Totally opposite- Can Computers get too cold??

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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I have my computer in my basement where during the day (the heater is not on) it stands between 60-65 degrees. I was wondering if this would create any problem. Sometimes when I try to turn on my computer, it won't start until I repeatedly turn it off/on 5-6 times before it starts booting. Everything seems to turn on, the noises are normal, but the monitor fails to respond. I know its a weird problem. :confused: Thanks for all the help.

-nab
 

Baronz

Senior member
Mar 12, 2002
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You have the concern of condensation forming and components going from really low temps to high ones. I don't think 60 degrees is low enough to be concerned though. I've had computers stored in much much colder temps and much more moisture and they're running to this day.

Also had my laptop running outside in the winter at 26 or so degrees, I wouldn't recommend that though :D
 

mrgoblin

Golden Member
Jul 28, 2003
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Try putting a blanked around your monitor when your not using it. As for your computer maybe its a bad power supply. Id check your rails and if your getting poor voltages just swamp it out for a new one. You could also put a towel or something around the case but im not sure if it needs air or not. My 2 cents
 

chocoruacal

Golden Member
Nov 12, 2002
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Address your hardware problem first. Once you get that figured out, leave the computer running 24/7. Temp problem solved.
 

drag

Elite Member
Jul 4, 2002
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computers generally can't get to cold. The colder the better the solid state stuff runs. The only issues would be condisation and maybe the plastic/motors/moving parts from the cdrom getting brittle as you get a couple of dozen degrees below zero.

Otherwise the mainboard would run fine submerged in liquid nitrogen cooled liquid until the electrolite chemicals in the capaciters froze and ruined them. :p


The power problem maybe caused from the power supply itself... Right at boot up it needs a bit of energy to do the post stuff, and if the power supply is weak then it may not be able to boot up....


Otherwise do a visual inspection of the board, make sure that the capaciters (round blue cylender thingies sticking out of the board at random intervals.) weren't from a bad batch of korean chemicals and are buldging or leaking, make sure the wire connections are solid, make sure that the connections are clean and everything is relatively dust free.
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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Originally posted by: drag
computers generally can't get to cold. The colder the better the solid state stuff runs. The only issues would be condisation and maybe the plastic/motors/moving parts from the cdrom getting brittle as you get a couple of dozen degrees below zero.

Otherwise the mainboard would run fine submerged in liquid nitrogen cooled liquid until the electrolite chemicals in the capaciters froze and ruined them. :p


The power problem maybe caused from the power supply itself... Right at boot up it needs a bit of energy to do the post stuff, and if the power supply is weak then it may not be able to boot up....


Otherwise do a visual inspection of the board, make sure that the capaciters (round blue cylender thingies sticking out of the board at random intervals.) weren't from a bad batch of korean chemicals and are buldging or leaking, make sure the wire connections are solid, make sure that the connections are clean and everything is relatively dust free.

dust free you say.....it definetly has dust in it....how much of a problem can that cause? is the best way to get rid of that with blow air through it? compressed air or something of that sort?


I have a 300W Enermax Power supply running a 1.6a on P4S533. I have 4 fans runnins (2 exhaust 2 intake).
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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Originally posted by: mrgoblin
Try putting a blanked around your monitor when your not using it. As for your computer maybe its a bad power supply. Id check your rails and if your getting poor voltages just swamp it out for a new one. You could also put a towel or something around the case but im not sure if it needs air or not. My 2 cents

How do I "check my rails"? What are rails? :eek:


My basement has heater/air conditioner so I don't think moisture is going to be a big problem. I tried an experiment. I left my computer on for 4 days straight and everything worked fine. I turned the computer off the next night and tried turning it back on roughly 15 hours later. It didn't turn on. I had to push the reboot button and power on/off a couple of times before it started working.
 

Jesta

Senior member
Jun 9, 2001
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Computers can indeed get too cold. I have one that I keep in an uninsulated garage and first thing in the morning when I hit the power switch I get nothing on the screen. I leave it on, come back about 5-10 minutes later (enough time for it to warm up), hit the reset button and all is well.
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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Originally posted by: Jesta
Computers can indeed get too cold. I have one that I keep in an uninsulated garage and first thing in the morning when I hit the power switch I get nothing on the screen. I leave it on, come back about 5-10 minutes later (enough time for it to warm up), hit the reset button and all is well.

That sounds like the same symptoms that I am having, but previous posts said that 60 degrees isn't cold enough to have any effects on the computer. Any thoughts?
 

BFG10K

Lifer
Aug 14, 2000
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Electronic devices do have a maximum and minimum operating temperature but I doubt your basement is outside of those bounds. Condensation could be a problem though.
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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Originally posted by: BFG10K
Electronic devices do have a maximum and minimum operating temperature but I doubt your basement is outside of those bounds. Condensation could be a problem though.

The basement has heater/ac which i turn on from the time i turn the comp on to the time i turn it off usually between 3pm-1am. So I'm guessing that condensation builds up between 1am-3pm. What does condensation do and how can I fix this problem? Thanks for the advice.

[edit] I forgot to mention that this is a finished basement.
 

wacki

Senior member
Oct 30, 2001
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Originally posted by: BFG10K
Electronic devices do have a maximum and minimum operating temperature but I doubt your basement is outside of those bounds. Condensation could be a problem though.

What has a minumum operating temperature? Are you people nutz or what? THE COLDER THE BETTER!!!! Microchips don't have a minimum temperature, pcb's dont, and from my experience hard drives work very well at temperatures that make his basement look like death valley. Even if the fans had a minimum temp (I'm pretty sure they don't) you wouldn't care because it's soo cold! Ever heard of superconductors? Seriously, why would you say they have a minumum temperature.

A computer completely submersed in liquid nitrogen cooled fluorinert thats -196 degrees Celsius approx.

Submersion

For hard drives do a search on google for "hard drive freezer trick" or try it yourself, liquid nitrogen also works for a much faster and longer "freezer trick" and strongly hints that motors don't have a minimum temp. If you don't believe me check out whats pumping the liguid nitrogen in the above link.

The only thing you have to worry about is condensation, and a little foam/non-conductive grease that comes with every phase change vapor cooler for computers will do just fine.

Seriously, what makes all of you guys think cold is bad? Only condensation is bad.
 

buleyb

Golden Member
Aug 12, 2002
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Cold isn't bad for solid state devices. It can be bad for mechanical devices (hard drives, cdroms, floppys - ha!)depending on the temperatures we're talking about. It can also be bad for LCDs, as I've seen quite a few that cracked when started from a real cold (0deg F in most cases) state.

As for condensation, yeah, its a big thing to watch out for. But don't make the tragic mistake of removing humidity from the room, this could lead to excessive static buildup on surfaces...

As for 60-65 deg conditions, this it the temp we run our server room at work at (but we have denser setups, so heat is a bigger concern for us).
 

klah

Diamond Member
Aug 13, 2002
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Originally posted by: wacki
Originally posted by: BFG10K
Electronic devices do have a maximum and minimum operating temperature but I doubt your basement is outside of those bounds. Condensation could be a problem though.

What has a minumum operating temperature? Are you people nutz or what? THE COLDER THE BETTER!!!! Microchips don't have a minimum temperature, pcb's dont, and from my experience hard drives work very well at temperatures that make his basement look like death valley. Even if the fans had a minimum temp (I'm pretty sure they don't) you wouldn't care because it's soo cold! Ever heard of superconductors? Seriously, why would you say they have a minumum temperature.

A computer completely submersed in liquid nitrogen cooled fluorinert.

Submersion

For hard drives do a search on google for "hard drive freezer trick" or try it yourself, liquid nitrogen works for a much faster and longer "freezer trick".

The only thing you have to worry about is condensation, and a little foam/non-conductive grease that comes with every phase change vapor cooler for computers will do just fine.

Seriously, what makes all of you guys think cold is bad? Only condensation is bad.

Actually the guys that have been running their cascades at below -90C have been having their cpus physically crack. -70C seems to be the limit for long term use.



 

wacki

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Oct 30, 2001
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Originally posted by: buleyb
Cold isn't bad for solid state devices. It can be bad for mechanical devices (hard drives, cdroms, floppys - ha!)depending on the temperatures we're talking about. It can also be bad for LCDs, as I've seen quite a few that cracked when started from a real cold (0deg F in most cases) state.

As for condensation, yeah, its a big thing to watch out for. But don't make the tragic mistake of removing humidity from the room, this could lead to excessive static buildup on surfaces...

As for 60-65 deg conditions, this it the temp we run our server room at work at (but we have denser setups, so heat is a bigger concern for us).

Hard drives, in my experience not a chance. Remember the freezer trick? LCD's, Cdroms, and floppy's ok I can believe that because of the difference in contraction rates between glass (of the laser lense) and metal, and similar reasons. But he isn't even having a problem with those. His problems are all before post, that's all silicon and one switch.
 

wacki

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Oct 30, 2001
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Originally posted by: klah


Actually the guys that have been running their cascades at below -90C have been having their cpus physically crack. -70C seems to be the limit for long term use.

Link? Proof? Kind of hard to believe, considering all the superconducting research done at sub zero temps.

TRW Space and Electronics Group in Redondo Beach, California keep chips at nine degrees above absolute zero. They use liquid helium to cool their chips. Granted their chips are a bit different, but it's still hard to believe silicon will crack over the long term and not the short term.

I'm not saying your wrong, I'm just saying I don't understand why long term cold would be any different than a week of absolute zero or any temp equal to the long term temp. I'm not an engineer, but am I right in saying that if something needs to withstand -50 C then push it to ~-75-100 (whatever %50 more cold/contraction is) and see if it survives?
 

mrgoblin

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Jul 28, 2003
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Originally posted by: Nab
Originally posted by: mrgoblin
Try putting a blanked around your monitor when your not using it. As for your computer maybe its a bad power supply. Id check your rails and if your getting poor voltages just swamp it out for a new one. You could also put a towel or something around the case but im not sure if it needs air or not. My 2 cents

How do I "check my rails"? What are rails? :eek:


My basement has heater/air conditioner so I don't think moisture is going to be a big problem. I tried an experiment. I left my computer on for 4 days straight and everything worked fine. I turned the computer off the next night and tried turning it back on roughly 15 hours later. It didn't turn on. I had to push the reboot button and power on/off a couple of times before it started working.

By rails i mean the rails on your power supply. If they seem weak, then you probably need a new power supply. You also might have dirty power coming in. Try a UPS
 

Jesta

Senior member
Jun 9, 2001
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Dunno, there is something going on. My computer is like clockwork, never once when I first turn it on during cold months does it turn on. But 100% of the time after I let it warm up for 5-10 minutes it works like a champ. There is something going on.
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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So we've ruled at that temperature is not a problem. I believe that its either dirty electricity or condensation build up. Jesta, you seem to have the same problem I'm having. Maybe it is due to the climate. Where are you located? i'm southeast over here....atlanta, georgia.
 

Jesta

Senior member
Jun 9, 2001
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Southwest, and it is temperature because during the winter months is the only time the machine acts this way. It probably only gets down to 55-60 but as I said before, it is like clockwork. As soon as I let it warm up for 5-10 minutes the machine works fine for the rest of the day.
 

JBT

Lifer
Nov 28, 2001
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I have known people that have had this problem before it was both faulted on a weak PSU try a bigger wattage name brand and see what it does. Smaller PSU's seem not to be able to put out enough juice at first when they are a little chilly.
 

Sideswipe001

Golden Member
May 23, 2003
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Test out a new Power Supply. If you have another computer in the house, try to switch the Power Supplies for a day or two and see. It could be a lot of things, but the Power Supply seems most likely to me too.
 

wacki

Senior member
Oct 30, 2001
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Originally posted by: Sideswipe001
Test out a new Power Supply. If you have another computer in the house, try to switch the Power Supplies for a day or two and see. It could be a lot of things, but the Power Supply seems most likely to me too.


I did a little research on this, and I would seem that the power supply would be the likely cause. As far as temperature goes, the only cold related problems I've found are explained in the link below.

Ding Dang Cold problem

It's kind of funny I recommend reading it, sounds like a problem I would have.
 

Nab

Senior member
May 13, 2002
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From what everyone said I have concluded that the power supply isn't adequate enough. Thanks for the help and input. :)