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Thread: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

  1. #1
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    Well I've had a Dell Dimension C521 for around 4 years now AFAIR. When I built my own system (This Feb), I took the 250GB WD HDD and put in a 40GB WD HDD. Recently I bought a 640GB WD Black HDD and used it alongside the 250GB WDD HDD but I decided if I got rid of one it would make my system quieter so I did a quick format and put it back in the Dell.

    Now recently I've noticed that that the pc has a high vibrating noise and that the PSU and HDD gets REALLY hot. Not sure of exact temperatures (are there programs to monitor HDD/PSU temp?). I've checked if it's the HDD but I don't seem to notice any problems. It's screwed into the HDD caddy securely and I can't really see it vibrating. Not sure what's going on with the PSU either. I don't know how to find out what exactly is making that noise either, if I leave the pc on without the DVD writer or HDD it has no vibrating sound whatsoever. However, if everything is together it does have that sound. Not sure how to test what's making the sound.

    Now it's got an Athlon X2 3800+ (S939). So I was thinking for some reason (I wonder what the reason is), as these processors sell for a pretty decent amount, as I've got a spare case and CPU, perhaps I could get a really cheap mobo + processor combo that would roughly be the same price? It's my sibling's pc so an upgrade isn't really needed, I just don't want to spend out of my own pocket to pay for their pc (I'm poor haha).

    I do have a spare MSI p35 mobo now but I'm not too fond of using that in their pc. (Kinda overkill to have a p35 when they'll mostly be on FB or playing stuff like World of Warcraft (1024*768 res) or flash games/fb games. imo..)

    As usual, thanks in advance!

  2. #2
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    My guess would be something in the psu is going, a capasitor probably

    As to the hard drive, you'd have to do more tests.
    Is it the hard drive or dvd?
    Boot it up with only one connected and see what it's like.
    Feel both the hdd and the cage to judge the vibration.

    Check the cpu heat sink is clear of dust and the fan

    Is this the case?

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    Ulti (28-10-2009)

  4. #3
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    I've left it on with either one (either the HDD or the DVD drive in) and there's no vibrations. I'm not sure why this is. There's no DVD in the drive so it doesn't spin. But with both in it does seem to have thevibrating problem I mentioned earlier.

    Oh yeah, one thing I forgot to mention was that when the problem occured, I could simply just move the pc a bit and the vibrating would stop, however this only worked for a little while.

    I think that's the E521 or D521 case.

    Here's what the C521 looks like:



    Note it has a small sized PSU with the HDD behind the DVD drive and both of them stacked sideways.

    I just cleaned the CPU cooler out last night as well the vents for it.

    EDIT: For some reason, since last night, it doesn't have the problem anymore. All I did was remove and put back in the CD drive and clean the CPU vent/cooler a bit.
    Last edited by Ulti; 28-10-2009 at 12:09 PM.

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    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    AAArgh what a nasty shaped PSU small and L shaped cross section.

    Has all the vibration/buzzing stoped?
    If so then the probable cause was the front/cpu fan, it may happen again, the bareing is going.
    Still at least AFAIK thoes dells still use stanard fans, so it should be easy to replace.

  6. #5
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    Well the other pc has been on for about 4 hours and I haven't heard any vibration. Seems it's ok.

    And yeah, I hate the design of Dells. The PSU exhausts heat to the HDD which is trapped by the PSU itself and the DVD drive causing the PSU and the HDD to heat up a lot. That's why I'm never gonna get a Dell in my life unless they use regular motherboard sizes without locking the BIOS and being cheaper than it would for me to build my own pc. This will never happen which means I'll never get a Dell again haha.

    I'm a lazy guy so I'll leave the CPU cooler for now, too lazy to test it. But if I here vibration again then I'll check it out, maybe as the bearing was going the dust on it kinda screwed the fan up and now that I've cleaned it I guess that's why it works. Still doesn't explain why taking either the HDD or DVD drive out stopped the sound/vibration though haha.

    Well problem is solved for now so I'll leave it there.

  7. #6
    Senior Member Pob255's Avatar
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    Re: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    Umm are you sure?
    I know that the larger dell cases from that time (like the original pic I posted) the psu still exhausts heat out the back of the case, the case/cpu combo fan draws in cool air from the front of the case, it has no rear fan and just relies on positive pressure to push air out of the back.
    The benefit of this design is that one fan cools the cpu as well as acting as a case fan.

    AFAIK Dell now use standard mATX

    They've moved the hard drives through 90 degrees to keep them clear and shorten the case slightly.
    I've seen that design on a few big name systems now.

    Motherboards are still custom jobs with locked BIOS's AFAIK

    EDIT: I still like the design and layout of thoes older dells, just a shame that form factor never took off. I seem to remember it's originally a server form factor/layout.

  8. #7
    Poor graduate. Ulti's Avatar
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    Re: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    Well I love building my own pc haha. Although I've only built one system from scratch I've changed motherboards on my own pc twice and my parents one once so that kinda counts as building xD

    And about the PSU I'm not too sure, there is hot air coming out from the back but there also seems to be hot air coming out from the front onto the HDD, or maybe it's just the heat.

    EDIT: Just checked again and the CPU is actually socket 940 actually :/ Meaning I can't sell it for much (well I don't think I can)
    Last edited by Ulti; 28-10-2009 at 03:53 PM.

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    Re: Overheating problem with Dell? Sell it on fleabay?

    I would try cleaning out the heatsink on the CPU as it gets clogged up with dust over a few years. Disconnect the fan first though so no current is fed back into the motherboard!


    Those despicable Elk,stealing the pond weed!

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