Machine turns itself off -- is the motherboard going bad?

By tepeco
Feb 9, 2012
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  1. When sitting idol for an evening, this 5 year old Gateway PC simply clicks off, just like we had a power outage. It's happened 3 times. Power outage isn't the problem however as a professional UPS is in use. On the reboot, the DOS commands pop up offering alternatives for rebooting since the shutdown was forced. My question is: Can this be an early sign of the mother board going out and if so, is there a test to perform? Other than the problem as stated, nothing else out of the ordinary has happened. Suggestions? I have attached a full description of my PC.

    Attached Files:

  2. Buckshot420

    Buckshot420 TechSpot Enthusiast Posts: 467

    Sounds like the PSU is starting to go.
  3. tepeco

    tepeco TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Thanks for the reply. I was hoping for more suggestions or confirmation by now.... I hate to replace the PSU before finding that it might be the MB.

    Would you replace your PSU with this symptom being the only clue? Would that be wise?
  4. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Could be any of a number of problem areas. The power supply is only one possible guess. Gateways built since 2004 have higher than normal failure rates, and motherboards are a common problem. I would find someone with technical knowledge who has had their hands on a large number of computers, to help you track down the problem. CPU fan, dirt, dust and lint in the cooler, bad memory module, failing hard drive... are among the possibilities, as well..
  5. callumcustompc

    callumcustompc Newcomer, in training

    Try cleaning out the system before you try to attempt anything else - It could be a simple issue of that.
  6. raybay

    raybay TechSpot Evangelist Posts: 10,716   +6

    Let us know what happens if you do. That computer has been trouble for a lot of folks. A five year old Gateway has likely reached the end of its useful product life. Figger out your model number, then look it up on eBay with a search for that model. The news is not often good... See how many working ones are for sale, and how many are being sold for parts.
  7. dmill89

    dmill89 TechSpot Guru Posts: 737

    Give it a good cleaning, Check the motherboard for failed capacitors {examples of what bad capacitors on a motherboard look like}, or other obviously failed components, make sure all connections are tight and all cards are properly seated.

    The PSU is also certainly a possibility. It was common for Gateways of that time period to use Bestec power supplies which are known to have a high failure rate. If you open the case and see a Bestec definitely try another PSU (If you don't want to buy another to test it see if you could barrow one from someone just to test it). It is not all that uncommon for even a decent PSU to fail after 5 years, and I wouldn't rate a Bestec as a decent PSU.
  8. tepeco

    tepeco TechSpot Member Topic Starter Posts: 70

    Problem solved

    Turns out the UPS unit is at fault. It turned off on it's own and rebooted immediately, however, the battery malfunctioned also and did not provide uninterrupted power during the reboot. I was setting at the console when it did it yesterday afternoon. This morning, I tested it again and 3-5 minutes after turning it on, it not only turned off, it died altogether. Problem solved. Thanks to you that showed an interest!

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