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Computer Turns Off While Browsing


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#1
NathanM

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Hello everyone. I've recently encountered a rather serious problem that I cannot figure out. Sometimes when I'm browsing, for no apparent reason, my PC will just shut off. And I don't mean a BSOD crash or anything like that. It's instantly turning off, like if it were a power failure. This has been going on for a week, give or take. I cannot find any information on the internet on it, other than a lot of people pointing out that something might be overheating or faulty. I can promise you that is not the case. I've been playing this game called Aion, which definitely pushes my PC, and it has never once shut off while playing it, sometimes leaving the game running all day. Possibly noteworthy is that this problem didn't occur until about the time I patched that game up to the retail version.

I haven't spotted anything specific that triggers the shutdown. At first I thought it was Firefox, but I've now had it happen a few times in Internet Explorer, so I don't know what to think. I tried uninstalling and reinstalling my video card drivers (8800GT), Java, Flash, and Shockwave, but the shutdowns continue. It's happened while browsing forums (sometimes well after the page has loaded), and it's happened instantly when clicking a link. I have not spotted a trend yet. Anyway, I'm really lost on this one, and this is a pretty big problem for me so I'd appreciate any help anyone can offer. Let me know if you need any detailed information about my system.

Edited by NathanM, 29 September 2009 - 04:20 AM.

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#2
dsenette

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random shutdowns without bluescreens are almost always a hardware issue or heat related...if it were software you'd probably be getting a blue screen or some kind of error

open up the case and clean all the dust out....get a can of compressed air from the computer store and blow all the funk out of the machine. make sure to hold all the fans still when you're blowing around them so that you don't burn the bearings out.

also depending on where your computer is you could have actual electrical issues, try running the machine from a different outlet and see what happens
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#3
NathanM

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Perhaps I would buy into this being a hardware issue if it didn't happen exclusively when using a web browser. It's definitely not a temperature issue either. I've checked the temperatures with SpeedFan and Everest and cleaned out my PC a month ago. I haven't been able to browse 10 minutes without my PC shutting off. It'll do it not long after a restart if I try to open a browser and use it. However, I've played Aion for many hours a day since the game came out and never once have I had any problems while playing. Why would I have a semi-predictable hardware failure while web browsing, but never when playing a system-intensive game?

I'm close to just reformatting because this is really not good. I was hoping I'd make it to Windows 7 release before I did that though.

Edit: I forgot to mention what happens when it shuts off. The front panel power LED starts flashing from on to off every 4 seconds or so. It will continue to do this for a while if I don't turn off the PSU. The computer will not turn back on until the blinking stops. So I have to turn off the PSU until it stops, then flip the switch back on and it'll turn on no problem.

Edited by NathanM, 29 September 2009 - 03:17 PM.

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#4
NathanM

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I think I may be onto something. I have the feeling that my RAM may be to blame. This PC is over 3 years old and runs 24/7 so it may be about time for something to go. I thought I was noticing a trend in the shutdowns, but now I've had it triggered doing other things and it seems to be doing it more often. The PSU being the problem doesn't make any sense here since the shutdowns have a pattern. Same for the motherboard. I'm pretty sure it's the RAM. Is there anyway I could know for sure?

For the longest time I thought maybe something in my windows installation had become corrupted, so I was reformatting and installing Windows 7 when it just shut down all of a sudden. One time it made it to the installation screen but 3 other times it'd shut off the instant it started initializing the install. Of course, that first time was enough to destroy my current Windows XP os, so now my computer doesn't even work until I get this figured out. Not good :).

Edit: I just tried running Windows 7 installation by removing one RAM stick and it crashed at the same spot. So I swapped in the other stick and it still crashed at the same spot. What could this mean? Isn't the CPU the only culprit left? Ugh, these obscure hardware problems.

Edited by NathanM, 30 September 2009 - 03:03 PM.

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#5
happyrock

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first...lets make sure its not your memory going bad...get memtest + here....
the lowdown is here..
get the 2nd one down and burn the ISO file to a cd and then boot it from the cd drive...

if you don't have a burning program that will burn .ISO files go here and get burncdcc ..a small FAST no frills iso
burning program...

NOTE...do not put a blank cd in until burncdcc opens the tray for you
1. Start by clicking on BurnCDCC.exe
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 in the bios the cd drive is the first boot device....put the cd in the cd drive..boot your computer....
let memtest run for at least 2 hours...if it starts showing any errors during that time then you will have
to replace the RAM...no errors after 2 hours just press Esc to end the tests and we will try some other
tests..
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#6
NathanM

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Thanks for the help, but I've actually went ahead and ordered an i5 with motherboard and RAM since whatever hardware is failing won't allow me to install Windows 7, leaving me with no operating system.

I'll probably test the RAM on another PC in order to try and figure out what the problem is.
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