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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My father runs a computer shop. He's got a customer who's having trouble with his computer 4 years old and has been running fine to this day. I noticed immediately the cause, a loose CPU fan and plastic shield guard for thermal paste on the CPU fan was still there. The fan barely looked like it had dust. I suspect foul play by either customer or family of customer. I educated the CX that's not possible although it could run for a short period of time but it'd always get extremely hot as plastic is an insulator not a conductor. Further clues are that the fan was completely clean like it was brand new. Small amount of thermal paste residue on the surface of the processor as if it was whiped at but not cleanly. I have a feeling their son (14) who's owned it intended to improve the cooling of the processor or fix a separate problem the kid was experiencing possibly with a game crashing. I think he experienced one of them well known self diagnostic fears.

Well I hoped everyone had a good chuckle, but I would like some thoughts and impressions so if the customer wishes to accuse I can inform them with a more composed and educated understanding like with thermal dynamics. 45w tdp processor, all alluminum no copper on the CPU fan. Plastic was probably something like 1/23 of an inch of plastic. My understanding is that even if some thermal exchange occurred it would not be enough to keep it cool at operation temperatures correct?
 

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Try this:

Proper cooling of CPU chips is required for safe and long lasting performance. The hotter an integrated circuit runs the less time it will last.

The best heat transfer between materials is achieved when they are in direct contact with each other. But the tops of CPU chips and the bottoms of CPU coolers are not flat. Special heat conductive "pastes" are used to fill in the gaps between the CPU and cooler. These special materials have to be applied in such a way that they fill in the gaps between the low points of the CPU and the cooler, but still are thin enough so that the high points (where the best heat transfer occurs) are as close together as possible.

Forgetting to remove the plastic protective patch from the factory installed paste on the bottom of a CPU cooler and applying additional paste to the CPU causes the gap between the two to be excessive and greatly reduces the coolers ability to absorb heat from the CPU. Since the cooler can't absorb heat properly, the fan on the cooler runs less or doesn't even run at all while the CPU chip runs much hotter than it should.
 
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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

Try this:

Proper cooling of CPU chips is required for safe and long lasting performance. The hotter an integrated circuit runs the less time it will last.

The best heat transfer between materials is achieved when they are in direct contact with each other. But the tops of CPU chips and the bottoms of CPU coolers are not flat. Special heat conductive "pastes" are used to fill in the gaps between the CPU and cooler. These special materials have to be applied in such a way that they fill in the gaps between the low points of the CPU and the cooler, but still are thin enough so that the high points (where the best heat transfer occurs) are as close together as possible.

Forgetting to remove the plastic protective patch from the factory installed paste on the bottom of a CPU cooler and applying additional paste to the CPU causes the gap between the two to be excessive and greatly reduces the coolers ability to absorb heat from the CPU. Since the cooler can't absorb heat properly, the fan on the cooler runs less or doesn't even run at all while the CPU chip runs much hotter than it should.
I like that. What if the owner is reluctant to accept his son may have tampered? I mean I can go all day describing how clean the fan is.
 

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In any business the customer is always right.

If the customer questions your explanation, continue explaining until you're sure that the customer understands what you're telling them. The customer doesn't have to agree, just understand. Once you're sure that the customer understands then it's time to ask for payment.

If the customer owes you money and refuses to pay you have to balance the loss of money vs any future business and good will (telling others how well they think they were treated) you may get from the customer and decide whether to let the customer off for free this time or ask that the customer not return...ever.

It makes no sense to deal with a customer that refuses to pay unless future profits and good will are at least likely. Typically, once a customer gets "free service" they will think they can get it again and you don't want to deal with that type of customer if you don't have to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by billbartuska View Post

In any business the customer is always right.

If the customer questions your explanation, continue explaining until you're sure that the customer understands what you're telling them. The customer doesn't have to agree, just understand.

If the customer owes you money and refuses to pay you have to balance the loss of money vs any future business you may get from the customer and decide whether to let the customer off for free this time or ask that the customer not return...ever. It makes no sense to deal with a customer that refuses to pay unless future profits are at least likely. Typically, once a customer gets "free service" they will think they can get it again and you don't want to deal with that type of customer if you don't have to.
Very good points you have. Thank you! I'm a great technician but I myself is not tactful. I'm usually more than blunt, I'll try to reserve myself to help my Dad.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by SpeedyVT View Post

I like that. What if the owner is reluctant to accept his son may have tampered? I mean I can go all day describing how clean the fan is.
No, NEVER EVER accuse someone like that. You don't know so don't make assumptions. Just talk about the facts.

So what's the issue? It's not clear...
He doesn't want to pay for fixing the HS?
Or is he trying to return the PC after 4 years?
 

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Just tell the customer you are pretty certain someone was inside of computer. Don't say anything about who you suspect. If you only spent a few minutes fixing it, give it to him free, but point out if it happens again you will be charging for the repair.
 

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^^ +1
That's a good plan.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Quote:
Originally Posted by DuckieHo View Post

No, NEVER EVER accuse someone like that. You don't know so don't make assumptions. Just talk about the facts.

So what's the issue? It's not clear...
He doesn't want to pay for fixing the HS?
Or is he trying to return the PC after 4 years?
He might have been trying to get money off a bill to reduce the cost of a new rig he wants to buy for his other son.

We didn't charge him for reseating the heatsink and applying thermal paste. We just told him that what ever happened some time of recently, someone has been tampering with the heatsink. I really question what the heck is going on in that household. I know times are tough, but people shouldn't abuse opportunity. My Dad has serious ADHD and minor OCD. People sometimes take advantage of his problems because he can't come to terms that it may not have been his fault. So I had to constantly coach him when he gets something that stresses him out and he feels responsible. It's NOT possible for a computer to run even the length of four years with a 1/23 inch plastic shield still on a CPU.
 
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