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Computer shutting itself down

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Over the past few months my computer has been shutting itself down seemingly when under heavier loads over a moderate period of time. Specifically when downloading larger files or playing games. When this occurs, attempts to restart computer results in the computer shutting itself down after about 5 seconds, well before windows loads. If allowed to sit for 15-30 minutes computer will start up. However windows will not load and the system prompts you to enter the BIOS. Once you exit the BIOS windows load up fine.

Since I built this computer in July of 2003 it has always run on the hotter side (130-140 degrees F typical for CPU temp.) Lately when this occurs and I enter the BIOS it is not atypical for the CPU temp to read 150 degrees. I suspect the heating is the problem and the 15 to 30 minute wait will restart allows it to cool. Is this likely the problem or could there be another source? If this the problem what would be an inexpensive way to fix this problem as I plan to build a replacement computer in a couple of months.

One additional thing I suspected this could be a software issue or a root kit. For this reason and a few other unrelated issues I recently reformatted the hard drive and reinstalled windows. The shutdown problem still occurs.

Also if the computer is allowed to sit idly all day long it will have no problems, this only occurs when the computer is under load.

I have also checked if the fan on the heat sink was spinning and it was. However there is a fair amount of dust on top of the heat sink under the fan.

System Specs:
Athlon XP 2400+ 2.0 GHz CPU
ATI Radeon 9500 pro 128mb
250 GB Hard Drive
Asus Motherboard (if needed i can give the model number)
Windows XP Sp2 fully updated

Edited by waffle11, 26 August 2007 - 10:56 PM.

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Neil Jones

Neil Jones

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This bears all the hallmarks of an overheating issue.

150 degrees Fahrenheit is 66 degrees Celsius so its within operating specifications, however it is a touch on the high side under idle conditions.
Having said that, most Asus boards on the Socket A platform have an option to kill the power on the board once they go above a certain temperature (typically 65, 75 or 85 degrees C). This is configurable in the BIOS.

An inexpensive way to bring temperature down is to lower the speed of the Front Side Bus (FSB). The XP2400 uses a 133Mhz figure so if you knock this back to 100Mhz, it'll come up as an XP1800, but knock 500Mhz off the physical clock speed and in turn should knock a few degrees off the operating temperature. Again depending on the board you can alter the multiplier as well as or instead of the front side bus. I managed to push mine down to 500Mhz. Okay, it took all day to do anything but it can be done with the right board :whistling:

Edited by Neil Jones, 27 August 2007 - 03:36 AM.

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