Computer Help forum

Question

Computer turns off while in use (fans go off)

by DMarie62 / April 18, 2012 2:51 AM PDT

It's an emachines ET1831-01.
About two years ago the power went off a lot while the computer was being used. After a while it would turn off while in use and when we I would try to turn it on the fans would go on sometimes the power button light turns on as if it were about to turn on. Sometimes it turns on and stays on for about 15-30 minutes but it still turns off. What could it be?

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Clarification Request
Have you done the usual cleaning?
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 18, 2012 2:55 AM PDT
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Usual cleaning
by DMarie62 / April 18, 2012 3:07 AM PDT

Yes, it's cleaned.

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Clarification Request
Second, and cheap maintenence item.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / April 18, 2012 7:07 AM PDT

Did you replace the old heat sink compound?

All Answers

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Answer
When you ask "What could it be?" ...
by Edward ODaniel / April 18, 2012 4:16 AM PDT

you most likely already answered when you stated "About two years ago the power went off a lot while the computer was being used".

Abrupt power surges tend to shorten the life of electronic equipment. This is different than simply pushing the on/off switch which does not cause any power surge.

You answered Bob that your computer is cleaned, but besides damaged components heat can also cause the symptoms you mention. You can generally rule either for or against a heat problem by opening the case and directing a floor fan into the case so it blosw across the motherboard, CPU and all other components. If the problem remains you have ruled out heat but if the problem goes away you have narrowed the problem to heat and just need to find the component. Quite often the culprit is a lack of thermal paste between the processor and the heatsink/fan or more rarely an overheating hard drive.

Try the fan and get back to us.

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