thermal error dell optiplex gx270

"Alert! Previous shutdown due to thermal error. F1 to continue, F2 for setup menu"

I keep getting this message. If I press F1 and contine, then the machine will shutdown automatically while trying to load up Windows XP. Then, when I attempt another reboot, it will again display the above alert. Please help me!

Thanks!
ReledsupportAsked:
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ReledsupportAuthor Commented:
For future reference, I found a few of the capacitors around the fan had busted open. So, it is definitely a motherboard problem. Thanks for the replies though!
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flubbsterCommented:
Check to see if your fans are operating correctly. If you can't tell from the outside, open the case and viually check the fan operation while turning the system on.
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rindiCommented:
Clean out all dust, remove the heatsink from the CPU and clean it's and the CPU's surface very thoroughly from any residue. Then apply a very small drop of fresh thermal transfer paste to the CPU and firmly reattach the heatsink to it.
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ReledsupportAuthor Commented:
Discovered this solution on my own.
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MbrincatCommented:
The GX 270 were prone to having expanding capasitors, Dell replaced about 200 motherboards for them on warrenty for us back in 2007... absolute nightmare!
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Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
Dell did extend their warranty for this type of issue beyond the standard 3 years, to 5 years, iirc.  You may want to call them and ask nicely.  

We were going through about 1 a week for a year, from a fleet of about 100 PCs.
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