PC powers off with "thermal" error and Im left at F1 to startup or F something to boot



PC reboots.

4 year old Dell PC.

Error on start-up

Something like the pc shut down due to a "thermal" problem.

I didnt have a lot of time to test it but here are the findings so far:  I had 30 mins before the office shut fr the afternoon – going back tomorrow – homework time now.
Will boot into safe mode.
Reboots itself while on the way to windows normal mode.
Occasionally goes into windows.
PC has been left on 24/7 for the past year.
I opened the PC up and both fans are spinning
There is no dust on the fans and the vents are clear.

Anyone any ideas?







wordedAsked:
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asian_niceguyConnect With a Mentor Commented:
had a few GX270's all die from thermal event errors at work with same symptoms. each time Dell had to replace the motherboard, as one of the capacitors had blown. looks like yours is gone too.
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darrenakinCommented:
Reseat the processor and check quick silver, or thermal paste.
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wordedAuthor Commented:

Thanks > I was thinking of this as they moved the PC and the processor could have come undone form the heat sink.

Odd thing is it goes into safe mode every time I tried. And it was happy to do a memory test on boot for 15 mins.

Anyone else any ideas?
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darrenakinCommented:
Boot into your BIOS and see if you have a screen to monitor the temps and voltages. See if it will stay up a while in BIOS while you are monitoring temps.
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wordedAuthor Commented:

Its a 4 year old Dell and something tells me it wont have temp settings in the bios but I will look.

Had a fast look there when on site and I didnt see any but was under pressure and could have missed it.

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dlangrCommented:
safe mode works and normal mode mostly does not, also memory checking is taking a very long time, therefore i suspect a memory problem... try switching the memory.
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wordedAuthor Commented:


I did run a memory test using a boot utility but I didnt run it for long as we didnt want to leave the PC on over night.
Will run one tomorrow for a longer time.  Or swap the memory to another working PC and see if it gives the same results
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PUNKYCommented:
There are thermal detections in dell system, and one of them is hard driver thermal detection. This issue I have seen several times, and you can see error messages during POST. What is your Dell model?
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wordedAuthor Commented:

Dell optiplex GX260

So it could be the hard drive is over heating?
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wordedAuthor Commented:


I did a google "Dell optiplex GX260 thermall error" and got Faulty capacitors as a probable cause.  Anyone any comments?
http://techrepublic.com.com/5206-6230-0.html?forumID=5&threadID=184286&start=0
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PUNKYCommented:
Only the "thermal" appeared as error during post? It should give more such as "Hard drive failed due to thermal ..." or else. Well, if error message is not completed, it is hard to id problem because it could be many likely issues! CPU + Heat sink as posted above, bad hard drive, blown cap, etc. I have seen on my Precision systems at work but only one has gone so far ....
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wordedAuthor Commented:


Whats the max temp for a mother board normally, I will look int he bios.

Whats the chances of it being a fan give a false error?  There a second sys there - will I bother swapping the fan?
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PUNKYCommented:
The normal temperature is about 50 - 60 C degrees, but default setting might be differ. There is options in BIOS that you can turn off thermal detect, but I dont know if there is one in your model. Let take a look!

The hard drive thermal used to a copper piece with the wire connected to front panel switch, you can disable it by unplug it (must turn off in bios first).
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asian_niceguyCommented:
the chances of the fan giving a false error are small.. if the fan did fail then the error message would explicitly mention that there was a fan failure. (on the dell PC's anyway).. look at all the capacitors on your MB (the cylinder things).. one of the capacitors marked 'L' or 'X' should be slightly larger than normal, signifying the blown cap.
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FreshcafeCommented:
It still could be the thermal paste needs renewing , the processor working less effort when testing other areas foold the system and bypasse the temp warning so darrenakin was quite right to suggest it and still may be. The other lerned user could also be correct but if you cannot see physical signs of overheating (especially with both fans going - there should be at least 1 that turns on when needed ) I would check the processor and heat transfer. In your BIOS it should be monitored under Hardware monitoring or System monitoring etc (cannot remember hoe the DELL Bios phrases it but it will be there). If it isn't update your BIOS soon as you can, that was put into effect more than 4 years now.  
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FreshcafeCommented:
Just realised my keyboard is missing strokes because the battery is low - Sorry.
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