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Desktop PC Shutting down by itself

By yui222 · 8 replies
Dec 10, 2006
  1. Hi

    I have this really annoying problem with my PC. It's a custom built PC with the following features:

    Pentium 4 3.00 GHz Prescott
    1 GB RAM Memory
    120 GB HD
    ATI 9600XT 128MB Graphics
    Audigy 2 Sound Card
    Plus all the rest...

    The PC just shuts down without even showing the shutdown sequence. It's as if someone just pulls out the plug. I have had this PC for over 2 years now and only recently this began happening. I couldnt find any specific pattern. However, if the PC is left open and unused it will not close. However when we use it it will shut down by itself at random times. I dusted out the fan inside but the problem still persists.

    Can someone please help?

  2. Rik

    Rik Banned Posts: 3,814

    What make and wattage psu do you have in it??
  3. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    Hi yui222 and welcome to TechSpot :)

    the two most likely culprits would be:
    • dying/overheating Power Supply
    • overheating CPU or chipset

    since it is often times free to fix an overheating PC, I would look at that issue first. get a free temp monitoring program like speedfan, MM5, everest, etc to check your temps (especially right before the PC shuts down). if it's overheating then it's time for some spring cleaning ;)...

    you said that you "dusted the fan inside". that's a good start, but probably not enough. just as important as the fans are the heatsinks they are mounted to (unless it's a case fan). you should use a can of compressed air to remove as much dust as you can from every fan and heatsink in your system (including the PSU fan). then vacuum out all the dust from the bottom of the case to avoid it being sucked back into the fans and heatsinks again.

    if that doesn't fix it, then your Power supply Unit is most likely the problem. you didn't mention your in your PC specs. The PSU is arguably the most important component in your entire system, and it should never be overlooked.

    many people think that a PSU "either works or it doesn't work", but a low-quality PSU can cause many problems (including the problem you are experiencing right now) that are often blamed on other faulty components. If your PSU is low-quality, then it would be a very good idea to replace it with a quality PSU (even if it doesn't end up being the cause).

    hope this helps :wave:
  4. yui222

    yui222 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    Thanks for the replies

    Well i checked the BIOS and the temperatures were as follows:

    CPU Temperature started out at 43 C and ended up staying at 93 C
    System Temperature started at about 22 C and ended up at 38 - 39 C

    I will get speedfan now to check the temperatures now after windows has fully opened.

    May I ask, what is the best cpu and system temperatures? And at what temperatures does it overheat and shutdown?

    EDIT: Just tried Speedfan,

    Temp1: -1C
    Temp2: 94 - 98C
    Temp3: 41C
    HD0: 40C

    So do i have to change the penitum 4 prescott?
  5. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    OK, so the good news is that you've found the problem... your CPU is overheating. the motherboard will shut the system down once the CPU exceeds a set temperature (which in your case it sounds like the shut down threshold is set to 95°C)

    you don't need a new processor. there's nothing wrong with your current processor. it's overheating due to insufficient cooling. and it worked fine for 2 years, so we know that the heatsink/fan is sufficient, it just needs a good cleaning. so the next step is:
    the only thing you'll need to buy is a can of compressed air (which should cost less than $5). you can get one at any office supply store, electronics store, radio shack, etc. (even drugstores often sell them).

    If removing the dust buildup doesn't cool it down enough, then you will have to remove/clean the heatsink and apply some new thermal compound. it's a simple process, there are plenty of guides on the internet, and there are plenty of us here at techspot that will walk you through it if you want. thermal compound is cheap, as even the best thermal compound (arctic silver 5) only costs a few bucks.

  6. TimeParadoX

    TimeParadoX TS Rookie Posts: 2,273

    Yeah you need to keep your system cool so it doenst get too hot, You could go to Radio Shack and buy some fans for like $10 and do what Cody said about getting Compressed air to clean out all the dust and build up in your fans ( If you dont have a filter then your fans will get full of dust and they slow down or stop working because they cant move )

    Hope I helped ;)
  7. yui222

    yui222 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK, thank you very much for the help

    I just got the compressed air for about 9$ from a computer/office store. When i come back home, i will open up the PC and clean it up. I will update after i remove the dust because if that doesnt work, i will need more help with the thermal compound.

    Just a few questions,

    How much is the best temperature for such a system?
    Wouldn't it be cheaper if i just get a new processor instead of buying thermal compound, compressed air and fans ??

    Again thank you very much for the help
  8. yui222

    yui222 TS Rookie Topic Starter

    OK guys it's working fine until now. I was amazed at the amount of dust and dirt in the PC. Anyways now, checking the speedfan it shows a temperature of 44C .

    I will try running a game now and see how it goes

    Thanks everyone for your help
  9. KingCody

    KingCody TS Evangelist Posts: 992   +8

    ...glad to hear you fixed it :D

    $9 is a bit high for a can of air, but it's a still a small price to pay considering that it only cost you 9 bucks overall to fix your PC ;)

    cheers :wave:
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