Helping people with computers... one answer at a time.
Airflow through your computer is an important part of keeping it cool and running well. Frequently fans are just blocked by dust and dirt.
For some reason, my computer randomly shuts down a lot. It's been happening even more and more. It started around the start of summer. It usually would shut down for no reason. Yesterday, it said Over Temperature. This shutting down thing is annoying. When I'm trying to do work, I lose it all and the computer shuts down. I asked my cousin, he said that it could be my fan. I haven't checked yet, I'm going to ask you first, is it my fan? Or is it another problem?
The "Over Temperature" is definitely a clue, and the fan is a definite possibility.
But ... let me tell you a little story about dust bunnies, first.
For those who might not be familiar with the term, "dust bunnies" are clumps of dust and debris that form in and around computers, furniture and other areas that might not be getting cleaned regularly.
We might not think much of them, and indeed, in places where they exist it's typically because someone isn't thinking about them very often.
But here's the dirty (no pun intended) secret:
Dust bunnies can kill computers.
As you've noted, your computer has at least one, and possibly more, fans that move air through its case. The computer's components generate a lot of heat, and the purpose of the fans is to keep the computer cooler by pushing warm air out and pulling presumably cooler air in.
The problem is that the "pulling air in" part also attracts dust and dirt that might be floating around in the air as your computer is running. The dirt then accumulates into larger clumps that end up blocking the vents that air is supposed to move through.
And this can happen both inside, and outside your computer.
The result is that your fans might well be running, but because the airflow is blocked they can't do their job. In fact, the fans themselves end up adding even more heat to the mix which has nowhere to go.
As a result, your computer overheats and crashes.
As you might imagine, the solution is fairly clear: keep the area around your computer clean and clear.
Make sure that there is room around your computer, particularly around the vents in front and back, for air to flow.
Place your computer in a cooler part of your room, or near some natural air flow if you can.
Vacuum around your computer, particularly behind it, on a regular basis. How often will depend on just how quickly dust bunnies form in your particular location. If you're actually seeing clumps, then you've probably waited a little too long.
If you're already in the "covered with dust bunnies" stage, shut down and unplug your computer, open the case, and then with a brush attachment gently vacuum out the interior. Pay particular notice to the location of the fans, and any accumulations of dust and dirt.
While you have your computer open, and after you've cleaned it and put the vacuum away, plug it back in again for a few seconds and make sure those fans are running. If not, then perhaps they've been damaged by getting clogged with dirt and need to be replaced.
It's an easy thing to overlook, and I've personally seen some seriously over-looked computers in my day.
The good news is that it's also an easy thing to stay on top of, and it's worth it. There are enough other things to go wrong, we don't need killer dust bunnies to add to our problems.
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