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Thread: Can a PC be too cold to start?

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    asphinctersayswhat dannyboy83's Avatar
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    Can a PC be too cold to start?

    I know people go at great lengths to keep their PC cool, but can a PC be too cold?

    Often, I come home from work and the heating has only just come on, having been off all day. Living in Scotland, and being Winter, the house can get very chilly in the day (around 10 degrees C perhaps).

    I find that starting the PC when I get in, it often 'freezes' (no pun intended) at the windows XP loading screen... the one with the horizontal moving bar and windows logo, on black background.

    So I'm forced to restart, and it does it again once or twice, and then works fine.

    Occasionally it freezes at the user login screen, where you select which user to log in as.

    To sum up this essay: can these crashes be temperature related? Hard disk, mobo, RAM too cold?

    My System: Coolermaster Centurion 5 (black) case, Intel E6750 Core2Duo, Tagan Easy-Con 530W, Asus P5B Deluxe WIFI, OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 4-4-4-15 PLATINUM XTC, Samsung SpinPoint 200Gb SATA2 / 2 x Maxtor DiamondMax 10 200Gb SATA, 256Mb Sapphire ATI PCI-E X1950PRO, Creative X-Fi Xtreme 7.1, 19" Daewoo W9ZQ Black Widescreen TFT, 4Mb Virgin Cable Broadband (formerly Blueyonder) with Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G and DD-WRT firmware.

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    oh the irony, people pay hundreds to make the cpu run at minus temperatures!!
    it should be working fine in anything above 0 deg c

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    www.5lab.co.uk
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    yeah unless you've got condensation forming you should be fine
    hughlunnon@yahoo.com | I have sigs turned off..

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    electricity doesn't feel the cold.

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    asphinctersayswhat dannyboy83's Avatar
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    but would the hard disk? (being mechanical). It seems wierd I know, but after being off all day, it takes about 3 or 4 attempts to start the PC.

    I spose the real test would be to come in from work, heat up the room, and then try it!

    My System: Coolermaster Centurion 5 (black) case, Intel E6750 Core2Duo, Tagan Easy-Con 530W, Asus P5B Deluxe WIFI, OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 4-4-4-15 PLATINUM XTC, Samsung SpinPoint 200Gb SATA2 / 2 x Maxtor DiamondMax 10 200Gb SATA, 256Mb Sapphire ATI PCI-E X1950PRO, Creative X-Fi Xtreme 7.1, 19" Daewoo W9ZQ Black Widescreen TFT, 4Mb Virgin Cable Broadband (formerly Blueyonder) with Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G and DD-WRT firmware.

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    Not directly relevant, but my Motorola V3 slows down hugely in the cold, not sure if it's a hardware or software shortcoming tho...

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    asphinctersayswhat dannyboy83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanycooks
    Not directly relevant, but my Motorola V3 slows down hugely in the cold, not sure if it's a hardware or software shortcoming tho...
    my Ipod battery seems to lose its charge in the cold. But Ipod batteries in general are pants!

    My System: Coolermaster Centurion 5 (black) case, Intel E6750 Core2Duo, Tagan Easy-Con 530W, Asus P5B Deluxe WIFI, OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 4-4-4-15 PLATINUM XTC, Samsung SpinPoint 200Gb SATA2 / 2 x Maxtor DiamondMax 10 200Gb SATA, 256Mb Sapphire ATI PCI-E X1950PRO, Creative X-Fi Xtreme 7.1, 19" Daewoo W9ZQ Black Widescreen TFT, 4Mb Virgin Cable Broadband (formerly Blueyonder) with Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G and DD-WRT firmware.

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    Nox
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    • Nox's system
      • Motherboard:
      • Yes
      • CPU:
      • Yes
      • Memory:
      • Yes
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      • Yes
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      • Case:
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    Every item will have a recommended opertaing temperature, from x to y degrees, within those tolerances, everything should be fine.

    I think, (thinking back to a-level physics, can someone confirm?) that as the temperature gets colder, electricity becomes more efficient as resistance in the wire it travels down reduces, then finally at 0 degrees (kelvin, approx -273degrees C) you hit a point where there is no resistance. If anything, things should work better...

    Nox
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    Oufti behappier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanycooks
    Not directly relevant, but my Motorola V3 slows down hugely in the cold, not sure if it's a hardware or software shortcoming tho...

    I got that in my car, when cold the lcd screen of the onboard computer is very slow. It gets better after 5 mins or so. Strange.

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    Quote Originally Posted by behappier
    I got that in my car, when cold the lcd screen of the onboard computer is very slow. It gets better after 5 mins or so. Strange.

    I get similar problems with the screen on my car stereo in the winter.

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    sneaks quietly away. schmunk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by toomanycooks
    Not directly relevant, but my Motorola V3 slows down hugely in the cold, not sure if it's a hardware or software shortcoming tho...
    LCD latencies shoot up in very cold conditions. That could be a factor.

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    sneaks quietly away. schmunk's Avatar
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    • schmunk's system
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    Quote Originally Posted by dannyboy83
    my Ipod battery seems to lose its charge in the cold. But Ipod batteries in general are pants!
    Batteries generally do this, particularly LiIon.

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    Anything based on solutions or movement in solutions can be a problem at very low temperatures. LCDs are crystals in solution and can be affected by too low a temperature.

    However, everything else in a computer simply works better as it gets colder But what does happen is moisture in the air condenses and you can have water forming on cold components, which is obviously not very good.

    If you are working fine after a few attempts it's likely that you've evaporated whatever moisture was causing the problem. Likewise heating up the room will solve the problem.

    If you can get hold on one of those silica gel packets then try sticking one of them in a safe place in your computer (and let me know where you got it - I need one for my car!) Another thing is just to open your room window, though knowing the weather up north I don't know if that won't actually bring in more water

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    asphinctersayswhat dannyboy83's Avatar
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    thats a good idea! i just gave one of those silica gel packets away in computer components sold on ebay... doh!

    My System: Coolermaster Centurion 5 (black) case, Intel E6750 Core2Duo, Tagan Easy-Con 530W, Asus P5B Deluxe WIFI, OCZ 2GB Kit (2x1GB) DDR2 800MHz/PC2-6400 CL 4-4-4-15 PLATINUM XTC, Samsung SpinPoint 200Gb SATA2 / 2 x Maxtor DiamondMax 10 200Gb SATA, 256Mb Sapphire ATI PCI-E X1950PRO, Creative X-Fi Xtreme 7.1, 19" Daewoo W9ZQ Black Widescreen TFT, 4Mb Virgin Cable Broadband (formerly Blueyonder) with Linksys WRT54GL Wireless-G and DD-WRT firmware.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nox
    Every item will have a recommended opertaing temperature, from x to y degrees, within those tolerances, everything should be fine.

    I think, (thinking back to a-level physics, can someone confirm?) that as the temperature gets colder, electricity becomes more efficient as resistance in the wire it travels down reduces, then finally at 0 degrees (kelvin, approx -273degrees C) you hit a point where there is no resistance. If anything, things should work better...

    Nox
    yes there is less resistance because the metal ions vibrate less so wont get in the way of the delocalised sea of electrons that can move to carry the current when a potential difference is aplied.
    im not sure what happens at 0 degrees kelvin though. - this is the temp at which nothing has enough energy no move. so could this mean that the electrons cant move once a potential difference is aplied??; im not sure anyone got any ideas?

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    Senior Member kalniel's Avatar
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    At 0 degrees the electrons just don't move of their own accord. However, you are 'putting energy into the electrons' by creating a voltage difference - electron movement accross voltage is not diffusion controlled.

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