Apparently this month is all about problems with cooling.

We have the new AC unit and it’s doing great! So, something else had to go wrong, apparently. Midday Saturday after completing a client support call (I’m “on call” this week) I decided to work on my current Satisfactory game build. Barely a quarter hour into the session, my computer turned off.

Not “there’s been an error and we’re shutting down,” just… off. Instantly.

After a minute of bewildered cussing I powered the machine back on, and because I’m not entirely new at this I fired up Open Hardware Monitor to check some temperatures.

“My CPU’s running well over ninety degrees.” “That’s not terrible.” “In CELSIUS.” “… oh, [bleep].”

Cue the less-bewildered cussing, immediately followed by intense online research. So… turns out, the liquid cooling rig that my usual go-to computer building company uses seems to have a slight reputation for just… giving up the ghost after a year or two. Hey, this computer’s just a bit under two years old. Huh. Go figure. And sure enough, the pump on this rig went kaput.

Well, screw that. I ordered up a honking huge heatsink (and fan) (and a chassis fan) to replace the busted liquid cooling setup. The parts arrived this morning, so after lunch I took my PC apart and got to work.

One delightful time-saver was revealed when I took both side covers off of the case: The mounting plate for the motherboard has a nice big cut-out to allow easy access to the underside where the CPU sits, all the better to attach your heatsink’s mounting bracket. Without that I’d have had to take the entire computer apart, cables and video card and everything. Whew!

I’ll never understand my phone’s inability to focus on what’s right in front of the camera. Also: Yes, this was taken before I attached the fan to the heatsink. I didn’t forget that part, don’t worry.

Two hours and a bit later, including the part where I found the hard way that part of the power lead for the video card had come loose while I was monkeying around in the computer’s innards, I had a working PC again.

And for those of you who know: As always, the machine demanded a blood sacrifice, this time by way of those very sharp, very thin metal plates that make up the heatsink’s radiating fins.

As of this writing the running temperatures are much, much lower. Here’s hoping I didn’t goof anything up too badly. Some time this week I’ll try out Satisfactory again.

Fingers: Crossed.