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Computer Stuff I Don't Understand Help? Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:02 PM

:blush:

I think I need some "computer-whiz" help. Lemme explain:

Whenever I start my computer, it goes through a few "pages" I've never tried to understand, because they always eventually end up at my "screen" (a picture of a mountain), from whence I can go wherever I want, including here, RN.

Well last couple times I started it (including just a little while ago) there was a new thing: It stopped on one of the usual opening stages, then added the following message:

Alert! System thermal solution compromised. Replace system cover and reboot.
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility.


The first time it happened, I hit F1. And sure enough it just kept going and I eventually got to my "screen", as always before. But then next time it happened I tried F2 and was taken to a page with whole reams of computer-gibberish that was completely Greek to me. I finally figured out how to "exit" that page, but nothing else.

Can anybody reading this explain what's happening, and what I'm supposed to do to remedy it? I don't want this computer to meet the same fate as my previous computer. So whenever anything "potentially bad" happens, I wanna be sure to jump on it quickly, instead of just ignoring it.

Do any of you who are more computer-savvy than me understand any of this? Can you offer any advice?

:confused:
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#2 User is online   tailgunner 

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:17 PM

Is it a dell? Doing a search for "Alert! System thermal solution compromised. Replace system cover and reboot.
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility."

Comes up with a overheating problem. Any repair shops you can take it to? Could be a bad fan, dirty or lose cpu heatsink. Open it up and look for a lot of dust, dirt.
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#3 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 06:21 PM

Thanks! I'll try to figure out how to do that (Open it up.) If I can't figure it out, I'll ask friends who live nearby.

Thanks again.

:thumbsup:
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#4 User is offline   Moderator T 

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:32 PM

View PostMontyPython, on 17 June 2019 - 06:21 PM, said:

Thanks! I'll try to figure out how to do that (Open it up.) If I can't figure it out, I'll ask friends who live nearby.

Thanks again.

:thumbsup:


Without seeing the case your computer is in: There should be 2 screws, probably big enough to be turned by hand, on the back side where all the plugs are at. Removing them should let you slide the side off of the computer. If its excessively dirty/dusty inside, buy one of those cans of compressed air from the office supply store or Walmart and clean it out. You can find a video on Youtube showing you how if you're worried about breaking something.
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#5 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:49 PM

I agree with out dear Moderator, it's overheating. Probably from a dust and fuzz build up. In lamens terms much the same effect if the coils on a Air Conditioner become clogged. It prevents it from exchanging heat and therefore won't work right. One thing I will tell ya' though. When you do open it up you might want to do it slowly and have a vacume handy. Lots of dust and crud can go flying, having the vac handy could save you face full of crud. Just have the thing on and near the case when you open.

One thing you can also do is the following.

IF and I do mean IF you know someone with an air compressor and they have a moisture/air separator you can also blast the thing out using that. The reason a lot of techies will not recommend this is 1. Because if their is no separator you can inadvertently hit the thing with moisture(that is very very bad) and 2. if you don't have the pressure dialed down down some(maybe 20-30 PSI tops) you can damage components. Personally speaking I prefer using an air compressor that has a air/moisture separator and the pressure is dialed down.

Something else that could be happening is the CPU fan is failing(CPU is the brain of the PC). With the cover off and the thing blasted out you will see a larger fan that is touching/sitting against a large metal grate looking thing. The fan should be on. If not then it's bad. No magic trick or knowledge to replace. Basically if it looks like a duck, smells like a duck, sounds like a duck and sh$T$ like a duck... it must be a duck. I doubt that's the case because you will usually get specific alarms and warning stating this.


OR... you can solve the issue in typical biker fashion by pouring cheap bear on it...
Just kidding, don't waste the beer as it will probably short circuit the damn thing.

Oki
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#6 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 10:59 PM

View Posttailgunner, on 17 June 2019 - 06:17 PM, said:

Is it a dell? Doing a search for "Alert! System thermal solution compromised. Replace system cover and reboot.
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility."

Comes up with a overheating problem. Any repair shops you can take it to? Could be a bad fan, dirty or lose cpu heatsink. Open it up and look for a lot of dust, dirt.

^This^.

It's most likely a bad fan on the CPU or the power supply or the video card if you have a higher end gaming type that requires them.

The power supply is usually on the back at the top of the case where the power cord connects to. The CPU fan is mounted on the CPU heat sink which is usually on the middle area of the motherboard. Some computers have an extra fan in the front to pull air in across the hard drives too.

Make sure that both/all of the fans do spin easily when turned by hand or see if they are spinning while the computer is powered on. If they are stiff, they need to either be oiled or replaced. They are pretty cheap and easy to replace.

They do get dusty and their bearings do get dry and sticky and they can lock up with age.

The same dust buildup goes for any case air filters, heat pipe tubes on the RAM heat sink, CPU heat sink, power supply vent grille holes, etc.
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#7 User is offline   MontyPython 

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Posted 17 June 2019 - 11:53 PM

OK, careful, LOL, we're starting to get deep into terms & territory that are Greek again. But I have made some progress:

I have figured out the "spring" device that makes the whole side come off to expose the largest portion of the interior. I have acquired one of those "air spray" aerosol can thingies, and will clean this area out as much as I can.

But this side-removal action doesn't open the area I suspect needs cleaning most: The "caged-off" section at the top in the back. It's where I can hear the most noise, and where the main power chord comes out. I'll try to find some way to access this portion.

(Later) Drat. The aerosol can thingy was almost empty. After a few seconds it ran out.

Oh well, I have made some progress, and will get a new aerosol-air can as soon during the next couple days as possible. Trouble is, my girlfriend is out of town visiting friends until Wednesday night, leaving me with no car to get to the store until then. So I won't be able to make any more progress for a couple days. But I will be on top of this as soon as possible.

Thanks everybody for the advice and instructions. I really appreciate it.

:)
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#8 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:04 AM

The caged in thingy is the power supply.

Of course make sure that it's unplugged from the wall outlet first before attempting to remove any cover from it or cleaning it. There is a fan inside of it. Take the plastic straw extension from the canned duster (non metallic) and try to rotate the fan blade a few turns through the cover to make sure that it is free and that the outer edges of the blades are not caught on a built up hardened ring of dust in it's frame.

Also locate the CPU fan on the motherboard and do the same.
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#9 User is offline   Hercules 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:42 AM

But this side-removal action doesn't open the area I suspect needs cleaning most: The "caged-off" section at the top in the back. It's where I can hear the most noise, and where the main power chord comes out. I'll try to find some way to access this portion.


That is the 'Power Supply'. The fans do go bad but they are inexpensive to replace. Try cleaning out the vents and the fan blades first.

This post has been edited by Hercules: 18 June 2019 - 12:43 AM

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#10 User is offline   Moderator T 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:53 AM

As the others have mentioned you're looking at the power supply. It might just be dirty. However if its going bad its something you should definitely replace. A bad power supply can ruin other parts in the computer, and Dell (and other big manufacturers) generally skimp when it comes to quality power supplies. Good news is even a quality one is affordable to replace, and the physical work is pretty easy. Again, Youtube has plenty of tutorials on how to swap it out.
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#11 User is offline   USNJIMRET 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 12:58 AM

And dude, do NOT fall for the temptation to watch the fan spin like crazy from the aerosol air!
You'll over speed the thing and wear it out.
I know, it IS a hell of a temptation!!
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#12 User is offline   JerryL 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 03:48 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 17 June 2019 - 06:02 PM, said:

:blush:

I think I need some "computer-whiz" help. Lemme explain:

Whenever I start my computer, it goes through a few "pages" I've never tried to understand, because they always eventually end up at my "screen" (a picture of a mountain), from whence I can go wherever I want, including here, RN.

Well last couple times I started it (including just a little while ago) there was a new thing: It stopped on one of the usual opening stages, then added the following message:

Alert! System thermal solution compromised. Replace system cover and reboot.
Strike the F1 key to continue, F2 to run the setup utility.


The first time it happened, I hit F1. And sure enough it just kept going and I eventually got to my "screen", as always before. But then next time it happened I tried F2 and was taken to a page with whole reams of computer-gibberish that was completely Greek to me. I finally figured out how to "exit" that page, but nothing else.

Can anybody reading this explain what's happening, and what I'm supposed to do to remedy it? I don't want this computer to meet the same fate as my previous computer. So whenever anything "potentially bad" happens, I wanna be sure to jump on it quickly, instead of just ignoring it.

Do any of you who are more computer-savvy than me understand any of this? Can you offer any advice?

:confused:

Monty, why don't you send a PM to MTPReggie? He built it, right?
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#13 User is offline   Rock N' Roll Right Winger 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:42 AM

View PostUSNJIMRET, on 18 June 2019 - 12:58 AM, said:

And dude, do NOT fall for the temptation to watch the fan spin like crazy from the aerosol air!
You'll over speed the thing and wear it out.
I know, it IS a hell of a temptation!!

Wear is one thing, but it could spin it so fast that the centrifugal force could explode the fan blades.

I saw a similar thing happen when a guy used an air hose in a garage to blow cleaning solvent from a set of planetary gears from an automatic transmission and exploded the spinning gears as he held it in his hand. The shrapnel flew everywhere injuring his hand, his face and knocked out a tooth and severely injured an eye.

This post has been edited by Rock N' Roll Right Winger: 18 June 2019 - 04:42 AM

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#14 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 04:49 AM

I think since it appears to throw the fault warning when turning it on it's likely a failed fan on the CPU, or the machine thinks there's a failed fan. It wouldn't have had time to overheat yet and trip a thermal alarm.
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#15 User is online   erp 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 06:06 AM

Computer? Isnít that what phones do now?

;)
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#16 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 07:36 AM

I have the same model we bought you. And this happens with my occasionally too. You'll have to open the cover and the close it tight. It may take a couple times. These Dell servers have a switch in there that alerts when the cover isn't closed correctly (or THINKS it's closed correctly. It needs to be closed correctly so that the fans circulate air properly to keep it cooled.
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#17 User is offline   oki 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 08:50 AM

Hey Monty if you can post some pictures of the mechanical beastee I am sure that between us we can guide you through exactly what's going on and what to do.
Also, like I said if you know someone with an aircompressor and a air/moisture filter you can also use that to blast the thing out. Just dial the pressure down to at most 20-30 PSI.

Oki
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#18 User is offline   Alexis 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:17 AM

View PostMontyPython, on 17 June 2019 - 06:21 PM, said:

Thanks! I'll try to figure out how to do that (Open it up.) If I can't figure it out, I'll ask friends who live nearby.

Thanks again.

:thumbsup:


You can always do what I'd like to do with my computer sometimes -- if you've ever seen "Office Space," when they took their extremely frustrating copy machine out into an open field and "killed" it!

Seriously, I hope you find the solution.
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#19 User is offline   Severian 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 09:38 AM

View PostMTP Reggie, on 18 June 2019 - 07:36 AM, said:

I have the same model we bought you. And this happens with my occasionally too. You'll have to open the cover and the close it tight. It may take a couple times. These Dell servers have a switch in there that alerts when the cover isn't closed correctly (or THINKS it's closed correctly. It needs to be closed correctly so that the fans circulate air properly to keep it cooled.

That makes sense, since it's throwing the fault immediately upon power up. It's also the kind of thing I'd expect to see more on a server box than a regular desktop.
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#20 User is offline   MTP Reggie 

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Posted 18 June 2019 - 10:28 AM

View PostSeverian, on 18 June 2019 - 09:38 AM, said:

That makes sense, since it's throwing the fault immediately upon power up. It's also the kind of thing I'd expect to see more on a server box than a regular desktop.


I've had one of these Dell Precision 490 servers for years. They are beasts and bulletproof. The only issue I've ever had with it is what Monty has described, but it's very rare.
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