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Computer Shuts off for no apparent reason - HELP

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posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 12:13 PM
Reply to Replies - one of two...

DrumsRfun - powerbar! excellent idea - I should've thought of that - thank you!

MzMorbid - ew I hate that idea
that'll be a last resort kinda thing - I've done a complete virus scan with AVG and Mcaffee - found nothing - I also manually poked about - I don't see anything unusual - its unlikely I have "cooties" though since I never download anything - my porn days are over

Webpirate - Yeah I did check all that and googled it - apparently I can run as hot as 90C without it being an issue - I'm idling at 47, and hover around 54 when I'm doing stuff - since I took the side off and left it off though the whole thing runs a lot colder than it used to - from the day I bought it, it always ran insanely hot - wishing I took the side off a long time ago - I keep suspecting the Java - only because it only seems to do it when I'm lagging in something Java based ♥

BigPoJo - thanks hun, did that already - as I just mentioned to webpirate - since I took the side off and aired it out - it already runs a lot cooler - I would NEVER use anything Symantec without having a specific issue needing them - I don't feel dirty but I have no issue with extra protection - I'll check out Avira

Grifter81 - I pray its not my hard drive or motherboard - I did some more googling though and you're right - my RAM stick might be going - thats the cheapest easiest thing to check too - I'm all over that if it keeps up - I did just buy a new power supply - prior to its installation, the pc wouldn't come on at all.

webpirate - If you hold the air can properly, nothing wet should come out of it - anyway too late - I already gave it a good blow job - LOL can I say that? I mean it

sixwornsermon - I do know my way around the hardware and the programming - I've been known to build a few systems in the past with spare parts - I only bought this one because I wasn't in the mood when the last one died (that was a motherboard issue) - Quite frankly, I cant find anything weird at all going on inside except there was no power (replaced, worked fine, did it again today, hence this thread and my panic) - I'm going to pick up a new powerbar as MzMorbid mentioned - the ones I have now are a good 6 years old - that could be the problem after all. If its not too newb a question.... where do I find the event viewer? I've never needed it, I never heard of it....BIOS looked normal

lurker007 - I agree its not a heat issue - oh look! you answered my event viewer question!!
- - checking - -
oops no good - I'm so old skool that the first thing I do when I get a PC is make it look like "classic" - I can't type in anything under start - any idea where its located otherwise?

8ILlBILl8 - hell of a name you got there
everything I read said 58 is reasonable - putting my hand on the side of the system itself is telling me that its running way cooler than it EVER has since the day I got it

The motherboard going scares me.... usually when they go on me though I don't get this particular symptom - usually they just go - doesn't mean thats not what it is - just means I've never seen one go in this manner. I didn't go for the cheap power supply, I'd say average I guess at $45 - there were cheaper ones but I'd rather pay the $45 than build a system or spend $200 something on a new one when I don't have that kind of money right now

Skewed - All 3 fans are running - I'm going to replace the powerbar first - if that doesn't work - I'm aiming for memory cause its the cheapest way to go
The software to record it should work properly - unless the hardware is faulty of course....

Ha la tha - I'm inclined to agree - from all I've read, 58c is fine - the motherboard is scaring me (did I mention this? absolutely terrified) - still need directions to the Event Log - I don't use Sleep mode, I never have - average lifetime for a PC for me is 3 years - this is probably my 6th though in 14 years (ones I build or buy second hand don't last quite as long - don't shoot me but I miss the Millennium system - lasted me 5 years).

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 12:14 PM
Reply to replies - two of two

b3l13v3 - I don't know if its true or not about cigarette smoke but I do know that there's a good coating of nicotine on everything - and even on the dust I blew out of the system - but thats always been the case

I love that you're quoting things I missed from BIGPoJo
let me address them

I don't download anything thats executionable - I can tell the difference between an MP3 and a virus - usually a virus is 1/100th the size it should be as an mp3 - and I've never heard of a virus coming packed within an mp3 - since they require another program to run them.... they're not executionable on their own....

Will still look into Avira, as well as Avast
thank you

SMTRu44 - I am sooooo leaning towards it being a Java/Memory issue - I know the newest system in my home came with 8 Gigs of RAM and I only have 4... which to someone like me is a phenomenal amount of memory (my first system only had 256) - but with all the Java updates and everyone knows that Java is a memory hog, and EVERY time it happened so far, I was running one of my heavier Java games... maybe I just need more memory and to shoot someone at SUN

Battery is good though

Druid42 - hello doll
great minds think alike

b3l13v3 could be right though... unless there's something up with S.M.A.R.T. that cuts off the power instead of allowing the memory lock up....

Anyway, I spent my last $$$ on the power supply, so I need to get my hands on a new power bar - I'll ask some people for a hand out - I have no pride when it comes to my internet

I will definitely keep you all posted.
Thank you for the ideas!

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 12:40 PM
reply to post by Forevever

Is it a laptop? Sounds like an over heating problem for sure. AMDs usually run a lot cooler that Intels, so this is strange. My CPU (AMD Sempron Dual Core) in my desktop runs at 83 degrees all the time, never gets higher. Is your case fans all running?

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 02:02 PM
to access event viewer:

click start > control panel > administrative tools > event viewer

Edit to add alot:

also regarding ram issues: do you have two sticks of 2gb?
if so, remove the module farthest from the cpu and test the header that is closest to the cpu

if the header (memory slot) closest to the cpu is working well with both sticks of memory, test each stick of memory (alone) in the header farthest from the cpu to determine if it is a header issue

interchange them as needed to determine which header or stick of ram is faulty
it's not likely that BOTH headers or BOTH memory modules will be bad

you can also get a linux bootable OS and they generally have a thorough memory test

and of course, if you only have 1 stick of 4gb, the above troubleshooting cannot be performed (havent checked MLB specs or anything)

let me know if any clarification is needed
edit on 23-11-2011 by lurker007 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 04:36 PM

Originally posted by b3l13v3

Originally posted by BIGPoJo
If you are a smoker this threat is increased dramatically.

Wrong. You may have read this in CompTIA's beautiful A+ book, but unless you're servicing PCs in a Vegas casino this is absolute BS.

Also, if you download MP3s from the Internet there is a chance you downloaded one that had a malicious payload.

Fairly certain Vista and up have patched all currently known MP3 exploits, so no, this isn't the problem.

To test this download a good antivirus program like Avira (the free version). Uninstall Symantec or what ever other AV you have installed THEN install Avira. Run a full system scan after it updates. If Avira finds nothing and you still feel dirty you can try other tools such as HiJackThis, Malwarebytes, or Unhackme.

This might help, but it more than likely is A) BIOS turning off PC due to safety measures, B) bad power supply.

Also, Avast is better than Avira by far. I'm a certified computer technician and extensively experienced in the field.

I can tell the difference between a smoker's computer and a non smoker's computer. The smoker's computer will have a tar-dust combination that is really hard to clean. I have to disagree with you on Avast, I have used Avira to check a machine that was running Avast and Avira found some trojan activity that Avast did not. Also, in case anyone is curious, Symantec is garbage.

Based on some more responses from the OP I feel like this is a hardware issue. It could be the video card going bad, ram, or even the power supply. I have experienced the same issue with multiple causes, most of them have been bad hardware or old drivers. But just in case, make sure your power supply fan is still spinning.

OP, update all your drivers manually!

Also, since we are pointing out our computer experience... I am currently an IT professional that writes code in multiple languages for a private company. I am a Cisco god. I have been repairing PC's since the Tandy 1000 was popular. I did the same work for the Marines, ect, ect, ect...

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 07:46 PM
reply to post by Forevever

SMART only has to deal with your HD....

S.M.A.R.T. (Self-Monitoring, Analysis and Reporting Technology; often written as SMART) is a monitoring system for computer hard disk drives to detect and report on various indicators of reliability, in the hope of anticipating failures.

You will get an error on boot if there is a smart problem, and also during usage. Your HD is fine. Rule that out.

As far as Ram locking your system up? Not really. Let me go into a bit more detail.

When you turn your computer on, the bios gets power, (BIOS=basic input output sytem) and performs a diagnostic. It checks video, beeps if there is an error, and if video passes, it checks ram. It counts what it detects as functional, then saves those parameters to pass to the OS when it's booted. Next, it searches for a bootable device, whether USB stick, CDROM, or HD. (I'll bet you don't have a floppy drive, they are obsolete, but still an option in some bios.) You can usually set the boot order in the bios.

The bios tells your OS how much ram you have. If the bios is misreporting the amount of ram you have, your OS will try to function on it. It'll thrash your CPU, and swap space on your HD, so check to see how much your HD light flashes while you are working. Your OS will still function with a smaller amount of ram, but run slower and clunkier. Do you have those symptoms? Once you fill the ram buffer, you will be crawling at a snail's pace with all you do.

You haven't reported a lack of speed or performance, yet. Need more info there.

However, if a ram chip is failing, or has dirty contacts (nicotine on the contacts, called glazing over), it will lose connection with the motherboard, and your OS will crash, and turn things back over to the bios, in an initialization state.

Here's the catch: Your motherboard has electrons coursing through it, creating heat. Heat causing things to expand, cold causing things to contract. Your cooling fans keep your motherboard at a functional temperature, but do nothing for the microscopic connections between the pins in your ram. Once those connections overheat, expand, and lose contact, there is no system ram available, and the OS resets. A LOCKUP occurs when you have TOO MANY things open at once, that your ram can't handle, and what seems like a lockup is actually a state that may take hours to resolve. We as humans aren't patient enough to wait for hours. It's also a windoze thing. In Linux we do a crtl-alt-backspace, and we are back to normal login.

You haven't locked up, you are resetting.

Have you pulled you ram chips and cleaned them with a pencil eraser yet? Reseating them? Sometimes just reseating them restores the connection.

Updates, dear.

posted on Nov, 23 2011 @ 11:07 PM
I went out tonight
tomorrow is a holiday

I haven't shut down since this afternoon, great news! Going to head out on Friday with the Mom to pick up a new power bar - after giving it some heavy thought, it hasn't been replaced since 2000 - makes it 11 years old and a reasonable culprit

did find event viewer - can't understand much going on in there, but I do see some errors - just a few minor ones on boot though with programs that do not exist on my system but are lingering in the registry - nothing prior to the shutdown itself but I might be missing it - looks quite complicated, will have to give it more detailed attention later when I'm a little more able to focus

Just little too toasty to be addressing people specifically but did see someone asking about the memory - there are 2 sticks in the system, I'm positive - I have not pencil erased them
or messed with anything since I first posted

For now, my plan is....
step 1: replace power bar, do extensive java-gaming (like this morning), see how it goes

Will update then - especially if I shut off again for no reason after making any changes ♥ I promise

P.S. All fans are running - the casing and components are NOT hot - I keep touching them, nice and cold IMHO - all nicotine laced dust bunnies removed when the brand spanking new power supply was installed on saturday 11/19 - please also note that prior to the new power supply being installed there was ZERO power reaching anything in the system - so if its something cascading on me what would be the 2nd most likely thing to go AFTER the power supply? what if the power bar issue caused the power supply to fry? ok must go lie down - thanks so much to everyone!
edit on 23-11-2011 by Forevever because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 25 2011 @ 09:37 PM
reply to post by BIGPoJo

You're a Cisco "god" eh?

CCNA/CWNA/CCNP, what is it?

Also, the only reason it's good to have a Cisco cert. is because iOS is bloated piece of crap that created an industry in itself, considering it's like trying to read greek. Literally ANYTHING you want to know about fundamental networking can be found for free all over the internet. I absolutely despise their proprietary equipment and how "superior" it is. They're worse than Apple.

Same with Windows CLI, it's utter crap. They should take a lesson from the open source community.

Oh yeah, and I still stand by my opinion that Avast is better. Why? Sand-box mode, decent network protection, and phenomenal live-scanning of program instructions and what's running in memory, and if a loose worm is hitching a ride onto the kernel.

I've used it for 4 years and believe me, I visit some of the most abusive, most destructive websites that exist on the surface web. I've not a single virus.
edit on 25-11-2011 by b3l13v3 because: (no reason given)

posted on Nov, 26 2011 @ 12:14 AM

While your computer is, and create an image on a CD or DVD of The Ultimate boot CD.
It runs a pared down version of Windows...Lets you run many regular windows programs, and usually can get most network devices working.
There are a lot of nice non microsoft diags too.....

It's a really quick way to separate hardware versus software issues...Make an image of your hard drive..
YOu can even make a bootable thumbdrive....GO check out the page, and if you have questions come back and ask me, or any of these other really helpful folks..

I'd recommend it to anyone. An excellent toolkit on a bootable CD/DVD

posted on Nov, 27 2011 @ 02:20 PM
everyone has been awesomely helpful
just a quick update - there have been no further shutdowns since I posted the OP

its tough to figure out if there's a problem when you can't recreate the issue in the first place...... I did go ahead and look into motherboards though as a "just in case" - looks like they run between 40 and 80US$ - so I'm a lot less scared
I can probably swing that, as opposed to a whole new system.

I'll update again if anything changes - thank you all so much! ♥

posted on Nov, 28 2011 @ 12:44 PM
reply to post by Forevever


Hope it works out. Nothing more frustrating that random computer problems.

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 06:17 PM
ugh, update

so it shut off again - is it strange that it always seems to do it on a Wednesday?

Wednesday (not this past one, but the one before, I can't find my calendar for the date...), I woke up and the system was off. Pushed the power button, nothing happened - no light, no attempt to boot, no fans, dead silence.

We took out the new power supply and hooked it up to an old system and it worked fine, but the old power supply was still dead, so it was DEFINITELY a power supply problem the first time around - but not the 2nd.

I reseated the memory, I cleaned the heck out of everything, still it would not come on.

At that that point I had no choice but to assume it was the mother board and quite frankly, I didnt want to mess with it. If something goes wrong putting it in, its on me - so my mom has an account with Geek Squad, and against friends advice, I took it there anyway.

They plugged it in, and it booted up right away.....


Still, I left it - they've had it forever it seems, ran diagnostics, deleted some cookies or whatever - got it back today.

BEFORE I hooked everything back up, I replaced the surge protector and discovered a major issue - the wiring in my home is apparently ANCIENT, and there is improper grounding...... its never been an issue before, but I'm going to see what I can do about it.

In the meantime it seems we're up and running and all cool - surge protector replaced, as well as the power cord from the pc to the outlet (just in case there was a short there, who knows)

My only complaint about Geek Squad is when I got it back all my settings were restored to like default - totally annoying - and my sticky notes were gone
guessing I failed to save them recently - other than that they were pretty helpful - and since the Mom had coverage, the diagnostics they ran didn't cost me anything but time.

So this is where I am right now - if anything new developes, will post again - otherwise we'll assume the new wiring did the trick.

Mad Love for all your helps ♥

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 06:32 PM
Good to hear you are back in action. Hopefully you don't have anymore problems.

Best of luck. Seems to be wiring. Hope so!

(You know we'll help whenever you ask, right? RIGHT!)

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 10:20 PM

Originally posted by webpirate
reply to post by BIGPoJo

NO NO NO!!!!!!!!!

Never spray canned air into a computer case with components attached. They are obviously under pressure, and when you start spraying they release water vapor and droplets. Very bad for computer parts to encounter water!!!

Very good advice here, pay attention to this person! If you wish to blow out your computer case and components, take it to a tire shop, these shops have air dryers in the air lines that removes all moisture from the air. Here is a good tip, if it is a desktop, take off the side, and remove the screws holding down the CPU fan. Clean it really good, and take something like a paint brush, fine bristles, and sweep out the dust from the heat sink. That heat sink is where most of the internal heat comes from.

posted on Dec, 11 2011 @ 11:39 PM
Thanks again everyone, maybe you can help me with this now
Multimedia Keyboard and onscreen display issues

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