Computer shuts down on its own

By mrbubba
Jan 30, 2008
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. My PC has developed a fault where it switches itself off for no apparant reason. It started today and so far has switched itself off 4 or 5 times. When it does switch off, it won't always boot back up straight away, you press the power switch it comes to life for a few seconds and then dies. I'm pretty sure its not software related, as when it doesn't boot up, it doesn't even get to load any software before shutting down again.

    The computer is almost 5 years old and has the following spec.

    Built by Alienware:
    AMD Athlon XP2200+, 1.8ghz
    Asus Motherboard
    1024MB Mem
    120gb HDD
    extra 160gb HDD that I installed a month ago
    Windows XP Service Pack 2
    NVidia GForce 6600 graphics card
    Creative SB Audigy Card

    It has 3 fans (sounds like an aircraft) and is definately not over heating, as it is very cool inside. I have read that this type of fault is usually down to a faulty or old PSU. Also the computer clock is always out by a few hours when I switch it off, which I am told is down to the little battery on the motherboard being dead.

    I have disconnected my HDD that I installed, as I had to daisy chain the power from the other HDD and it still switches off.

    I'm thinking it could be the PSU and will probably end up taking it to the local PC Repair place, but they want to charge me £45 +VAT to look at it.
    I don't know what PSU it has at the moment, but as it was built by Alienware it shouldn't be a cheap one.

    The computer has been running for almost an hour and not switched off, but I know it will happen anytime now.
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    The "button" CMOS battery on the motherboard is probably weak and in need of being replaced along with the power supply. These are not hard things to do yourself
  3. mrbubba

    mrbubba Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Well I've replaced the CMOS battery and put a new PSU in, yet after 1 hour of working, it switched off again.
  4. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    Try resetting the bios. While you are at it, check the bios settings for CPU over temp and fan shutdown warnings
  5. dark green

    dark green Newcomer, in training

    I had a similar problem a while back and it turned out to be heat related. The computer will shut off if the CPU overheats.

    1) Is the shutdown sudden and complete, with no "shutting down" windows or anything?

    2) Does it run for longer from a cold start than from an immediate restart?

    Both are symptoms of an overheat shutdown.

    In my case I looked inside and found that one of the four anchors for the fan than attaches on the CPU was not clicked into the Mobo, thus putting a tiny gap between the CPU and the heat sink base. The CPU would overheat and the system would do an overheat safety shutdown.

    I had this problem for a few days until I pushed the anchor into the mobo with an audible "click" and the problem vanished.

    Just one possibility.
  6. Andy Kaufman

    Andy Kaufman Newcomer, in training

    System shuts down

    it could also be a hardware or driver failure.

    Check the system logs and see what they say.

    Control Panel, Administrative Tools, Event Viewer.

    Look at the error and system logs, see what they say at the point the system shut down. See what devices failed.

    I had a similar issue and it turned out my hard drive got errors on it, and might have corrupted system files, causing the shutdowns. In the error logs it would report the hard drive would fail or have an error.

    I hope that helps.
  7. palladin

    palladin Newcomer, in training

    i have the exact same symptoms how did you resolve them?
  8. dark green

    dark green Newcomer, in training

    The OP is, of course, welcome to answer. I had identical symptoms. In my case I looked inside and found that one of the four anchors for the fan than attaches on the CPU was not clicked into the Mobo, thus putting a tiny gap between the CPU and the heat sink base. The CPU would overheat and the system would do an overheat safety shutdown.

    I had this problem for a few days until I pushed the anchor into the mobo with an audible "click" and the problem vanished.
  9. palladin

    palladin Newcomer, in training

    the cpu temp is fine now running at 34 degrees.
  10. tw0rld

    tw0rld TechSpot Maniac Posts: 609   +6

    Try here; http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic89138.html
    and here; http://www.techspot.com/vb/topic55506.html
    I myself had this problem. I almost threw out a good Mobo, after coming to the conclusion that all the other hardware were good. How I found out is an unsafe method of doing this, but i started up the comp, then detached the power switch from the mobo, and waited for a while to see if it would shutdown. It never Did. Please do not do this. It is best to get one that is compatible with your system, remove the old one first. then install the new one, then start up your system.

    Not saying that this is the problem, just that it could be.
  11. palladin

    palladin Newcomer, in training

    that wasn't it

    any other sugestions?
  12. hynesy

    hynesy TechSpot Maniac Posts: 445

    It very much sounds like a heat problem to me.
  13. palladin

    palladin Newcomer, in training

    I don't think so.

    My Cpu doesn't go over 43 degrees in full load
    and my other temp are low. And i told you it got shut down even if i was doing nothing, checkin my mail or watching a movie.
     
  14. Zoeloe

    Zoeloe Newcomer, in training

    Pc shutdown

    Hi Palladin

    I'v got the exact same problem as you. I still dont no what couldbe wrong. My pc doesn't want to switch back on after it turned itself off so i just unplug the power cable at the back and it will switch on again. I think it could be my chip thet's getting too hot.I also opened my box and put a big industrial fan that's blowing directly on the pc that will keep it going for hours. If you'v found a solution for your prob please tell me.

    Thanks. Zoeloe
  15. klepto12

    klepto12 TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,364   +9

    i would say try to reseat the HSF with new thermal paste and make sure there is good air flow in the case also may want to check the PSU and make sure its ok.
Topic Status:
Not open for further replies.


Add New Comment

TechSpot Members
Login or sign up for free,
it takes about 30 seconds.
You may also...


Get complete access to the TechSpot community. Join thousands of technology enthusiasts that contribute and share knowledge in our forum. Get a private inbox, upload your own photo gallery and more.