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Lonely Computer???! Computer shuts down when left alone.

by toodvs4u / March 16, 2005 6:39 AM PST

This new system is the strangest build I have ever had.....Finally got the power supply problem all taken care of, machine boots up and works like a champ as long as I am actively working it. But if I leave it running a program or anything when I am not moving the mouse -- the tower powers down and starts beeping. I have to turn off the power from the back to quiet the sound and then turn it back on again.

Since it seemed to be doing this whenever the screen saver came on -- I set it to no screen saver and 2 hours before the screen should power down. It's still crashing. I thought maybe a video card problem so I updated the video card drivers, the mobo drivers, did windows update. If it was updatable I think I did it...still crashing. Could this be a mobo/video card compatablity problem?? Or a power management issue? I am planing to upgrade the video card at the end of the month....

Abit Kv7-v mobo
AMD 2900 cpu
450 watt power supply
512 mb ddr 400/pc3200 ram
Radeon 7000 series video card/64mb ddr onboard AGP
sound card& lan card are on the motherboard.
Running xp pro sp2

I've tried differnet bios settings -- does not seem to make much difference. Any advice you could give me will be greatly apreciated -- you were all so helpful with the power problem...;))

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(NT) (NT) Sounds like an overheat issue.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 16, 2005 6:43 AM PST
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Sounds plausible -- now where do we go.
by toodvs4u / March 16, 2005 7:06 AM PST

1. Okay -- why would it do it when not "doing anything". I've sat and used it for 8 hours straight but as soon as I leave it alone it dies. I'm not arguing, I'm just puzzled. (I did use a very good thermal grease when I installed the Cpu/heatsink fan. I don't rememeber the name but it was silver and I bought it from the local computer store)

2. What do we do to fix it? At this moment cpu is 106.7 F, fan speed is 4440, and pwm temp is 82.4. The case has a side panel fan, and the fan on the power supply is working. I think I'll leave the monitoring program up and see what happens when I don't touch anything.

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In the event that you did not know
by Ray Harinec / March 17, 2005 12:48 AM PST

those temps for the CPU aren't even close to being too hot.

Are you sure that the settings for shut down in the BIOS are set way too low????

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I checked the bios
by toodvs4u / March 17, 2005 5:17 AM PST

Bios is set to shutdown when it reaches 258F. I updated the bios and changed the behavior from "smart fan" to dumb fan and that has helped.

I'm still not sure it is shutting down due to overheating -- I just know that when I leave it alone for 5 minutes or so the temp starts spiking by 30+ degrees.

Thanks for the great ideas.

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That is way too high a setting
by Ray Harinec / March 17, 2005 8:18 AM PST
In reply to: I checked the bios

If your AMD and mobo are fairly recent it should be shutting down by the time it gets close to 70C [158F]. I would set the warning to about 61 to 63 C [142 to 145.5 F]]. I do not think that you have been getting close to that.

A 30 degree F increase is 16.7 degree C increase. For temps we must be sure what scale we a re using.

The weird thing is why it spikes when not "being used".

Do you have a graphics intensive screen saver running?

Check to find out what tasks are running in the background.

Got any of these programs running that shares your free CPU time for listening for signals from outer space or cancewr cures??? Not kidding, I just forgot what they call them.

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Seti at home
by toodvs4u / March 17, 2005 2:10 PM PST

I was running Seti at home and Einstein at home as a screen saver but have stopped them until this little problem gets fixed. So right now there is no screen saver in use.

I think it's definitely a power regulation problem -- see next post.

Thank you for your help, this is about the weirdest problem I have had in seven years of building systems. I learned something new...;)

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You reported in another
by Ray Harinec / March 17, 2005 8:34 AM PST
In reply to: I checked the bios

post, the readings from a monitoring program. The setting for warnings in there have to be looked at for temperature. Possibly that program is causing the shutdowns. What program is it???

I am only discussing temperature. If some of the voltages are out of spec, then power supply replacement is certainly in order. A reasonable tolerance on the nominal power supply voltages, [the 5 volt, 12 volt and 3.3 volt] is +/- 3%.

And, again, why it spikes when not in use is not fully understood by me. That is, UNLESS the smart [not so smart] CPU fan slows down drastically when no activity is detected. Did the spiking cease after you changed the fan mode???

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No real changes..
by toodvs4u / March 17, 2005 2:05 PM PST

I didn't start using the monitoring program until after the machine had been shutting down for several days. Program came with mobo ad is call Abit eq. It is set to shutdown the machine at 75C cpu temp.

It still spikes after changing the fan settings-- it is just a slower upward curve.

According to advice I received from another member, I took a gander at Tomshardware and based on what I read there I do beieve it have something to do with the power supply. My computers syptoms were described and evidently AMD boards don't have a power regulator to protect the CPU if the power supply is wonky. While in use the power levels out but while idle it causes the cpu to overheat... Others who purchased this fan/case combo reported problems with the power supply.

A new power supply is not that expensive, I'll pick one up next week. Until then I'll just shut down the machine when I am not actively using it since the temps and voltages stay good while I'm playing with it..

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Thanx for the info and good luck
by Ray Harinec / March 17, 2005 9:56 PM PST
In reply to: No real changes..

with the new supply. It is sad that so many power supplies that come with a case are crap.

I always buy the case sans power supply and buy a good supply separately.

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Another genius diagnosis -- how do I fix it?
by toodvs4u / March 16, 2005 7:19 AM PST

I left the montoring program on and just sat and watched it. As soon as I stopped using the mouse, the cpu temp climbed from 106-112F, then the system seemed to catch it and it went back down to 108F. After a few more minutes the temp started climbing again. It was at 123F and climbing when I jumped in and started using the system again. It's now back to 106F.

I want you to know you're brilliant. LOL. Hopefully this problem has an easy fix???

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Tell more about the heatsink/fan and..
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 16, 2005 9:03 AM PST

What heatsink paste or pad you used. Does the CPU fan work?


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Heatsink fan works
by toodvs4u / March 16, 2005 11:52 AM PST

The monitoring program shows it runs from 4440 to 4850 rpm and I can visually see it turning through the clear side panel. Heatsink brand is Ultra / Socket A/370 / AMD Athlon XP up to 3000+ / Ball Bearing/Aluminum Fins / Copper Core / CPU Cooling Fan purchased new and conencted directly to the mobo. The thermal paste was spread evenly on just the center chip, leaving the green parts uncovered.

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Maybe not.
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 16, 2005 8:40 PM PST
In reply to: Heatsink fan works

Said heatsink has to be "just right" sitting on the CPU.

There are other issues such as airflow in the case. That's what we remove the case cover until we sort out that the machine is in tiptop shape.

Also, a less than monster power supply can be an issue.


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Power supply
by toodvs4u / March 16, 2005 11:52 PM PST
In reply to: Maybe not.

This case was sent as a replacement for a cheaper and worse one. (I now solumnly swear I will never try to save money by buying a cheap case....) I read the feedback on in and about 50% of the posts mentioned the power supply being bad either right out of the box or shortly thereafter. The monitor program is throwing errors due to the "vcore" and cpu....

2005/03/16 07:54:36 Warning:=VCore: 1.66V +3.3V: 3.30V +5V: 5.13V +12V: 11.49V AGPV: 1.58V DDRV: 2.67V 5VSB: 4.87V VBAT: 3.22V CPU: 4963RPM
2005/03/16 10:12:28 Warning:=VCore: 1.65V +3.3V: 3.30V +5V: 5.13V +12V: 11.49V AGPV: 1.58V DDRV: 2.67V 5VSB: 4.87V VBAT: 3.22V CPU: 4963RPM
2005/03/16 15:48:53 Warning:=VCore: 1.65V +3.3V: 3.31V +5V: 5.13V +12V: 11.55V AGPV: 1.58V DDRV: 2.67V 5VSB: 4.87V VBAT: 3.22V
2005/03/16 19:41:53 Warning:=VCore: 1.65V +3.3V: 3.31V +5V: 5.13V +12V: 11.49V AGPV: 1.58V DDRV: 2.66V 5VSB: 4.87V VBAT: 3.22V CPU: 4963RPM
2005/03/16 20:00:20 Warning:=CPU: 51.0F
2005/03/16 20:44:20 Warning:=CPU: 49.0F
2005/03/16 20:50:05 Warning:=CPU: 52.5F
2005/03/16 22:35:44 Warning:=VCore: 1.66V +3.3V: 3.31V +5V: 5.11V AGPV: 1.58V DDRV: 2.67V 5VSB: 4.90V VBAT: 3.23V CPU: 49.0F
2005/03/16 22:55:46 Warning:=CPU: 45.0F
2005/03/16 23:32:11 Warning:=CPU: 46.0F
2005/03/17 01:01:58 Warning:=VCore: 1.66V +3.3V: 3.31V +5V: 5.11V AGPV: 1.58V DDRV: 2.67V 5VSB: 4.87V VBAT: 3.23V CPU: 49.0C

I'm thinking I should go ahead and get a monster power supply since I have about a 50% chance this one is faulty. If that doesn't work then should I replace the cpu fan? I can also install another fan at the back....

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Can't guess, but ...
by R. Proffitt Forum moderator / March 17, 2005 12:33 AM PST
In reply to: Power supply

I always leave the cover off until I know the heat can be controlled. Also I have yet to buy anything under 450 Watt since... it costs no more and while I know nothing we've built uses that much... they lie about the numbers.

Articles galore at tomshardware about that issue.


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Thank You
by toodvs4u / March 17, 2005 12:41 AM PST
In reply to: Can't guess, but ...

I have a direction to go in now....
It's strange having a toddler computer who needs my attention or it will throw a tantrum....Oh well, it's only a week old -- hopefully it will grow up soon!

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Tomshardware is a great resource
by toodvs4u / March 17, 2005 2:15 PM PST
In reply to: Can't guess, but ...

Thanks for pointing me there -- I saw my problem and it is related to power supply being "wonky" (my words.) AMD boards don't regulate for the problem so temp spikes when system is idle...

I'm a poor college student until next week when the money fairy comes. LOL -- so will go buy the most reliable power supply I can find then. Temp and voltages are good as long as I don't leave machine alone...so will shut down when not using it...

Thanks again.

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Check up HAL
by sysk167 / March 17, 2005 6:56 PM PST

Try this pages & see if HAL is correctly installed & not damaged. http://www.kellys-korner-xp.com/xp_haldll_missing.htm & http://www.annoyances.org/exec/forum/winxp/t1006151611 If it's damaged or not correct working in any way, you probably should see something about it in the logbook. Start/All programs/Accessories (I hope that's the rigth word)/Administative tools/(Loggbook) Check all 3 logs to see if there's anything about this HAL. HAL= Hardware Abstratcion Layer. This is the "guy" who is responsible for your hardware & thier powersupply & so on...

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Thank you for this idea --
by toodvs4u / March 18, 2005 10:23 AM PST
In reply to: Check up HAL

I checked the logs -- nothing regarding HAL. I had to go into the logs a different way then you mentioned but I got the idea. I tried the repair console, the first time the computer crashed just as I was typing in the commands. The second time I did a fixboot, and it died while trying the scan. I don't think I'm going to get out of spending more money on this problem...

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Lonely Computer???! Computer shuts down when left alone
by AussieGurl / March 17, 2005 7:11 PM PST

I have had this problem also, have you tried the following steps?
1. Right Click on your desktop and go to properties
2. Click on the screensaver tab
3. Click on the settings tab under 'Energy saving features of monitor'
4. Set them to
Power schemes - Always on
Settings for always on -
System Standby - Never
Turn off monitor - Never
Turn off hard disks - Never
hopefully this should fix the problem you are having

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Great idea -- system more stubborn
by toodvs4u / March 18, 2005 6:21 AM PST

I swear I'm dealing with a toddler computer!

I did adjust the settings as you said. Temp dropped to 94F and stayed there for 5 minutes while I touched nothing and watched. After 5 minutes the cpu temp spiked to 120F over the course of 2 minutes...after typing this message it has dropped to 105 and is falling....weird.

Thanks for your reply.

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Win XP? Try turning off the hibernation mode
by jim486 / March 17, 2005 10:00 PM PST

Hibernation mode has cuased some reboot and shutdown issues wth some of our systems in the past.
Right click on desktop
Screen Saver tab
Power button
Hibernate tab
uncheck Hibernate

Hope this helps

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Thank you -- we think alike...
by toodvs4u / March 18, 2005 6:23 AM PST

This was one of the first thing I tried.

Still fighting the toddler computer..:(

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by wooten_2829 / March 17, 2005 11:18 PM PST

Go to your control settings and click on the display settings. click on screen saver setting and at the bottom of box where the energy saving settings are click on the settings. click on all three boxes and enter never. click on apply

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lonely puter
by eldritch flatus / March 18, 2005 4:45 AM PST

Unfortunately, what you have here, i believe, is a faulty motherboard. I had the same experience with a Shuttle motherboard. No fewer than 7 people who build their own systems have tried to get that turkey to work, to no avail. It's a bummer but you know sometimes, crap just happens. Try to get some compensation.

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Faulty mobo
by toodvs4u / March 18, 2005 6:26 AM PST
In reply to: lonely puter

I haven't been thrilled with abit anyway -- any reccomendations? I'm willing to ditch the mobo and the power supply at this point....

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I'm not a hardware guru but...
by mini-doug / March 18, 2005 5:13 AM PST

Could it be that the CPU fan and the case fan are plugged into the wrong place on the motherboard? They might just need to be swapped.
That would explain why the CPU fan thinks it's a smart fan.


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Great thought
by toodvs4u / March 18, 2005 6:30 AM PST

.. I had it too! I'm sure the fan is plugged into the correct place. Tripple checked it! I guess I get to throw a bit more money at this system. I'll chalk it up to experience -- I have a lot of pricey items in my "experience" ledger. LOL

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(NT) (NT) mini-doug. Most newer CPU HSF's are smart type.
by Ray Harinec / March 18, 2005 8:35 AM PST
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Change the power supply
by Mtapper / March 18, 2005 8:36 PM PST

Change the power supply, trust me, nuff said

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