top has popped up a little, with maybe some brown goo on the top of
the capacitor.  If you have a temperature probe, you could test all
the capacitors on your motherboard for temperature.  Capacitors should
not get hot in normal operation.  One that is a fair bit hotter than
the rest is definitely starting to experience an identity crisis (it
is acting like a poorly-designed power resistor instead of a
capacitor) even if it hasn't vented yet.  I don't recommend touching
them with your fingers because if one is going bad it will burn your
finger.  This is the voice of experience talking. :-)

The article I mentioned above has good pictures illustrating what
capacitors are and what they look like when they are bad.

The frustrating thing is that there are a lot of them on a
motherboard, and usually you don't just get one bad one.  The
motherboard I had that went bad had something like ten bad

Fred Gilham                                        gilham at
A gold coin standard transfers monetary policy-making from central
bankers and government officials to the common man, who can walk into
a bank and demand payment for paper or digital currency in gold
coins. This is the ultimate form of democracy, and the Establishment
hates it.                                   -- Gary North

More information about the freebsd-stable mailing list