Dreaded Random Shutdown Problem

By Snowlock
Aug 24, 2003
  1. I've built several systems from scratch but this problem has got me. Basically at random intervals (going from 30 seconds up to 24 hours +) the system will just shutdown. No warning, no error messages. Like someone pulls the plug. I have gotten all sorts of suggestions, but most of them deal with basically having a completely spare system to swap out parts with. I have been slowly working through my parts swapping them trying to figure out what is going on.
    System stats:
    P4 2.8 Ghz
    1 Gb DDR ram, (1 - 512 Crucial, 1 - 512 Kingston, both 2700 working in dual channel memory) I have moved / removed these and it still seems to happen no matter the combo or even if they are single channel config. Running Memtest as I write this to get more details.
    EVGA geforce FX 5200 Ultra, 128 DDR
    GA-8Ik1100 Motherboard
    Running on 400 W Powmax powersupply on its own surge protector.
    Running WinXP Pro

    Temp. and heat are not a problem. The case is probably better air conditioned than my house.
    Everything appears to be connected well and it works fine while it is running.
    The only other info I can give is a suspicious shutdown it did just tonight. I slid the lid off the case somewhat banging the case while I did so and it shutdown. That seems damn odd since the connections are good.
    Also some memory intensive programs seem to cause it to crash and burn faster than just sitting idle.

    Any suggestions would be good. Thnx.
  2. ToRN

    ToRN TS Rookie Posts: 156

    There could be your board is shortcutting with something. Is your PC grounded correctly?
  3. Snowlock

    Snowlock TS Rookie Topic Starter

    As grounded as it can be... unlike older mobo's most newer ones do not have the grounding wire you attach to your case. The wires connected to the motherboard are correctly wired to be grounded. The motherboard itself I believe grounds itself through the powersupply and out the main plug.

    also.. as a minor update.. it is not a software config problem. The shutdown happened while I was running Memtest, which I believe runs on a linux kernel to get to the shell app for testing. testing memory sticks one at a time now to see if one is faulty.
  4. ToRN

    ToRN TS Rookie Posts: 156

    I'm having a similar problem to yours. I also checked al the parts and I can only conclude my mobo is broke. It's still under waranty, so I'm sending it back.
  5. iss

    iss TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,994

    have you tried switching the power supply? I have always heard that the powermax's are pretty spotty on quality dont know myself never used one.

    try taking the memory out of the dual channel memory configuration and see if that makes a difference. I have only had expirience with one gigabyte 8IK1100 and the dual memory configuration was very problematic on it.
  6. StormBringer

    StormBringer TS Rookie Posts: 2,244

    There are a number of possibilities. You could have a fault in the PSU, though it doesn't seem all that likely from your symptoms(more info might change my opinion however) You could also have a bad connection or a faulty connector or cable. There is also a possibility of a hairline crack in a circuit trace on the motherboard. This can cause everything to work fine for a while, but when the area is under any stress or expands from temp changes, the crack would open and might be the cause of your problem.

    Erratic- intermittent faults are the most difficult to track down. though you should be able to isolate the problem within the PSU or motherboard fairly easily by eliminating other possibilities.
  7. Spliffmeister

    Spliffmeister TechSpot Paladin Posts: 508

    Upgrading to the latest Via 4in1 drivers worked for me.... have you got the latest chipset drivers for your mobo?
  8. Dantrag

    Dantrag TS Enthusiast Posts: 135

    i have the same sort of prob it just freezes then u have to reset i flashed the bios didnt work got new ram didnt work i did the new drivers and i got the BSOD but that was before i flashed it i'll have a try the only thing it can be is the mobo or cpu
  9. mickeybryant

    mickeybryant TS Rookie

    I know this may sound strange, but take a look at each capacitor on the mother board. Are any leaking? do any have bubbled up caps?, are any of the caps sitting at an angle?

    I had a system doing this same thing, in a local school. I noticed a capacitor that had a bubbled top. it work work for a while then it would quit at random times. we repalaced the capacitor, (yes, there are still some of us techs who do board repair) and the board has run fine ever since.

    This is just one of many possible causes to your problem.
  10. simsim17

    simsim17 TS Rookie

    Same problem

    I have the same problem. Here is my PC config:
    P4 2 GHz - MB Gigabyte GA-8IG (F5 BIOS) - 384 MD DDRAM - WinXP Pro with all updates for all HW/SW.
    Here are my findings:
    1 - The shutdown problem occurs when playing movies ONLY. The PC simply shuts down or freezes. Any other program/game works fine.
    2 - There is no cooling problem.
    3 - It is not the VGA card, the MB has a built-in card (Intel 845G) and i got an ATI Radeon 9200 - the same problem occurs.
    4 - It is not the sound card. I disabled it and the problem is the same.
    5 - It is either the MB, processor or PS. Although I do not understand why is it related to movies .. I thought it was the video card.

    Any ideas will be helpful.
  11. simsim17

    simsim17 TS Rookie

    At last, the solution

    OK folks, i finally found the cause of the problem. The mobo had defective capacitors. When replaced, every thing worked just fine. If you have the same problem as mine, use a magnifying glass to inspect every capacitor on your mobo. U can pinpoint the faulty capacitors since they will be "fatter" than the other ones. A normal capacitor should be a perfect cylinder; while a faulty one would have a bump in the middle of the cylinder and at the top.
  12. tajinder2001

    tajinder2001 TS Rookie


    I Am Haveing The Same Problem.

    When I Am Playing Nfs Most Wanted Or Counterstrike. My Pc Is Shutting Down Randomly.

    This Is Gettin Annoying Can Any One Help Please
  13. GotB

    GotB TS Rookie

    Mine did that and it turned out to be my power source. It started frying my MoBo. It's possibly the most infuriating thing ever when you're gaming... have a look at what's been mentioned here and then (if possible) check your PSU. I doubt you have the same problem but it's worth a look.
  14. tajinder2001

    tajinder2001 TS Rookie

    Thanks for tHe reply.

    My current system is:



    * SLI ASUS 6600GT 256MB


    * 300 GIG SATA HDD


    * AMD 64 3200+ PROCESSOR



  15. lak833

    lak833 TS Rookie

    re: dreaded random shutdown


    I don't know if you still use this forum. But did you ever find a good solution to your random shutdown problem? I have similar issues.
  16. tajinder2001

    tajinder2001 TS Rookie

    I found a solution. It was the graphics card that was messing everyting up. Try changing it should fix the problem
  17. mate

    mate TS Rookie

    I have the same problem. Bought new PC and started to play world of warcraft. After 15min shutdown occured. Then during one hour another three shutdowns occured. First I tought it is my 400W powersupply so I changed it for another 400W powersupply. For the next three weeks I've had no problems with random shutdowns I tought I solved this problem but not...
    Yesterday while playing wow 4 shutdowns occured in two hours. There is one thing that bothers me while playing wow I was also downloading movies from ftp server. Usually I am only playing or downloading. The fisrt shutdown occured after maybe 20min. So I turned the PC on and started downloading and playing. Again after maybe 20min shutdown occured this happened one more time. Then I stopped the downloading files and I was only playing. For maybe 2 hours no shutdown occured so I started the download again and after maybe one hour another shutdown occured.
    Now I wonder for what PC part (RAM, CPU, HDD...) is downloading and playing at the same time most stressfull.
    My PC configuration:
    MB: MSI K9N ultra (btw the chipset is so hot that it is a problem to touch it)
    CPU: Athlon X2 AM2 dual-core 3800+
    RAM: 1GB kingston
    Geforce 7600 GS (overclocked like GT. Got this card from my old PC which didnt suffer from random shutdowns)
    Two Maxtor SATA HDD
    DVD RW
    I have also 3 extra fans inside the case
    Is 400W powersupply enough for this configuration ?
    btw I have no problems with CPU overheating
    Any advice what should I try is welcome
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