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I got an old P4 generic PC, I want to make a good use of it as a file server. When I opened the case I discovered that the CPU Fan plastic base is broke so it isn't fully attached to the motherboard, so I leaned the case down so the fan could stay in its right position, but when I turn the PC on after few seconds it freezes and I have to manually restart it. The fan is working, could this be the real reason of the freeze or should I drop it? Thanks!

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<tongue in cheek>If the fan is broken, shouldn't it be burning up instead of freezing?</tongue in cheek> (sorry... I couldn't resist) –  Nathan Fellman Mar 3 '10 at 8:13
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It's not often I see a question that includes the answer in the title –  Manos Dilaverakis Mar 3 '10 at 8:28

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

The fan could definitely be the cause of the freezing. I would just order a cheap fan and see if that works or not. Freezing is a good indicator of over heating but it could be other things so you dont want to dump a ton of money on a replacement fan but I would at least try a cheap one.

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I just figured out that CPU thermal paste is not enough and heatsink is not close enough to the CPU. –  benoror Mar 3 '10 at 5:29

I had a similar issue once. See if you can find any utility that can read the CPU temperature. If it is close to 100C (212F) it's likely to cause the freezing you see.

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P4 has a feature where if the part overheats, it'll throttle and halt until it cools down.

Just adding thermal paste might not be a long term solution if the heatsink can't mount properly. See if you can also replace the fan mounting bracket. A quick search on Google pops up a bunch of options.

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