Sudden powerdown

By Spike
Apr 16, 2004
  1. I'm running winXP pro sp1.

    About 2 weeks ago, while happily using the internet, my computer just suddenly powered down. There was no warning at all, and no error. One minute I was browsing, the next, silence. No case fans, no PSU fan, no CPU fan. The only sign that my computer had in fact been on was the powerlight on the front, which was still lit. Other than that my computer was dead. not even the reset button worked.

    OK, hold in the power button for 10 or so seconds, release it, press it and it starts up again. It POST's perfectly, I select my OS (win XP pro). It loads without problem towards the login screen as expected, the screen goes black, with a white mouse cursor in the middle as normal, It becomes an eggtimer, as usual, then.......


    this process repeats a few times. It always powers down just before the login screen comes up. I reboot into the recovery console, and run <chkdsk /r>. About 35 minutes later, it finishes. I reboot into XP again.....


    At this point, I'm annoyed. Luckily, I was planning a re-install, so everything that I wanted to keep had been moved to a folder on a seperate partition. I re-installed from an image I took 6 months ago, which I know to a clean copy with only a couple of programs installed. This served me well without any problems whatsoever for about a week and a half, up untill an hour or so ago....

    .....powerdown! argh!

    I am at a loss. I have no warning before it happens. I can only guess that it isn't hardware related, due to the fact that after a reinstall, it's fine with no problems at all. I can't get at any log files because I have to restore an image to get up and running again, thus deleting the previous installation.

    Is this something anybody here has seen before? My best guess is either a virus, or a startup process shutting me down, implying a hack. Both of these while possible, are obviously not all that likely in the grand scale of things.

    Any help would be appreciated.
  2. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    On your you remember specifically the last thing you loaded prior to the shutdowns happening again?
  3. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Yes. It was internet explorer. I'm afraid I can't remember which page I was reading, but I remember that it was one from my favourites, and one I have been visiting for a long time. (I don't add to my favourites unless it's a page I make repeated visits to. I haven't added any pages for about 2 months.)

    Help -->About Intenet Explorer;

    Version: 6.0.2800.1106.xpsp2.030422-1633

    Update Versions:; SP1; Q330994; Q824145;
  4. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    Any error messages in the log viewer ?

    & have you tried the Verbose Startup ?
  5. Masque

    Masque TechSpot Chancellor Posts: 1,058

    Have you started using a different version of your video drivers? The same has happened to me a couple times I hit a link with the 4.3 Catalyst drivers (not frequently, so I haven't changed yet).
  6. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    I don't know about any messages in the events log. Mainly because the only way to get back into windows is to re-install it. If I can find a way of storing the log on a seperate partition I may be able to read it if it happens again. I'll take a look at the verbose startup if it happens again.

    As for the video drivers, I'm just using the standard nvidia drivers offered by windows.

    There's a fair chance it could happen again. I mean, it's happened a couple of times already.

    Darn this is strange! lol. Annoying too, but interesting. just wish it was somebody elses computer I was looking at.
  7. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    OK. It's happened again.

    I'm a little embarrased to say it, but I've managed to get back into windows without re-installing. I remembered a little thing called 'safe-mode'. How thick can you get? grr.

    Anyway, I've narrowed it down. This time, it shut down while I was playing Homeworld (fullscreen graphics). I was playing for about 10 mins, and then it shut down on me.

    I managed to reboot with no issues into safemode, so I rebooted into VGA mode, also without problems. I still can't reboot normally though.

    Now for the event log. Here's what seems to have been written at the time. I've pasted the sequence of events at the time of the powerdown into web pages, in the order they appear in the log.

    Event Viewer --> System;

    Event Viewer --> Applications;

    The last event before these in the logs was a DCOM event, about 3 hours earlier. I have been running in an administrator account all afternoon/evening.

    I don't know whether or not these logs tell you anything, but they don't tell me all that much, other than the fact that I shut down strangely.
  8. olefarte

    olefarte TechSpot Ambassador Posts: 1,343   +6

    Just a thought. Do you have a battery backup. I had the almost exact same experience last week, that you are having. Turned out to be my battery backup. My computer might run for hours, and then go into hybernate or just quit running, dead stop, then I'd reboot and it would do the same thing all over again. Quite by accident I discovered that my battery was almost dead, although it comes back to life sometimes. I plugged everything into a powerstrip, everythings been fine since.
  9. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    Nope. Nice thoght. I did consider a power supply issue, but ruled it out because I can reboot into the recovery console, or a re-installation will allow me to reboot normally to windows.

    Sadly, I don't have a battery backup.
  10. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    OK. It has powered down again twice in the last 2 hours. Once as I maximised an IE window, pointed at an ftp server. The second as I opened IE.

    I know that it can't be IE that's at fault itself, becaus it has also powered down under other circumstances. All this started with no warning.

    My event log shows nothing particularly strange other than the "Machine Check:; Regs" messages that are detailed in the log sections I posted.

    I booted up once with boot logging enabled, but can't find a log, and the only way I can get into windows is in VGA mode - 640x480 resolution. Not nice!!!!

    I'm happy to get on my knees and beg for help at the moment! argh!
  11. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    OK, just changed my graphics from geforce 4 to my voodoo 5 card. It hasn't shut down since (about 2 days) whereas just befrore I changed it over, It was powwering down every couple of hours.

    I'm still crashing out of homeworld, but I'm landing back on my desktop. Maybe its got a corrupt file ore something.

    question is though, if changing the graphics card has fixed it, what possible reasons were there/are there for the fault?
  12. Didou

    Didou Bowtie extraordinair! Posts: 4,274

    It could be a faulty AGP slot. The VooDoo pulls power straight from the PSU a bit like recent high-end cards do.

    Maybe the AGP slot is no longer capable of supplying sufficient power to your VGA card.
  13. Spike

    Spike TS Evangelist Topic Starter Posts: 2,168

    possible I guess. I dare say I'll find ou when I get a new mainboard.

    would love to know why my copy of homeworld crashes out. well, at least, I'd like to know if it's related.

    Problem is, I was one molex short, so I don't have a cdrw atm. ah well. I guess I'll have to buy a splitter.

    As a thought on the side, is it possible that there's a failing line in my PSU, causing a faulty AGP supply, or would it have to be a mainboard fault?
  14. MartinM

    MartinM TS Rookie

    Similar Problem

    Hi there,

    I seem to have a similar problem to the one outlined in this thread. I have two computers, one for gaming and one for work. I am having issues with the work computer.


    Chip: Pentium IV 2.53
    Motherboard: Intel 865 GBF
    Memory: 1024 MB
    HD: 80 GB and 60 GB (IDE Channel)
    CD: CD-RW 32/16/32

    There is nothing fancy on here at all. Since it is just a work computer there is no need for extra graphix or sound as it is onboard. The thermal compund I use between heatsink and fan is Arctic Silver 5.

    I put the computer together and installed Windows XP Pro. No problems so far. I then installed the drivers for the Motherboard and updated them. Again no problem. I then proceed to update WIndows and the computer just shuts down. Odd I thought, maybe I had hit a reset button or soemthing by mistake. Reboot and at it again. After about 30 minutes the same thing happened again and I wasn't even near the computer. My first thought was heat so I checked the temp as soon as I rebooted and it was at 35 degress Celsius. I continued to monitor the temo while it was running and when the system shut down again the temperature was at 36. So I basically ruled out the heat as the causing factor. Since I have no graphix or soundcard I next considered that it might be the motherboard. I went to the intel site to do a bios upgrade. Downloaded the file, rebooted and started the bios update. Everything seemed to go well until after the bios update beeps had stopped and the system proceeded to load up. Now I was looking at a screen asking for boot media. Odd, I thought and hit enter, yet the same message came back. So I rebooted and went to check the bios. My hard drives were gone. No matter what I tried they cannot be found.

    So basically I have two problems:
    1. System shutting down after about 30 minutes.
    2. Hard Drives cannot be found anymore.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
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