David McGlone d.mcglone at
Sun May 18 13:27:34 BST 2008

On Saturday 17 May 2008 3:54:03 pm Billie Walsh wrote:
> Nigel Henry wrote:
> > On Saturday 17 May 2008 17:14, Martin Laberge wrote:
> >> On Saturday 17 May 2008 06:47:48 Bill Vance wrote:
> >>> Howdy;
> >>>
> >>> I have a very annoying two tone alarm going off, right now.
> >>>
> >>> Its not going out over the sound card.  Any way to find out what's
> >>> going on, how turn it off, etc?  It goes away during shutdown but
> >>> returns shortly after reboot, without the slightest hint or clue as
> >>> to the cause.....:-(
> >>>
> >>> Bill
> >>
> >> I think this the OverHeat alarm, warning you to shutdown now
> >> or burn your system. on my machine, this shutdown the system
> >> after a few minutes if i dont do it.
> >>
> >> Check the fan of the CPU and be sure it is properly installed
> >> and it is clean. Or check the fan of the power supply,
> >> it may be full of dust.
> >> --
> >> Martin Laberge
> >
> > I do remember getting the two tones a while back, and may well have been
> > the bearings of the PSU fan on my not so expensive i-Friend machine ran
> > out of oil, resulting in the fan stopping. thankfully the PSU has a
> > thermal cutout, which just resulted in the machine shutting down
> > abruptly.
> >
> > At the time I was puzzled as to why the machine had shutdown, but taking
> > the cover off, restarting it after a few minutes, and looking at the
> > works, I saw that the PSU fan was a no-go. Sometime later after having
> > stripped down the PSU, cleaned out all the dust from it, and having
> > re-lubricated the bearing on the fan (using musical instrument oil, which
> > is all I had at hand, and which had a hypodermic needle type applicator
> > for the oil, and very usefull when applying oil to small moving parts) I
> > re-installed the PSU, and prayed.
> >
> > The machine has been running for between 18 months, and 2 years now, with
> > no further problems.
> >
> > It's always a good idea to get the dust out of the machine from time to
> > time, and do this perhaps every 6 months. Machine with cover off in the
> > back yard, vacuum cleaner on blow ( banging the hose a bit to get the
> > vacuumed in dust out of it), then go for it. It's simply amazing how much
> > dust builds up on fan blades, and gets pulled onto the CPU heatsink by
> > it's fan, and certainly there's a whole bunch of dust comes out of the
> > PSU unit.
> >
> > I try to keep away from the optical drives, and the floppy drive, in case
> > I should blow dust into them.
> >
> > I did see mention that spinning the fans when doing this cleanout
> > operation could cause the creation of electricity feeding back into the
> > PSU. I'm not too sure about that. Servo's create a voltage when spun, but
> > whether that applies to fans in the computer I don't know, and havn't had
> > any problems myself.
> >
> > I also thought of connecting a ground/earth connection to the machine,
> > when doing the vacuum cleaner dust blowout, as I believe there can be
> > some static electricity buildup from fast moving air. My ground lead
> > wasn't long enough to reach the back yard, so hoped that there would be
> > no problems. I did see suggested though to allow some minutes after
> > blowing out all the dust, before rebooting the now dust free machine.
> >
> > Anyway I have had no problems using the vacuum cleaner on blow on my
> > machines, to clean them out.
> >
> > I suppose there will be some feedback on my comments, but as it's the
> > weekend I'm game for it.
> >
> > Nigel.
> I keep a half-inch paint brush and a couple small artist brushes handy
> on my desk for when it is time to clean out a computer. Usually these
> will clean out all the dust bunnies from the harder to get to places. I
> take the fan off the CPU and use brushes to sweep out between the fins.
> Remove the memory and sweep out the contact are of the sockets. Brush
> all the fan blades. Had a used machine one time that I had to take a
> knife and scrape the crud off the CPU cooling fins.
> OH, and don't forget the "blow job in a can" as my better half calls it.
> In a case where you think it might be an over heating CPU turn the can
> upside down and give it a short squirt into the cooling fins. The liquid
> CO2 will give an immediate cool down.
> In a REALLY extreme case of crud build up there is always the kitchen
> sink and Dawn. I recommend a distilled water rinse and about four days
> in good hot sunlight before reassembly and turn on. I guess you could
> bake it in an oven or something to shorten the time but hot, direct,
> sunlight does a pretty good job

I use rubbing alcohol and Q-Tips to clean my fan. The alcohol dissipates and 
dries in seconds. Way better than waiting 4 days. I also wouldn't want to 
take the chance of water rusting the bearings in the fan and washing away 

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