*Over the past several years, I’ve become a magnet for computers that people no longer want.
I was recently given an 11-year-old old HP desktop machine that was no longer being used because it didn’t work.
Following my normal process, the first thing I did was to boot a Memtest86+ live CD and let it run.
I got a variety of errors and strange behaviors, including lock-ups and stack dumps. This plus the high speed of the CPU fan led me to suspect a thermal problem.
Testing revealed the processor was hitting 70C just idling in BIOS setup, even after blowing the dust out.
I pulled the heat sink, cleaned off the old TIM, and reassembled with some good quality silver-based TIM. The CPU temperature dropped from 70C to 49C. Subsequent Memtest86+ testing over a period of 2 hours resulted in no errors, and the CPU fan never kicked out of idle.
This will make a good Linux machine for someone in need.
Does anyone else have a story to share?
Hm. Not sure I really want to share this, but…
My current computer, running an AMD 5-something and WinXP Pro, was making noises. Scary noises. Hard Drive About To Die noises. Oh, and I was getting Blue Screens of Death every several minutes.
I opened the case and by holding my hand on the hard drive, confirmed it was making the noises because I could feel the noises.
First thing I did was run a full backup. Since I do this weekly, it was quick, and the files verified OK. Whew!
Next, off to the store, got a new 1 TB drive, copied the old one to the new (Norton Ghost is getting long in the tooth, but still valuable).
Removed the old, rebooted…and the noise is still there. :ahh:
…Turns out the 3.5" floppy had died, NOT the HDD. sigh. $80 wasted. (Not completely: I still have a perfectly good 1 TB HDD for my next machine.). BSOD was because the FDD was telling it weird things. Go figure.
Just because you found the symptom you expected does not mean it is caused as you expected.