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PC only runs with cover off?

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.... listen to this, when the computer is sitting with no keyboard/mouse/monitor -- just booted up at the welcome screen *(xp home edition)WITH the cover ON it runs for hours!? --- no hitches/ it is up on a testing bench, and I had it up on a couple of used dvd's on the carpeted floor in its normal (new spot,just moved from a hardwood floor scenario)thought that if it was raised a "tad" that would help with air flow....on the carpet. Perhaps it needs to be raised even higher off the carpeted enviroment? ???
OOOOOh and by the way I ran Toolstar diagnostics and everything passes, though it does not address fan/power supply testing.