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  1. #1
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    Exclamation My computer keeps shutting off, help!

    Ok, my computer is shutting down on me. It will just shut down completely, no restarting, nothing. Just shuts down (no "shut-down" process, it just turns OFF) and makes this high pitched noise until I turn off the power strip. It has been doing this on and off for several months and I'm at a loss as to why and am about to just get a new computer.

    I went to Best Buy's geek squad several months back and they replaced: the motherboard, processor, power supply, power strip, re-installed windows xp pro. I thought that last one would do the trick but shortly after I got the computer back, it did it again. It happened again, after I installed office xp pro... So I uninstalled it. I then didn't have any problems for some time so I tried installing it again. Worked fine.

    It has been several months since then and just recently started shutting down again! The only thing I've done lately is install some accounting (BETA stage) program from eBay...and it started shutting down again. First just once then once a day then a couple times until last night I couldn't even go into my outlook w/o it shutting down. I should say that I've been in several different programs inculding internet explorer during the shut-downs. I tried to "repair" office, and lost all my emails and it shut down again. Tried to uninstall the blasted thing and it won't even let it "configure" for the uninstall, just keeps shutting down.
    Consiquently, I tried re-installing windows back then and it did the same thing, wouldn't even let me, which is why I had to have the geek squad do it.

    I went into outlook today and got my new mail just fine but I know if I try to uninstall it, it will do the same thing...but my question is, what the heck is causing this??? Could it be a "bug" in my operating system or office software? I got those two from a friend long ago so they were burned and aren't the original, could that be why? Is it my memory? I've replaced everything else practically, I'm at my witts end.

    Is the ANYONE else out there in America, the world, who has had this problem???

    Please help.
    Last edited by kcrb; March 2nd, 2005 at 02:24 PM.

  2. #2
    Member red-dragon-69's Avatar
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    it might be the supply power you should try to connect the cable from your scren to your hard drive and c if it works if all else fails try to open it and see if the cables might have burned or got disconnected...if that fails simply disconect all cables and put one at a time and in each one check if it will turn on.

    there is also a green light inside the harddrive after you take oe of the sides out you should be able to see it if you dont see it then the power suply is dead and you need a new one ..

    is your computer a dell ??

  3. #3
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    Just read section, "new users read first" so here is rest of my info-

    motherboard I bought soyo sy-k7vmp/k7vmp2; processor amd athlon 2400; power supply upped to 350watts; windows xp prof.; computer is on any specific brand, custom built...attached to my computer is a digital camera, printer, scanner. I've tried this search feature and many others and can't get someone else who's had this specific problem. Geek squad had no answer either because my computer didn't shut down at their store! Just at home...also, the wattage in which computer is plugged in is just fine, we have a new house, also tried plugging into the dryer plug-in because the watts are higher and still shut down. Umm, I also get NO ERROR MESSAGES before the shut down or after I turn computer back on. Please help me, I will be happy to provide you with anymore information I haven't thought of.

  4. #4
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    My comp. is not a dell. Though I've been looking at them today, not a good choice? Anyway, as I stated prev. (you hadn't read my 2nd post when you responded) I got a new power supply 350w, doesn't seem to be the problem..?.Is there another power supply? Please advise: what do you mean, "connect the cable from my screen to my hard drive" which cable? Power cable? Also, my computer turns on just fine after it shuts off...it's just keeping it on...bare with me please, I'm not ultra smart about computers.

  5. #5
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    Hardware

    I would say that this is definitly a hardware issue. My first suspision is that your processor and or RAM are getting way too hot. I have had computers shut down on me (especially AMD powered) becuase the processor was getting too hot...that can happen if the processor is overclocked (running at a faster speed than it was designed to) or if the fan you have is not doing a good job. This sounds strange, but I have done this to test such problems before. Open up the computer case and aim a box fan (one of the big ones that can cool an entire room) directly at the inards of your computer. The fan must be very close to the computer...if you want, you can lay the computer on its side and put the fan directly on top of the case. This will cool everything down considerably. If your computer operates with the big fan blowing on it, then you know that something is getting too hot and causing the shutdowns.

  6. #6
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    wow, really, a hardware issue? my ram huh..?..so you don't think it's software related...you know I had an amd before they replaced my prcessor with another amd...I also have like 3 fans in my cpu AND we took the back off our computer hutch so air could flow in there because geek squad did mention that...and my computer definately isn't as hot as it used to be (but still shutting down) but I will so do that with the box fan because I'll try anything at this point. Should I try to uninstall that office software (like I tried previously to no avail) after it cools it down to see if it shuts down then? Because I know if I do that now, my comp. will shut down...would you like my degrees of the comp? thanks for you help.

  7. #7
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    Ok, I've got a box fan blowing di-rectly in that baby! both side are off my cpu and it actually feels cool to the touch. I tried to get my temp right at start-up but it didn't display like it used to, then I remembered geek squad changed that "feature" so it doesn't display anymore. (hope that makes sense). what to do now..?..patiently awaiting instructions.

  8. #8
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    Keep the PC on for a while...try running some programs...do what you normally would do...basically, try and ge tthe machine to shut down on its own...

  9. #9
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    Ok thank you. I'm going to try what I tried last night and uninstall office xp prof. to re-install...that usually does it (makes it shut off). I'll let you know momentarilly. It's freezing in here

  10. #10
    Ultimate Member elroy's Avatar
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    If the above suggestions don't help either take the pc to another house and try it there or plug it into a UPS and try it. You could have an electrical problem in your house since you said Geek Squad could replicate the shut down issue. I resolved a similar problem on a pc that was caused by a lamp on the users desk with a short in it. It also had been to a shop and diagnosed as "no problem found".
    “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”
    Benjamin Franklin

  11. #11
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    Thumbs up

    Oh happy day, I successfully uninstalled office xp pro and then re-installed it, no shut-offs. I'm utterly shocked. Could that really be the problem? Overheating? Even with 3 fans?

    Question: before, when my comp. would shut down for certain when I tried un-installing big programs like office and o.s. like windows, is it just really taxing on the computer which would cause it to heat up more than usual, in turn, causing a shut-down or is it just a random thing I'm trying to apply some logic to??

    I guess the question now is, if that is in fact the issue, how do I remidy it w/o having to just use this big ol' box fan forever?

    I read the last reply about taking it to another house, would hooking it up to another outlet count? Because we hooked it up to the dryer outlet as it had more amps and still shut down...also, forgive me but what is UBS? thank you for responding, this is all food for thought, I'm grateful.

  12. #12
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    A UPS is an uninterruptable power supply with a battery backup attached...basically, it a constant power suplly to your PC without chancing surges or sags in power...nad it will allow your PC to run for a short period of time if there is a brown out, etc...

    As far as the cooling remedy, I would suggest underclocking your CPU - When you uninstall preograms, the CPU is highly utilized, therefore causing more heat...and causing the shutdown...if you clock it at a lower speed, it won't get as hot...bigger fans should help you out some, especially if you get a larger heat sync and fan that sits on the CPU...

    Worst case scenario, get an intel Pentium CPU...they are just made better than the AMD's (in this case, you get what you pay for)...IMHO

  13. #13
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    oh bless you, you are doing a great service to the more "technically-challenged" people such as myself.

    Ok, I've seen those battery backup devices at Costco. Now, that makes sense. I will get one of those...bigger fan, check, I will get one of those...

    Do you happen to have any reccomendations for that fan that sits on the cpu (i.e. name etc)? What is heat-sync exactly if you don't mind me asking?

    thank you kindly.

  14. #14
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    You will most likely get the heat syn and fan togehter as one package...just ask them for the biggest and best one they have that will fir your AMD motherboard...they'll know what to get for you...

    a heat sync allows heat to be moved fro the processor to the air...it acts the same way as a radiator dioes in a car (except it's mot liquid cooled)...I do think that there are some maniacs out there using liquid cooling systems on their pc's...but I'm sure you wouldn't want to go that route...

    I would also suggest underclocking your CPU...for example...if the CPU runs at 2.4Ghz bump it down to 2.0Ghz...you won't even be able to tell the difference...and the computer will probably stay on for you...

  15. #15
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    ok gotcha on the fan topic, will do, biggest and best...

    Yeah, I wondered about underclocking, I read a little about it and wondered if I would like an slow computer...but if you can just tweek it enough to make a difference and have it not be so slow than I could definately try it. Any suggestions on how I do that? Is it ultra difficult?

    thank you

  16. #16
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    1) don't underclock

    2) amd's are just as good as intels depending on what you wanna do..if you are gaming...please don't try to tell me an intel will outperform an amd...amd processors are better with floating point operations which are required by graphics and the like...so amd's perform better in gaming..however if you are doing any rendering....or cad type of stuff..then intel will do better for you. It depends on the person..although for the lower prices...amd is a much better all around processor for the average user...they also usually run cooler than intels and use less electricity.....i do not own any amd processors so please don't call me an amd freak.....just being honest with you. (personally..i wish i had amd processors but i don't..i have celerons...lol)

    3) he is correct about needing better cooling..but the problem may not be your heatsink and fan..the problem may be that they are not put on correctly. the heatsink is just a chunk of metal with fins on it...the fins increase the surface area..or the area where metal is touching air...and the more surface area it has....the more heat it can let off. That's the purpose of the heatsink..to increase the surface area. then the fan just blows air over the heatsink to keep it cool. the problem is..if the heatsink is not touching the processor correctly..it can't absorb heat from it..if you can post up a picture of your heatsink and fan combo it may be ok..you may just need to buy what's called thermal paste and reseat the heatsink to make sure it is making good contact with the processor.

    ps. thermal paste is just a paste used to fill in any gaps between the processor and heatsink in order to increase the dispersion of heat.

    the last thing is to look at your case fans..but i gotta eat so i'll come back and explain that later.

  17. #17
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    ok..just wanted to say something to swit first...when i came here i was of the same opinion as you about amd vs. intel....but as i've looked into it..and listened to what everyone here has to say about the two, and worked on ppl's computers with the two..i've figured out that both have their purposes and both brands are good processors depending on what you do...so please don't take that the wrong way like i'm saying intel sucks or anything like that....cus that's not my purpose..all i was trying to say is that he has a nice processor and does not have to worry about it being crappy when compared to similar intel processors..just wanted to let me know he didn't get ripped off in that area (although he went to geek squad...so...the ripped off area...lol).

    ok..so case fans....for a while i had all my case fans pulling air out of the case.....this is a common mistake amound people newer to computers or newer to actually messing with the insides of the computers. lol. what ends up happening is that all of them pull air out and create sort of a vaccum in the case...there is much less air in the case than outside of teh case and as a result..the heat has less air to be absorbed into and the air that is in there is very stagnant because obviously you can't pull all the air out of a case......so what little air is in there becomes very hot..and even with 100 case fans..if they're all pulling air out...it won't do any good. same thing with all the fans pulling air in..the air in the case becomes very high pressure but still stagnant...sure it rushes out the cracks..but for the most part it isn't moving very much and eventually gets very hot and is unable to cool your processor anymore. Your goal is to get the air flowing through your case...you want to make a sort of current to bring cold air in from one side, and blow it out the other....you want one set direction for the air to travel that way you don't get any stagnant air...and you don't get any hot air being sucked back into the case. as most psu fans suck air out of the case, the most common setup is to suck air in from the front and blow it out the back....also...side fans and top fans may be used...I usually set it up that the top fan blows air out and the side fan is an intake fan, or it sucks air in, however you need to experiment with your processor fan on this one. If the side fan and your processor fan line up, this can be very important. if your processor fan works by blowing air onto the heatsink then you want your side fan to be an intake blowing cool air right into the cpu fan, however if the cpu fan sucks the hot air off the cpu, then you want to blow the hot air out of the case from the side fan. if you think about it..if the cpu fan sucks hot air off the cpu, and you have an intake side fan, it's just going to be pusing that same hot air back onto the cpu, and it won't run as cool as possible. the fact that taking the side off and putting a fan on it worked makes me think either you need to redo the way your case fans are set up to optimize cooling or you have a fan somewhere that's dying and screwing up the cooling process....as i said before...i've worked on a computer that had a dying case fan...we had to rma the motherboard 3 times because it would get too hot and fry before we finally figured out it was the rear case fan doing it. it's something to look into and I hope it works for you! let us know if any of this helps, or if you have any questions.

  18. #18
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    wow, thank you for that indepth reply, VERY informative! I haven't bought a "new" fan for quite some time, the geek squad said they were working fine but I just took them at their word...they never said anything about the flow of air, and the fact that this seems to have worked having that flow of air, makes perfect sense. I just wish I had someone here to fix it for me! Don't laugh but if I take it back to the geek squad and tell them specifically what I want in fans etc, is it your opinion that they'll understand and be able to fix it for me? I probably won't mess with underclocking just because I'd really like to fix all this and have everything working as it was designed...I'd just leave this box fan here before I did that lol. Oh and as far as amd vs intel, I do absolutely NO GAMING ever, I am just a regular joe who does internet, excel, some music and photos, so I HOPE I can make my current processor work beings I bought a new one when it appears I may not have had to (same with the motherboard, power supply etc!) sucks a biggen' oh well. Man, why didn't I post this question months ago?? Who thought I'd get such great assistance.?.?!

  19. #19
    Ultimate Member jrsweger's Avatar
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    Download and install Everest Home edition from here: http://www.lavalys.com/products.php?lang=en for some good information about your computer and what's in it. You might also want to download and run memtest86 from here: http://www.memtest86.com/ just to make sure it's not memory related. You also might want to be sure this is happening totally randomly or if it is consistent with some activity.
    If you don't volunteer don't bitch!

  20. #20
    Ultimate Member jrsweger's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sr71000
    ps. thermal paste is just a paste used to fill in any gaps between the processor and heatsink in order to increase the dispersion of heat.
    The important thing here to remember is "too much thermal paste" is not a good thing either. A thin coat is all that is needed!
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