Solved Tower PC stops working if upright; continues if horizointal

Gateway Atxstf
February 16, 2014 at 02:49:31
Specs: Win7 Ult x32, 4Gb
The desktop (tower) PC has been suddenly 'dying' without notice, after varying numbers of minutes. The CPU heatsink fan stops turning, but a LED on the motherboard stays lit. I experimented with the RAM sims and slots, but got very inconsistent results. I tried to run MEMTEST to get a 'sophisticated' evaluation of the RAM, but the PC kept dying before the test ended. I thought I had heard some 'arcing' noise, so my next suspect was power supply. A replacement 'fixed the problem' ONLY while the PC was left on its side; when it was turned upright - as a tower is supposed to be - the problem returned. Any suggestions what loose connection to look for ?

Basty


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#1
February 16, 2014 at 03:30:16
✔ Best Answer
That usually means the heatsink and/or fan isn't properly attached to the CPU.

When the case is on it's side, gravity keeps the heatsink and fan in close contact with the CPU,

But when the case is standing upright, gravity allows the heatsink and fan to partially fall away from the CPU if not properly attached, allowing the CPU to overheat which causes the system to shutdown.

So you need to check that the heatsink and fan are properly attached.

message edited by phil22


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#2
February 16, 2014 at 05:47:19
Additionally to the above check to see if any debris have gotten in between the Motherboard and case that may be shorting something out. Also check that the MB is properly secured to the standoff's.

Mattwizz3


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#3
February 16, 2014 at 06:05:04
Also if the CPU fan stops running before the machine shuts down, suspect the fan's bearings are dirty or bad.
If the CPU heat sink is loose, follow instructions for cleaning off old thermal compound and properly reapplying new compound.
http://www.arcticsilver.com/methods...
If the heat sink is secure but the fan stops or is noisy, or is running slowly, it really needs replacing but some have reported success in removing or puncturing the paper label on the fan center and adding a tiny bit of very light oil to the fan's bearings. In these cases though, replacing the heat sink is the best answer though.
If none of these are the case, using a strong flash light, carefully examine the inside of the computer (unplugged) case to look for a loose screw floating around, missing hold down screw(s), partially unseated cards and connectors, wires that have been pinched or cut on the metal of the case or caught under screws or components, and fix accordingly.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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#4
February 16, 2014 at 14:09:38
The issue had arisen (some time) after I had replaced the heatsinkfan, because the original had been clogged with dirt, and in the process of removing it, the lugs holding it to the motherboard had broken off. The replacement was indeed found to be loose, and when tightened, the problem appears to have gone.

Basty


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#5
February 16, 2014 at 14:16:00
Check all internal connections, most likely as you move the tower it makes and breaks a connection. Look particularly at the long connector from the PSU to the motherboard as that often requires a little more pressure than others to fit properly.

Always pop back and let us know the outcome - thanks

message edited by Derek


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#6
February 16, 2014 at 20:53:58
Give it a couple of days, if the problem does not return, select a best answer to mark the thread Solved.

You have to be a little bit crazy to keep you from going insane.


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