Something less arrogant
20th October 2005
In short: Not my PC, I have only looked at it briefly: 2.5 years old DELL Dimension 5100 P4 (2.8?)GHz (512?)MB DDR(?) 80GB HDD 1 small, quiet fan and very large heat sink that becomes almost but not quite too hot to touch. Locks up, does not accept input from Mouse or Keyboard, screen goes to black, then monitor to standby, no sound. But it is definitely on, given the lights on the front and the fan still going. When not working, CPU speaker produces abnormal beeping when restarted. Problem started Sunday (18th), since then it comes and goes. In long: A friend of mine has a DELL Dimension 5100, it must be about 2.5 years old now. A few days ago, it was left running for a short while and when my friend returned to it, it had ceased all output and did not appear to be accepting input, though this was hard to tell for sure because as I said, there was no output (i.e. no sound or display). It was still running however, at least the fan was still running and the LED on the front was on. We turned it off and on again by holding down the power button, when we turned it on again it the CPU speaker gave a very strangled sounding beep noise that repeated for a few seconds then it appeared to start up as normal until it reached the Windows XP Log On screen at which point it froze. The mouse stopped responding, and the keyboard as well (the lights on the keyboard went off). After a short delay, the screen went blank again. Turned it off again and opened up the case, the heat sink felt fairly hot, near the limit of what I could touch indefinitely. There didn't appear to be much dust in there at all, although it hadn't been cleaned since it was bought. If you are unfamiliar with this particular model, it might held to know it has a very small, very quiet fan in the front of the case, which blows air through a very large heat sink (over 10cm deep, probably roughly cube shaped) which is mostly hidden behind a protective cover (DELL don't like you poking around inside). According to my housemate who has one at home, the heat sink was pretty efficient and should be quite cool. After having a brief look inside and then putting it back together and plugging it in, it started up fine, and as far as I'm aware continued running normally for a day or so. However since then, the problem has reappeared a number of times, with possibly error messages, and more strange CPU speaker noises. ============================= Unfortunately, I only know what I saw when I was there last, and I am going to have a better look into it on Saturday probably, any suggestions of what the cause might be or anything in particular to look for would be welcome. I am currently leaning towards the CPU over-heating, but purely on the basis that it was hotter than I believe it should have been, the symptoms are not ones I have encountered before.
Dark System LordResiding In Insanity
10th November 2004
It is certainly possible that the CPU is over heating based on what you've posted above. One additional thing I would suggest as well would be to run the diagnostic program thats on one of the cd's that was included with the system (assuming your friend still has the cd's). You should also be able to access some of the diagnostics by hitting F12 before the Dell splash screen goes away. Run those diagnostics as well.