It all started a week or so ago when I was minding my own business watching TV and my wife and I heard a sharp bang in the room. Since our daughter's room is directly above the living room, we thought she may have fallen out of bed but no blood curdling screams followed. I bravely went up to investigate anyway but found nothing amiss. Chalking it up to "something", we returned to our show.
Cut to this week
My MythTV system has been acting very strange lately. I had recently taken the plunge and upgraded the system to the latest development code while my wife was out of town for a week. This all seemed to go well with minor issues but lately things had been getting out of hand. Major studdering during HD shows, even lockups while the kids watched cartoons. Very unusual. The system had always run hot so I blew the dust out of the heatsink (pictured above). Still it got worse. So I did some reading on the proper way to apply thermal paste to find that it does
not involve spreading it on like butter. So, figuring that this was a heat issue, I ordered some new Antec Arctic Silver and waited.
Cut to last night
I opened up the box to reseat the heatsink and CPU and what do I find?
The bracket that holds the heatsink on the CPU was broken off and the heatsink was barely even sitting on the CPU.
Remember that bang?
A little paste (properly applied) and now the CPU appears cool as a cucumber. Of course, I had to scavenge pieces from my son's computer to fix this promptly so a quick trip to eBay and a new plastic bracket is on the way to the house. I'm sure he'll understand...