Jump to content

Welcome to Geeks to Go - Register now for FREE

Geeks To Go is a helpful hub, where thousands of volunteer geeks quickly serve friendly answers and support. Check out the forums and get free advice from the experts. Register now to gain access to all of our features, it's FREE and only takes one minute. Once registered and logged in, you will be able to create topics, post replies to existing threads, give reputation to your fellow members, get your own private messenger, post status updates, manage your profile and so much more.

Create Account How it Works
Photo

Computer crashes


  • Please log in to reply

#1
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
My computer has just started crashing after a few minutes with no shutdown sequence, just like the power has been turned off. If I try to turn it back on the time for it to shut down is much quicker. I thought it was overheating, but using a diagnostic the temp was 27 degrees celcius. I've opened it up and cleaned some dust out and checked the fans, everything seems fine. No smell of burning and it didn't seem to be any warmer than usual.

Can someone please help?


System:

Asus M2N-MX SE
AMD Athlon 64 x2 4000+
2 gig DDR2 RAM
NVIDIA GeForce 8500 GT
Windows XP
  • 0

Advertisements


#2
Digerati

Digerati

    Grumpy Ol' MSgt (Ret.)

  • Retired Staff
  • 3,997 posts
  • MVP
The temp of what is only 27°C? There are several critical heat sensitive components inside the computer, including the CPU, RAM, GPU, and chipset. Sudden shutdowns can be caused by many things and that makes it that much harder to troubleshoot. It can be caused by heat, as you noted, but also a failing power supply, failing RAM, leaky capacitors, loose connection, or some other part that is failing.

You need to verify you have a good PSU first. Here is my canned text on testing supplies.

To properly and conclusively test a power supply unit (PSU), it must be tested under various realistic "loads" then analyzed for excessive [url="http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ripple_(electrical)""]ripple[/url] and other anomalies. This is done by a qualified technician using an oscilloscope or power analyzer - sophisticated (and expensive) electronic test equipment requiring special training to operate, and a basic knowledge of electronics theory to understand the results. Therefore, conclusively testing a power supply is done in properly equipped electronic repair facilities.

Fortunately, there are other options that are almost as good. I keep a FrozenCPU Ultimate PSU Tester in my tool bag when I am "in the field" and don't have a good spare power supply to swap in. While not a certain test, they are better than nothing. The advantage of this model is that it has an LCD readout of the voltage. With an actual voltage readout, you have a better chance of detecting a "failing" PSU, or one barely within specified ATX Form Factor Standard tolerances. Lesser models use LEDs to indicate the voltage is just within some "range". These are less informative, considerably cheaper, but still useful for detecting PSUs that have already "failed". Newegg has several testers to choose from. All these testers contain a "dummy load" to fool the PSU into thinking it is connected to a motherboard, and therefore allows the PSU to power on, if able, without being attached to a motherboard - great for testing fans, but again, it is not a true load or suitable for conclusive testing.

As mentioned, swapping in a known good supply is a tried and trued method of troubleshooting used for centuries, even by pros. Remove the "suspect" part and replace with a "known good" part and see if the problem goes away.

I do not recommend using a multimeter to test power supplies. To do it properly, that is, under a realistic load, the voltages on all the pins must be measured while the PSU is attached to the motherboard and the computer powered on. This requires poking (with some considerable force) two hard and sharp, highly conductive meter probes into the main power connector, deep in the heart of the computer. One tiny slip can destroy the motherboard, and everything plugged into it. It is not worth the risk considering most multimeters, like plug-in testers, do not measure, or reveal any unwanted and potentially disruptive AC components to the DC voltages.

And remember, anything that plugs into the wall can kill. Do not open the power supply's case unless you are a qualified electronics technician. There are NO user serviceable parts inside a power supply.
****

Here is my canned text on inspecting for leaky capacitors,

Inspect the motherboard for bulging or leaking electrolytic capacitors. These failed or failing capacitors are a common cause of sudden, but seemingly random system lock ups and reboots. The capacitors look like tall soda cans, many of which surround the CPU socket.

All older motherboards, and many of today's less expensive motherboards use electrolytic capacitors containing a liquid electrolyte. Failing (including flawed and/or abused/over-heated) capacitors literally bulge at the seams due to excessive internal pressures. Extreme (and very rare) cases result in a firecracker type explosion that can really stink up a room. Typically, electrolyte just oozes from the pressure relief point, which appears as a symbol or letter stamped in the top of the capacitor casing. The electrolyte can be caustic to motherboards and flesh. Look for white to dark-brown, dried liquid or foam on the tops or bottoms of the capacitors. Bulging capacitors are a sign leakage is about to occur.

A motherboard with bulging or leaky capacitors can be repaired, but often it is more cost effective in the long run to replace the motherboard.

Be sure to first power down, unplug the computer, and keep yourself discharged by touching the bare metal of the case before reaching in.

****
  • 0

#3
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
Thanks for the reply.

Upon further investigation and talking with a computer repairer at my work (chance meeting) it appears to be an overheating CPU.

I thought I'd fixed the problem but it's come back again. The CPU got up to 80 degrees and shutdown. I've been letting it cool for 1/2 an hour at a time and monitoring the CPU, it keeps getting up to high temps.

I've taken the side off the case and have done what I can to make sure the fan is running at maximum speed. I've reapplied thermal paste twice (a few weeks ago) and it was running fine till last night.

Now I'm monitoring the temp on Everest and only now it has seemed to stabilise. But it will probably happen again and I want a permanent solution rather than a quick fix.

Please, any suggestions to solve an overheating CPU?
  • 0

#4
123Runner

123Runner

    Member 4k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,305 posts
Have you applied the thermal paste as per THESE instructions?

To much is just as bad as to little.
  • 0

#5
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
When I reapplied I used less than the first time, probably slightly larger than suggested in that article. I put it on the centre of the mounted CPU and placed the heatsink carefully so I didn't have to move it around much at all before locking it into place.

I find at idle the CPU temp is around 55 degrees celcius, but when I started using facebook apps like Bejeweled and Farmville the temp steadily climbed without dropping. When it got to 70 degrees celcius I closed the browser window and the temp started dropping almost immediately. Generaly html web browsing barely raises the temp by more than a couple degrees.
  • 0

#6
123Runner

123Runner

    Member 4k

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPipPipPipPip
  • 4,305 posts
Is the fan ok?
Does it wobble or make noise?
Have you cleaned the fans and heat sink of dust build up?
Are there any cables in the way that block the air flow through the computer.
  • 0

#7
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
It sounds like a fan is not turning at the proper speed.
How old is the fan on the cpu?
Try running the test below and post the results.

Download Speedfan (The download link is to the right), and install it. Once it's installed, run the program and post here the information it shows. The information I want you to post is the stuff that is circled in the example picture I have attached.
To make sure we are getting all the correct information it would help us if you were to attach a screenshot like the one below of your Speedfan results.

To do a screenshot please have click on your Print Screen on your keyboard.
  • It is normally the key above your number pad between the F12 key and the Scroll Lock key
  • Now go to Start and then to All Programs
  • Scroll to Accessories and then click on Paint
  • In the Empty White Area click and hold the CTRL key and then click the V
  • Go to the File option at the top and click on Save as
  • Save as file type JPEG and save it to your Desktop
  • Attach it to your next reply

Posted Image
  • 0

#8
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
Thanks for the replies.

I've cleaned the fan and heatsink quite meticulously, there's no dust there or anywhere else on the motherboard. The fan doesn't make any unsual noises and sounds very even, no rattling at all.

I've also got the side of the case removed to help increase airflow (the case is an older "retro" one with limited airflow, and in light of these overheating problems I've left the side off when in use and put it back when turned off).

I've been using speedfan the past couple weeks and it usually says the fan operates at 3100-3125 rpm.

I'll still post a screenshot when I get home from work in a few hours.

Edited by Jaekus, 25 October 2009 - 02:56 PM.

  • 0

#9
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
Please make sure all areas are visible as the amp readings will help us also.
Thank you for the update
  • 0

#10
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
Ok, I've just turned on my computer and taken this screenshot. The temp seems pretty stable at the moment.

Attached Thumbnails

  • speedfan.JPG

  • 0

Advertisements


#11
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
With the side off is the system now running correctly?
  • 0

#12
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts

With the side off is the system now running correctly?


Well this is the dilemma. It idles fine, web browsing etc no worries. But if I want to play a game or do a virus scan or even use a facebook application the temperature just keeps climbing. I'm now keeping Everest open so when I do want to do something like this I can alt/tab back and forth the monitor the temp, and close down the application when it gets up towards 70 degrees C.
  • 0

#13
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
I just played Bejeweled Blitz on Facebook for 10 minutes. The temp went from 54 degrees to 76 celcius. I moved away from the window back to the home page and minimised the window. The temp dropped 6 degrees in the first 30 seconds and a further 9 within the next 5 minutes, currently at 61. This isn't normal behaviour, is it?

Edited by Jaekus, 25 October 2009 - 08:45 PM.

  • 0

#14
rshaffer61

rshaffer61

    Moderator

  • Moderator
  • 34,114 posts
I don't think it is.
Are you looking at CPU temp or GPU temp?
I'm just lost why it would raise that fast during the programs you are using.
  • 0

#15
Jaekus

Jaekus

    Member

  • Topic Starter
  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 160 posts
I'm looking at Everest Home Edition, the "Aux" temp in the Computer -> Sensor screen is reading the same temps as when I restart and go into my BIOS to check the CPU temp. When I use these programs it starts rising, and falls almost straight after I close out of them. The GPU temp is sitting at a steady 56 degrees celsius whilst this is happening.
  • 0






Similar Topics

0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users

As Featured On:

Microsoft Yahoo BBC MSN PC Magazine Washington Post HP