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Computer Help forum


Computer Randomly Shutdowns

by Steve_The_Forkbeard / July 3, 2013 12:44 AM PDT

I built a system for my wife in January with parts that were given to me by a very generous friend who had extras. It's a bit of a random assortment and I added some myself. This system has worked fine until we moved to a new place. In the new place we were forced to add a wireless card for internet because of the layout. Since adding that card the system has experienced repeating, random reboots. I say random, but they only seem to occur when watching youtube or another online streaming video site. There is no graceful shutdown, just a straight out reboot. We checked the temp with a monitor and the CPU was getting pretty hot so we added a nice aftermarket heat sink that keeps the CPU temp at about 45 under load. The system gets cleaned pretty regularly, it isn't dust.

Problem still happened. Checked the wall outlet with a multimeter, steady voltage. Looked into the power supply, and a handy online wattage calculator told me with all the parts we have my wattage could, under heavy load, be inadequate. One beefy, expensive power supply later I find myself still experiencing this problem. I'm really hesitant to throw more money into this at this point, but my wife needs a computer that works.

My next thoughts were to update everything (BIOS, drivers, etc) and if that didn't work go the route of rooting out a trojan/virus causing problems by booting to safe mode and running a hitman scan. I couldn't imagine how a virus could get on her system since we don't use torrent sites, any *ahem* unmentionable sites, and we've had Kaspersky running from the get go. I also keep the drivers and such pretty well updated (I could have missed a REALLY important one I guess) so I don't really have a lot of confidence in that course solving it.

Anyone have any ideas that might point me to a more productive line of reasoning? This problem is getting frustrating. Below is what I have for the system. (I am suspicious of the odd motherboard, it seems to have been made in 2002 and might not be best suited to work with newer stuff)

-Hybrid CFX motherboard by MSI
-AMD FX 8150 (8 core)
-HIS Radeon HD 7850
-2 Corsair 4GB DDR3 1333 sticks
-Termaltake Smart 850W PSU
-Either a simple TPLink or Linksys PCI wireless card, not sure have to double check that
-Windows 8 Home Edition

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All Answers

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Re: shutdown
by Kees_B Forum moderator / July 3, 2013 1:06 AM PDT

Did you already DISABLE FLASH HARDWARE ACCELLERATION (Google that if you don't know what I mean or how to do it)?


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by Steve_The_Forkbeard / July 3, 2013 1:24 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: shutdown

But isn't that only to correct crashing browsers? The whole system is rebooting.

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researched it
by Steve_The_Forkbeard / July 3, 2013 1:38 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: shutdown

Well, did a little research on that, I guess the hardware acceleration is causing a lot of strange problems for people so it is worth a try. I'll let you know how that goes later!

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Flashplayer disabled
by Steve_The_Forkbeard / July 3, 2013 7:14 AM PDT
In reply to: Re: shutdown

I disabled the flash hardware acceleration but unfortunately the computer still rebooted in the midst of a youtube video shortly thereafter.

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Worth a try, but no luck.
by Kees_B Forum moderator / July 3, 2013 7:42 AM PDT
In reply to: Flashplayer disabled

Then maybe the Event Viewer gives a clue, especially if it's software.

As an experiment, can you locate the PC somewhere where it's connected to the router wired, disable the wireless and see what happens?

Wireless cards use hardly any power. You can have a receiver in a USB port. That's 5 Volt, 0.5 Ampere or 2.5 W at most (presumably less). So I doubt if that makes a difference. And since you replaced the PSU I doubt if that's the cause. But again, it's worth a try.

You write about the CPU temperature being OK. Did you note the GPU temperature and check the cooling of that?


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One note about PSUs
by Jimmy Greystone / July 3, 2013 1:54 AM PDT

One note about PSUs, is that it's not just about the total number of watts. You also have to be cognizant of the amperes on each specific rail. This is particularly true for video cards. Some might require 21-24A on the +12V rail while a PSU might only deliver 18A. That is going to be a problem.

If the problem were the motherboard though, you'd expect the problems to be much more widespread, not specific to certain activities.

Also, viruses and other kinds of malware can come from pretty much anywhere these days. Always has been the case really, but you're much more likely to pick up something nasty from specific sources, just like hospitals are the most likely place to pick up some kind of bug in the real world. Read up on what's known as XSS (Cross-Site Scripting) attacks. Then consider the implications for all of the sites that have some third party serving up banner ads and what would happen if someone managed to slip in a boobytrapped banner ad. For the most part, until Microsoft completely redesigns ActiveX in Internet Explorer (which they'll never do), you should take the old Ralph Nader quote about the Chevy Corvair being "Unsafe at any speed" to heart about Internet Explorer. It's unsafe for any level of use on the Internet. Unfortunately your options for alternatives these days is a bit slim after Opera stopped developing its own rendering engine and is using the same one as Chrome, but you still have Firefox as well. So pick one of those if you haven't already, and use Internet Explorer as sparingly as you possibly can.

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by Steve_The_Forkbeard / July 3, 2013 2:37 AM PDT
In reply to: One note about PSUs

Point well taken, the internet is a treasure trove of bait and switch! We use Chrome or Firefox, never IE, but I suppose there are risks with any browser. I'm not too sure about it being inadequate amperes on the rail because the video card is the same and this system worked flawlessly for months without a hitch. In fact, during the month before we installed the wireless card it worked flawlessly in the new place. My original though in replacing the PSU was that it was riding a hair on the safe side of voltage and adding the wireless card was tipping it over, and the use of streaming video was putting loads on the processor, memory, video card, and now a wireless card too.

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More info
by Steve_The_Forkbeard / July 15, 2013 12:20 PM PDT

OK, I updated everything. I removed the RAM chips one at a time. I disabled the wireless adapter and plugged it in to the router by wire. Changed the outlet the system is plugged into. I really don't know what this could be.

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As a test, reduce the CPU core count to 2.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / July 16, 2013 12:33 AM PDT

I see a very high end GPU so that can be trouble as folk put such in cases.

So I'll go with 2 things to try.

1. Remove the case cover.
2. Reduce the CPU core count to 2 (we can try 4 if this works later) Here's how:

It's in MSCONFIG, Advanced.

The GPU is pretty high end and I've found folk struggle with the power and cooling but many can't get the maker to supply software install procedures. Even today you find multiple versions of the drivers so which to use?

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by Steve_The_Forkbeard / August 11, 2013 1:50 AM PDT

Thanks for the help. I'm in the process of trying the system without the video card and seeing how it works with onboard graphics. I'm not incredibly confident this will work because the problem is related only to video, both streaming and from local files/DVDs. We play Civilization V on this computer and it runs that game for hours with no trouble or reboots.

The driver we use is version 13.4, which is listed as the latest nonbeta version of the driver available from their website.

I will try this and if it doesn't work I will give the reduction of CPU cores a try. May I ask what the purpose of doing this is? What does that change that might resolve the problem? I definitely want to get this solved but I want to know why it was happening. It is oddly specific to watching videos and all of the hardware that is used for that is also used for playing Civ 5, which does not cause reboots.

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by Steve_The_Forkbeard / August 11, 2013 2:30 AM PDT

I found two errors in the event logs that might matter:

A fatal hardware error has occurred.

Reported by component: Processor Core
Error Source: Machine Check Exception
Error Type: Bus/Interconnect Error
Processor APIC ID: 2

The details view of this entry contains further information.


Faulting application name: FlashPlayerPlugin_11_8_800_94.exe, version: 11.8.800.94, time stamp: 0x51c4d74d
Faulting module name: unknown, version:, time stamp: 0x00000000
Exception code: 0xc0000005
Fault offset: 0x6d4b467c
Faulting process id: 0x11dc
Faulting application start time: 0x01ce96a35d6202b8
Faulting application path: C:\Windows\SysWOW64\Macromed\Flash\FlashPlayerPlugin_11_8_800_94.exe
Faulting module path: unknown
Report Id: 9df7d97f-0296-11e3-bff5-5404a6dad69b
Faulting package full name:
Faulting package-relative application ID:

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I see Flash.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2013 2:34 AM PDT
In reply to: Error

Did you try the usual "Disable Flash hardware acceleration" setting?

I see you are asking why above and might here. It's all about working around flaws in drivers and machines. Once in a while you encounter folk new to computers and they think all this has been fixed.

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by Steve_The_Forkbeard / August 11, 2013 2:38 AM PDT
In reply to: I see Flash.

I did disable the Flash hardware acceleration

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Then remove Flash now.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2013 2:39 AM PDT
In reply to: Flash

It's buggy at times and in this case I'd remove it to see if the crashes go away.

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Remove Flashplayer?
by Steve_The_Forkbeard / August 11, 2013 2:45 AM PDT
In reply to: Then remove Flash now.

Do you mean remove flashplayer altoghether?

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I thought I wrote to do that.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2013 2:50 AM PDT
In reply to: Remove Flashplayer?

But and I'm guessing here you want to know why. Here it is.

The fault called itself out so we can remove this for a trouble shooting run. Nothing really needs Flash so we can use the PC and see if it tanks without this.

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by Steve_The_Forkbeard / August 11, 2013 3:06 AM PDT

I removed Flashplayer and uninstalled Google Chrome. I'm running a memtest just to rule out the off chance it's a memory issue.

Won't I need flashplayer plugin to view youtube on non chrome browsers? Assuming that this reveals the flashplayer plugin to be the culprit, what would be the next step?

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Usually you replace the video card.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / August 11, 2013 3:58 AM PDT
In reply to: removed

This area is treading into why you take this up with the machine's builder or designer. It could be something else but Flash hardware acceleration in Chrome is another setting and not the usual. This is a lot of posts and I never got a clear picture of what the PC make and model is. Maybe it's some odd issue but as it stands you should have words with its makers.

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SElf made PC
by Steve_The_Forkbeard / August 11, 2013 4:53 AM PDT

Unfortunately, I am the make of the system. I removed the video card to see if it was able to play with onboard video and had the same results

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