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Replaced CPU cooler, now fans LOUD & display blank!!

I have a HP Compaq Elite 8300 USDT pc- the reeeealy small one. I have it running 24/7 as a media server, and I wanted to upgrade the cooling a little bit. Since the form factor is so small, and a replacement/larger case is out of the question (as well as liquid cooling for now), I purchased the Noctua Low-Profile NH-L9I heatsink and fan.

While I was inside the PC, I thought it would be a good idea to remove the smaller heatsink with the Z-clip and replace its thermal paste. I didn't realize this was not a regular paste setup, but it's actually glued on. I believe this heatsink is for the chipset/northbridge (correct me if I'm wrong?) but I did the best I could and applied paste and clipped it back on. It moved a little, but seemed like it would be okay.

Moving on to the cooler, the 8300 USDT has a passive cooler mounted to the processor and a small PWM fan in front and back of the case for cooling. I had to modify the case slightly to accomodate the new setup, which included hammering down the pieces of the back/bottom of the case that the OEM cooler mounted to, effectively removing my ability to go back to stock without figuring out how to re-mount the old cooler.

Anyway I get the cooler mounted, and use a PWM fan cable splitter to wire in the new fan with the front fan. I get everything all zip-tied up and perfect, and plug the beast back in. Immediately I notice that my monitor isn't doing anything (LCD tv connected by a DisplayPort-to-HDMI converter dongle) and then all three fans start spinning so loud it sounded like a jet engine taking off! This PC is quiet as heck, so this caught my attention real fast! I immediately shut it down. I remove the new fan and splitter, and just keep the two original fans connected to see what happens. Turn it back on, and the same sequence of events happens- nothing on the screen, and just eventually the fans go crazy.

I wonder if maybe the CPU cooler is not making good contact with the processor? So I take it allll apart, remove the cooler and look at both sides- the TIM is perfectly spread, and I could tell it had made great contact. So it isn't that, and the PC barely had time to heat up! So then I wonder if I effed-up with putting the TIM under that small heatsink; so I take that off, clean the TIM off it and the exposed die underneath, and place it back on. I also pressed the BIOS reset button just in case, and tried it again. SAME THING!!

Tonite after work, I plan to hook up a monitor to the VGA port and see if anything can be seen on the monitor that way. But does anyone else have any suggestions? I really rely on this PC and don't have a lot of money to keep buying stuff to try and see if it fixes the problem. I've googled and I can't even be sure that the small heatsink is really on a chipset or northbridge; could it really be for the integrated graphics instead, and that's why I can't see anything on the monitor? Any help is appreciated greatly. Thanks in advance!!!

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Clarification Request
Did you try it

In reply to: Replaced CPU cooler, now fans LOUD & display blank!!

Without any display port convertor? I find these to sometimes fault and be it.

But my next move would be to remove the CPU and check for bent socket pins and spotless CPU connections. After that it's too likely the old board didn't survive the operation.

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Thanks for the quickness!

In reply to: Did you try it

Thanks for the quick response.

I will be trying it by VGA tonite when I get home. Even still though, if the DP dongle magically decided to quit right at the exact time as a hardware upgrade, that wouldn't explain the crazy fans. Also, I'm pretty sure it's not booting anyway, because I gave it 30-45 seconds to boot (it's usually faster than that) and tried to remote into it like I usually do, and I could not connect to it. The NIC activity light was blinking though, so IDK if that's a good sign.

I can confidently say that no pins were bent and nothing touched the business side of the processor, so I really doubt that's the issue. I will remove and check later though if it comes to that. I really hope nothing happened to my mobo; I mean, I wasn't exactly clean-room status when I did the operation, but still... there has to be another reason for the fans spinning like that. Something is causing them to do that, and the only part of this operation that didn't go correctly was my removal of that smaller heatsink. I really want to say that's the cause, but I don't even know with 100% surety what it is, and whether it even has a temp sensor that could be making the fans go nuts. I even found the technical guide for my PC and of course, it labels everything else on the board BUT that. Go figure.

Thanks again... hopefully though someone else may have some input on that heatsink...

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The business side

In reply to: Thanks for the quickness!

Can let go, not be making contact after the rework. This model uses the CPU's graphics (unless I got the model all wrong) so I'm always hoping the pulling the CPU, cleaning up and putting it back will fix it because what it likely to be next is the motherboard.

As to the fans, the default power on state for many fan systems is full on until the CPU gets on its feet to set the PWM.

Post was last edited on May 20, 2017 8:41 AM PDT

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In reply to: The business side

Quite interesting... I wasn't aware that the default state was full on. And when I checked the seating of the heatsink, one thing I did not do was remove and re-seat the CPU. So I suppose tonite I will do that just to rule it out.

Seriously though, and I know that technically anything can happen when working on a PC, but if it is the mobo, why would it happen now? I know for 100% sure that I didn't damage it in any way, and although I was not grounded, I never noticed any spark or static (and yes I know that a static discharge can be tiny and unnoticeable). I had just re-TIMmed the CPU and stock heatsink last week without issue, which is when I had decided to try to go bigger on the cooling. Murphy's Law, man... I try to do something to improve/maintain/extend the life of the PC, and I wind up in a no-boot situation. Go figure!!

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Why now?

In reply to: Interesting

It's mostly about the removal of Pb from the solder. While good for the environment this meant the joints are less flexible and easier to crack.

I've been on engineering teams for mobile designs and to get the life span back up our board mounting points increased by at least double if not more.

-> There's also some Intel documents about weight limits on the CPU and other heatsinks. This is not a silly limit but all about how much stress the joints can take.

But there's some small hope in reseating the CPU. Hope that's it.

Other parting idea. Be sure to measure the CMOS battery and it must be, if the usual CR2032 over 3 Volts. 3.00 and lower is failing. Some PCs hold the CPU in reset with fans at max when this is too low.

Post was last edited on May 20, 2017 8:46 AM PDT

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Again interesting...

In reply to: Why now?

I'll be honest, I felt like the board was flexing a bit when I was attaching the heatsink from the rear, so much so that I decided not to use the screwdriver and since the screws were large and knurled, I loosened and then re-tightened them with only my fingers. I hope the board isn't shot from that tiny amount of flex.

Regarding the CMOS battery, I guess I will be picking up a multimeter on the way home from work tonite. It's honestly been a long time since I've used one, and I'm sure I can figure it out from trial-and-error, but can you save me a couple minutes by advising me on which setting on the main knob of a multimeter will allow me to measure that voltage? You seem like the type of guy/gal who knows their way around some electrical measurement tools!

Thank you muchly!!

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OR... just replace the battery.

In reply to: Again interesting...

CR2032s are used in bulk at the office so we see them for under 40 cents (low has been about 25.) It's cheaper than a Volt meter but if you are to be a PC tech eventually you need one.

As to the knob, some have them, some don't. So I can't replace tutorials since I don't know the model.

Google YouTube on Volt Meter Tutorials. Or just pop in a battery for cheap.

As to your comment about the board flexing. "That's not a good sign." With Pb gone from solder, it's not nearly as forgiving.

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In reply to: OR... just replace the battery.

I want to say that I have a 2032 laying around at home.... but who knows how good they are. So I will prob just pick one up on the way home. I used to have a decent multimeter, but like a lot of my tools and other gadgets, it grew legs and walked away at some point, so I'll probably pick up one of those too just because.

I've posted in a few different forums (you're the only one to reply as of yet) so possibly someone will have a suggestion that involves the use of a multimeter as well. Who knows.

Anyhow, thanks again for your help. You've given me a few useful (albeit slightly obvious) suggestions to try when I get home. I really love this PC for what it does, so I will be pissed/sad if I have to go buy a new mobo for it. They're not expensive on eBay ($30-40 area) but with my luck I will buy it and get it all strapped in, and have the same problem. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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All skill levels arrive here.

In reply to: Hmm...

As I owned a PC repair shop long ago there are basics we perform on The Dead PC before we swap boards and parts.

These may be too obvious for seasoned folk so I have to start at the beginning and get a feeling of the member's skill level and tolerance. Once in a while a member goes down the demanding and entitled path. For them many just tell them to take it to the shop. You can guess why.

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I'm always humbled

In reply to: All skill levels arrive here.

I enjoy helping folks myself, whether technical or otherwise. I used to own a cell phone store and did many repairs myself on devices and PCs of all kinds, so I have some knowledge but there's always someone who has more. This is my first time reaching out on internet forums for PC advice though, but I have used them for car repair issues. I always try to remain humble and appreciative of any suggestions given by others, because you're right; anything else can get you told where to take your PC (pun intended)!

Thanks again, and I hope that one of these simple issues is it. It would be just like me to have ignored the obvious and assumed a catastrophe!

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Thank you.

In reply to: I'm always humbled

If you find it, everyone loves it when you post what it was.

Cheers and good luck,
Bob Proffitt (mod)

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In reply to: Thank you.

When I got home last night, I took your suggestion and first changed the CMOS battery. No change. I then tried re-seating my RAM. No change. So then I took it all apart and 'breadboarded' it out of the case. No change.

I then took off the heatsink to re-seat the processor, and that's when I found it. Not only were about six of my socket pins bent, but there was actually a bit of paper towel in there that was bigger than a couple pins!!! I don't know how I didn't see that, or notice that somehow pins had gotten bent. I don't know if I damaged them somehow while the processor was out, or if it's even possible that when I first tightened the heatsink with a screwdriver that maybe the pressure bent them?? But I would think that wouldn't be able to bend random pins like this. I should have taken a picture, but I didn't.

Anyhow, after a search for a magnifying glass (which wasn't that great!) and snipping the point off of a sewing needle, and an hour of poking and prodding, I got all but one of them looking okay. There was just this one that i could not get right, because it looked like it had crumpled onto itself. And my eyesight isn't too good as it is. But I figured what the heck, I'll give it a shot.

I put the processor back on, and just sat the heatsink and fan on it, plugged in a monitor, and sure enough it POSTed. So I started putting it back together, and every step of the way checking to see if it would still boot to Windows.

It's running okay (I'm typing this on it now) so I don't know if that pin is somehow making contact, or if it was a superfluous pin, like a ground or power pin, etc. One thing I do know is, I'm probably going to pick up a spare mobo just to have on hand, just in case!

Thanks everyone for your help. Mark this one SOLVED!

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Thanks for the fix.

In reply to: SOLVED

Nice it was that and not a dead board.

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In reply to: Thanks for the fix.

I couldn't agree more! Thanks again.

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