LinuxQuestions.org
Welcome to the most active Linux Forum on the web.
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware
User Name
Password
Linux - Hardware This forum is for Hardware issues.
Having trouble installing a piece of hardware? Want to know if that peripheral is compatible with Linux?

Notices


Reply
  Search this Thread
Old 09-10-2019, 01:43 AM   #1
nobahn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Great Lakes region
Distribution: LinuxMint 17.3 & OpenSUSE 12.3 KDE
Posts: 25
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Properties of Dust in Tower


Please allow me to first provide some background info.....

I wanted a computer and I knew that I wanted it to have maximum flexibility for upgrading. Because I had heard that computer manufacturers tend to use lower-quality parts, I wanted to build one ─ but I know next to nothing about computers. I knew a guy who said he knew how to build one, so I paid him and some weeks later he assembled it in front of me; he said that my request for Linux Mint was an unusual one. Flash forward maybe six months later* and the linux OS hangs on boot up. I have the guy come over and among other things he uses pressurized air to blow dust off the fans. Much to his surprise, the machine then boots up. Great!

So some weeks later the same thing happens again; so I go to a Best Buy** and buy canned air.*** Carefully keeping the can as vertical as possible, I blow off the fans and heat sink. Then the computer boots up as if nothing had happened.

So here's my question:
Does anyone know why dust on the fans and heat sink would cause an (in this case Linux Mint) OS to hang on boot up?


*I'm lousy with remembering dates and the like.
**I was NOT expecting this: So I go to the (security?) guy at the store entrance and ask if Best Buy sells canned air; he points me to the back. I go back and I'm looking for an employee for further directions when this guy comes walking to me with a two-pack package of compressed air. I've gotta admit that I was quite impressed! Another thing that surprised me: Best Buy sells large kitchen appliances! (By then, I realize that I must be one of the most clueless customers in the store.....)
***Best Buy does not sell canned air to persons <18 years old; apparently sniffing canned air for a high is a thing.....

Last edited by nobahn; 09-10-2019 at 11:25 AM. Reason: wanted to italicize last part of last sentence
 
Old 09-10-2019, 01:54 AM   #2
ondoho
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2013
Posts: 12,304
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309
Yeah, who'd'a thought that canned air is a thing?

About your problem:
Hard to say anything without knowing any of the parts involved.
Also, how exactly does it hang? at what stage?
It's normal for computers to disallow booting when they're too hot or they notice that the fan doesn't move at all. This might even happen on a level way below the OS.

A simple solution might be to turn the whole thing 90 degrees, so that the dust doesn't settle on top of the fan, but falls through to the bottom instead.

It's also possible that there's a loose contact, and opening the case sort of wiggles it in place, which coincides with the canned air treatment.
Or a hair fracture that contracts (canned air is very cold).......
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 04:42 AM   #3
rkelsen
Senior Member
 
Registered: Sep 2004
Distribution: slackware
Posts: 2,257

Rep: Reputation: 586Reputation: 586Reputation: 586Reputation: 586Reputation: 586Reputation: 586
Properties of Dust in Tower

Dust accumulated on a heatsink will keep the heat in, instead of allowing it to dissipate as it is supposed to.

Sorry if this a personal question, but how dusty is your house?? Perhaps you need a better vacuum cleaner?
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 05:41 AM   #4
colorpurple21859
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: florida panhandle
Distribution: slackware64-current, arch, ubuntu, others
Posts: 3,346

Rep: Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543
how often do you have to use the can of air? If it is once a month or less, my guess would be a loose connection which has already been mentioned,unless your house is really dusty.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 06:01 AM   #5
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 18,918

Rep: Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849
There are speciality Best Buy stores that sell kitchen appliances i.e ranges, ovens, dishwashers etc. but not all stores.

The fans are very important in keeping the temperature of the CPU and internal components cool. A build of of dust through out the computer i.e on the case air inlet, fans and heat sink etc. prevent the necessary amount of air to flow through the computer causing it to overheat and just quit working.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 09:08 AM   #6
Soadyheid
Senior Member
 
Registered: Aug 2010
Location: Near Edinburgh, Scotland
Distribution: Cinnamon Mint 17.3 (Netbook) and 18.3 (Desktop)
Posts: 1,419

Rep: Reputation: 338Reputation: 338Reputation: 338Reputation: 338
Are you talking a lot of dust? How many wires does your fan have? Three? Then it has a rotational speed monitoring function available and probably uses it. A build up of dust may slow it down in which case the monitoring system may decide to shut the system down before it actually tries to load the boot/init sequence from the disk. I've had occasions when a fan speed error has caused HP Proliant and DEC Alpha servers (Yes, I'm that old!) to decide they weren't playing and would refuse to boot. I've even stripped a fan down, cleaned it out and re-lubricated it on at least one occasion when I needed to buy some time to re-order a replacement without having the power station the server helped run shut down as well!

I agree with the heatsink comments as well, an overheating CPU will also cause a system to shutdown before the CPU fries itsself.

My

Play Bonny!

 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 11:51 AM   #7
nobahn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Great Lakes region
Distribution: LinuxMint 17.3 & OpenSUSE 12.3 KDE
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up Thank You to Everyone

I wish to acknowledge:
  1. ondoho
  2. rkelsen
  3. colorpurple21859
  4. michaelk aaand...
  5. Soadyheid
Quote:
Also, how exactly does it hang? at what stage?
The thing that puzzled me ─ and the fellow who assembled it ─ was that the boot up was getting as far as putting the Linux Mint logo on the screen before going black with a non-blinking cursor and freezing.

Quote:
Sorry if this a personal question, but how dusty is your house?? Perhaps you need a better vacuum cleaner?
Quote:
[...]unless your house is really dusty.
I live in a rooming house with a couple of other guys; so, yeah, points taken.

Quote:
A build of of dust through out the computer i.e on the case air inlet, fans and heat sink etc. prevent the necessary amount of air to flow through the computer causing it to overheat and just quit working.
I think that what puzzled the fellow who built it was that he had installed two fans (excluding the one in the 600W power
supply) and one of them is directly under the heat sink.

Quote:
My
Very much appreciated.
 
Old 09-10-2019, 11:54 AM   #8
colorpurple21859
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jan 2008
Location: florida panhandle
Distribution: slackware64-current, arch, ubuntu, others
Posts: 3,346

Rep: Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543Reputation: 543
Quote:
The thing that puzzled me ─ and the fellow who assembled it ─ was that the boot up was getting as far as putting the Linux Mint logo on the screen before going black with a non-blinking cursor and freezing
reseat your graphic card if that is doable and your memory cards.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 12:03 PM   #9
dugan
LQ Guru
 
Registered: Nov 2003
Location: Canada
Distribution: distro hopper
Posts: 9,093

Rep: Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929Reputation: 3929
Dusty fans (which can result in overheating) is a good guess, but it's good to be sure.

If you know what your computer's IP is, you can try to SSH into it when it hangs. Then you can run "dmesg" and look at /var/log/Xorg.0.log.

If you can't ssh into it, then look at /var/log/messages after the reboot.
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 12:24 PM   #10
nobahn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Great Lakes region
Distribution: LinuxMint 17.3 & OpenSUSE 12.3 KDE
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up Responses/Acknowledgements

Quote:
Originally Posted by colorpurple21859 View Post
reseat your graphic card if that is doable and your memory cards.
The funny thing about the graphics card ─ and really pissed off the guy who assembled the machine ─ is that he should not have had to have installed a graphics card in the first place! He bought the motherboard specifically because it has a graphics processor embedded in it. Turns out that the manufacturer physically disabled it! He vented his rage on Tom's Hardware.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan
If you can't ssh into it, then look at /var/log/messages after the reboot.
Thanks for the tip!
 
Old 09-10-2019, 12:41 PM   #11
michaelk
Moderator
 
Registered: Aug 2002
Posts: 18,918

Rep: Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849Reputation: 2849
A typical home computer has a CPU cooling fan as well as a case fan and maybe GPU fans besides the power supply fan. The case fan will usually suck air in from the front and blow it out the rear. Adding extra fans depending on their specs and where they are placed may not provide better cooling.

https://www.howtogeek.com/303078/how...w-and-cooling/
 
1 members found this post helpful.
Old 09-10-2019, 01:02 PM   #12
nobahn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Great Lakes region
Distribution: LinuxMint 17.3 & OpenSUSE 12.3 KDE
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Thumbs up response to michaelk

Quote:
Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
A typical home computer has a CPU cooling fan as well as a case fan and maybe GPU fans besides the power supply fan.
I had quite forgotten about that.

Quote:
The case fan will usually suck air in from the front and blow it out the rear. Adding extra fans depending on their specs and where they are placed may not provide better cooling.

https://www.howtogeek.com/303078/how...w-and-cooling/
Thanks for the link!
 
Old 09-10-2019, 02:33 PM   #13
ondoho
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2013
Posts: 12,304
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309
Sorry, but how is this SOLVED now?
 
Old 09-11-2019, 12:52 AM   #14
nobahn
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Sep 2013
Location: Great Lakes region
Distribution: LinuxMint 17.3 & OpenSUSE 12.3 KDE
Posts: 25

Original Poster
Blog Entries: 2

Rep: Reputation: 0
Smile responding to question by user ondoho

ondoho

I'm not a frequent poster here (to put it mildly), but it's my understanding that if I don't label this thread as [SOLVED], then users would still think that I was seeking input. I am satisfied that the reason that the (Linux Mint) OS was hanging was because the dust on/in the heat sink was causing the CPU to overheat. I still need to figure out an effective way to dust my room though.....
 
Old 09-11-2019, 11:46 PM   #15
ondoho
LQ Addict
 
Registered: Dec 2013
Posts: 12,304
Blog Entries: 9

Rep: Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309Reputation: 3309
^ Have you tried turning the whole machine 90 degrees like I suggested?
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
LXer: Tower Of Tiestru, A 3D Tower Defence And Strategy Game LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 08-31-2013 06:33 PM
Another Hard Drive bites the dust comprookie2000 Linux - Hardware 15 03-18-2006 09:40 PM
Questions about dual boot. My Windows XP box is collecting dust! kersten78 Linux - General 7 11-05-2004 08:14 PM
Another Win bites the dust.... Megamieuwsel General 3 05-19-2004 09:52 PM
Another one bites the dust! Jeff Foster LinuxQuestions.org Member Success Stories 3 09-25-2003 09:30 AM

LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Hardware

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:11 AM.

Main Menu
Advertisement
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration