graphics card on fire



OK, not quite on fire but produced a nasty burning smell.

Turns out the fan in my card had failed a while back and I never
noticed. It was clogged up with dust and wouldn't budge. This is my work
machine and it runs Windows, and other than my screen saver crashing
there was no ill effect. I blamed the screen saver, disabled it and
didn't think much more of it.

Today I thought I'd give the Fedora 13 Live CD a spin and about 20
minutes in I noticed the smell. For whatever reason Fedora was making
the card work overtime and it got *extremely* hot. The plastic fan had
started melting and the PCB has a burnt spot directly under the
heatsink. Of course this wouldn't have happened if the fan hadn't
failed, but still makes me wonder why there was such a different between
Windows and Fedora? Even with the fan working the card would have gotten
pretty hot. Both where just displaying a simple desktop, no fancy 3D
effects.

The card is a GeForce 9400 GT. I'm not sure what driver Fedora was
using, but the desktop effects where unavailable when I tried them.

Hacked on a replacement fan and the card seems to have survived intact.
Haven't tried Fedora again though!

-Phil
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