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Computers and Spaceheaters = Bad

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Inactive Moderator
Jan 4, 2001
Northern VA
Well, just the other day, I redid this ladies computer at work. Reformatted, reinstalled Windows, etc etc. Got it back to her, and it was running great, a K62 500mhz on a crummy TigerDirect board, probably a PC Chips.

So, all things considering, it was running great. But today, she called me b/c she was having issues with it.

So I went to see what was wrong, and I found as I reached down to turn it on, that there was a space heater running at full blast pointed right at the front of the case.

The ambient air around the front of the case was VERY hot. My hand didn't want to stay there too long...it was 1 foot from the heater.

The cpu has a decent heatsink and fan (as of the other day...the one it had on it was anemic at best), and a front case fan, which undoubtedly was pulling in this nice cool air :)

Took it back to my desk, opened it up, and it was quite hot inside.

Not sure how much damage was done, but the thing wouldn't boot for ANYTHING. I swapped every part I could, different cpu, different ram, different PSU. I had all peripherals disconnected, and even pulled the board from the case to be srue there were no bad grounds.

Finally dug up and old PCI video card and it booted right up. So looks like the onboard video is now dead, probably due to the heat.

Ofcourse, SiS530 onboard video is nothing to cheer about, but now she's running an old Number Nine s3 trio64 card that I pulled from an old Dell Pentium 90. It'll do 800x600 at 16bit, but go to 1024x786 and you gotta settle for 256 colors :)

So since others in the office have space heaters and insist on putting their systems near them to "save desk clutter", I think it's due to time for a memo. A memo that explains what happens to cpu cooling when you raise the ambient temperate. For instance, when your ambient temperature right outside the case is 40 degrees higher than the normal air, you can expect your computer to not be able to handle that.

Even with great cooling, it's tough to keep a computer cool with a space heater on high 1 foot from the front intake :)



Oct 9, 2001
Cheyenne, WY
lol Dont you love it when someone gives you a comp problem, and the problem is something soo freakin stupid. Like I was working on one at school and they couldnt get it to detect the HD, but unbeknownst to them....they forgot the put an IDE cable to it. Buahahahahaha


Jul 9, 2001
Louisville, KY
Also an overheating problem except it was a different cause. A buddy of mine was working on a PC somebody brought to him and he opened it up and thick pink dust was all over everything...CPU, mobo, cards etc... and the thing wouldn't boot so he called the people to ask what the pink dust was. We thought maybe insulation or something like that.

apparently the people had recently got new carpet and the front intake fans were sucking in all the dust b/c the PC was directly on the floor. It killed the mobo and vid card due to overheating b/c apparently carpet fibers turn into dust when they get hot.


Senior Member
Nov 25, 2001
Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada
A few years ago, my friend had this good monitor for the time, I think it was an NEC 17 inch or something, anyway it had overheat protection or overload protection in it. He was really puzzled why, when he left it on for a while and he was out of the room, he'd come back in and find it tripped out, and very warm. He was very puzzled by this because he could sit and use it all day and it would be fine. Then one day he walked in quietly in his slippers and found his cat on top of it, blocking all the through flow convection vents. He thought he had taught his cat to stay off it, when he first got it, but every time he left the room the cat would get up there, overheat the monitor, then jump down quick when he heard my friend coming so he wasn't caught LOL.

Road Warrior