Computer shuts itself on and off

By momma824 ยท 4 replies
Feb 21, 2009
  1. I have a Dell Inspiron 530 with Windows XP Pro, 2.0 ghz Intel Core 2 Duo Processor, and 1 gig of Ram. I've had it about a year now, and just recently it started to shut itself on and off. Sometimes, it'll turn itself off and stay off, other times it'll just restart. Then sometimes it'll turn itself on and stay on while other times it'll turn right back off. At times, it'll attempt to turn itself on but won't even start to boot up like it doesn't have enough power to complete the process.

    My husband checked all the settings in bios and none of the weird things like remote wake or anything is turned on. They're all off. The surge protector that it's all plugged into was kind of old, so we replaced it with a new one and it still did it. He thought it might be the power supply, so he replaced it with a new one, but it's still doing it. He had put a ATI graphics card in it right after we got the computer, so he disabled that to see if it was interferring, but it didn't help. All the fans are working fine too. We tried to boot it up in safe mode, but it still shut itself off and then turned itself back on.

    Could it be the processor or motherboard? The motherboard has an orange light on it that stays on. We didn't notice it before, is it suppose to be on or does that mean something is wrong with the motherboard? We're kind of at a loss right now at what to do. We don't want to have to go buy a whole new computer, as this one isn't that old and everything else is fine, but it's looking like that might be our only option. Any help is much appreciated!
  2. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

    Possibly dust, or a faulty PowerSupply, I'd start with cleaning it all out even BenchTesting it. I've given some of this information in this guide (which may help) Tutorial: No POST (Power On Self Test)
  3. momma824

    momma824 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the reply. That's a very useful tutorial. We just completely uninstalled the graphics card and all its drivers and are using the onboard graphics at the moment. So far the computer seems fine again *knock on wood*. Could a graphics card that's going bad make a computer turn on and off like that?
  4. kimsland

    kimsland Ex-TechSpotter Posts: 14,523

  5. momma824

    momma824 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I spoke too soon. It did it again this morning. We shut it down last night at around 10, it shut down fine and stayed off all night. Then at 10 this morning it attempted to start itself back up again. It tried to start up three times but shut back down before it even got to the Window's boot screen. When we tried to press the power button, it wouldn't do anything. Then it started itself on for a fourth time and it booted up all the way this time. When my husband looks at the Event Properties, there's errors for a "Sentinel Control Center" or somethiing like that, but I have no idea what this is.
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