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my PC appears to be overheating. it's an AMD athlon 1.2gHz w/256 mb Kingston RAM, Asus motherboard, Matrox G450 graphics card, and a 300 watt power supply.
the power LED begins to blink (and normally the PC speaker beeps repeatedly but i disconnected it). occasionally it will recover from this state, but more often than not the pc freezes up completely and needs to be rebooted. i have added a case fan to try and cool it off, but it hasn't worked.
i am installing Slackware 8.1 ... but quite often during the install of that or Dropline Gnome the PC will freeze up. i reboot and it tells me there is problems with the filesystem and will require a manual fsck. unfortunately it then reboots itself without giving me the option to go into single-user mode. then it tells me the same message and reboots itself over. and over. and over. i'm assuming the file system is hooped and i will need to start from scratch.
so how can i tell if my processor or motherboard are toast? or is there some other way of telling what is causing it to freeze?
does your bios have a 'pc health section' ? if so post your cpu temp, right after you have a unwanted shutdown. you may want to invest in a copper shim and some heatsink compound the little square that comes on the heatsink from the factory is usually enough but i always add more. is the clamp holding the heatsink tight against the cpu? cpu fan running? hosed the heatsink fins with compressed air lately?
i'm at work now and don't have the exact post-crash cpu temperature at hand, but it's in the 60s (celcius). 68 degrees seems to ring a bell.
when i first experienced this problem i opened the case and cleaned the cpu fan out. it was very dusty. this solved the problem for a short while. i have since cleaned it (and everything else inside the case) a couple of times and retain good "pc hygiene". the power supply fan, case fan, and cpu fan are indeed running, and the cpu fan is held tight against the cpu by the latching mechanism. it is one of the "orb" varieties and allegedly of good quality.
i'm really worried about damaging my hardware. it's been happening for quite a while and though it was manageable before, now that it's come time to re-install Linux it's causing all kinds of problems.
60c. is not bad. the next thing i would do is pop the memory sticks out, and clean the gold contacts with q-tips and alcohol. and clean any other cards while your in there. then run memtest86 or tuff test and see if they turn anything up.
I only chime in here because I recently had to replace my socket A fan, same chip as yours, Abit board, and a lot more cramped case... probably.
Regardless, you may just want to replace the whole HSF. I cleaned all of the goo out of mine, airdusted and Q-tips, and it still ran warm. Finally one day the fan's ball bearing started giving out, so I just went and bought a $10 AMD approved generic workhorse HSF. Now the thing peaks around 60 degrees at mozilla source compile. It used to idle there. Simple socket A HSFs are just cheap nowadays.
It could also be a power supply problem. You said you had a lot of dust in the heatsink, so I bet theres a lot of dust in the power supply as well. If you have a multimeter, you could easily check the voltages to make sure they're still within spec. Dust can conduct & short things out, as well as insulates - making components overheat.
As for the heatsink, you could always buy a better performing one, the Orbs weren't really that great. www.overclockers.com & it's forums will probably have more than enough information available
To answer your original question, yes 68C is much to hot. 60 C is ok, but 68, now way. Your CPU is definately overheating. AMD specs say that 90C will instantly fry a chip. Mind you, instantly. 70C is getting awefully close. There are tons of ticks to cool a CPU down, but frankly I don't have enough time to cover them all. Check site like www.3dgameman.com and such.
Your problem is almost certainly due to overheating. If you are getting idle temps of 66C (i.e. processor doing nothing) then load temps are going to be close to max. The "orb" is cooling disaster and should not be used on anything bigger than an 800 proc. I suggest getting a rated heat sink and removing the Orb very carefully. Preferably I suggest asking someone with a lots of experience with heatsinks to remove it. They are renouned for chipping the core. I have personal experience with one and lost a core to an Orb. Once removed throw it as far as you can.
60 c is ok ??
I have a 1 gig athlon and the temp alarm is set to go off at 50.
I'm building garnome (gnome 2.2) right now and the chip temp according to lmsensors is staying around 47-48. Granted its about 68 degrees F in here (cleveland oh is a regular winter wonderland). but 60 degrees seems way to hot. 60 degrees idle anyway.
I recently had a temp problem, random freezes, occaisonal reboots, turned out that my heatsink was full of black wooly lint. Havent had a problem since I cleaned it.
Yes, 60C is OK. 50C is often the temp alarm because people who overclock try to keep it under this temp. Many temp alarms have a default of 50C because they figure if you're monitoring temps, you probably overclocking.
My Athlon XP 1900+ used to run at 54-56C, and all was fine. Although now I water cool, so it's not an issue.
wow, i had no idea i'd get so many responses (and so much good advice)!
i've gone about two days without overheating (so far) and in that time i've done a couple of slackware installs, miscellaneous installation and compilation of software, and a whole lot of surfing. looking good!