Computer turns on and then right off

By landale ยท 12 replies
May 9, 2007
  1. My computer (a gateway 825GM) had been working fine for the last year and a half. Yesterday it randomly rebooted on my twice in a two hour period. I then turned it off and went to bed. I went back to use it today and the computer turned on for about 3 seconds and then shut back off. The fans did turn on and it did seem that the power supply turned on as well but then it just turns off. The blue power light does stay on though for some reason. Can anyone gives me some ideas as to what might be wrong? I'd like to think it's the power supply as I can replace that cheaply but given it turns on briefly I can't imagine that's it. Would appreciate the help on this. Thanks.
  2. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Have you ever dusted out the guts?
  3. landale

    landale TS Rookie Topic Starter

    I have from time to time, but probably no more then once every 6 months.
  4. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Well, if the cpu heatsink isn't kept well cleaned so that the fan actually moves air over the fins, your cpu can shut you down like that.

    Now, it is already a HOT spring here, so maybe it is there and the jump on temps is taking its' effect on you.

    Or maybe not.


    edit: I have also found lately that some motherboards have a shutdown heat setting (always learning) so check your manual/bios.
  5. landale

    landale TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It seems if that's the case it's possible the CPU is already shot? There was a decent amount of dust in the heat sink fins. I cleaned it out but there has been no change. I guess right now I am trying to troubleshoot what I might be able to do to fix this. Does this sound like something that could be related to the power supply or could it be the motherboard or is it the CPU.
  6. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    Well, be nice if you told us the specs.

    However, the cpu will cool dowen fairly quickly normally - is your heatsink firmly attached? Is your psu cleaned out? (dust etc on the inside fan intake).

    Unplug, press power button, ground yourself out to cae, open, check each leg or whatever you have, make sure it feels 'secure'.

    Leave the case open, put plug in and power on - does the mobo light light up? Do any fans spin?
  7. landale

    landale TS Rookie Topic Starter

    It's a P4 3.0ghz with a 915G chipset motherboard and an Rosewill 400W power supply that I put in about a year ago.

    Anyway everything seems to be attached correctly and I have removed all the dust from the computer and let it sit for a while but the same thing keeps happening which is the lights all turn on, the fan in the case, power supply and video card start, a light on the motherboard turns on. Then 3 seconds later it all turns off the only thing that stays on is the blue light on front of the computer and the green light on the motherboard.
  8. CCT

    CCT TS Evangelist Posts: 2,653   +6

    OJK. Now we try this (I am assuming XP OS): Insert your disk into the tray, boot the comp (you may need to hit the eject button during one of your failed normal boots QUICKLY to get the tray open and put the disk in).

    Boot - does the Windows stuff come up?
  9. landale

    landale TS Rookie Topic Starter

    The computer doesn't stay on long enough to even do with. My guess now is that there is something off with the power supply and the motherboard is detecting this and shutting everything down to protect the system. I am going to pick up a new one tomorrow and see if this solves the problem.
  10. sellmesanity

    sellmesanity TS Rookie Posts: 162

    If there are no Critical Errors in your event logs then it is most likely the PSU. But yeah, you're on the right track already. Replace the PSU then if that doesn't work we can work from there.
  11. Tedster

    Tedster Techspot old timer..... Posts: 6,002   +15

    90% of the time this is a PSU problem.
    Replace with an equal or greater PSU. Also check ram with memtest 86+
  12. avebian

    avebian TS Rookie

    I'm having the exact same problem as you describe...I also have a gateway and have no clue what's going on...I took it all apart and cleaned off all the dust from the fans, still nothing. Then i tried taking out that watch battery for the bio settings or whatever, put it back in, and when I tried to start the computer again it loaded right up to the clock settings and stuff...So after i put in the time and date and hit exit it loaded right up.

    It freezes up about everyday now, and i keep taking out the battery and putting it back in to get around it...anyone know if the battery is the cause of all this, should i just replace it, or is it something else?
  13. landale

    landale TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Wanted to thank everyone for the help. It was the power supply. The new one is installed and everything is running great again. Definitely don't cheap out on PSU. It's a lesson I have learned the hard way.
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