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July 19, 2016

Too Darn Hot!

Filed under: Main — Tags: , — admin @ 12:01 am

My son’s PC has an annoying habit of restarting. It goes just fine for days, then it will run for 20 minutes, restart, and repeat that cycle all day long. Seeing how I’ve written books on PC troubleshooting, I figured that I would take a stab at fixing the thing.

So I did what my Troubleshooting book recommends: The system is under warranty, I took it into the shop.

Yes, this is the blessing of buying local: Because I purchased the system at a “Mom & Pop” store, I was able to drive across town and drop off the PC for evaluation. If the problem was under warranty, they’d fix it at no charge.

My guess is that the system was getting too hot. That could be due to a number of reasons. For example, my son runs a high-end graphics card in his PC, which requires a lot of power and it can make the system run hot. Regardless, I dropped off the system.

The technicians troubleshooted (troubleshot?) the computer for a while. Instantly they figured that the hard drive was about to go. I didn’t know that the hard drive was a problem, probably because I’m not around that many hard drives and am unable to hear the sound of malfunctioning bearings.

Replacing the hard drive was a good move. The original system had only a 500GB drive, which was far too small capacity. So I had the shop install a 3TB secondary drive. This was a good move, first to replace the ailing, smaller hard drive, but also because we had a backup so nothing was lost.

Anyway, the shop replaced the drive, re-installed Windows and, $300 later, returned the unit.

We ran the system for a while and it seemed okay . . . until, it restarted again.

My guess at this point was that the power supply was to blame. Perhaps it wasn’t providing enough power for the video card and that’s why the thing reset? (And why the shop didn’t figure this out is anyone’s guess. I figure they thought that the problem was the hard drive and left it at that.)

After opening the case, I noted the power supply was 350 watts. So I ordered a 500W power supply.

In the meantime, the system still reset. My son knew it was getting hot, and the summer heat doesn’t help any. So we waited until the next blog post for the new power supply to arrive.


  1. A common problem, fault A is caused by B commonly fix B there problem fixed. I have been fixing things that have just had the ‘common’ problem fixed for people for years!

    Comment by glennp — July 20, 2016 @ 9:29 am

  2. In this instance, it was definitely the “squeaky wheel” that got fixed, and actually didn’t fix the problem. The new hard drive is nice, but I could have replaced it for far less than $300. And it would have been a perfect clone, so we wouldn’t need to restore from the backup.

    Long story short: We eventually fixed it, but you’ll have to wait a week to read how!

    Comment by admin — July 20, 2016 @ 9:37 am

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