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Thread: Practice PC # 3 Project

  1. #1
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    Practice PC # 3 Project

    Hello all! Did you have a happy Christmas and Happy New Year? I'm back with another practice PC. This one is from my friend's house, it is a Pentium 4, a desktop tower, model number S5000V, runs Windows XP. I looked at it last night, turned it on, and per my friend's wishes to fix it so it could connect to the internet so her teenaged son can use his Xbox Live with it, I found that it starts up normally, boots into its OS ok, but after going into one of my friend's kid's user acc'ts (tried 3 - 4 of them), the computer would always shut down on it's own. I didn't know why this was happening (I thought it was because my friend's brother tried to program it), but - when I opened the console, I smelled something like something inside was burning (although there was no smoke), and I was flabbergasted to find that the heatsink was dangling loosely from the mobo. I was able to lift it away from the exposed CPU, which had apparently overheated and caused the resultant shutdown, then I removed the heatsink and the CPU, cleaned the CPU with isopropyl alcohol in order to obtain the model #, which is: Pentium 4, 2.50 GHz/512/400, SL6PN, 3342A096.

    Photos coming later today.

    Neither the CPU, heatsink, nor the mobo has any scorch marks on them as far as I can tell. Will I have to replace these with new components from NewEgg/Tiger Direct/Amazon.com?

    Is the CPU/mobo/heatsink fried?
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  2. #2
    Pentiums of that era simply clock down/shut down if they get too hot. I think all you need to do is to apply some thermal grease to the CPU and refit the heatsink. Clean the heatsink from dust while you're at it.

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    Thanks. Here are the pics -



    PC from my friend's house - Practice PC # 3;



    Innards of P PC # 3;



    the dangling heatsink;



    CPU before removal (sorry if its a bit blurry);



    CPU and heatsink after removal, before cleanup.

    Here are pics of the CPU -



    CPU after cleanup;



    Underside of CPU - 1st view;



    Underside of CPU - 2nd view.

    Does it look like this CPU is still good? I mean, will I have to buy a new CPU?
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 01-05-2011 at 12:45 PM.
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  4. #4
    As I said, it's very very unlikely that CPU has failed - after all, you've seen it in action. Every time you started working in windows, CPU die would gain heat until the point where it would self-sense that it's getting way too hot and it would automatically shut down to prevent damage.

    edit: I'm more worried about the heatsink retention mechanism - there must have been a reason why the entire heatsink popped off.

    edit2: the smell you noticed when you opened the cabinet was probably tobacco. Just look at all the brown gunk on the heatsink!
    Last edited by kiosk; 01-05-2011 at 04:35 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiosk View Post
    edit2: the smell you noticed when you opened the cabinet was probably tobacco. Just look at all the brown gunk on the heatsink!
    Just found out yesterday when talking to my friend that her neighbor, Steve, was working on the inside of this PC, and that at the time he was a smoker. So I reckon you might be right, Kiosk. Anyway, I'm glad the CPU isn't fried. But how to securely re-attach that heatsink so that it doesn't pop off/fall off again?

    My friend said this PC wasn't shutting off (like it was doing for me) when she was on it, and she guessed that the heatsink came off when the computer was moved from her house, rode in the car over to my house, and walked up the stairs in our house (by me) to my office.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiosk View Post
    I'm more worried about the heatsink retention mechanism - there must have been a reason why the entire heatsink popped off.
    That was my first thought. I have seen the bracket of that type broken on many occasions. The part that the heatsink clips onto snapped.

    If that is the case you will need to see if you can get a replacement bracket from HP or by a new compatible third party heatsink/fan that has its own bracket.

    Last time that happened to one of the systems I was working on I got lucky. I have a regular customer that had an old Dell that had a bad board, so she bought a new system and left the old one with me. About a month later she brought over her friends Dell that was almost the exact same model that had a broken HSF bracket. Lucky for all of us the bracket from the old dead board worked fine on her friends system and all was well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    That was my first thought. I have seen the bracket of that type broken on many occasions. The part that the heatsink clips onto snapped.
    Is it really broken? How can I tell if it has snapped?


    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    If that is the case you will need to see if you can get a replacement bracket from HP or by a new compatible third party heatsink/fan that has its own bracket.
    I'd rather not just get a replacement bracket - I'd rather get a replacement heatsink/fan with its own brackets.

    After we returned from taking Mom out to dinner (she's 82 years old today) at Red Robin, I removed the mobo from this PC, cleaned the bottom of the HS, but this was before I read Jlreich's reply about the HS bracket snapping.
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    You will have to pull off the HSF and take a good look at the bracket paying particular attention to the four spots where the HSF clips into the bracket.
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    My friend also told me that she wants me to get this PC hooked up to the wireless internet, and from what I've seen of the PC's rump, it looks like its original internet card requires a telephone cord to be plugged into the little squareish socket on the card's mounting bracket. So just now I've checked office depot and best buy, and found these wifi USB - will this satisfy my friend's needs?

    http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...g-USB-Adapter/

    and

    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/NETGEAR+...ract_desc=null
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    Either one is fine. This is assuming your friend already has a wireless router. I would check if it is a G or N router. If it is N then an N dongle would be about the same price and faster.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    Either one is fine. This is assuming your friend already has a wireless router. I would check if it is a G or N router. If it is N then an N dongle would be about the same price and faster.
    Ok, I'll check her router to see if it's wireless and whether G or N. The friend doesn't want to spend too much money on this PC, so it looks like I'll have to pay for some of these repairs/improvements out of my pocket and not ask her to reimburse me for parts since about a month ago, I told my friends that I'd be willing to fix their computers for free. I did buy a Windows XP Professional OS reinstallation CD from ebay for $20 last week, it didn't look nor say it was the 64-bit version of XP, so I ordered it.

    Now, about the heatsink/fan, I found out why it had came off of the mobo - look at these photos, please -





    I don't know if that white label on the side of the HS/F is the model number/serial number or not, or not, but I googled it and I came up with a bunch of listings - some from Delta Electronics, Online Global Parts, PC Loft, and Pacific Geek. Check these out, please

    http://www.google.com/#q=Delta+AFB07...05a7bb65e82229

    I want very much to be able to fix this PC for my friend's son, so I'll have to either get a new HS/F very cheaply, get a new bracket, or wire the HS/F to the mobo mounting bracket - see pics of the mobo mounting bracket:





    What do you think my best option is in this situation?

    Plus, I'll also have to shell out some cash for canned air since her PC has dust bunnies among its hardware, so how much do you think its going to cost me to fix this computer?
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 01-12-2011 at 10:49 PM.
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  12. #12
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    The clips on the HSF being broken is much better than the bracket being broken. Have a look here for compatible HSF for s478. Pick your poison. I can recommend the Thermaltake as I have used it before and $20 is a good price.

    Don't take cash out of you pocket to do the repairs. If you want to do the work for free that's great, but they should buy the parts. If they don't have the cash for the wireless dongle, assuming they have a wireless router anyway, then it can wait. It can easily be added later on when they have the cash.

    Unless I am missing something looks like all you (they) need is $20 for the HSF and a few buck for some canned air and the machine should be functional.
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    Quote Originally Posted by jlreich View Post
    Unless I am missing something looks like all you (they) need is $20 for the HSF and a few buck for some canned air and the machine should be functional.
    Just got home from this friend's house and found out that they do not have a wireless router - they have a wired router instead. The friend (Tami) mentioned to me a couple of weeks ago that she was thinking about getting wireless internet. Today I told her I'd have to get her a wireless router and the USB wifi, and she asked me how much is that going to cost? Her family is on a tight budget, and she asked me to price the wireless router and the USB wifi.

    Jlreich, I'll go for that $20 HSF that you found for me.

    EDIT - Found that $20 HSF you mentioned - it has free shipping. I've put it in my Newegg cart, but before I order it, are you positive it'll be a good fit for that mobo?

    EDIT 2 - Found this wireless router at office depot for $30 http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...uter-150-Mbps/

    This router = $30, + the HSF = $20, + the OS reinstallation CD = $20, plus the USB wifi = $18 grand total = $88, plus the price of canned air. Should I factor in the price of the canned air in the bill for parts that Tami will have to reimburse me for? Found the canned air with the longest snout is less than $7 (but they hide the tax amt always, always, always, to goad you into buying, hehehehe).

    Anyway, Tami's teenaged son's (the kid whom she's giving this PC to for his Xbox Live) bedroom is upstairs from the ground floor in their house, their main PC is in a tiny office on the ground floor just off from their living room, and, if I'm not mistaken, I believe that 2 of Tami's teenaged daughters have a bedroom in their basement while the 3rd daughter has a bedroom next to the front door of the house, on the ground floor, and that she wants to give each kid their own PC with wireless internet. If this is the case, do you know if this wireless router I picked out at Office Depot and that USB wifi will do the job adequately so Tami's kids can get onto the internet, even if it's all the kids on the internet at the same time and Tami can still receive telephone calls on top of all that?
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 01-13-2011 at 09:19 PM.
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    Here's the canned air I found at Office Depot http://www.officedepot.com/a/product...ned-Air-12-oz/

    I believe this will do the job of cleaning out all the dust bunnies, but how far will 12 ounces go?

    I believe this is the HSF you recommended, Jlreich, correct?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835106606
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    Quote Originally Posted by AlienBZ View Post

    I believe this is the HSF you recommended, Jlreich, correct?

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16835106606
    Ok, I just ordered this HSF for $20, free S & H.

    Now to wait until Tues. to let Tami know how much that wireless router, canned air, and the USB wifi is going to cost her.

    Now what do I do with that dead PSU (from Practice PC # 1), and that broken HSF (from Practice PC # 3)?
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 01-14-2011 at 10:00 PM.
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    I would rather see you go with a known decent brand for the router like this one. But I would not be opposed to getting the one you linked to.

    This USB N dongle looks decent. I have another model of Rosewill adapter and it has worked just fine for almost three years.

    Yes that is the HSF.

    do you know if this wireless router I picked out at Office Depot and that USB wifi will do the job adequately so Tami's kids can get onto the internet, even if it's all the kids on the internet at the same time and Tami can still receive telephone calls on top of all that?
    It should not effect her phone in any way. As far as getting good signal all around the house there is no way for me to know. It depends on the houses construction materials, large furniture and appliances in the way, where the wireless router is placed, and other variables on how well the signal will be.

    Best bet is when you get one wireless dongle setup take it around to these various places and see how well the signal is. Of course this would be easiest if you have a laptop that you can turn off the onboard wireless and carry around.
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    Wouldn't it be wise to get the computer working before ordering any wireless accessories? I think you are burdening the donkey before reviving it from it's 'nap'.

    Also, you say this is for practice, yet it is also for profit as they will reimburse you even if so slightly? And you say they are on a tight budget, yet there is a plan to set up 4 wireless stations above and beyond the hard wired main PC yet they don't want to pay you squat?

    I hate Dongles. I would install a wireless pci card any day of the week instead of relying on a USB gizmo...

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    From what I got thay are looking for prices in order to plan. But yes the main system needs to be fixed before router and adapter are worried about.

    I like wireless dongles myself. They can be moved and even put on a cable to get a better signal.
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    Well, people, the Thermaltake HSF arrived yesterday,



    and I noticed that there is a white square on the bottom of this new HSF - which I suspect is a thermal plate that was applied at the factory.



    I never encountered this before (so far, I had experience with removing HSF's from 2 PC's, but none of them had this) but I didn't try to remove it, I just went ahead and reinserted the CPU into the mobo, put thermal paste onto the top surface of the CPU, put the new HSF on top of the CPU, and I figured out how to latch the HSF onto the mobo bracket.





    Now the one remaining thing to get before replacing the mobo back into the PC console is to get canned air to clean out the dust bunnies from that mobo.

    Quote Originally Posted by FTT View Post
    I hate Dongles. I would install a wireless pci card any day of the week instead of relying on a USB gizmo...
    Oh yeah - I was getting a bit mixed up there, confusing the USB wifi with the wireless wifi card - but now I'd go with the wireless wifi card, now that I realize the difference between the 2.


    What do you think, guys?
    Last edited by AlienBZ; 01-20-2011 at 03:36 PM.
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    Take the HS back off and take a look at the white area again. That is a thermal heat sink pad. There may be a clear cellophane that needs to be peeled off and you do NOT want to put any additional paste on the CPU if you use the pad. If you choose, you can remove the pad and use heat sink compound, but not both. There may not be a cellophane but you still need to use one or the other.

    At this point, you probably should take it all off with alcohol and use Arctic Silver, as most likely the pad is now distorted.

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by FTT View Post
    At this point, you probably should take it all off with alcohol and use Arctic Silver, as most likely the pad is now distorted.
    Do this with an alcohol-soaked rag. An old cotton sock will work wonders on your heatsink. First rub off everything with a dry sock, and apply alcohol only when there are trace amounts of old thermal paste on the heatsink. Rub and rub until the heatsink becomes shiny. Do the same with the CPU (but don't overdo the rubbing thing).

    You might find that this constraption of yours will cool the CPU better than the factory-installed one - it always pays to invest an extra minute or two in order to get much better results.

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    The HSF most likely came with a molded plastic cover to protect the thermal pad so it likely won't have cellophane on it. [I have yet to see cellophane on a HSF. Something they used to do years ago apparently] But definitely pull it back off and clean it up and reapply thermal compound.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTT View Post
    take a look at the white area again. That is a thermal heat sink pad. There may be a clear cellophane that needs to be peeled off and you do NOT want to put any additional paste on the CPU if you use the pad. If you choose, you can remove the pad and use heat sink compound, but not both. There may not be a cellophane but you still need to use one or the other.

    At this point, you probably should take it all off with alcohol and use Arctic Silver, as most likely the pad is now distorted.
    Will do. This is something to chalk up as learning experience. What happens if you use both the thermal pad and thermal compound (curious)? And what do you mean by the thermal pad being distorted - how/why is it distorted?
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    What happens if you use both the thermal pad and thermal compound (curious)?
    Using both renders both less effective.
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    Quote Originally Posted by FTT View Post
    Take the HS back off and take a look at the white area again. That is a thermal heat sink pad. There may be a clear cellophane that needs to be peeled off and you do NOT want to put any additional paste on the CPU if you use the pad. If you choose, you can remove the pad and use heat sink compound, but not both. There may not be a cellophane but you still need to use one or the other.

    At this point, you probably should take it all off with alcohol and use Arctic Silver, as most likely the pad is now distorted.
    Took the HSF back off the mobo, the thermal pad was no longer there,



    so I followed your advice, FTT, and proceeded to clean the HSF, ending up with a shiny surface,



    next I cleaned the CPU,





    but I got some of the compound on the "teeth" of the underside of the CPU and tried to clean it off of the "teeth." I hope I didn't damage the CPU?



    Have to wait until I get the canned air to clean off the mobo before replacing it back into the console, and as per Tami's wishes, I found this wireless PCI wifi card at Newegg for $15 + $3 S & H.

    http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...-021-_-Product

    Is this a good buy (after I get the PC up, running, and give my friend (Tami) an estimate on the price of the wireless router and the wifi card)?
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