Random shutdowns

By Fire Lancer
Jul 27, 2008
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  1. The problem is my compiuter instantly powers down for some unknown reason, this seems to only be when its under load, and may happen after just 2 minutes, or after hours (eg playing a game, long compiles, etc), but Ive never had it happen when idel or say browesing the web.

    After this the only way to restart it (it just acts dead otherwise...) is to completly cut power (eg disconect the power supply) for around 5 seconds, simply leaving it doesn't work (eg I left it from going to bed, to getting home from school and I still had to disconect the power supply to make it start).

    At first I thaught it was a overheating problem, and that it was shutting down to avoid damage, however after moniterring the temperatures ive found that it isn't at a certain temperature.. (eg the CPU could be anywhere from 40C to like 60C when this happens...

    I then tried changing the power supply but the same thing still happens.

    System specs:
    Windows XP SP2
    AMD athlon XP 3200+
    nVidia GeForce 6600
    Old creative soundblaster - I'm only using this for its gameport, not for sound since the mb doesnt have one
    Motherboard - Well I can't find a label on it/find something that tells me.... "MSI" is written on the board by the CPU, and I get a MSI logo thing when I first boot the computer up though.

    HDD
    ST340810A (40.0GB) << Single partition, windows
    Maxtor 6L200P0 (203.9GB) << 2x40GB partitions, the rest is currently unformatted

    DvD:
    HL-DT-ST DVD-ROM GDR8163B

    Usb devices:
    Segate FreeAgentDesktop USB Device (250GB)
    Trust 5.1 Surround USB Headset
  2. Tmagic650

    Tmagic650 TS Ambassador Posts: 20,451   +135

    Try applying XP's Service Pack 3
  3. Fire Lancer

    Fire Lancer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    SP3 had no effect at all...

    One thing Ive noticed is that after crashes that their still seems to be power to the USB devices (the LED on my USB Hub is still lit, and the "glowing" strip on the side of my USB Drive continues to glow, although these are both off after a normal shutdown/after cutting power to the PSU then restoring it). However all other power appears to be cut.
  4. insoman

    insoman Newcomer, in training Posts: 158

    unplug your USB drive.
  5. Fire Lancer

    Fire Lancer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Nope, still happens after a while...
  6. insoman

    insoman Newcomer, in training Posts: 158

    unplug the headset
  7. Fire Lancer

    Fire Lancer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    I halve my Front Bus Sepped to 100Mhz, which also has the effect of drasticly reducing the ammount of heat produced, keeping my CPU well below 50 rather than just below 60.

    So far it hasn't crashed, not that I can play any of my newer games at half speed thouhg :(.

    I suppose it may be related to heat, as thinking about it ive only had this problem over the past week, when temperturs have been 25-30 every day, and it hasn't cool off much inside untill long into the evening (it's 10:30pm now, but my room is still 27C even with all the windows open in the entire house...). However as I said my logs don't indicate a percific temperature at which the shutdowns happen...

    Ive looked through my bios to try and find out, and change the temperature at which it shutsdown, but havn't been able to find any such setting... I'm pretty certain its 60C, at which my pc does come near (58/59) in these conditions very quickly under load (I'm not certain at what rate the logs are saved to disk, it has occured to me that the core temp could increase by as much as 2C and not be recorded... (logging done by SpeedFan). If I could I want to raise this temperature by say 5C t see if it prevents the crashing, if so I guess I'll invest in more powerful cooling.

    Ive been considering saving up for a new computer, and as such am reluctant to invest in hardware, which may be incompatible with what ever I decide to buid, ecspecialy as it would just be a guess at solving the problem, and I'm ot certain if CPU cooling hardware is compatible will all modern CPU's (although I will look into this after work tommow...)

    My dad also has a Pc with the same CPU/mother board (although a far lless powerfuyl grafics card), which doesn't have this problem, although apparently its only reaching 58max underload...
  8. insoman

    insoman Newcomer, in training Posts: 158

    This processor runs very hot. always did. You could try reseating the heatsink with some Arctic silver 5 compound. or buying a better heatsink!
  9. Fire Lancer

    Fire Lancer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    As I said I don't really want to spend money, guessing, and there is nothing better avaible. I'll try reseating it to see if it runs a little cooler....

    I stuck a thermonerter in the case a while ago, and it would seem the amibient temp in their is as cool (or hot...) as my room so I don't think simply adding extra fans (which, there are tons of floating around) will make any diffrence...

    I suppose a new CPU fan + heatingsink might do it, although ive never purchoused either of these items (always just used the stock ones), so any advice on what would be a cheap, but effective set would be welcomed.
  10. insoman

    insoman Newcomer, in training Posts: 158

    You're right extra fans will do little, half the problem is that there is little or no die on the cpu to help dissipate heat. There are so many heatsinks out there and depending on the room you have inside your computer you can try a Zalman. Here is a link to one as an example.

    http://www.komplett.co.uk/k/ki.aspx?sku=340416
  11. Fire Lancer

    Fire Lancer Newcomer, in training Topic Starter

    Little or no what?


    Also I noticed that fan/heatsink you linked has an external controller, does that mean I'm not able to change the speed through software?
  12. insoman

    insoman Newcomer, in training Posts: 158

    Little or no die - Its the copper encasing the top of the CPU to exchange heat between it and the heatsink,

    You don't have to use the fan controller. The heatsink in question was just an example, look around and make sure it fits your socket type and that you have enough room for it.
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