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Computer Beeps Than Crashes

Posted on 2004-08-14
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Last Modified: 2010-04-25
Hello -

I have a Gigabyte GA-7N400-L motherboard and am running Windows XP Pro SP1.  Recently, my computer has been crashing (powers off) with no apparent reason.  Sometimes I will have the computer on for hours before it crashes, at other times it crashes within minutes of starting up.  I believe the motherboard is sending out some type of error code because I hear a low-pitched tone, high-pitched tone, low-pitched tone, high-pitched tone and then the computer crashes.  My motherboard manual talks about tones that happen at start-up, but nothing about tones once the computer has gone through the start-up sequence.  Any suggestions?

Thanks,
Chris
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Question by:maroldch
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Wakeup earned 500 total points
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Sounds like it may be an overheating CPU.  The hi low pitch tone is generally that.  I would suggest checking temperatures before ( or when you first turn on your computer) and after failure as quickly as possible, to get approximate heat when system fails.  You can do so by going into the bios, and I belive it will have a section for system health or something...check the manual, it should tell you exactly where to go in the bios for that.  If it is not a heat issue, it may be a failing Power supply, bad CPU, or even a bad motherboard.  But I definitely suggest checking the heat first.

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by:maroldch
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I went into the BIOS (Award) and looked at the temperature when starting the computer up.  It was at 53 C. While I was recording the temperature, I noticed it began to rise quickly.  Within 3 minutes or so, it was at 75 C.  Seems like it shouldn't rise that fast, especially without using the processor?  Checked the CPU fan at it seems to be functioning properly.  The BIOS lets me set the CPU temperature alarm at 60, 70 ,80 ,90.  I set it at 80 and the alarm went off just after getting though the Windows boot sequence.  Could it be the I didn't place the fan on correctly?  I've built several computers and this is the first time I have had issues with the CPU overheating.  Thanks for your help!
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by:maroldch
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I looked up my CPU Specs (AMD XP 2500) and it said the max operating temperaure is 85.  I set the alarm in the BIOS to 90 and ran some applications that would get the CPU working.  After a couple of minutes, the alarm went off.  Also, in my reading I noticed that motherboard CPU temperature are often understanded.  So, I am going to plan on buying a fan for my case (only has power supply fan now) and buy a new CPU fan with good heatsinks.  Does this sound like something I should pursue or do you have any other suggestions?

Thanks again for the help.
Chris
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by:maroldch
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My mistake, I was opening up my case to see what model it was to figure out what type of cooling fan to get.  Already has a cooling fan for the case!  So I am at a loss now..should I still plan on buying a new CPU fan?  The CPU fan I have is rated for AMD XP processors (has a little AMD sticker on it).

Chris
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by:robinluo
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Chris,

Is this a brand computer or something you assembled from parts? AMD is infamous of CPU heating up. But given the situation that CPU temperature climbed up without any app running, I intned to think that there is loose contact between the heat sink and the CPU surface. Do you have any "thermal compound"? you may want to apply a little bit of these gel to the contact surface so CPU heat can be conducted to the heat sink more quickly.
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by:maroldch
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Thanks for the feedback.  I assembled this computer myself.  Will check that the heat sink is properly secured to the CPU also.  Will look into buying some of these gels if still having overheating probelms.  If the heatsink is seated properly, and I have put some of these gels on it and it is still overheating, could it be a problem with the CPU?

Chris
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by:Wakeup
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it could definitely be a problem with the CPU, or the motherboard.  My CPU, is an AMD 2100 plus but doesnt run over 45 Degrees Celcius. on boot up and doing hardly anything.  When in windows while playing some games and doing some work, it might get up to 55 Degrees.  But usually not.  I think that over 60 degrees celcius is not good for most systems.  Your processor can handle a MAXXXXXX operating temperature of 85, but failure of and lockups of systems can start to get bad at over 60.  I work in a computer store and see that problem very often.

I would also double check and make sure the CPU is not cracked or any of the corners broken.  Also make sure the heat sink is mounted properly, cuz they can be mounted 2 ways...1 the right way, and 2nd the wrong way which is to have to lip of the heatsink on the wrong way.
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by:burrcm
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Get some Arctic silver thermal paste or similar. The older white pastes cannot handle the high temps of which these processors are capable, and will boil off, followed by CPU failure.

Chris B
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by:daleoran
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Hi maroldch
Could you try running the computer with the covers of the base unit. Let the fan push around fresh air and not recycled hot air.
Also check if there is anything blocking the fan - maybe when the cover is put back on it's pressing leads or cables against the fan.

Michael

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by:maroldch
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Thanks for all the help.

Took of the heatsink and realized it was mounted wrong (DOPE) -- thanks Wakeup.  So I remounted the heatsink the proper way and it was still overheating.  So I figured that the processor was fried.  Bought a new processor and everything seems to be running fine and cool.

Chris
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