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General System Overheating Problems
Explanation: The system is exhibiting behavior that suggests that there may be an overheating problem with a component, or with the system as a whole. Usually the symptoms that suggest this are heat that is noticeably felt inside the case or on a component, or erratic behavior such as system lockups.
Diagnosis: Overheating is one of the main enemies of a reliable system. A PC that runs hot will have a shorter life span for its components, and at extremes of temperature, the possibility exists that the system will be unstable. It is even possible (though rare) for the overheating components to be damaged. The importance of system cooling is discussed in more detail here. One problem with diagnosing overheating problems is that symptoms can be related. For example, a processor overheating can lead to other components overheating; similarly, ventilation problems within the system case can exacerbate a problem cooling a processor that runs hot.
Recommendation: Turn on the PC and run it for about an hour with the case on, in the way you normally would use it on a daily basis. Then perform the following checks:
Warning: Be very careful when
checking components for their heat level. You want to make sure you do not burn yourself,
and you want to make sure you do not zap the component with static electricity. Before you
test any component for its heat level, ground yourself on the case of the power supply
box, and only touch the component at first for a fraction of a second until you can verify
if it is really hot or not.