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Wonky Gibbon Ramblings

PC Freezes Randomly

Posted on March 08, 2010 by danny

An overlooked classic this one. Your PC crashes randomly. It just locks up. You can still see the screen but the mouse no move. The computer no worky.

Very commonly ,this is not caused by component failure as such but by a build up of dust and crud in the machine. A clue to this in systems that support varying fan speeds, would be the system fan running almost continuously in high speed mode.

There are a number of things you can do to help here:
– The first is to go into the BIOS and raise the temperature at which the motherboard shuts down the CPU. A low setting can lead to the BIOS being over cautios and shutting down the CPU at to low a temperature.
– The second, and most important, thing to do – is to get a can of compressed air and blast it through the fins of the CPU heatsink. Dust on the heatsink drastically reduces the airflow available and in doing so, horribly reduces the effectiveness of the heatsink. If great clouds of dust fly out the other side of the heatsink – you’ve probably done yourself a favor. If you don’t have any canned air to hand you can always try lung power – but it isn’t as effective and tends to lead to coughing fits after inhalnig the disturbed dust. Which isn’t great!
– Third as a long term preventative, if possible re-site the computer. In our house ther computer which suffers most from this, is the Media Center. This lives close to the ground (under the TV) about an inch or so above the carpet. A very dust prone environment. Moving it higher or enclosing it in some sort of glass fronted TV cabinaet, would relieve the problem greatly.

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