How to determine the computer stability? part I

Depending on the needs of each user, computer stability can be good for gamers who overlock its components or excellent for those who need a computer to process important data  without corrupt them. Many of us think  that full lock, occasional resets or  blue screen (“of death” ) that precedes the computer restarting or the apparently automatically shut down of your computer are normal things. Well, is not like that even by far. A computer clocked at default frequencies should ideally work without unexpected events 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. There are many causes that may cause instability in your system, and in this little guide will try to describe them and see how can be detected and how can be solved. Most crashes, fatal error –errors which completely block or restart the computer are caused by hardware problems.

First of all, we’ll talk about fans problem because they might attack your system stability and we’ll see how. System component that seems to break most often are fans. The reasons are dust entering into the engine and destroying its bearings in time (or the system that takes the engine propeller). Another reason could be that the propeller was hit with an object inside or outside of the case. Usually, some time before it gives up, you can hear thunder during operation from a fan. If it fails, the component that is cooled will overheat (sometimes until it burns) and cause all sorts of system errors. Usually, you’ll find fans on the CPU heatsink,  on video card heatsink, integrated in the current and voltage source (PSU) and sometimes on the motherboard and case. Most essential are the processor fans, video card and source.

CPU heatsink cooler

It is important that a fan to be as quiet and always be away (with a grating) of other objects that may hit the propeller blades. Once the bearings began to cede, it should be changed. You can mount some dust filters, but they tend to obstruct the air flow. The air flow can also be obstructed by the inadequate management of cables in the case. One way to determine if the fan is operating properly is to control the components temperature. If for example, if your video card has an excessively high temperature (90 ° C), then something might be wrong with the fan that cools. Temperatures can be determined with tools like SpeedFan, Core Temp, Sandra Lite or monitoring utility that comes on the motherboard CD.

Core Temp temperature readings

It is advisable to clean the dust (preferably by aspiration) every six months on your central unit. For enthusiasts, there is the possibility of polishing the CPU heatsink’s contact surface (lapping) for a lower temperature. CPU temperature should not exceed 55-60 ° C. If your processor provides the ability to adjust frequency and voltage depending on use (AMD Cool’n’Quiet or Intel SpeedStep) make sure that they are active in the computer BIOS, and the manner of consuming the electricity (Control Panel > Power Options> Power Schemes) is minimal (Minimal Power Management) to achieve an average operating temperature and lower power consumption. For details about configuring the BIOS, consult the motherboard manual. Once activated the function above, you can use SpeedFan to control the fan speed according to temperature, or you can configure it in BIOS if the motherboard will allow. Thus, we can achieve a high degree of quietness of the system.

Advanced BIOS features

Now, it’s time to develop other major problem regarding the stability of your system and we’ll continue with an important component—hard disk. Hard Disk is one of the most fragile components of the computer because it works with mechanical parts (like optical drive or floppy disk). If the unit is dropped or receives a strong mechanical shock, there are huge chances that hard drive to be damaged, especially if it’s still in operation. If something happened, it is vital that you back up your files as quickly as possible. A damaged hard disk can not read or record data without corrupt them, or may not even start at all. Sometimes this warns you with some clicking noise if there are some troubles. Hard disk may failure is longer in time, from using. It usually occurs-those “bad” or those unregistrated or unreadable sectors. These can be detected and marked with an operating system utility called Scandisk (see the drives properties> tools> error checking), but you can look on the eventimente log (Event Viewer) after disk error on System tab. Event log can be accessed by typing in the box Run –“eventvwr”.

Another way to test the reliability of your hard disk is using  HD Tune programs which shows on Health tab S.M.A.R.T data of the disk. If statuses indicate “OK” everything is okay. Another reason less expected is decoupling of data cable (especially on disks with SATA interface) or a cord. Because there are many things to be said about computer stability, we thought it might be clearer to divide this “problem” which is not minor, in two parts. You’ll find many other important things about computer instability in part II and also, our next article will provide you more other solutions to your problems.11

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