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Computer keeps shutting down irregularly.





dickyzin
My computer running Vista Business is irregularly shutting down on its own. Also, when I restart or start after shutdown, the computer won't even get into the bios. The lights, including the DVD drives keep blinking forever. I have to unplug the power cable to the machine and then start the computer for it to work. If anyone have any idea what might be wrong with my computer, please let me know.
metalfreek
Why don't you clean your Processor fan and power supply fan. Also don't forget to clean RAM as well. Share if it worked.
ocalhoun
metalfreek wrote:
Also don't forget to clean RAM as well. Share if it worked.

Rolling Eyes
I've never seen a computer randomly shut down because of dirty RAM...
If the fans are spinning, they don't need to be cleaned.


Check the power supply, it sounds a lot like that's the problem.
aningbo
i hopes its not a corrupted file system. why dont u reinstall your bios/operating system altogether?

the best option would be to take to the service center and complain about it. who knows, u might get a brand new one lol

good luck
ocalhoun
aningbo wrote:
i hopes its not a corrupted file system. why dont u reinstall your bios/operating system altogether?

It isn't a corrupted file system.
Reinstalling your operating system will be a waste of time.
Reinstalling your bios will ruin your motherboard when the computer randomly shuts down again half way through.

How do I know this?
dickyzin wrote:
Also, when I restart or start after shutdown, the computer won't even get into the bios. The lights, including the DVD drives keep blinking forever

That is NOT a file system problem, and 99% likely not a problem that would be fixed by flashing the bios.



aningbo wrote:

the best option would be to take to the service center and complain about it. who knows, u might get a brand new one lol

Only if it is covered under warranty. Otherwise, you'll loose a lot of money that way.
Pepperfan
Sounds like like a heat problem to me. Clean the entire inside of the case and unplug and replug all the cables inside the case. Then do the same for your ram.

Now, if it continues there is something that is having trouble. Call your computer Company and see if they can help you pinpoint the issue. I say this rather than just swap out stuff be cause the may already know what on the computer is the likely issue.

Charles
Star Wars Fanatic
If you aren't sure if it's a heat problem, download a program that monitors that, and it can alert you if you are running to hot.

If it is, then take the advice that has already been said, clean out the fan, inside of the case, ect.
Pepperfan
The programs that monitor for heat do not always tell the whole story.

It could just be a faulty solder could heat up and expand when it is hot and break a circuit. It wouldn't even have to be excessively hot for something like that to happen.

Charles
ssweat
I believe your processor is overheating due to dust or faulty cooling fan. I disagree with it being the power supply as someone previously stated due to the fact your drives light up and the fact you can actually get on your computer. I believe it is overheating and then not letting it to bios cause it is shut down trying to cool to a useable temp. After waiting awhile it cools then you can get it to boot again. Heat is the biggest killer of computer components. I try to blow out all my fans bi- monthly which I would recommend. also maybe look into a bigger better cpu fan some stock ones are cheap. Good luck
ocalhoun
Pepperfan wrote:
Sounds like like a heat problem to me.

Heat usually causes a computer to freeze, not shut down.
Also, unplugging it and plugging it back in would not fix a heat problem, but does (temporarily) fix this problem.
ForceRun
Yeah the most likely causes of a hard crash are:
Heat - Easy to check, bios temps and fans
System Drivers - Drivers can easily get corrupted, try reinstalling newer or older ones.
OS - The registry, or basically system files get scraped some times. Try a system recovery, or reinstall.
ocalhoun
ForceRun wrote:
Yeah the most likely causes of a hard crash are:
Heat - Easy to check, bios temps and fans
System Drivers - Drivers can easily get corrupted, try reinstalling newer or older ones.
OS - The registry, or basically system files get scraped some times. Try a system recovery, or reinstall.

Heat might cause it, but heat usually causes the computer to lock up, not shut down.
Software problems wouldn't prevent access to the BIOS when rebooting the computer! It cannot be a software-only issue.
Quote:

Also, when I restart or start after shutdown, the computer won't even get into the bios.
defecto
Listen pull the ram out and set it back in... sometimes when computers are handled ruff and ram can shake and not seat correctly... Thats one issue. next check the fan... what kind of computer is it... look to see if this a problem with your type of puter..

feel your computer is really get hot..if so this is your problem. you might need to reapply heat sink paste. this would be easy if you know how to work on computers if not take it to a shop and tell them you want to reapply thermo paste.

check to see if you have a faulty connection with you dvd drive .. may be the bus to it has come loose.

I hope you figure it out. and post what happened. I would like to know please.
ocalhoun
defecto wrote:

check to see if you have a faulty connection with you dvd drive .. may be the bus to it has come loose.

Rolling Eyes
Really? Has anyone here ever seen a dvd drive's connection cause a problem like this?
Jamestf347
Try the wires, this was happening to me too, the wire was rubbing against the processor fan and stopping it, which caused the computer to shut down instantly really. either that or check all the wires and hardware, unplug everything besides keyboard, or even the keyboard. ummm then if worst comes to worse insert the CD and boot it off the CD and repair it from there.
dickyzin
Thanks for all your suggestions. Ok, I've tried a few things you all mentioned but to no avail. Firstly, I removed the RAM and put it back. I have Corsair 1GB (2x512MB) of RAM. My CPU is Pentium 4 3.4GHz. I cleaned the fan and tried to remove as much dust as I possibly can from the CPU. Then I started the computer and installed SpeedFan to monitor my CPU temperature which showed around 45C. My computer didn't last 5 mins before the power shuts off on its own. Then when I push the power button to turn it back on, same thing happened - all the lights come up as usual and seems to just loop through the blinking sequence without ever displaying any information on the screen (which I assume that the BIOS hasn't started). I press the power button for several seconds to manually turn power off. When I start again, same blinking sequence happens. I would have to switch power off at the mains switch before it will turn on successfully and load the bios and Windows. And again, this won't last even 5 mins. I tried hitting Del at startup to get into BIOS settings and checked the CPU Temperature. It was around 52C so I decided to just wait at the BIOS screen to see if it will shut down without booting Windows. And it did. So shut down is happening even with just the BIOS setting screen. Any help is appreciated.
fuhgeddaboutit
I say power supply or MoBo is fek'd
ocalhoun
A guide to fixing the problem, carefully constructed to cost as little money as possible.

1: Remove all non-essential hardware. Your computer should only have these components installed: Case, power supply, motherboard, CPU, RAM, fans, video card, hard drive. EVERYTHING else should be removed, to simplify the problem. Test the computer out to make sure this doesn't fix the problem. If it does fix the problem, this whole set of instructions is worthless and something that you disconnected is the problem (or your PSU is overloaded with too much demand for power).

2: Use a multimeter to check the power supply's output voltages when it is malfunctioning.
(http://www.ehow.com/how_4563487_test-computer-power-supply-multitester.html)
If they're wrong, replace it, and enjoy your fixed computer.
If they're good (plus or minus 10%), the problem is elsewhere; go to step 3.

3: Completely remove the RAM, and reboot the computer.
If it behaves the same way, a RAM problem is likely; go to step 3a.
If it does something different, skip to step 4.
3a: If you have multiple RAM chips, try it with just one installed, then switch and try it with just the other one. If it gives the same result both of those times, your RAM is probably good, go to step 4. If it gives a different result each time, go to step 3b.
3b: Replace the defective RAM chip, and try it again. If it is fixed, enjoy, otherwise, go to step 4.

4: Completely remove the CPU, and reboot the computer.
If it behaves the same way, A CPU problem is likely. Go to step 4a.
If it changes, the CPU is probably good, go to step 5.
4a: Replace the CPU with a different one. If that fixes it, enjoy. If it doesn't, go to step 5.

5: Replace the motherboard.
If that fixes it, enjoy.
If that doesn't fix it, do step 5a.
5a: Redo steps 3a and 4a with the new motherboard.
If that fixes it, enjoy.
If it doesn't fix it, do step 3b.
5c: If it still isn't fixed, I'm stumped.
airh3ad
Check your RAm or run anti virus . try to check other hardware.
dickyzin
I will do the tests mentioned by ocalhoun soon and will post on the outcome. I would also like to add another discovery. When I disconnected the power chords from all my hard drives, the computer turns off as soon as I try to start it. I thought if all the hard drives are disconnected, the computer will still turn on and display an error message instead of just shutting down.
ocalhoun
dickyzin wrote:
I will do the tests mentioned by ocalhoun soon and will post on the outcome. I would also like to add another discovery. When I disconnected the power chords from all my hard drives, the computer turns off as soon as I try to start it. I thought if all the hard drives are disconnected, the computer will still turn on and display an error message instead of just shutting down.

Yes, it should give you an 'operating system not found' error.

The fact that it doesn't means that the software on those hard drives is not the problem. It also means that the hard drives themselves are not the problem.
dickyzin
Here's my update. Over the weekend I bought a new power supply. It is a 750W Corsair true power. I had a 380W Coolermaster before. After replacing the power supply, the problem now seems to be solved. So I assume it is the power supply that was playing up. I also noticed that on one corner of the power connector that goes into the motherboard, it is a bit black (burnt) in color. So I think the motherboard was chewing up more power than the power supply could provide. So I'm still not sure of the exact problem. It could be:
a: The power supply is starting to fail.
b: The motherboard is starting to fail and consuming more power than needed and that's why changing power supply with higher wattage seems to fix the problem. Someone mentioned to me it that some capacitors on the motherboards could be leaking (don't really know what that means).

Tell me what you guys think. Thanks.
ocalhoun
dickyzin wrote:
Here's my update. Over the weekend I bought a new power supply. It is a 750W Corsair true power. I had a 380W Coolermaster before. After replacing the power supply, the problem now seems to be solved. So I assume it is the power supply that was playing up. I also noticed that on one corner of the power connector that goes into the motherboard, it is a bit black (burnt) in color. So I think the motherboard was chewing up more power than the power supply could provide. So I'm still not sure of the exact problem. It could be:
a: The power supply is starting to fail.
b: The motherboard is starting to fail and consuming more power than needed and that's why changing power supply with higher wattage seems to fix the problem. Someone mentioned to me it that some capacitors on the motherboards could be leaking (don't really know what that means).

Tell me what you guys think. Thanks.

I knew it was the PSU...

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the problem was the PSU going bad, not the motherboard... The blackened connector hints at what caused it.
Somehow, two of the power supply connectors got shorted together, creating a lot of heat, both at the connection and inside the PSU. The connection was blackened, and the PSU was damaged.

Any time you turned it back on, the heat would start building up again, until it caused another failure.
dickyzin
Thanks for all your suggestions. Greatly appreciated.
jdelfire
Definitely not a software issue...
-- based on what your doing basically that's a power cycle.
-- because if the system shutsdown and can't POST (Power On Self Test )
-- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power-on_self-test)
-- software is out of the equation this has something to do with the major hardware components

-- Processor, Motherboard, Memory, Video card, Power Supply
-- If you have any other devices installed such as TV Tuner, Internal modem etc... take it out
-- first thing to do is to try using a different power supply
ocalhoun
jdelfire wrote:
Definitely not a software issue...
-- based on what your doing basically that's a power cycle.
-- because if the system shutsdown and can't POST (Power On Self Test )
-- (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Power-on_self-test)
-- software is out of the equation this has something to do with the major hardware components

-- Processor, Motherboard, Memory, Video card, Power Supply
-- If you have any other devices installed such as TV Tuner, Internal modem etc... take it out
-- first thing to do is to try using a different power supply

^.^
A little late, but at least you're not one of the people saying it needs a virus scan!
mathiaus
ocalhoun wrote:
Pepperfan wrote:
Sounds like like a heat problem to me.

Heat usually causes a computer to freeze, not shut down.


Most PC have a thermal shutdown. If it reaches a certain temp, it shuts down.



This seems sorted so I'll close before I am tempted to suggest trying a different AV Razz

-close-
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