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The processor in your computer, especially if it's a high-end K6-2, etc. represents a significant investment--one certainly worth protecting.  If that little fan attached to the heat sink on your CPU stops and you don't know it in time to shut-down your system, the CPU will rapidly get hot and die.   Before it dies it could corrupt your hard disk directory and files.

Previously, I reviewed the Epox EP-MVP3C-M, EP-MVP3G-M, EP-51MVP3E-M and EP-58MVP3C-M Super7 motherboards and Epox's Unified System Diagnostic Manager (USDM).  Both of these motherboards have good system monitoring capabilities, which can be observed and managed from the CMOS setup, or from Windows 95/98 with the USDM.   However, there is one glaring omission: they do not detect or sound an alarm if the CPU fan dies.  Valuable time is lost while the CPU or the system temperature raises high enough to trigger an alarm.

The Abit BH6 is worse.  Although it has the LM79 hardware monitoring chip, which monitors system temperature, CPU and system fans plugged into motherboard, and motherboard voltages, I could find no way of setting any kind alarm threshold.  As is, the protection is a zero.

After reviewing the BH6, I discovered the solution to all of these shortcomings:  Alex van Kaam's Motherboard Monitor Lite.

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This Windows 95/98 software accesses various system monitoring chips (LM75, LM78, LM79, and W83781D) and provides motherboard and CPU temperatures, motherboard voltages, and fan speeds of fans plugged into the motherboard.  Alarms can be set on any of the monitored fans and temperatures.  I've tested the software with the BH6 and the Epox EP-58MVP3C-M motherboards and it works fine.  You might want to rename the "Case Fan 1" to "CPU Fan" for the Epox motherboard.  The software works on the BH6 without modification.  The download includes two versions of the motherboard monitor.   Overclockers may want to try version 3.73 which has Alex's CPUIdel feature.   I didn't play with it much and couldn't get the fan alarm working with that version.  I have the Lite version running on my computer.  Now, when the fan dies, my computer starts beeping at me.

The software is Freeware.  Click here to download the latest version.


Copyright, Disclaimer, and Trademark Information Copyright © 1996-2006 Larry F. Byard.  All rights reserved. This material or parts thereof may not be copied, published, put on the Internet, rewritten, or redistributed without explicit, written permission from the author.