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Troubleshooting possible ATI 3d Pro Turbo overheating

Posted on 1998-04-30
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Last Modified: 2013-11-10
After a year of off and on page faults, gpf, and assorted other errors, hangs, and crashes, and replacing CPU, motherboard, and video card, I've determined that if room temperature gets hot enough, my problems start.

This happens at any time, running any (or no) software, but since I added a third fan to my 2 fan ATX case (#1 - cpu, #2 power supply, and now #3 front case fan) my troubles go away.

 I have a Gigabyte ATX HX MB with P166 (non MMX) 32 mb EDO ram and ATI 3d pro-turbo pctv video board w/ 4 mb video ram.

My question is (since my symptoms are never consistant with program, type error or crash, or amount of time of use before a problem) how can I issolate either what board, component, chip, etc. is the culprit?  In order of quantity of problems, I get mostly -

Page faults with program crashes
Total black outs then full reset (just like I pressed the button!)
Bluescreen errors that when I "press any key"  gives me a totally scrambled video with lockup.
Just scrambled video and lockups.

I should also add that I have no system "!"s in control panal, I've spent months fine tuning WIN95 to run perfectly (if thats even possible) and have the system running optimized.  Up until two days ago (when the room temp exceded 85 deg.  I haven't had any of these problems for 6 months.  No software changes, system changes or settings were made in the last month.  I'd left the 3rd fan off for noise reasons since last fall without problems. Once my trouble started, I plugged it in to test the theory and now again have no more trouble.  

Are there certain errors and crashes associated with overheating video, memory, cpu, powersupply, etc.?
Also, can the power supply fan that's now blowing hot air on the motherboard be reversed without then overheating the powersupply?   Thanks, Ken
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Question by:hardlock
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jhance earned 100 total points
ID: 1134876
Temperature can absolutely cause the kinds of problems you were seeing.  You proved it yourself by solving the problem with an extra cooling fan.  One technique used by technicians to isolate such heat problems is the use of a hot air gun (or even a hair blow drier) to heat up boards or parts selectively and watching for failures.  Then you use a can of "freeze" spray to chill things down and see if the problem clears up.  In almost all cases with electronic components, heat causes performance degredation.  So in your case, some component in your system may be "on the edge".  When enough heat builds up the margins are gone and failure happens.  You could use this method to isolate which board in your system (and it might be the motherboard) is the heart of the problem and replace it.

On your other question on the PS fan.  They can be reversed, usually be opening up the PS case and flipping the fan over.  I'd be careful with this, though.  If it's taking cool air from outside the case, by reversing it you may indeed overheat the PS by feeding it warn case air instead.

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by:rmarotta
ID: 1134877
Hi Ken,
Try a substitute power supply.....  You said you changed everything else.
You might hasten the problem if you cover the fan opening on the power supply for a time.
Double-check CPU's voltage & frequency.
Regards,
Ralph

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by:hardlock
ID: 1134878
Thanks guys - good info.
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