[Updated] Holy Flaming Computers, Batman!

Here is a friendly suggestion to you all, something which I’ve known and didn’t act fully upon, against my better judgment: When you can hear one of your computer’s fans make noise, call your nearest hardware store, get a replacement fan, and either pay them to change it for you or ask a friend who knows what they’re doing (alternately, look it up online and become the person who knows what they are doing).

An exaggeration.

An exaggeration.

 Update 23/10/2009: Fan replaced, considering replacement of other non-critical fan, and adding a cooling body to my GPU. BUT! Computer is up and working, and got 2G of RAM from a friend :)


As the caption tells you, my computer did not literally go up in flames. It merely heated up, and kept heating up more and more, and the GPU (my video grpahics card) also heated up more and more, and yesterday (Tuesday, so two days ago, technically) when my AC unit died while I was watching House M.D., my computer had blue-screened itself.

I thought the computer was fine, as I had monitored its temperature along the past couple of weeks, since my fan made noises for the first time. And well, nothing critical happened, so I guess we’re alright. I just hope the period of time in which the whole case was an overheated cauldron did not cause some components to get damaged, either directly or by making them more susceptible to harm and overheating themselves.

Today I’ve opened up the computer, and we found out that the exhaust-fan, the one which funnels the hot air outside of the computer case, had mostly died. “Mostly died” you ask? Well, it didn’t whirl, but with the touch of a fingertip, it sprang up to life. It happened this way both times we had booted the computer up (with the case open for us to observe things, my friend and I).

So, Friday, I’ll go to the hardware store where I purchased my computer, which I’ve been meaning to go to anyway regarding a minor annoyance with my speakers, and I’d buy another fan or two (to have one in stock just in case, and they’re only $10 a pop, y’know?), then I’d come home and with the aid of my friends, or without, I’d replace the fan.

I just hope that the slightly charred smell I got from my computer while it was open, and especially when we ran the GPU fan at 100% is just some charred-dust (of which there was thankfully little), or something. My GPU, 8800 GT runs a little too hot for my tastes, but my hardware-headed friend who also has this card, says it’s fine. I’ll keep an eye on it after the faulty fan gets replaced.

Meanwhile, I’m writing this from the parents’ desktop, as my laptop is driving me insane (I’m going to format it next week, but I dislike it for various reasons). So if you see me less active on your blogs, and slower to reply tothings, this is why. I didn’t forget you, and while I can turn my computer on, especially if I keep the case open, I’d rather wait till after the fan is replaced. And it should be early enough to not interfere with Figure Friday, which is most often “Figure Saturday” anyway :D

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18 comments on “[Updated] Holy Flaming Computers, Batman!

  1. Yeah, it happens. When you leave your computer on constantly (or for most of every day), fans wear out and eventually die. I built my own desktop and went with big 120mm fans so they spin slower and create less noise but still push lots of air ^^. Always important to keep a computer well cooled.

    I hope your PC didn’t suffer any permanent damage from the failed fan ^^;

    • Guy says:

      Yeah, it’s a 120mm GlacialTech Silent Blade 2 that died. I have two in my computer case, one that brings air in, one that takes air out.

      My computer is usually so silent that when you enter a room, you can’t tell it’s on by sound alone. That also means that you can’t tell when a fan is not working ;)

      When I play video games, my GPU fan picks up and it sounds as if it’s preparing for launch. I’m sure it didn’t occur with Guild Wars, so I might re-install that to see if it still does that there, and if it does, I’ll check with an older Driver.

  2. Reltair says:

    Yeah, it sucks when PC parts get owned. I built my own desktop as well, and you can find most info you need these days on Google.

    My laptop overheated once because the fan wasn’t spinning, but that was due to hella dust clogging it up. =D

  3. Snark says:

    Great, I just changed a few fans in my computer a few days ago, now I won’t be able to stop worrying about them >_<

    • Guy says:

      They usually last more than a couple of years, especially if you don’t leave your computer working for a week or two at a time.

  4. Gunstray says:

    Hahah, once again Im reminded by another failure, scratch built cooling fans…Im so cheap

  5. Optic says:

    The last computer incident I had was quite recent when one of the jumper from the motherboard got fried, making the computer wouldn’t turn on at all. At first I thought it was the dead PSU and I was in the process of buying a new one but thankfully I did my research and tested the PSU separately.

    It’s surprising how one dead jumper can do this. ><

    Speaking about fans, I will likely need to replace my CPU one as I'm starting to see wear and tear. -_-

  6. Ninjovee says:

    Actually, I have experienced the “mostly dead” exhaust fan before on my laptop and it’s not exactly pretty. I was unaware of the situation until such time that my laptop refused to stay on after 2 minutes. I also tried making the exhaust fan budge and it does, for a little while, also had that burnt smell… but the culprit was a strand of hair that got tangled up into the exhaust fan causing it to act up like that and ended up killing my exhaust fan. I suggest you don’t turn on your PC for a while until it gets checked out

    • Guy says:

      I checked it out myself, with a couple of friends. I don’t think the lab will do much more, really. I opened it, I saw and identified the problem. Tomorrow I’ll get a new fan and replace the faulty one, and that’d be it :)

  7. bluedrakon says:

    I have been lucky on the fan issues so far. My system is actually set to shut down if it gets too hot, so luckily I do not have the same issues. Being in South Florida, I have to watch the apartment temperature as well. I have a similar setup with two 120mm fans (one blows in and one out), but I also another slot fan for my graphics card. That little bugger makes the most noise however.

    I do however have to clear the dust out. With cats as well, I usually clear it out about once a month. We have a compressor at work that I take home to do this. It is much better that the canned air.

    • Guy says:

      Yeah, the lab my father cleaned two computers at before has an industrial compressor. My friend told me that overall, better to use a fan (which can emit cold water) than just vacuuming it, and the canned air for the smaller parts. But honestly, I don’t seem to need it, either of it, so I’m going to pass for now.

      Computer got cleaned by compressed air about a year ago, and it’s just two years old.

      And yeah, my graphics card usually is silent, working at about 34% capacity. When I turn on games, it goes to about 80% of its maximum capacity (the fan), and it becomes quite noisy.

  8. Both my fans are failing — you have to manually spin them up on boot, but they generally keep spinning afterwards. I keep an eye on them and my processor heat level and such with “SpeedFan”. Been quite a useful program so far.

    I’ve also been powering my machine down when I’m not using it (because of the various problems I’ve been encountering that you’ve heard about). Here’s to hoping the overheat didn’t cause any damage! (Usually, the comp. shuts itself down before it can, but you never know, especially with extended periods of high heat that aren’t “dangerous” — I suspect that’s what killed Jen’s machine.)

  9. Yi says:

    That sounds terrible! I’m really bad with computers, so I hope that does not happen to me. I would not know what to do.
    Anyway, good luck replacing your fan and fixing your computer.

  10. enrius says:

    I had to resort to leave my casing opened up to help the air flow – My graphic card heats up pretty fast and when that happens my PC will go bang bang and blue screen. -_-

  11. Tommy says:

    Reminds me of my friend’s computer…2 inches of dust inside when I opened it up for her. No wonder it died, I told her.

    Hope it’s already been fixed. I’ve chugged my desktop because its too hot for my room, but I think my laptop will die in the next six months. *goes and backs up files!*

    • Guy says:

      Yup, as the edit above indicates, it’s all alright now.

      Fixed!

      Also, this one had no dust. My previous computer was AMD, and had a LOT of dust, and had to be kept in a room with AC working, even in the middle of the winter. Dropped some 50 Celsius after cleaning.
      This computer had a dead fan, everything else was copacetic.

  12. lovelyduckie says:

    I have a live in IT guy so our computers get a lot of attention. We have 3 home built desktops and 2 laptops for 2 people. Although the only computer that ever gets turned on these days are the laptops and the desktop that’s connected to our TV.

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