Where is the smell coming from?

I have an odd question, I keep getting these strange smells in the room where my computer is. I have eliminated all other possibilities and the source of the smell seems to be my computer. Could the computer be out gassing, could heat cause these smells? And could this be an indication that my computer is about to die.

I have an eMachines T3104 with an AMD Athlon 64 3200, it’s about 5 years old
Thanks for your help.

[quote=spacepope;2257230]I have an odd question, I keep getting these strange smells in the room where my computer is. I have eliminated all other possibilities and the source of the smell seems to be my computer. Could the computer be out gassing, could heat cause these smells? And could this be an indication that my computer is about to die.

I have an eMachines T3104 with an AMD Athlon 64 3200, it’s about 5 years old
Thanks for your help.[/quote]
I once had a video card that the fan went bad on, and it heated up to the point that it burned some wires and died. But then again some media have an odd odor from the dye sometimes, without being there its very hard to tell, do you have any tools to measure your temps?

Another common issue which I’ve experienced several times on a few people’s PCs is the fan sticking in the power supply. This causes it to overheat and start giving off a burnt rubber like smell once the PC has been running for a while. The simplest way to check this is to put your hand at the back of the PSU and feel if there is any air blowing out. The power supply should also not be hot to the touch either.

Like Alan mentioned, the graphics card fan is another that can get clogged with dust and stick over time and is something that has happened with my previous graphics card.

Finally, it’s worth doing a visual inspection of the fans inside the PC by removing the side panel and power up the PC to make sure all the fans spin (rear fan, CPU fan, graphics card fan and chipset fan, if present).

Basically, if the smell is like burnt plastic or rubber, you should start investigating it before something more serious happens.

A complete visual inspection of the motherboard, any cards fitted and the psu together with any drives is called for…
Take particular attention to the electrolytic caps. Look for leakage and swelling.
Don’t be afraid to use your nose to smell cards and drives etc for burnt or chemical smells.
When did you last clean inside the computer? It could be choked with dust.
The others have all given excellent advice. Let us know how you get on.

Have you taken a shower lately :eek: JK
Seriously, eMachines did have their share of bad capacitors…I don’t know about odor involved with these, but anyway, here is a link with pix to help you identify them:
http://www.badcaps.net/pages.php?vid=5

Can have various sources. Does it smell like ozone, burning plastic, melting tin, etc? Check power supply, the (laser) printer, motherboard temperatures, dust, etc.

Carry the pc into another room and check if the smell travels along to the other room.

Thanks for all your suggestions, I will try as many of them as possible and get back to you. Just for a point of reference the smell is usually chemical and sometimes it smells like old sweat. And BTW I take a shower once a week whether I need it or not.:bigsmile:

Well. it seems what should have been obvious was the answer.:doh: Foolish me. It seems that while I cleaned the dust off the one side of the fans I didn’t clean the other side for what looks like more than a year, there were baby dust bunnies on the back of the PC, somewhere I never look, now th smells are gone, apparently, except for the bad breath and the BO:bigsmile: but that’s me not the computer. thanks again for your input.

My bet would have been Slayerking :stuck_out_tongue:

Kidding aside, good for you that you resolved your problem.

Yes, as mentioned before: Bad capacitors if it’s a strange, strongly chemical smell.

What I once saw was that some totally normal and regular 12V CoolerMaster 12cm case-fans couldn’t make the normal full voltage of 12V they were made for. At the end we realized, that they could make the 12V on the table, but installed in the case they were overspinning in an enclosure type of mechanism. THey were simply spinning fastr than they could get the necessary amount of air to hold them back to the normal RPM of 12V operation. The fans smelled so bad that we had to throw them away.

I once saw a mouse which apparantly thought the 220 volt cables of a HP LaserJet looked tasty. The owner of the LaserJet complained about a burnt smell and his printer not working. We found a fried mouse.