I have very strange problem... first, some details:

  • Windows 8.1 Pro
  • motherboard: ASUS Z87-A
  • Intel core i7-4770k
  • CPU cooler: Corsair H90 (hydro)
  • chassis: thermaltake mk-1

I've encrypted my system partition with BitLocker and when it asks for a password before boot the whole box shuts down (like someone pulls the power cable) for a couple of seconds. I can make my way to OS only by entering the password very fast, otherwise this "reset" occurs and I need to start over. If I go to BIOS after such "reset", I can see CPU temperature going down from larger values and settling at about 30C. So looks like this is overheating.

But I installed ASUS AI Suite to look at CPU temperature while running OS and I noticed that even when I run 7-zip benchmark (which is using all CPU cores fully) the CPU temperature never goes above 38C. And also in any case (in OS or not) the air that flows from inside chassis is cold (in every direction).

What may cause cooler failing before full OS boot, but not after? Is it a Windows bug, or it's my fault (bad cooler assembling and installing)? What can be done to save my hardware from possible damage from overheating and abrupt shutdowns?

I know only one trick so far, but not sure if it's really safe — set up another password in BIOS, so if PC is restarted when I'm away, it won't enter endless loop of (overheat, shutdown, start over). But it's annoying even in this case, and I'm sure it's not healthy for CPU, too.

Also I should note that when I installed cooler, I was struggling with it for hours and I accidentally massaged the thermal grease a bit before I was able to install it. (the thermal grease was on the cooler from the beginning)
But it this is the issue, I would have problems with overheating while the OS is running, too, right?
Maybe I should try updating BIOS? (I suspect it's dangerous process that can brick motherboard in case of accidental interruption)

Update: encoding lots of music with FLACCL (which uses OpenCL / runs mostly on GPU, which is inside CPU) also doesn't make any more heat. So seems like in OS the cooling works good.

Update 2: switched to self-encrypting SSD for system disk, arranged BitLocker to use this feature (instead of using CPU for encryption), but this problem is still there.

Update 3: I sold that computer, so I won't be able to test any other solutions…

  • Does your fan spin up on boot? Some BIOS like to be "helpful" and spin down the fans...sometimes too much. – Nathan C Apr 11 '14 at 14:44
  • Yes... maybe there's a speed difference which I don't see/hear, but they are all certainly spinning all the time. – Display Name Apr 11 '14 at 14:45
  • A lot of times you may notice that on the post screen, the temp will rise. During this time, it is not uncommon for power management features to not be utilized, such as throttling. Depending on the BIOS, it may use the power management features just like Windows does. Do you have a external secondary thermometer? Something that has the small probes that you could place near the waterblock of the H90? – user76211 Apr 11 '14 at 14:54
  • No, I don't have a separate thermometer, unfortunately. And yes, the BIOS (it's UEFI) works fine, CPU temperature stays at 30C while I'm there. – Display Name Apr 11 '14 at 15:45
  • 30°C is NO overheating. Overheating would be over 60-70°C is something you should look at. – magicandre1981 Apr 11 '14 at 18:33

Update: actually this doesn't help to get rid of reboots.

I have found a workaround and decided to post it as an answer, but it doesn't properly solve the problem so I don't want to mark it as accepted.
In BIOS there are among others a CPU setting called "Q-FAN" or something like this. If set to "manual" mode, it has 4 parameters: upper and lower bound for CPU temperature and upper and lower bound for CPU fan speed. I have set temperature bounds to 30..38 C degrees, and fan speed bounds both to 100%. (that means, CPU fan should always spin with maximum speed) After these changes, CPU fan seems to make maximum noise before OS power management with more clever settings kicks in.
This may not be optimal, but it seems to lower probability of this annoying problem.
Also I guess that the proper solution will be available only after another BIOS update from ASUS... I tried updating to current latest version and it didn't improve anything.

  • If you could rule out overheating (back then), it was probably another case of BitLocker causing random shutdowns during password prompt. Like described here: superuser.com/questions/709642/… – glaed Jun 25 '17 at 10:50
  • 1
    yeah, I think it was not overheating. just a regular level of bad luck when proprietary software meets proprietary hardware made by different vendors, etc. – Display Name Jun 25 '17 at 11:33

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