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PC Shuts Down Intermittently


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#1
Pulaski CM

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My HP Pavilion 533w recently started shutting down for "no reason" while I'm using it, not while in DOS mode - only in Windows mode. The monitor goes dark and the computer does not respond to the mouse or keyboard. The small HARD DRIVE indicator light on the front of the PC stays yellow and I can hear the fan running, so it's not powered down completely. But the only way I can get it back is by powering off then restarting. When this problem first started happening it was only once in a while. Now it happens every few minutes, sometimes within a couple of minutes after starting the PC. I ran AVG Anti-Virus scan, MS Total Care One Spyware remover and the Windows Disk Checker - no problems detected. The shutdown happens regardless of what software I'm using at the time (IE, Excel, Firefox - anything).
Any ideas on what's wrong? I cleaned out the dust that was inside. Any suggestions will be appreciated.
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#2
rshaffer61

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Thank you first of all for starting your own topic. This will make it easier to help you. That being said you could have one of two problems. Either of which is not a good diagnosis. Lets deal with first possible scenario.
Open the system up and turn the system on. I need the following to be checked.
PSU fan>>>>check from the back of the system
second case cooling fan>>>this is located either on inside back usually right under or oever the PSU depending on where it is
Third check the fan on the cpu >>>> this is located on your motherboard.
Make sure all fans are turning and are at a constant speed
Let the system bootup and go into windows. When shutdown happens please recheck the above and let me know if any of the fans have stopped running. Do not turn system off till you have checked first.
Reply with your findings
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#3
Pulaski CM

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I already had opened up the PC, cleaned all of the fans from dust and hairs, all fans are working - even after the "shut down" happens.
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#4
Pulaski CM

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I booted the PC into DOS and it has been running for 3 hours now.

Previous to that, the PC would run for 1 to 5 minutes and then do its shut down thing. Again, while running Windows. I checked the Events log and fixed a WMI error with SNMP, but that did not fix the shut down thing either.

I uninstalled the iTunes/Bonjour/Safari programs referred to in Events, as well as AVG 8.5 program which Windows Firewall won't recognize as a valid Anti-Virus program (but we'll save that for another Topic). That also did not fix the problem. Now no other Events are listed that give me a clue for the problem.

I don't believe (logically) that hardware is the issue - at least at this point. I think it's a Windows issue, but that's why I'm here...
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#5
Pulaski CM

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I rebooted the PC from the BIOS screen to Windows... it ran for about 6 minutes, then the sleep mode. I rebooted the PC to Windows Safe Mode... it ran for about 3 minutes, then sleep mode.

I've checked the BIOS settings... no user power settings except Enabled and Disabled (I selected Disable). I've checked the Windows Power settings, selected "Always On" and "Network Server" and "Minimal" with "Never" as the timeouts, all with the same results.
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#6
rshaffer61

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Download WhoCrashed from the link in my signature below
This program checks for any drivers which may have been causing your computer to crash....

Click on the file you just downloadedand run it
Put a tick in accept thenclick on next
Put a tick in the don't create a start menu folder then click next
Put a tick in create a desktop icon then click on install and make sure there is a tick in launch whocrashed before clicking finish
Click Analyze ...
It will want to download the debugger and install it...say yes...
WhoCrashed will create report...you have to scroll down to see it
Copy and paste it into your next reply...
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#7
Pulaski CM

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According to the program, the crash was not related to a minidump, so it's probably a hardware issue. (By the way, I am not sending these comments via the bad computer, so there is no cut and paste function available)

Edited by Pulaski CM, 15 April 2009 - 03:43 PM.

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#8
rshaffer61

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So its not showing what caused the crash?
If what you are saying you could be having one of the following problems
Motherboard
HD
CPU
PSU

So lets start with HD. Please click on the HD Diagnostic link in my signature below and download the diagnostic program for your Hard drive manufacturer. If you do not know which one it is then let me know and we will find out that info
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#9
Pulaski CM

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Unfortunately, I have to go to a training seminar from 6:00 to 11:00 pm CST. I will be back online after that, and all day tomorrow.

I will run the programs as best that I can before the thing crashes/sleeps/cat-naps and copy any messages to Notepad and then paste them into these replies.
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#10
rshaffer61

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The HD diagnostics runs outside of windows. When you boot it runs in memory from there. Hopefully it won't allow the system to turn off.
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#11
cbarnard

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I already had opened up the PC, cleaned all of the fans from dust and hairs, all fans are working - even after the "shut down" happens.


Pulaski CM:

Did you also clean out the dust build up in the heat sink?
Just checking because the heat will be retained and not dissipated if the fins on the heat sink are clogged up with dust. That's all I was thinking right now...

Good luck

Cbarnard
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#12
Broni

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Navigate to: C:\Windows\Minidump folder.
If you see any .dmp files, zip all of them, and attach zipped file to your next reply.
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#13
Pulaski CM

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When the computer shuts down: Power indicator light (power button) goes from green to black; hard drive activity light goes to solid yellow; CPU fan remains on; cabinet fan is off (this fan has a plastic shroud directing air to the CPU fan); monitor loses signal.

When I ran the computer from BIOS hardware section, the temp never got over 38 degrees Celsius... but that was just running in a DOS empty environment.

No files of any sort in the C:\Windows\Minidump folder, so I can assume that this is not a Windows crash per se.

I removed the cabinet cover and viewed the shutdown/crash process. I believe that the cabinet fan is faulty as there was no fan activity, I am replacing it. I am also removing an unused modem card. I will start the computer back up and watch...
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#14
rshaffer61

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Did the hd diagnostic test run all the way? If so I see no post for the results. Also we need to check the memory to make sure if it is running correctly


Let's check your memory and make sure there is no issue with it.Donwload memtest86 from the link in my signature below.


Get the file that is named Download - The one you want is "Download - Pre-compiled Bootable ISO (.zip). When it downloads, it will be labeled "memtest86+2.11.iso.zip"
Unzip the file once you download it. You should have a .iso file in the unzipped directory.

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files get burncdcc in my signature below.

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start BurnCDCC
2. Browse to the ISO file you want to burn on cd/dvd ....in this case its memtest86.iso
3. Select the ISO file
4. click on Start

Make sure the bios is set for the cd drive as the first boot device
Put the cd in the cd drive and then boot your computer.

Running the Diagnostic Program:

The basic diagnostic screen has five main sections of relevant information. Three at the top which are labeled, PASS %, TEST %, and TEST #. This will basically show you the total progress of the current test, the overall progress of the diagnostic test, and the test number is currently performing.

On the middle left hand side of the of the program interface there is a “Wall Time” section that will keep track of how long the diagnostic test has been running for. This just gives you an idea if you are not attending the testing process.

The main section to look for is the lower half of the screen which is usually blank. As long as the memory testing is going ok with no errors this section of the screen should remain blank. If the diagnostic program finds any serious faults in the memory you will see it display a memory dump of address’s in this section. This is similar to what is displayed on your screen when you encounter a blue screen of death.

You now have most everything you need to know about setting up and testing your memory with diagnostic programs. This guide should help you get to the source of any intermittent problems related to your memory.


Run memtest for at least 2 hours
If it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have to replace the memory
If there are no errors after 2 hours press Esc and that will end the tests
We will then try other options

Edited by rshaffer61, 16 April 2009 - 03:07 PM.

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#15
Pulaski CM

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OK, before I run the HD Diagnostics test and MemTest86, I will list what I have discovered so far:

1) Both the CPU and Cabinet Fans shut off when the system shuts down.
2) The only hardware left running after the crash/shutdown is the Power Supply (as indicated by a green LED light on the back) and the 2 Hard Drives (as indicated by the noise emanating from them). Everything else seems to be shut down or powered off.
3) I disconnected the power to the HP DVD & CD Burner, ZIP 100 Drive, and the 2nd WD Hard Drive - the system still crashed/shutdown. Plugged everything back in.
4) I replaced the built-in Video card with a PCI Video card - the system still crashed/shutdown. Removed card, plugged monitor back into the built-in Video card.
5) I have 2 sticks of 256MB, I booted up the computer with 1 stick in testing both sticks - the computer still crashed/shutdown.

I'm thinking right now that this could be a motherboard issue, and I'm really not happy about that prospect.
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