spontaneous reboot part 2
Summary: It was the CPU fan and then, the power supply. I apologise if you came here looking for SNAFU or whatever and just got a timeout. Part 1
caco rebooted a couple more times the following day. I eventually discovered that the fan on top of the heatsink had stopped turning and the CPU temperature was through the roof. I thought the reboots were a safety thing cutting in.
I went to see if I could get a new heatsink. There aren't any components shops within walking distance of where I live though. There was a Maplin but they've moved to new premises, a long way away. Plus, nobody does heatsinks for Socket A processors any more. However I realised I could take the broken fan off the top of the existing heatsink, and replace it.
That didn't fix it though. I'd already been off air two days and the thing was still rebooting spontaneously, in fact by now it wouldn't stay on more than half a minute. I thought maybe the heat had burned out the CPU so I switched it with a spare I happen to have. That didn't help either. I didn't know what was going on, I thought I'd have to replace the entire guts of the machine.
But then for some reason I thought of the power supply. I think it was because when the thing rebooted there was no error message or anything, it just happened. Also, the fans were cutting out briefly. I had a spare power supply from somewhere, so I gave it a try. Success, the thing stayed on for an hour! So I put it all back together.
Some problems still remain: the replacement CPU fan is too noisy, that's what happens when I am forced to make snap purchases with no research. Also, due to its design I had to use too small a screwdriver on the screws that attach it to the heatsink, and now their heads are mangled and I can't turn them.
caco really needs to be retired and replaced somehow.