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CPU Fan Running On High Constantly

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Unread 24-06-2014, 01:37 AM   #1
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CPU Fan Running On High Constantly

Hello,

Reaching out to the community for a bit of guidance. I've got a Dell Studio 540 with an Intel Quad Core Duo 2 that's about 6 years old now. Been a good computer up until a few months ago. It really seemed to slow down a lot, and was beginning to shut itself down completely rather than go into sleep mode (uncommanded).

Two weeks ago I came to use the computer and it was flat dead. Did some self troubleshooting and slaved in a new power supply and found that to be the problem. I purchased a new 350W power supply, installed it, and it is now up and running.

The problem now is the CPU fan runs nearly constantly at high speed after about 10 minutes of use. While replacing the PSU I thoroughly cleaned the insides, including the heatsink and all inlet/outlet vents. The thermal compound was looking pretty rough, so I gave it a new coat of Arctic Silver 5. No fix. I also tried to unload the CPU by turning off auto-start up programs, etc. My Norton anti-virus keeps giving me messages saying "High CPU Usage by COM Surrogate." This is commonly linked to "dllhost.exe." Other items on the Task Manager that were using up a lot of CPU were "explorer.exe," so I uninstalled it, as I generally only use Chrome.

That's about all of the clues I have, unless you guys have more specific questions. I can't imagine it being overloaded with only two Chrome tabs opened right now (running on high as we speak). The new PSU has a down facing fan, which pulls air up out of the case and expels out the back. Would that be disrupting airflow bad enough to cause this? Also, when I took everything apart to reapply the thermal compound the CPU didn't feel hot to the touch whatsoever - warm at best.

Thanks for any help.

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Last edited by Stingray35; 24-06-2014 at 02:19 AM..
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Unread 24-06-2014, 02:38 AM   #2
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Re: CPU Fan Running On High Constantly

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Unread 26-06-2014, 09:51 PM   #3
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Re: CPU Fan Running On High Constantly

Your fan is screaming because A. you're running something that has the CPU at 60% load, and B. the CPU temp is close to max. Also, the minimum temps are high. You might have a thermal coupling problem with the CPU heatsink. Check that it's mounted correctly, with the correct amount of properly applied thermal paste. I've seen this with a heatsink mounted with NO thermal paste.

Figure out what's loading the machine and stop it. Noise goes away.
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Last edited by davnel; 26-06-2014 at 09:54 PM..
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Unread 27-06-2014, 12:11 AM   #4
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Re: CPU Fan Running On High Constantly

I decided to re-check my thermal paste job, being that it was the first time I've ever re-applied that. It was a little on the light side, so I cleaned it up again and used a bit more. Hard to believe it would make such a big difference, but the fan hasn't been on high one time since. I even tried to overload it with like 5 Chrome windows - two of which were streaming 1080p full screen. Here's the new temps with nothing running. Still not sure what the dllhost.exe is, but Norton continues to tell me that the COM Surrogate has crashed and/or is causing high CPU usage.

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Unread 27-06-2014, 12:27 AM   #5
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Re: CPU Fan Running On High Constantly

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Temps look MUCH better. As a rule of thumb, apply a thin layer of paste, using the edge of a business card to smooth it out. When you place the heatsink onto the CPU, rotate it slightly back and forth to settle the paste into it. Then tighten the screws like you are installing an engine head - diagonal opposites a little at a time. That insures a proper fit. Be careful with Intel's clips. They have a tendency to pop out. Do the upper left clip first, then the lower right. Then wiggle the heatsink a bit and do the other two the same way.

This is what Micro$oft MSDN says about COM Surrogate:

What does the COM Surrogate do and why does it always stop working? - The Old New Thing - Site Home - MSDN Blogs

and TechNet's take on it:

Com Surrogate

Hope this helps.
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Last edited by davnel; 27-06-2014 at 12:30 AM..
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