Help! PC unusably slow after dusting?

treasurecat

Commendable
May 26, 2016
6
0
1,510
0
I am not very tech savvy. I bought a very high end, barely used gaming PC a pretty long time ago and have been using it for the better part of a decade.

Recently my PC started having severe display issues while gaming (flickering, entire screen artifacting) and had even started rebooting. I knew I hadn't opened it in about 18 months (and I have a cat) so I decided I would give it a cleaning:

I used compressed air and a microfiber cloth with isopropyl alcohol. I removed and cleaned each of four different case fans (gentle wiping followed by air while keeping the fan secure). I removed the gpu and thoroughly blew out its fans and interior as best I could. I also removed and disassembled a fifth case fan/radiator unit that is part of a Corsair H50 liquid cooling system. I did not disconnect or remove the pump bracketed to the processor or otherwise touch my cpu because, frankly, I don't know how the assembly works and didn't want to damage it. I removed the psu and gave it a through blowing out as well. I kind of aimlessly blew dust off the mobo. All this was done outdoors.

Reconnected the fans/gpu, screwed everything in and fired it up. Fans are all running, but the PC is now unusably slow. It takes ten minutes to boot Win7 to the desktop, and then struggles (minutes) to perform basically any function. Nevermind gaming (which I haven't tried), it struggles to open HWMonitor, and seems to spend half its time locked up. That said, it does boot and it doesn't complain that anything is wrong. I took a picture of HWMonitor with my phone (exporting a log would have been difficult):

https://ibb.co/bzirPe

I've read around and most similar cases involve people messing up something with the thermal paste on their cpu, but I deliberately didn't touch mine (and it is hidden away underneath the liquid cooling pump). My bios thinks my cpu is at about 41 C when I check on it. But I don't know what else to think.

I put a fair amount of stress on the liquid cooling tubing (let the radiator freely suspend itself outside the case, did a fair bit of angling it for air, but I didn't wrench it or anything). Could that stress on the bracket have messed up the cpu? Maybe it's something else? I don't even know what to try. What should I do?
 

jay32267

Champion
Motherboards use -12V.

I would replace the power supply.

As far as the cleaning....perhaps that's another issue....or a coincidence. You said you saw the -6V "just before".

....but the -12V rail should read from -10.8V to -13.2V
 

treasurecat

Commendable
May 26, 2016
6
0
1,510
0
I had actually seen the -12V reading at -6V in HWMonitor just before dusting the PC, but wasn't sure if it was a problem. Is that bad? How would it account for such a drastic performance difference before and after cleaning?
 

jay32267

Champion
Motherboards use -12V.

I would replace the power supply.

As far as the cleaning....perhaps that's another issue....or a coincidence. You said you saw the -6V "just before".

....but the -12V rail should read from -10.8V to -13.2V
 

treasurecat

Commendable
May 26, 2016
6
0
1,510
0


I went through and reseated every cable and component and that got my PC back to the same condition as before I cleaned it (ie functional with occasional problems when gaming).

So the main slowdown issue from this thread is resolved, but also the broader instability is ongoing. I appreciate the heads up about my PSU's voltage. It sounds like it may well be the culprit. Reading more, I've noticed my +12V is also hanging around 12.7V, which is higher than the +/- 0.6V tolerance that I'm seeing mentioned elsewhere. I'm going to get it replaced. Thanks.
 

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