Computer Shuts down randomly, fans still running

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Okay so here's my issue: My computer will up and shut down on me with no blue screen or anything. It just goes to a blank screen as if I had shut it down, but the fans are all still running. I also noticed that after a hard shut down my led indicator was still on and I could not restart the computer without unplugging it from my power strip, letting the light die out, and then plugging it back in. Please help, I'm at a loss.

P.S. I have some computer experience

Comp Specs:
Mainboard : ECS K8T890-A
Chipset : VIA K8T890
Processor : AMD Athlon 64 3800+ @ 2400 MHz
Physical Memory : 1024 MB (2 x 512 DDR-SDRAM )
Video Card : NVIDIA GeForce 8800 GT
Operating System : Microsoft Windows XP Professional 5.01.2600 Service Pack 3
Sorry forgot to mention that it repeats this even after successful reboot. I have taken the side of the case off and have had a no problems yet. Hope this helps.


Posts: 5,123   +194
are you working on it it when it does this? or does it do this while idling?, in other words what is the last thing you are dong when it happens? and any system beeps?


Posts: 12   +0
it could be a lot of things. but you need to start eliminating possible problems by testing the hdd, ram and motherboard. an optical drive is a moving part and is also likely to fail, but not likely the cause of your problem (in my experience). hopefully you have another computer or other spare parts to do these tests. if not you can do simple tests like try to boot from a linux or dos boot CD and that can help you eliminate a number of possibilities. the UBCD4WIN has some utilities you can use to diagnose problems on a machine. you can also add your own utilities to maximize productivity.
Most times it is when I am on it, just cruising the internet, but others it will be right after a long idle.

I have recently fixed bad RAM and tested both sticks that are in there, so I know that is not the issue. As far as motherboard is concerned, I have been looking to replace this one as well as my processor and RAM while I'm at it. I just did not want to purchase parts just to have it fail on me again. In your opinion, would it be wise to proceed with replacing these?


Posts: 13   +0
That has started happening to me twice in last couple days. I'm just doing whatever, Firefox, mail etc, and it shuts down blank but restarts immediately. No other problem noticed.
Static? Disc space too cluttered? New threat?


Posts: 5,123   +194
I thought maybe your thermal protection was kicking in, but then it would shut down completely and the fans would not continue to run. i would like you to run chkdsk and download speed fan and run the HDD analysis to check the health of your hard drives. just a hunch here i had the same symptoms on a machine i had last year and it was a hard drive that was having a problem.....let me know, like to help if i can



Posts: 314   +0
It could still be heat causing the shutdown even though the fans are still running. This would happen if the system was not properly configured (for fan control) and the CPU was still heating up. Check CPU heat sink/fan anyway to make sure all is good.
Okay, I performed chkdsk and it reported errors, but when I tried to fix them it still says they are there. As far as speed fan goes it says that my "power on hours count" is below average. It is a 240 as opposed to a range of 240-253. Is it the hard drive that is the problem? I have been looking to upgrade this machine for awhile. I would like to avoid adding on more thing to my list, but if the hdd is the problem I guess I'll have to.


Posts: 5,123   +194
this could be any number of things, but i'll hang in there if you do. that power on count is not a big deal. check your max cpu temp and make sure that its not a thermal shutdown issue, go into your bios and see what your upper limit is set to so we can eliminate that. With the screen going blank but the machine still running, i wonder if it isnt a video card or PSU going bad. do you have anything like HWmonitor installed? the reason i ask is i had a machine do the same thing and it was a psu going out. Btw, i assume that nothing is overclocked here?
No, nothing on this rig is overclocked. I do have a HWmonitor installed. My max cpu temp is 65c. It generally runs at around 45c. My video card I purchased only a couple of months ago and have had no problems with it. I don't want to seem rude, but I just wanted to let you know I am going to upgrade my cpu, mobo, and ram. If this problem is caused by one of them, there is no need to continue. I'm just worried that it is my hdd. Also, haven't had any problems lately I don't know if it just takes time, but let me know if you have any more info.


Posts: 13   +0
I'm wondering why replace the drive if it is the stuff that's recorded on it that's a problem.
Acoms razor: The simplest solution tends to be the correct one...

Your computer is shutting down = Power
You have upgraded to a larger graphics card = Power
You have a HP = Minimal Power for their money (micro-ATX Power supply)

The good thing about todays ATX power supplies (9 pin connector) is that they can shut down core components while still running the essentials. i.e. fans.

Your computer is probably drawing too much power because of the Graphics card and your power supply is overheating. When you initially bought it and upgraded it with the new card it probably worked fine. But as time progresses, dust collects on your fans, thus bogging the system and pulling more power. Try buying some pressurized air cleaner and blowing all your fans. Make sure they are all spinning when you power back up. If any fans are making funny noises you may have to replace them. If your hard drive doesn't make any funny noises on boot up, I doubt thats the problem. In conclusion, it is probably that the cheap HP power supply just doesn't have enough juice for the upgrade. Good luck.


Posts: 17,151   +5,915
I have seen PSUs fail "completely" and still have 12 volts to power the fans. Weird, I know. All 3 voltages don't necessarily always fail ot once.
The 8800GT Video card is a power hog, no doubt, especially trying to run it off a stock PSU.

Sometimes the incorrect graphics driver will cause goofy problems such as you describe, try updating that.

BTW, it's "Occam's Razor". I'm too picky I know.

I have a machine that crashes to a black screen very infrequently. However, shutting the PSU switch on and off acts as a reset, the next boot it's fine. I tend to think of this as an "eccentricity" rather than something broken.
Okay, so it has been awhile. I have now replaced the motherboard, cpu, and power supply, as well as RAM. Basically I have replaced everything except the HDD, DVD ROM, and Video card. Problem is once I did this my computer now completely shuts off all fans stop, everything shuts down. I'm at a loss. Could it just be HDD, or maybe overheating?


Posts: 51   +0
a failed HDD will not cause a COMPLETE shutdown. unplug ALL unecessary hardware (I.e. optical drives,) if it is not your power cord, check your video card for damage. if you have capasitors, check for leaks or barrel cracks. do you hear anything coming from the motherboard? do you have fans that are plugged into the motherboard? (look for shorts). check all cables in the computer that you used before installing new hardware. Look for damaged wires that could touch other bare wires. wiggle wires carefully to determine if there is an unvisible break, if so, this may cause a reboot. good luck
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