With our previous article (ReadyBoost) we received some email responses that were very positive. One email responder stated that he and a group of friends got some real benefit from the free technology we presented. One of the members of the group stated that their PC was “…working much more smoothly after implementing your USB know how.” The email went on to suggest we cover the topic of making sure that the “computers processor runs as cool as possible and what to do if it is running to hot.” That’s a great suggestion and we had already begun to write about this subject.
We’ll get started with a story from one of our Tech Support specialists.
Fan or Wireless Connection?
You can find all sorts of odd occurrences with your PC system and sometimes the oddest issue can arise with what appears to be no solution in sight. My system had been in use for a few years and when I heard a small high pitched squeal, I figured a fan was going. No problem, the case was cool and the temperature was not anywhere near being a problem.
The problem that was driving me crazy however was my internet connection. The system was using a wireless connection and it had developed an intermittent disconnect. The first couple of connection drops I put down to just a random issue and ignored. But they continued to happen and eventually the system could not connect to the internet. Okay… time to put on the troubleshooting hat and work this out.
I checked the wireless connection using a laptop, it worked so the issue was not the wireless. I checked the router to make certain there was not some sort of issue where the computer was not being allowed onto the network. I found nothing of the sort.
Next, I reinstalled the software for connecting to the router, double and triple-checked the settings only to find that everything was correct. I spent a couple of evenings going over every possible inch of the network wireless connection and could not find a problem.
In frustration, and after listening to the fan for a couple of days, I said: “Fine! I’ll replace the fan, at least that much I can fix!” I powered the computer off, pulled the problem fan and got a replacement. After I had it installed and started a system back up, my jaw promptly went slack! My PC had signed onto the network right away. I had my wireless internet connection once again.
Potential Problems and Pointers:
The PC system does not have one temperature. It has several components and each run at a different temperature. The CPU (Central Processing Unit), for your PC does most of the work so that Windows and running programs perform as expected. That is to say, it processes all the tasks. Ideally it should be running at room temperature. Most recently built CPU’s have protection features to deal with the heat. However, there are circumstances where it can run hot for extended periods of time and problems can arise including system crashes and even physical damage to the CPU or other components.
There are other components that can use electricity and generate heat such as your hard disk drives, the optical drive (for CD’s and DVD’s), and the GPU (Graphics Processing Unit) which really comes into play when playing games. Excessive heat can damage components rendering them inoperable. With respect to hard drives, one source states:
Heat can also warp the hard drive disks to the point that you would no longer be able to retrieve the data stored on them. Even recovering data in these situations may not be possible. The effects of this are greater with older components. Another factor to consider, one that most experts will agree, is that the lifespan of your PC will be lessened by excessive heat.
There are free utility programs to check for PC temperatures if you feel your system is running hot and we’ll leave that for you to search online. A few basic precautionary measures can go a long way to prevent issues arising from over-heating your system.
Signs of overheating can include:
- Fan running constantly and making excessive noises.
- Basic tasks are impaired / slow.
- Lines on your screen.
- Your system freezes or abrupt shutdowns occur (including blue screen of death).
Excessive heat is typically due to inability to cool your PC down. It could be a faulty fan or it could be due to poor ventilation. Ventilation is quite often affected by a number of easily remedied factors. Check if any of these could be what you are facing:
- Is your PC tower directly against a wall and not getting adequate air flow to it?
- Are any boxes or papers covering the back of the tower where the fan vent is located?
- Is the fan functional or making any noises (as with our story above)?
- When you look at the back of your PC tower, is there excessive dust that could be clogging up the ventilation?
- Is your ambient room temperature overly hot?
If you are experiencing any of these contributing factors, you may find it easy to fix the situation and get your PC operating at normal temperatures. Keep your system clean and make sure the ambient temperatures are reasonable. For your laptop, you can easily provide better exposure to air circulation by putting it up on a box (you might have to look at using a USB keyboard and mouse).
As our technician detected right away… high pitched whirling sounds need to be addressed. Make sure your fan is working. If it is not within your level of expertise, get a quote from a technician. Fixing a PC fan is not very expensive – you should be able to have this done for under a hundred dollars.
And, in case you are wondering what the connection is between a malfunctioning fan and not being able to get a wireless connection… it was discovered by our technician that the fan was emitting a high frequency tone. It was this tone that caused an interference with the wireless connection!
As our email responder has stated to us, there are many PC users who have no interest in keeping up with the endless “…trend of system upgrades”. We want our systems to last. We want them to run efficiently. We hope this article serves that purpose and we welcome more feedback and suggestions!
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If you have some ideas of topics you would like us to cover or have other feedback to offer, email us at: email@example.com