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Chemical smell coming from PC

by LucidGoldfish / March 29, 2008 1:25 PM PDT


I just built a new PC, and this weird chemical smell is coming from it.
Everything is running fine, the temps are absolutely normal. Speed fan shows that my core temp, i.e. my cpu is running at 29 Celsius to 32. Depending on what I am doing. When opening my case as best as I can tell the smell is coming from the CPU area. It is most prominent at the fan right next to the cpu expelling air from the case. It is definitely not coming from the power supply.

When I have the case closed the smell fills up the room. It is not a burning smell, more like a new rubber chemical smell, or a aerosol smell.

Is this normal? Can thermal grease create this smell as it breaks in so to speak? Last I checked the bios was saying the CPU was at 38 to 40 degrees Celsius. I am a little concerned. I don't see any melting wires or anything.

Is it possible that this could be cause by using too much thermal grease?

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"the smell filled up the room"...
by ahtoi / March 29, 2008 6:01 PM PDT

Now that sounds pretty bad (or maybe I should say smell..).

First of all; thermal grease should not smell, at least I have not experience it.

It is obvious something is burning. Some may not agree with my method. but here is how I would do it. Take the case cover off then turn on the computer. When it start to smell, I would unplug the computer; Then I would discharge myself by touching the chassis, and I would then use my hand and see if there are anything that is too hot to touch. Good luck.

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Typical info
by Willy / March 30, 2008 1:07 AM PDT

Any new system smell should "dissipate" after a short time, within 1-2 days. However, you never know it could take a week. The very reason you smell anything suggest the case cooling it pushing out inside heat to include any smell. The cpu itself does get warm, hot to some but that should all settle down. If after a week it continues to smell or get worse, then just open case to increase venting and observe operation. Chemicals are very much the way of our life so don't discount it but keep an eye on it but IMHO I wouldn't worry about it unless it worsens or seems truly abnormal.

tada -----Willy Happy

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Smell will continue to be a mystery
by LucidGoldfish / April 2, 2008 9:46 AM PDT
In reply to: Typical info

As it turns out, I started to have problems with my PC. It started with not being able to reboot my PC, no power no fans... nothing. Upon reseating my RAM it would start up. This happened four or five times. I thought it was some bad RAM and was in the process of determining that, when it started randomly shutting down. Reseating the RAM would still allow me to reboot, but then it shut down randomly for one last time, and anything I tried would not fix it. So I pulled the power supply, and voila, everything worked. No problems with RAM.

As far as the smell went, well that is going to remain a mystery. It has slowly dissipated, but still continued after I put in the new power supply. I don't think the smell was coming from the Power Supply, as it didn't smell, but it could have come from my x-fi front I/O connector bay as this no longer works. But I am unsure, because, in all of the frustration, of trouble shooting my PC, I may damaged it, as I found a small resistor or something like that, had become dislodged. I don't know if a power supply failure could cause that. I tried soldering it back on to no avail.

One thing that does have me concerned though, is with the bad power supply, when I would flip the power supply's toggle on switch to on, the PC would just boot without me pushing the front power button. Which I have never had that happen on any of my previous PC builds. When I switched power supply's this behavior stopped ... for the first few boots. But now when I disconnect the plug and flip the switch, I am getting the same thing. The PC just boots up on its on.

The only thing I can think of that would cause this would be the bios setting that has to do with the power going out. But I have the soft boot option selected. (where the PC stays off when the power is interrupted.) Anyway is this normal? I've never seen it before... that I recall anyway.

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Thank you everyone
by LucidGoldfish / April 2, 2008 9:48 AM PDT

Oh and thank you for all or your input everyone. I really appreciate all the help.

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if the PC is working fine Then
by Noobie Tuesday / March 30, 2008 4:11 AM PDT

That Would be the smell of BURN IN all new electronics smell like that the frist time they fire up and run for a while if this smell dosent go away in a day or so then you may have some bad componets

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More then likely just "new car smell"
by Dango517 / March 30, 2008 8:46 AM PDT

but to be on the safe side.

Closely examine the mother board for areas that look odd. Everything should be bright and shiny. All resistors, diodes and the like should look the same. Look for dark and discolored areas.

Double check that all of your components have seated well into there slots and that all cables are plugged in well. (I hope I don't need to remind you to unplug it first.) If things aren't seated in well, it could be arching.

Fans can be lubricated using Three-in-one (TM) oil. There is usually a plug or label that covers the bearing, these can be removed, a drop of oil applied and the the label or plug should be re-installed to keep the dust out. If the labels will not adhere use duct tape to cover the bearing. Make sure the fans go back in the way they came out. Even new fans can be bad.

Did you notice any static electric discharges during the build? You know those little zaps you get in the Winter when the house is dry and hot? If you did, you may have fried something. Do you remember what it was? These little finger "thunder bolts" can really screw things up.

Hope this helps.

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Chemical smells
by jelley / March 31, 2008 8:01 AM PDT

In a similar vein, I recently posted the below limerick:

Samsung's LCDs made me ill,
Epoxies outgassed like to kill!
Strong phosphors so silent
They seemed quite non-violent...
Yet proved worse than some poisoned pill!

(I'd also included another re: Samsung printers - btw, those printers come loaded with chemicals too - the Chinese don't outgas their goods which then piles up a nightmare of chemicals in this country.

In the book InvisibleDisease by Nordstrom, it explains that when machines warm up, chemicals outgas and can be absorbed by the human body which then react to EMFs (such as EMFs of "light"). Like a vicious cycle.

These URLs are relevant & may interest you:



MESS Cartoons: http://www.freewebs.com/eclectives/messtoons.htm


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It's offgasing
by Dango517 / March 31, 2008 12:09 PM PDT
In reply to: Chemical smells
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wikipedia - outgassing/offgassing
by jelley / April 1, 2008 6:20 AM PDT
In reply to: It's offgasing
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The difference is one is short term the other long
by Dango517 / April 1, 2008 6:49 AM PDT

There is a difference. Though it is never a good to be exposed to hazardous materials short term exposure is better then long, at very low doses. Long term exposure theoretically will/can cause more damage.

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