[NBLUG/talk] Machine Check Exception?

Lincoln Peters sampln at sbcglobal.net
Wed Jul 7 18:05:37 PDT 2004

I finally replaced the motherboard, CPU, memory, and video card (due to
the age of the hardware, I could not replace one without replacing all
four, so there was no longer any point in isolating the problem to
something other than overheating).

Admittedly it's an expensive solution, but I managed to double my CPU
speed and total RAM in the process, as well as quadruple my video RAM. 
Although I have no idea how I'm going to take advantage of my video
card's 128MB of onboard DDR RAM when most of what I do is e-mail, word
processing, and software development on a 17" monitor, I find myself
doing enough simultaneous tasks that the faster CPU and larger total RAM
have already proven their worth.  And I got my computer back up and
running a lot faster than I would have by any other means at my disposal
(except for those means that would have cost even more).

On Mon, 2004-06-28 at 11:48, Troy Arnold wrote:
> Try to eliminate the heat factor by opening the side of the box up and
> pointing a big box fan or something right at it.  If it still crashes,
> it's not a heat problem.  Did you ever open it up while the system is
> running to make sure that all the fans are spinning as they should ?  If
> there's a North bridge fan on the mobo., it's often overlooked.

I already tried that.  The CPU was using an F5 fan that moves 89 CFM*,
so I don't think that it was suffering from lack of ventilation.  I also
have two thermistor-controlled case fans (don't recall the exact CFM;
maybe up to 40 CFM and much less noisy than the 89 CFM fan).  And I had
an alarm attached to the CPU heatsink that would emit a loud noise if
the CPU temperature ever exceeded 110 degrees.

If the machine was over-heating (rather than responding to a
heat-induced fault that waited almost a year before revealing itself),
then the room itself was likely too hot for any case ventilation to be
effective (no windows except for two skylights and a ceiling fan that
makes as much noise as a small truck).

> It'll be interesting to see what memtest has/had to say.

I ran 22 passes (not all consecutive), and it passed every one.  I'll be
sure to recycle the memory chips on a motherboard that can take them, or
maybe I'll sell them.  Right now, it's a little too early to say about

Ironically, I found that I had purchased a defective DDR RAM module from
CompUSA when I was replacing the defective components, but I was able to
get a replacement at no charge with little difficulty.  And the defects
proved very easy to isolate in this case.

> The next strenuous thing to try is to lift it high over your head and
> thrust it violently downward toward a hard service.  Let go when your
> hands reach their maximum velocity.  It may take a few tries to get the
> desired effect.

Did I mention that this is a full-size tower, loaded with three hard
drives, two CD-ROM drives, and an assortment of smaller internal
peripherals?  There are very few people who do what you describe to this
computer (and fewer who would even want to).

I might be inclined to move the bathroom scale into this room and weigh
the tower, but I have little interest in trying to pick it up again
unless I absolutely have to.

* CFM = Cubic Feet per Minute

Lincoln Peters
<sampln at sbcglobal.net>

Executive ability is prominent in your make-up.

More information about the talk mailing list