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Old 01-27-2018, 03:01 PM
 
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I have a desktop Gateway computer plugged into a power strip. Today I accidentally turned off the entire power strip and turned it back on.

When the computer booted, the fan went "Whir" abnormally and a puff of dust shot out of the computer's vent!! I've had this thing years and I've never once seen that.

Is a computer's fan supposed to blow extra hard sometimes, to clean it out? But I've only ever seen it happen once.

Did this happen because I had turned off the power strip? I rarely turn off the power strip.

Is there something different about the computer if it has zero power going to it, as opposed to have power and just being turned off?
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Old 01-27-2018, 03:56 PM
 
588 posts, read 151,976 times
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Hmmmmm I would assume its ok.. Maybe some dust fell down in the fans path when you turned it off...... (It was stuck above it before)

Just a guess...... I do hope things are ok with it
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:01 PM
Status: "Enjoying life..." (set 10 days ago)
 
Location: San Antonio/Houston/Tricity
39,875 posts, read 57,710,982 times
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I assume you fan got dirty with dust - when was the last time you cleaned it? - and performed "self cleaning".
Is your computer working fine? Perhaps better and faster now?
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Old 01-27-2018, 04:13 PM
 
Location: SC
8,796 posts, read 5,877,164 times
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I'd done some basic cleaning of my main computer every few years to remove any dust that accumulates on the fans and on the front cover. Last cleaning I noticed that behind the front cover, there was another inner cover that I had never cleaned under. It was caked with dirt. Point here is "do a thorough cleaning" every time you open the computer.

As for the puff of smoke, that could have been wires burning. I would turn it off and then on again to see if the fan in question still spins up.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:12 AM
 
Location: Cleveland, Ohio
11,818 posts, read 13,961,605 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elnina View Post
I assume you fan got dirty with dust - when was the last time you cleaned it? - and performed "self cleaning".
Is your computer working fine? Perhaps better and faster now?
This. Clean your PC man.
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Old 01-29-2018, 09:38 AM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
2,296 posts, read 3,488,479 times
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All fans will gradually build up dust on their blades. Look at room ceiling-fans for example.

When your PCs cooling fan powered down, it probably restarted with a jolt that knocked off a lump, that then came out in a cloud.
(This is presuming it's dust and not smoke from some electrical component that was scorched - easily discernible by the smell).

You should clean it out every so often. Dust on your CPU, Graphics card (GPU) or internal Hard Disk Drives iHDDs could cause overheating, and may trip a high-heat power down safety switch that most motherboards have.

It's easy and safe:
Do a standard power-down,
Disconnect the power cord,
Hold the Power On switch for 10 seconds (this drains any internal capacitors),
Touch the metal frame before you reach inside, and then every so often, to ground your electrostatic charge.

Make sure you use non-conducting vacuum tools.
$5 will get you an accessories kit to connect to your floor or hand-held vacuum: See Amazon

My desktop PC's tower case has 5 fans (including a 5" and the one inside the power supply), and it builds up an impressive amount of dust inside.
I go in every 6 months with my hand-held vacuum cleaner attachment to suck off the dust from the internal fans (CPU and GPU coolers), the RAM and the iHDDs. It's sometimes built up a quarter inch of dust on the bottom, and I live in a standard house, not a construction site or other 'dusty' place. Then I blast everything with canned air to get the rest.
It's so bad that I started wearing a dust mask!
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