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Computer Q&A Board  /  Questions  /  what's wrong with my computer is it dying?
Posted by: mtmama (Guest), December 23rd, 2009, 6:19pm
MY computer is 7 years old and the fan keeps blowing very hard every 2 minutes.  Is that a sign that I need a new computer?  I'm running Win XP Home, and if I open and run more than 2 windows it all freezes and I have to physicaly shut if off....or just walk away for an hour till it figures out what to do.  Even ctrl alt delete doesn't work.  Should I just buy a new computer.........
Posted by: Ray, December 24th, 2009, 2:57pm; Reply: 1
   Some fans are varible speed and blow harder when the inside gets hot.  You might take a vacuum or compressed air to it and see if you can clean up the inside.
   If you have Windows XP on DVD, I would try formatting the harddrive and reinstalling Windows XP.  Maybe that will speed things up.  You will have to reinstall everything else too.  Be sure to backup important files to a CD or DVD before doing this.
Posted by: mtmama (Guest), December 24th, 2009, 3:29pm; Reply: 2
Thanks Ray, I have vacuumed the fan but maybe the compressed air will dislodge years of dust.
Posted by: dickiesam, January 7th, 2010, 3:55am; Reply: 3
Just a thought! I had a similar problem some years ago with an ageing computer and it didn't go away even after vacuuming inside the case. Then I discovered that the blades of the small fan attached to the processor were covered in a kind of 'gunge'. I removed the fan and cleaned the blades carefully with a blunt knife and alcohol. Problem solved and my ageing computer is still running.
Posted by: mtmama (Guest), January 7th, 2010, 1:59pm; Reply: 4
Hi,  I guess I should have posted after I fixed the fan problem.  You're right dickiesam, vacuuming the fan wasn't enough.....I took the fan out and did a good cleaning......but that wasn't the only problem.  The copper looking thing with all the holes where the air exhaust from was also plugged up with all that gunky stuff.  Now it's running great......well sort of, next thing is to figure out how to put in more memory.  Thanks for your input. :)
Posted by: dickiesam, January 7th, 2010, 2:10pm; Reply: 5
Great to hear the PC is working again. As for more memory, there are plenty of sites to help you with extra RAM. I found this to be one of the better ones:

It even includes a 'RAM scanner tool' to find out what spec ram you already have. And, Crucial Ram is reasonably priced.

Posted by: mtmama (Guest), January 7th, 2010, 2:49pm; Reply: 6
Thanks again for the information.........I did check it out and used it to scan my computer to see what's compatible.  It sure did help in finding out what exactly would work for my computer.   :)  Next step is to learn how to get to the memory chip to change it. ::)  As you can tell I'm a real novice. :B
Posted by: dickiesam, January 7th, 2010, 4:56pm; Reply: 7
Lots of help if you google something like "how to fit extra RAM" without the quotes.
Several very good sites telling you exactly how to go about removing the old RAM and fitting the new.

From memory (!) the Crucial site has good instructions on it as well. And lots of warnings about being very careful not to touch the tracks or the chips on the ram boards with your fingers! They are very static sensitive.

Posted by: mtmama (Guest), January 7th, 2010, 6:40pm; Reply: 8
Thanks again.........I've got a lot to learn.  But I'm learning fast that there's a lot of help out there.   :)
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