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Help, my Windows 10 machine restarts for no reason at all!

by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / July 8, 2016 4:49 PM PDT

I have a HP Envy Desktop running Windows 10 and most every day it restarts for no reason. Sometimes it reboots every day, sometimes it skips a day or two. I will be in the middle of typing, and it turns off and come back on. It’s messing up my program because of not getting logged out properly. It’s driving me crazy. I already blew out the dust from the vents, and that didn’t fix it. If it would just ask me if it could restart, I would have time to log out of the program that I am currently in. Help me, please!!!

Here are the specs:
HP Envy Desktop



Thanks for any help you can give me.

-Submitted by Nicki C.

Note: Edited to add what type of computer it is.

Post was last edited on July 11, 2016 11:43 AM PDT

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Reboots in Windows 10
by richj120952 / July 8, 2016 6:05 PM PDT

Down on the bar on the bottom of the screen, to the right, next to the date and time is an information icon. Click on it and it is likely it will tell you what happened.

The most likely thing is Microsoft updates, but with no other information it could be a number of things. Everything from driver failures, to a power cord that simply has an intermittent connection can cause the failure.

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Power Supply Issue
by ChrisCTR / July 8, 2016 6:31 PM PDT
In reply to: Reboots in Windows 10

I remember this happening to an older computer of mine. It was a power supply issue. Once I replaced it, the restarting from out of the blue problem went away. My guess that since it's Windows 10, it probably uses more resources which may affect the performance of the power supply. Do you know how many watts your power supply has for this computer?

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Sounds like a thermal problem
by Bob_Meyer / July 8, 2016 6:47 PM PDT

I googled that CPU and found some threads on Tom's hardware that suggest it has an overheating problem. You might try installing System Mechanic free from Iolo software. It shows thermal status of components, among other things. If that's the problem, blow the dust out and check placement of the system so it has good airflow.

Bob

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Thermal problem
by ArtMuscle / July 15, 2016 10:59 PM PDT

I was thinking the same thing. I had a desktop that did that. My new HP was getting real hot too. I found a software program for my HP that gives the system more control over the CPU fan and now it runs cooler.

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HP Overheating
by pie guy / July 17, 2016 3:25 PM PDT
In reply to: Thermal problem

@ArtMuscle, What was that software? What is the source?

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Installing System free from lolo
by KathleenQuinlan / July 16, 2016 4:24 AM PDT

I googled this and it has many options. Most say save 60%. I take it that it is not free.I set my laptop down to answer the phone etc. come back and it has restarted, which is a pain as when I first bought this a year ago (Toshiba with windows 10), I needed to put in a password to sign in. I did not like that so went through the steps to get that off. But when this restart happens on it's own it is again asking for a password so I have to restart again with the symbol showing on the screen but then it says you may loose saved information but I click restart anyway as I cannot get in. Really a pain. I already have CC Cleaner and AVG that I purchased so I do not want to buy another system checker. Where did you find it for free. Also how do I know it checks the temperature? It does seem my laptop is running hot. Thanks. Kathy

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Very Likely Heat Is The Problem
by jsaelzler / July 8, 2016 8:07 PM PDT

The first thing I would expect to be a cause is heat, and a fan might be failing, allowing the PC to overheat and then shut itself down to protect components. Try removing the side panel on the left as you look at the front of the PC. You should be able to see all the fans. Verify they're all operating. Leave the panel off, and check from time to time to verify they're all still operating. Even the CPU fan can fail. By the way, it's good that you thought to clean the vents.

If you can rule out the fans, try running a memory test program. There are free ones available, including one from Microsoft and another called MemTest 86. A bad RAM chip can cause problems.

Also try running CHKDSK to verify the cause isn't a hard drive problem.

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Heat problem
by ArtMuscle / July 15, 2016 11:04 PM PDT

Sometimes it appears as though all is working fine, but sometimes the CPU fan wears out and actually spins at a speed that is ineffective. That would be the easiest and cheapest thing to try first. Buy a good one that spins around 6 - 7,000 RPMs to be safe. It could be a software issue also.

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Computer Shuts off
by FreddyFoto / July 8, 2016 9:55 PM PDT

I had the same problem. I would shut down for the and the computer would be on in the morning. After noodling around the web, I tripped on the answer.

Check your Windows update settings. There are several options to change the time. Here is a link to Microsoft showing how to do it.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/kb/306525

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Try a few things!
by HDResearcher / July 9, 2016 11:59 AM PDT

First Go to Settings, Go to update and security, click on windows update and click on the gray box and let the system check to see if all the System 10 updates loaded. My wife's Dell does not update automatically on occasion and I have to do it manually.

Second go to Windows Administration in All Apps and run Disk Check and Disk Defrag. If you have a Malware program run that as well and if you are using Windows Defender or a virus checker program run that as well. If you run chkdsk on the command prompt use chkdsk/f (fix designation). It will ask if you want to run chkdsk on startup (Y/N designator) type Y

The other problem is that if it is a laptop and you leave the battery in the laptop, check to see if the battery is charging or remove the battery and run it on the AC Adapter alone, if able too.

I have seen power failures but it is very rare as desk top PC's have more that adequate power supplies! Good luck.

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Leaning Toward a Failing Power Supply Unit (PSU), but....
by AjTrek / July 9, 2016 12:30 PM PDT

First let’s rule out or resolve any Windows 10 update glitches.

In Windows 10 there are two options that dictate how updates are installed – Automatic and Notify to schedule restart.

When Automatic (the recommended option) is selected Windows downloads and installs the updates. Under this setting for those updates that require a restart Windows displays the following statement:

Keep everything running smoothly. We'll restart your device automatically when you're not using it. Updates won't download over a metered connection (where charges may apply).

The problem with the Automatic feature is that when you pause (take a break) and leave your computer running with open programs; if Windows doesn’t sense any keystrokes and/or your computer times out – Windows may commence a restart and it may be just coincidence that you re-commenced your work a few seconds before the restart took effect.

When Notify to schedule restart is selected Windows downloads and installs the updates. Under this setting for those updates that require a restart Windows displays this statement:

You'll be asked to schedule a restart to finish installing updates. Updates won't download over a metered connection (where charges may apply).

This setting allows you to set a time/date for the restart or manually restart your computer yourself (recommended).

However, since you say the shutdown/restarts occur randomly – but not more than two days apart – I doubt that Windows updates are the cause. To be sure I suggest you change how Windows installs updates to Notify to schedule restart. Follow one of the options below as both yield the same result:

Option I - Left Click “Notifications icon” in right corner of task bar then select….
Settings > Update & Security > Advanced Options > Choose How Updates are Installed > Notify to schedule restart > Exit

Option II - Left Click “Windows icon” in left corner of task bar then select….
Settings > Update & Security > Advanced Options > Choose How Updates are Installed > Notify to schedule restart > Exit

Now that Windows 10 updates have been handled here’s the not so good news….

Unfortunately, your question really doesn’t have a single simple answer, there could be numerous problems in different directions as to why you are having the rebooting issues. Rebooting can be caused by bad drivers, overheating or failing component.

As a rule of thumb if your system reboots fully back into windows heat and/or failing component is a probable cause.

If you get a BSOD (which you’re not) then it’s possibly a bad driver. But even in the absence of the BSOD a bad driver could still be the cause.

Since your AMD A10-6700 APU with Radeon HD Graphics has been relegated to “legacy status” by AMD there's a link below to obtain the latest drivers for Windows 10. CAUTION: Before you download and install the drivers make sure you have a “Full System Backup” stored somewhere and a “System Restore Point” available. Click the link to see where to go and verify that a System Restore Point exists:

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/12415/windows-10-recovery-options

Assuming you have a Backup and you’ve verified that a “System Restore Point” is available here’s the link to acquire the AMD drivers:

http://support.amd.com/en-us/download/desktop/legacy?product=legacy3&os=Windows+10+-+64

To continue, like most in this forum in the absence of excessive heat build-up or driver issues I’m inclined to blame a failing Power Supply Unit (PSU). Here are links on how to diagnose a PSU. Each one increasing in level of difficulty (depending upon your skill level):

1. http://www.wikihow.com/Diagnose-and-Replace-a-Failed-PC-Power-Supply

2. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+check+for+a+failng+power+supply&view=detail&mid=7D47833BC0971A385FB07D47833BC0971A385FB0&FORM=VIRE

3. http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=how+to+check+for+a+failng+power+supply&view=detail&mid=5C060C7D6492FC37C2C25C060C7D6492FC37C2C2&FORM=VIRE

If you don’t feel comfortable employing any of technics in the links above, I suggest you take your computer to a repair store for a complete diagnosis - ASAP. Not doing so can have dire consequences. The least of which is further damage your computer; but the ultimate being the loss of your valuable data.

Nicki, I hope you are able to resolve your rebooting issues. Good Luck!

Together Everyone Achieves More = T.E.A.M.

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Still could be an impacted heat sink

I know you said you blew out the dust. But, the way most laptops are laid out, you could have just lifted the pad of dust up a little, but it's still sitting there. It gets pulled right back into the radiator. Depending on how old the laptop is, and how dusty your environment is, the dust could look almost like a felt pad lying across your heat sink.

For some laptops, once you open it up you can see the radiator, and you can pull the dust off. Others, you literally have to literally remove the heat sink from the CPU before you can reach the radiator.

I'm extremely annoyed that laptop makers don't put the radiator behind an easy access panel. For most people, getting at the radiator happens more often than upgrading RAM or the hard drive.

Off the soapbox. The temp monitor I use is CPUID.

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*Still* could be an impacted heat sink
by MightyDrakeC / July 17, 2016 6:50 PM PDT

Even with a desktop, blowing canned air through the vents will not clear the heat sink.

I had one desktop that I had not cleaned for a few years. When I started having issues I pulled the fan off of the heat sink (left the heat sink on the CPU.) Beneath the fan, against the radiator fins, the dust had built up to completely block the airflow. Basically, the fan was trying to blow through a felt pad.

I now have a reminder set up to clean my heat sinks every month. I don't actually get to it *every* month. But, I try to not skip more than one.

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Overheating is a very strong possibility...

Looking at your spec being an AMD A10 I do know that AMD's are quite well known for doing a reboot if things get too hot.

Generally when Windows wants to reboot for a reason say like an update, or something then it will ask you, it won't just fully kill the power and then reboot without even shutting down properly.

From what your saying though is that the PC is shutting down improperly, it's not giving you time to save work or waiting for programs to shut down properly, which that certainly sounds like a heating issue.

It could also be a PSU issue too (I had a PSU once with a lose internal cable, every time you moved the PC the PSU would die and reset - but I knew full well it was a lose cable in the PC and not overheating because the temperature of the CPU was fine and it was every time I moved the PC to a certain position - I got my dad who is an ex-TV engineer to open it up and sure enough he found a lose cable and re-soldered it - please note though unless you know what your doing don't attempt to open up a PSU even if you think it's a problem inside the PSU - PSU's contain large capacitors (which are similar to large batteries) and can still give off one heck of a shock even when they're unplugged).

First thing to check though is the CPU temperature. If you look in your manual there should be information on how to go into the BIOS (every BIOS is different so I can't give a specific explanation), when your in the BIOS it should give a CPU temperature, anything around 30-40 deg C should be fine, usually they start cutting out when they hit between 60-80 deg C. When you initially turn the PC on check it's temperature in the BIOS initially it should be quite low, and then when it does the random reset, when it's rebooting go back into the BIOS and check the temperature again (there are also some tools out there like SpeedFan - http://www.almico.com/sfdownload.php that can also show this information from within Windows - tools like speedfan tend to show a number of temperatures, some may be inaccurate depending on whether the item actually has a sensor. On mine it shows me Temp 1, Temp 2, Temp 3 and Core - Temp 1-3 are various sensors around the board (although Temp 2 constantly shows -8 so either that's sat in a bucket of ice somewhere or it's not valid - as I've no ice in the machine I highly suspect the latter), and Core is the main CPU core.

Speedfan shows arrows next to the temperatures so you know if they're too hot, it also shows the various fan speeds. If you notice one of the temperatures going to a red arrow and remaining at that red arrow for some time whilst also increasing in value then there is something wrong with the cooling system - if it just goes slightly into a red arrow and you see fan speed increase and it then goes down - this generally isn't an issue it's just the monitors on the board failed to notice the temp increase in time but are quickly altering fan speed to reduce help lower the temp.

If it is down to heating you need to then check why (and preferably sooner rather than later - even though the constant resetting might be slightly annoying to you it's also possibly damaging the overheating component too). In a PC you should have a number of fans and they all need to be pointing the right way to ensure overheating doesn't occur.

On the CPU itself there should be a fan (some GPU's also have fans). This should be properly secured, and should have a layer of either thermal tape or thermal paste between it correctly. When installing the fan initially the heatsink (the big metal block), should have been placed straight down onto the CPU, once it made contact with the CPU it should not have been lifted, and you should try and move it as little as possible. If it was lifted off and re-installed then the thermal paste/tape needs to be removed and replaced or else it might cause "hot spots" on the CPU - these are places where the thermal solution isn't covering properly and so they get very hot. Thermal paste can be bought cheaply from most computer shops.

If the CPU fan was applied properly the next thing that should be there is at least 2 case fans (some cases do try with 1 but ideally there should always be at least 2), and they should be positioned in a certain way. If you look on the side of the fan normally there is an arrow printed in the plastic - this is to indicate airflow (if there is no arrow you can sometimes work it out from the fin angles). One of the fans needs to be pointed in such a way that it is sucking air into the system and one should be pointed so it's sending air out. The one sucking air in allows cold air to enter the case, and the one blowing air out takes the warm air away and they need to be positioned in such a way to create airflow - generally you'd put the sucking air in on the side of the case and the blowing air out on the back (but some alternatives include the sucking in the roof, blowing air out at the back, sucking air in through the front and out through the back, but don't try putting the two together at the back or else there will be very bad circulation).

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Your motherboard is close to failing
by TheBrigadier / July 10, 2016 5:03 PM PDT

I had the same problem with my HP two years ago. It began rebooting until it finally quit about a week later. I took it to my tech who said the motherboard was fried. He ordered me a refurb from California that lasted two months and they replaced it under warranty with another one. Its been going strong for a year and a half now. It wasn't a matter of dust or power supplies. Laptops run hot and in time components lose solder connections. Its the nature of the beast. Find a qualified repair shop and see about getting a refurbished board. Most machines last about three to four years before overheating takes it toll. Good luck.

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Motherboard was my problem on an HP desktop.
by WornHall / July 15, 2016 6:31 PM PDT

More and more frequent reboots was the most serious of the problems, but there was also intermittent loss of wifi, and later of sound. With a new m/b via Ebay, the unit is back in action at 3.6gh, all for under $110.

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Something People Are Missing....
by AjTrek / July 11, 2016 6:07 AM PDT

Several responses have mentioned or appear to be referring to a Laptop. The AMD A10-6700 APU with Radeon HD Graphics @ 3.70 GHz (max @ 4.1 GHz) series is a DESKTOP component. Nicki's PC cannot be a Laptop as the A10 version maxes out @ 2.5 GHz.

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(NT) Thanks ajtrek, I updated the Question to include that info.
by Lee Koo (ADMIN) CNET staff/forum admin / July 11, 2016 11:46 AM PDT
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No Thanks Necessary...Glad I Could Help
by AjTrek / July 11, 2016 12:47 PM PDT
Together Everyone Achieves More = T.E.A.M.
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Hi
by Phailao / July 15, 2016 5:38 PM PDT

Greetings,

Maybe this will help you to identify what exactly is faulty.

Turn on or restart the computer.
While the display is blank, press the f10 key to enter the BIOS menu.
Leave computer for sometime and see if it restarts in BIOS Screen.
If it does not restart, than you may call HP and get Operating System Re-installed.
If it restarts again, you may try this.


Turn on or restart the computer.
While the display is blank, press the f10 key to enter the BIOS settings menu.
Press the f9 key to reset the BIOS to the default settings.
Press the f10 key to save the changes and exit the BIOS settings menu.

Again, try the first step and check by loading BIOS one more time.

If it restarts again in BIOS sceen, its a problem with Motherboard, you will need to replace it.

If it does not restart, than you may call HP and get Operating System Re-installed.


Hope that will help you... Cheers !

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Is your HP Envy still on Warranty?Else use BurnInTest.
by ihfwt / July 15, 2016 5:43 PM PDT

Is your HP Envy still on Warranty? If so let HP deal with it if there is a hardware problem.

Download PassMark BurnInTest™ is a software tool that allows all the major sub-systems of a computer to be simultaneously stress tested for endurance, reliability and stability. It's a free 30 day trial to see if the hardware on your HP Envy is the problem.

http://www.passmark.com/products/bit.htm

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Could be simply updates
by wilderja / July 15, 2016 5:43 PM PDT

This could also be simply because Windows 10 received some updates. You no longer have control over when you get updates or when they get applied. Once applied, sometimes the update requires a restart. Check the windows update listing and see if any updates were applied before the reboot.

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Windows Restarts for no good reason
by 19Gandalf47 / July 15, 2016 6:01 PM PDT

My educated guess based on many, many LONG years of experience is that this is happening because the operating system has the name "Windows" in it. I had to use Windows PC's at work for 16 years, and no matter if it was Windows 98, XP, Vista, or Win 7 (that's as far as I had to go with PC's - I'm a Mac guy by choice). If you are going to use Windows, my advice is to get used to it, learn the quickest way(s) to get around it,or you are going to go crazy. And this is the "new and improved Windows", too. Yikes!

We had about 50 PC's running on an XP server less than ten years ago when I took over the department. I had a company which specialized in Windows business computers evaluate out system, which was not even being backed up regularly at the time. His advice, which we took, was to stick with XP, as Microsoft was still issuing security updates (seemingly hourly), and it worked for doing business (not that it didn't go down in the middle of the night - we were a 24-hr 365 emergency vet hospital - reboot without provocation, lose data, act erratically, and generally suck). Vista was never installed, so I can't comment on it beyond saying that I literally do not know anyone who "upgraded" to Vista. By the time Win 7 was released, we still had not changed, for the exact same reasons. We invested a bit more in security (less cost than 50 new software licenses, since Microsoft wouldn't give us a "site deal", and 24-hour real-time remote monitoring of our XP server (which I could remotely access from home with my MacBook Pro, just using the Apple OS), as could our tech service who almost always caught problems before them became problems.

Sorry that you are having this problem, but I'd get used to it, if I were you. I know this sounds "snarky", but it's all true.

So, back to the question - it's probably Windows, and you're gonna have to get used to it.

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Laptop shutdown abruptly
by excellous / July 15, 2016 6:38 PM PDT

Hello Nikki,

I have a similiar computer fault as you, it shuts down abruptly without warning and happened intermittently. After many months of checking and monitoring found that the CPU fan has malfunctioned. I send my Laptop to the Service Centre and have the CPU fan replaced. The problem has gone away and my computer is running smoothly now.

I suggest you have your CPU fan checked.
Consult your Service Centre if a replacement is necessary.

Regards,
Edward
16-Jul'16

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Mini power failures?
by frenzl / July 15, 2016 6:43 PM PDT

I live in Florida, and it is a rare day when I don't see one or more very short power outages. For this reason, I wouldn't consider running a desktop without a UPS. If you don't have one, you should consider getting one.
Computer systems can be sensitive to power outages so short that your digital clocks and TVs don't seem to notice them.

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I had a similar problem with my desktop
by diplomatjim / July 15, 2016 7:14 PM PDT

I had a similar problem - the machine would restart by itself either when put to sleep or when fully turned off. I suspected malware, but Norton and Malwarebytes found nothing. I then suspected something in the boot sector, and so ran the Windows utilities to redo the Master Boot Record. That helped for a few starts, but the problem came back. So I ended up reformatting the hard drive, removing all partitions and reinstalling Windows 10. System works fine now. So I suspect some sophisticated malware in my case.

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Win 10 random restarts
by jaytmoon / July 15, 2016 7:34 PM PDT

My initial read of this thread tell me you have some great suggestions to consider for the issue. My suggestion is know your enemy..essentially heat issues! A great free tool is speed fan, which is available for download from several sources. With that tool installed, you can monitor the system components for a time to learn what might be overheating. If the is an issue with any country, Gpu or board components, this tool will give you a heads up and you can move to make repairs to fix the heat issues. If it does not reveal any overheating parts, well you will need to move on to testing the power supply and memory sticks. Good luck and happy hunting !

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Check Event Viewer
by AXG / July 15, 2016 9:05 PM PDT

Check the System and Application logs in Windows Event Viewer. They might clue you in if the OS is causing the shutdown for any reason. If these logs indicate abrupt shutdown, then drivers, overheating, failing disk can be a problem.
Run chkdsk c: /f in an elevated command prompt and reboot when the command completes. Let check disk run and PC reboot complete. Then view the check disk logs in Even Viewer to see if any bad sectors have been reported. Check if the memory modules are securely seated in the slots. Check that power supply connectors are not loose. Also check if the mains cable has not become loose with use or if you are using a different mains cord than the one supplied by the manufacturer, then try changing it.

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Could be a falty on switch
by totalGuru / July 15, 2016 9:12 PM PDT

As far as I can tell, no one has mentioned a faulty on switch. I am using a high end Dell XPS with Win7 and mine has done a reboot after I shut down. Sometimes it will go for quite some time without rebooting after shutdown.
What I have done is run CCleaner Daily, and Spybot S&D along with Kaspersky Total Security, thinking that a clean system can help, which think it has helped. However it is still doing a reboot after shutdown quite often.
I have never tried to evaluate the on switch. Lazy I guess. Yes, I just live with it.
If it was me, I would make sure your system is clean, you might try those programs along with a good security program, if it is still acting up then have a tech guy look at it.

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Have you added hardware?
by SteveXMann / July 15, 2016 9:20 PM PDT

Most OEM PC's have a barely sufficient power supply. If you have added additional hard-disk, you could be overtaxing the PSU.

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