Question CPU Cooler Is Electrolyzed

korkotyan

Honorable
Aug 12, 2014
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Hello,

If you are a professional, this problem will be a great challenge for you, stick till the end, I promise there is no easy solution, I know I tried ;)

So my problems is a continues problem since I built my system in 2014 (yea yea, a loooong time ago, I know), I don't need much from my PC these days, back then the spec was great:
- i7 4790k

- Something similar to the Noctua NH-U14S (but from 2014), and not sure if its 120 or 140 mm (probably 120mm) not the most important detail

- Asus Gryphon Z97

- Corsair Vengeance 2x8GB DDR3 1866 MHz

- Had the Samsung EVO 840 250GB, then after it suddenly failed, moved to another SATA 250GB SSD (doesn't really matter which, not an important detail)

- Had a Seasonic X-Series 850W, then thought it might be faulty (only thought it might be faulty, it didn't fail), got from Seasonic the Platinum Series 860W (as a replacement) - back then had plans for SLI

- Corsair Obsidian Series 450D Mid-Tower (NOTE - WITHOUT A GLASS PANEL - all aluminium chase, may be an important detail)

- Evga gtx 770, then after it failed, got a replacement from Evga, a gtx 970


Just a note, please do try to keep the replies on a high level, I am not new to this world :)

So, when I build the system in 2014, assembled it with an anti-static wrist wrest, installed WIN 8, a couple of times (something went wrong, not sure if it's related to the problem).
After sometime the OS started to be unstable with plenty of blue screens, I moved to then install the WIN 10 insiders (yea, each major update ruined more and more the SSD, I didn't know back then) and the blue screens still continued. Had a blue screen about once or twice a month. But kept living with these blue screens for a year or so.
Sometimes the blue screens were more frequent after specific Windows updates. During that time, I replaced the PSU and the GPU (as written above), the blue screen problem persisted.
One day a Windows update (just a reminder, it was the Windows insiders version) completly ruined the system and the system went into a blue screens loop. So I forgot about this PC for a few years since I had no time to deal with it at that time and had two laptops.


Notes:
- The SSD at that time still was the Evo 840, probably got corrupt after so many stupid Windows insider updates.

- During all this time (about 1.5 years), I tried the PC with and without the GPU, blue sreens continued then and then.

- IMPORTANT NOTE - Sometimes, when I was in chrome, before a blue screen, chrome would suddenly go into continues loop (even with many page refreshes) of the "Aw, Sanp! something went wrong..." error, tried every software solution possible to deal with it. As noticed happend during intensive memory loads (during lots of opened chrome tabs and during games). Hinting me it migh be a hardware problem rather than a software problem.

- ALSO AN IMPORTANT NOTE - I was trying lots of things, and sometimes my hand was around the hardware when the PSU was on and connected to the wall (don't judge me, sometimes it just slipped from my mind during repair tries). And to the main point, when I was slipping my hand and it was close or even thouching the CPU cooler, I was feeling an electrical current, which means there was a current flowing via the cooler (to this day, I am not sure if it's supposed to be that way or not?).

- This happend when I lived in one house, the following took place in two more houses (in total 3 homes), so probably not a bad house wiring problem.


Fast forward to 2018, about 2.5 years of no use of the PC, I tried to install Linux on the Evo 840, but without any luck. So I replaced the drive with another 250GB SSD, and the Linux installation worked.
During many months had about three blue screens, maybe software related and maybe not, can't tell (some were along the chrome "Aw, Snap!" error).

Recently moved into a new home, and shortly after getting in (days to couple of weeks) had a few electrical shorts in the home. Now, experiencing the "Aw, Snap!" arrors much more frequently (much much more) along side a system freeze and/or a restart (Linux, no blue sreens).
Now, after the PC restarts, the problem doesn't disappear, usually the problem (can't really 100% tell) will go away after sometime the PC was off (the PSU is still on and connected to the wall), thought it might be a build up of static electricity.
So I tried while the PSU was OFF but connected to the wall, to press and hold the PC's power button (for 60-90 sec), to release the discharge, it didn't work.

This was the story, my thoughts on this are:

Hardware Problem -
1. My top suspect is the RAM or RAM slots (mobo), the RAM supposed to run at 1866MHz but Windows and Linux are displaying it as 1333MHz (tried manually setting many kinds of speeds in the BIOS - very old post of mine - https://forums.tomshardware.com/threads/is-this-ram-usage-normal.1997293/) (???)
The main thought though is, if some parts of the RAM or slots are damaged, the read and write would be corrupt. So when performing some memory intensive tasks, the RAM must be filling up at these alleged damaged parts, which may cause such errors.

2. Motherboard - Well... it's a complex circuit, and things can get fried somethimes, its also a candidate, because the RAM runs at 1333MHz instead of 1866MHz (but again, not sure if it's even a probelm, or just the way Windows and Linux are displaying the speed).

3. CPU Cooler - The CPU cooler is pretty high, and the case is aluminium, they are not toughting or something, but at this point, some electrical fields here and there may cause something (the case) to discharge.

4. Case - From the same reason as written in the 3rd thought.

5. CPU - Runs as advertised so, don't think it's the problem.

6. Yet another bad PSU, it's a Seasonic and there were two of them, that's why it's the least suspicious piece of hardware, but still is one. In BIOS all the voltages measurements are good.

Software Problem -
It might be a software problem, but... amm... I dont think so, especially after moving to Linux.
Just to add on it all (happend just three days ago), the PC worked fine after two weeks of no use, decided to make a BIOS update (latest stable version - 2801, not the beta one), noticed it was really old. After a few restarts (ones that were part of the BIOS update), booted into Linux and again had the same errors as described above and without and memory intensive tasks.


Huge thanks to all the people that are willing to help me with this problem,
Daniel K
 

my_pc_build

Great
Nov 17, 2019
104
15
95
2
Hi korkotyan,

I think you'll get better help if you can trim the above like so:
  1. problem(s) - brief list (e.g. repeated blue screen).
  2. my current system - full specs.
  3. fixes I have tried with my current system and results (brief list e.g. ran memtest, or booted system with just CPU, 1 stick of ram etc.).
  4. background / history (long narrative if you like, but probably a lot won't read it).
From the above, looks like the main problem is repeated blue screens. Is that correct?

If you look around on the website, there are some specialists who deal with that here (colif?) - they generally request some specific log files and so on. I would have a look into what they request and get that together to speed things up.

All the best.
 

Ralston18

Titan
Moderator
Very much doubt that it is static electricity.

There is an electrical short somewhere in the build. Apparently intermittent due to a loose connection, kinked or pinched cable, or some situation allowing a voltage carrying wire to touch where it should not do so.

Or heating up causing expansion, touching, and then an electrical short.

No easy answer.

Unplug. Open the case, take all components out and examine with a bright flashlight and even a magnifying glass if necessary. Look for signs of damage, corrosion, rubbing,

Cooler installation should be looked at in detail.

Carefully rebuild. Doublecheck as you go.
 
Reactions: korkotyan

korkotyan

Honorable
Aug 12, 2014
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Very much doubt that it is static electricity.

There is an electrical short somewhere in the build. Apparently intermittent due to a loose connection, kinked or pinched cable, or some situation allowing a voltage carrying wire to touch where it should not do so.

Or heating up causing expansion, touching, and then an electrical short.

No easy answer.

Unplug. Open the case, take all components out and examine with a bright flashlight and even a magnifying glass if necessary. Look for signs of damage, corrosion, rubbing,

Cooler installation should be looked at in detail.

Carefully rebuild. Doublecheck as you go.
Thanks a lot Ralston18, your suggestion is great, I'll definitely try to do so, when I replaced the PSU I also replaced all its cables. But maybe I just missed something, did suspect such a problem but forgot to revisit it.
I actually contacted Asus years ago, about this strange problem of the current flow through the cooler anomaly, and if they have encountered such a problem, their replies were primitive and unhelpful. So thanks again, I'll update on the progress :)
 

korkotyan

Honorable
Aug 12, 2014
42
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Hi korkotyan,

I think you'll get better help if you can trim the above like so:
  1. problem(s) - brief list (e.g. repeated blue screen).
  2. my current system - full specs.
  3. fixes I have tried with my current system and results (brief list e.g. ran memtest, or booted system with just CPU, 1 stick of ram etc.).
  4. background / history (long narrative if you like, but probably a lot won't read it).
From the above, looks like the main problem is repeated blue screens. Is that correct?

If you look around on the website, there are some specialists who deal with that here (colif?) - they generally request some specific log files and so on. I would have a look into what they request and get that together to speed things up.

All the best.
Hello my_pc_build, that was the entire point, I didn't want people who know only one or two things to try and solve this problem, a long and complex story drove them away.
But also, if I would have written it as you suggested, people would have missed a lot of viable information.
And because you simplified the entire story, you completely missed the point, the blue screens are the cause, not the problem. Log files would not help, believe me, I have read them all.
 

my_pc_build

Great
Nov 17, 2019
104
15
95
2
Hello my_pc_build, that was the entire point, I didn't want people who know only one or two things to try and solve this problem, a long and complex story drove them away.
But also, if I would have written it as you suggested, people would have missed a lot of viable information.
And because you simplified the entire story, you completely missed the point, the blue screens are the cause, not the problem. Log files would not help, believe me, I have read them all.
Hi korkotyan,

Glad to see you've got some good help on this.

From my point of view, the blue screens are being caused by something that you'd like to identify and remedy (e.g. as Ralston18 suggests an electrical short), but I wouldn't waste your time educating me - put it into fixing your PC.

All the best.
 

korkotyan

Honorable
Aug 12, 2014
42
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If doing as Ralston18 suggested as to taking it a part for inspection you could breadboard it.
Certainly won't hurt.
Good Luck
Hello Crosslhs82x2, I think it's just a bit too overkill, I rather get new parts than to waste my time on debugging the board (if I understand you correctly), I am not that professional to do it. But thanks for the suggestion and thinking out of the box.
 

korkotyan

Honorable
Aug 12, 2014
42
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definitely work on eliminating the moving parts, run memtest on the RAM - doesn't require the O/S , SSD etc...
then you can working on the other items
Dear Mr.Spock, I don't think moving parts are the issue here. And as regards to the memtest, I ran during these years if I am not mistaken three times hardware tests without any luck of finding the problem.
Live long and prosper.
 

xravenxdota

Respectable
Aug 26, 2017
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You don't suspect the cpu but cpu and ram can cause this.Specially if it doesn't get enough juice.See if you can get hwinfo64 running and monitor behavior of your temps/voltage and cpu boosting etc.It's just an idea.If not try different ram if you can and most prob install windows on a test hdd or ssd as it can be the ssd as well.
 

Mr.Spock

Prominent
Dec 8, 2019
549
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check if the RAM is on your QVL https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1150/GRYPHON-Z97/GRYPHON_Z97_Series_memory_QVL.pdf

And I would try to start with a single stick and see if it runs @1866 with XMP on in bios.
the fact that Linux and Windows are unstable points to RAM. Also you didn't mention what version of bios you're on?

there are many revisions devoted to stability which seems to be your issue:

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/GRYPHON_Z97/HelpDesk_BIOS/


Dear Mr.Spock, I don't think moving parts are the issue here. And as regards to the memtest, I ran during these years if I am not mistaken three times hardware tests without any luck of finding the problem.
Live long and prosper.
 

korkotyan

Honorable
Aug 12, 2014
42
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10,530
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You don't suspect the cpu but cpu and ram can cause this.Specially if it doesn't get enough juice.See if you can get hwinfo64 running and monitor behavior of your temps/voltage and cpu boosting etc.It's just an idea.If not try different ram if you can and most prob install windows on a test hdd or ssd as it can be the ssd as well.
Hello xravenxdota, the temps and voltages are fine, I monitored and recorded them and there wasn't any anomaly.
Since it's DDR3, I don't feel conformable purchasing new ones, wouldn't be able to use it in a new build. I'll try maybe to find some other RAM to test with, but that doesn't explain the other issues now that I understand the cooler is not supposed to be electrolyzed.
The SSD is less than a year old, I'll try to look into it, but again, it doesn't explain the other problems.
 

korkotyan

Honorable
Aug 12, 2014
42
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10,530
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check if the RAM is on your QVL https://dlcdnets.asus.com/pub/ASUS/mb/LGA1150/GRYPHON-Z97/GRYPHON_Z97_Series_memory_QVL.pdf

And I would try to start with a single stick and see if it runs @1866 with XMP on in bios.
the fact that Linux and Windows are unstable points to RAM. Also you didn't mention what version of bios you're on?

there are many revisions devoted to stability which seems to be your issue:

https://www.asus.com/us/Motherboards/GRYPHON_Z97/HelpDesk_BIOS/
I checked the RAM compatibility even before purchasing the components, everything should work.
Regarding the RAM combinations, I tried them all, really.
I did mention the bios version, in the Software Problems section (at the end), it's 2801.
 

Mr.Spock

Prominent
Dec 8, 2019
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OK missed it usually see that with the m/b, check the motherboard standoffs - it may be a matter of improper grounding Asus may have had the rubber / nylon accessory inserts. maybe you made contact with one of the fan headers

I checked the RAM compatibility even before purchasing the components, everything should work.
Regarding the RAM combinations, I tried them all, really.
I did mention the bios version, in the Software Problems section (at the end), it's 2801.
 

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