Computer Help forum


Computer keeps shutting down randomly

by AZPatrick / October 20, 2011 6:24 AM PDT

Hello everyone. I have a computer that keeps shutting down randomly. I have gone through nearly everything and I'm still stumped. There is no specific time or application that is common to the shut down. It just closes whatever applications are running and say windows is shutting down. Sometimes it happens on startup before windows even loads. I have checked the cpu temps and found them to be between 45 and 80c. The shut downs happen at any temp as well. To try to track down bad hardware, I have swapped out the following:

Power supply
Video card
Hard drive

I started out with a Biostar TP55 and switched to an Asus P7P55D-E LX with no change. I loaded up a new HDD with windows 7 only and it still does it. There were also no criticals, errors or warnings in the event logs with the new HDD. I also disconnected the start button on the case thinking it might be shorting causing the shut down, but nope it still happens. The only thing left is the CPU and I don't have a spare to try. It is still under warranty. The specifics for the computer are:

Biostar TP55 now Asus P7P55D-E LX Mobo
Gskill Ripjaw DDR3-1600 2x2GB
Intel i7 860 processor
Windows 7 Professional 32bit
Corsair TX 750W Power supply
BFG Gts250 or XFX 8800gt

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Clarification Request
". It just closes whatever applications are running and say
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 26, 2011 7:38 AM PDT

". It just closes whatever applications are running and say windows is shutting down."

Since it is not a random hard power off there should be logs about it in the Event Viewer. If there are no entries I have to write something that could be upsetting. I'm sorry but when you see this you have to research the log files again (AKA Event Viewer) and think about trojans and more.

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Clarification Request
Same problem but...
by PrinceZKgr / September 30, 2015 5:11 AM PDT

I have the same problem with my pc. The issue is that it started happening randomly, no changes made in hardware, the computer parts were selected together with a specialist in the store so as to be matching and I have the system as it is for over 3 years now. Only info from event viewer is the Kernell power 41 error. Temps are good, gpu idles at 45, and I have even experienced a shutdown when just browsing the internet, with max temp at 56. Any ideas on that?

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Tip. You have a new issue buried under a 4 year old post.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / September 30, 2015 9:06 AM PDT
In reply to: Same problem but...

As parts age, like the PSU they lose capacity. A 500 Watt PSU may only eek out half that after many years. As to errors in the OS I am using google a lot as well as reloading banged up OSes that folk ran registry cleaners, driver boosters and more. Repair can run more hours than a reload.

Please start a new clean discussion about your PC issues.

All Answers

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by ZRMaster / October 20, 2011 6:42 AM PDT

First try to replace your power cable (from PSU to AC plug) , then check if your power source (plug or extension cord) has a stable 220~230 V AC current and if its grounded properly . UPS device is a good way to stabilize and protect your computer. Maybe the plug where the computer is connected is overloaded.
If all this is ok , then you can focus on your computer for problem.

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New cord and outlet
by AZPatrick / October 20, 2011 8:12 AM PDT
In reply to: power

I just changed the power cord and surge supressor and plugged it into a different outlet in the house. It ran for a few minutes then shut off like before.

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Did you try the old trick?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 20, 2011 8:29 AM PDT

-> Leave the case cover off.

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cover removed
by AZPatrick / October 20, 2011 9:05 AM PDT

I have tried with and w/o the cover. It has been left off most of the time while I've been checking things.

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by ZRMaster / October 22, 2011 11:50 PM PDT

Maybe CPU is making problems???? ConfusedConfused Have you tried replacing it??

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by AZPatrick / October 26, 2011 7:30 AM PDT
In reply to: CPU??

I don't have a spare CPU to try. Is the random shutting down a possible symptom of a bad or failing CPU? I have never had a CPU go bad so I'm not familiar with what happens when they do. I have thought about just returning it since it is under warranty and let Intel test it out.

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by ReviverSoft / October 24, 2011 12:58 AM PDT

Have you tried reapplying the thermal compound on the CPU and maybe making use of a good after-market CPU cooler?

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No reason to.
by richteral / October 28, 2011 4:43 PM PDT
In reply to: Re:

Temps are within range.

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CPU cooler
by AZPatrick / October 26, 2011 7:39 AM PDT

I cleaned and reapplied the thermal compound when I swapped the motherboard. As far as the CPU cooler, I just have the standard intel one that came with the CPU when I bought it. Its probably not as efficient as some other ones on the market but when I run Real Temp it shows the core temps between 45 and 80c.

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That could be a clue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / October 29, 2011 2:15 AM PDT
In reply to: CPU cooler

Was the Windows install from the old system?

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Shutting down
by WAArnold / October 28, 2011 2:49 PM PDT

You say the system closes the running program and then shuts down? So, if you have, for example, microsoft office running, the system will close microsoft office, save your document, and then proceeds to shutdown?
I have had quiet a few system failures over the many years but never one that does all this. Usually, if you have s system failure it will shut down in some instances, usually just crashes, but I don't recall the other steps you specify. From all you have said I would suspect power,.
Will be interested in what you finally find out.

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Not really random
by Zouch / October 29, 2011 12:23 AM PDT

Curious. Clearly from your description, the machine is shutting down at random intervals but it isn't a random shutdown, "something" is telling Windows to shut it down, otherwise, you wouldn't get an orderly close, which is what you describe. As Bob said, there may/should be some clue in the event logs. Recheck them all carefully. If the logs go back before this started happening, compare a shutdown you requested with one of these unscheduled ones, to try and identify the "something".

It's unlikely to be Windows itself, because in most cases, a Windows error would result in a Blue Screen stop, rather than an orderly shutdown.

It could be hardware but you've eliminated most of it by swapping it out. Even then, most serious hardware errors result in a hard stop, not an orderly shutdown.

When you say you disconnected the "start button on the case", which end of the cable did you disconnect, the button end or the motherboard end? If it was the button end, it could still be a faulty cable shorting internally. Pull the plug off the motherboard and then VERY CAREFULLY short the contacts to restart the machine. If you are not absolutely sure which contacts control the main power, DON'T DO IT, you could easily fry the mobo and other components.

I assume you bought your Windows 7 from a reliable legitimate source - some early evaluation copies, have found their way on to the market, hacked to bypass the date expiry check and are still being sold as genuine.

Since you have a spare hard drive (you say you swapped it out), it might be worth just doing a straight reload of Windows, nothing else, and see if the machine continues its erratic behaviour. If not, it's some software loaded on afterwards, or some malware or rootkit lurking somewhere undetected.

You might also want to try running a Live CD version of Linux (I'd recommend Knoppix) to see if that suffers the same problems. If so, its logs may point you in the right direction.

I'll be interested to see how this turns out.

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Random shutdown
by WAArnold / October 29, 2011 6:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Not really random
Shutting Down
I think you missed one of his procedures to fix. He said he loaded up an HDD with windows only and had the same problem.
I would also be interested if he has an backup power supply that has software to issue a shutdown to windows should there be a power failure etc etc which will also happen if he has a brown out, or, under power. I am also interested in his interpretation of shutdown. Is it actually doing an orderly shutdown?\
Hopefully he will keep us updated on the problem.
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Sticking Keys
by klappjack / October 29, 2011 6:42 AM PDT

Have you checked your keyboard? Have you spilled anything on it or are any of the keys sticky? I've seen keyboards do this kind of thing. Once I had a sticking Sleep key. That one was hard to find! Good luck.

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System overheating and shutting down
by caribeguy / October 30, 2011 6:08 AM PDT

As a technician, I find this is in systems that are overheating. They reach a threshold temperature - and shut down. Try blowing out your power supply and fan and heatsink with pressurized air. Take them apart if you need to access the heatsink better. When a system is dirty, it holds heat. when it holds heat it can't breathe and shuts down out of self-preservation.
In laptops, I've had to tale them apart to be able to clean them. Use caution with canned air. Unplug your computer before blowing it out. If you tilt the can of air, propellant will escape. This can short out your computer causing yet additional problems. If the mobo gets wet, let it dry for 10 minutes before plugging it back in.

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Shutting down
by WAArnold / October 30, 2011 4:10 PM PDT

Caribeguy, I doubt that this fellow changed out the power supply, RAM, Video card, Motherboard and hard drive
and failed to find the heatsinks clogged up and didn't clean them. I guess it is possible, but I wouldn't believe so unless he told me he did. I'm still thinking brownout on the power without a hands on check myself. I think the keyboard bad keys mentioned is a possibility also. The memory could be causing him trouble to but he said it done a shutdown, not that it crashed. I wish he would get it worked out and let us know what he found.

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