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PC shuts down - seemingly when under a "load"


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#1
DarkmageRN

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Hello. I've had this problem for many years now, over the life of two computers and I'm at wits end trying to figure out what is going on. Hang in there with me.

My current PC is about 1 to 1 1/2 years old, running XP with all updates. It was humming along fine until about 6 months ago. The computer will shut down on its own. No warning other than it freezes up for about 3 seconds before doing so. It seems to happen only when it is under a load, such as playing a game or running the virus checker.

Things we have tried:

Running a virus scan (when it gets all the way thru the scan, it never comes up with anything).
Switching out the power supply (worked better for about 3 days, then back to the problem)
Plugging it into a different outlet (no change)
Reloading the operating system (this will usually work for about a year, then the problem comes back)
Changing out the RAM (no change)
Getting a new computer (fixed the problem for almost 2 years, then it started happening with the new one)

What really gets me is that it is the same exact problem with two differnt computers. On the old computer we reloaded XP at least two times, and each time it fixed the problem for shorter periods of time until we finally threw in the towel and got a new system. Heat does not seem to be the problem.

It is driving me nuts! My husband wants to reload XP onto this one (it will be the 2nd time for this computer), but I know now that it is a temporary fix. I'd really like to know what the problem is so that can be fixed once and for all. I know someone out there knows the answer and I hope that someone is here.

I don't know all the gritty details like specs, but if you really need to know that stuff I'm sure my husband can figure that out.

Thanks! :)
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#2
rshaffer61

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:)
Lets take a look at a couple of things.

Download Autoruns from the link in my signature below:
1: Extract the Autoruns Zip file contents to a folder.
2: Double-click the "Autoruns.exe".
3: Click on the "Everything" tab
4: Remove any entries that mention "File Not Found" by right-clicking the entry and select Delete.
5: Go to File then to Export As or Save in some versions.
6: Save AutoRuns.txt file to known location like your Desktop.
7: Attach to your next reply.




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
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#3
123Runner

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Please follow what Rshaffer61 wants.

Then to add to

Heat does not seem to be the problem.

. It could very well be dust in the cooling fans inside the computer.
When was the last time that the case was opened and the fans in the case and on the CPU heatsink were cleaned. If its running hot, then a load such as running a scanner will cause a failure or lockups. Assuming this is a desktop and not a laptop. If a laptop, then airflow could be restricted by the fans.

123runner
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#4
DarkmageRN

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Yes, it is a desktop PC.

Here is the fan speed shot. The other file I downloaded, but couldn't open. Said it was corrupted.

Attached Thumbnails

  • FanSpeed.JPG

Edited by DarkmageRN, 22 February 2010 - 04:25 PM.

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#5
rshaffer61

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Redownload it. Something went wrong while you were downloading it.
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#6
DarkmageRN

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Worked this time! I hope the attachment works...

Hope this tells you something.

My husband has cleaned it before, but he says he's willing to try anything. He just needs to run out and get some compressed air.

Attached Files

  • Attached File  Eula.txt   6.84KB   64 downloads

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#7
rshaffer61

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What you sent was the EULA file which is the license. What I need is the log that Autooruns generates and you should have saved as Autoruns.txt somewhere on your Desktop as instructed.
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#8
DarkmageRN

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Oops! Sorry about that. Try this one:

Attached Files


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#9
rshaffer61

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I see nothing much in Autoruns that can cause this issue but i do have one entry i would like to comment on. You have AVG as your AV program. It has shown to be a resource hog which can slow your system down and in some cases cause this issue. I would suggest uninstalling it and using one of the free Av programs like Avast or Avira Either you can download from my signature below.
Lets do some cleaning and then run a couple of programs to see what pops up at us.


Download TFC by OldTimer to your desktop
  • Please double-click TFC.exe to run it. (Note: If you are running on Vista, right-click on the file and choose Run As Administrator).
  • It will close all programs when run, so make sure you have saved all your work before you begin.
  • Click the Start button to begin the process. Depending on how often you clean temp files, execution time should be anywhere from a few seconds to a minute or two. Let it run uninterrupted to completion.
  • Once it's finished it should reboot your machine. If it does not, please manually reboot the machine yourself to ensure a complete clean.


Download Auslogics Defrag from the link in my signature below. Auslogics Defrag in my opinion is better because:
It does a more comprehensive job at Defragging
It will actually show you what it is doing
At the end of working it will show you how much speed you picked up
You can view a online log of the files that Auslogics defragged

Go to
Start and then to Run
Type in Chkdsk /r Note the space between k and /
Click Enter ...It will probably ask if you want to do this on the next reboot...click Y
If the window doesn't shutdown on its own then reboot the system manually. On reboot the system will start the chkdsk operation
This one will take longer then chkdsk /f

Note... there are 5 stages...
It may appear to hang at a certain percent for a hour or more or even back up and go over the same area...this is normal...
DO NOT SHUT YOUR COMPUTER DOWN WHILE CHKDSK IS RUNNING OR YOU CAN HAVE SEVERE PROBLEMS
This can take several hours to complete.
When completed it will boot the system back into windows.

Let me know if this fixes the problem

After this i would like to run a memory diagnostic but i will post those instructions after the above is completed.
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#10
Marsbar

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Hello. I've had this problem for many years now, over the life of two computers and I'm at wits end trying to figure out what is going on. Hang in there with me.

My current PC is about 1 to 1 1/2 years old, running XP with all updates. It was humming along fine until about 6 months ago. The computer will shut down on its own. No warning other than it freezes up for about 3 seconds before doing so. It seems to happen only when it is under a load, such as playing a game or running the virus checker.


Just to be clear, when you say it "shuts down" do you mean it logs you off and shuts down windows (as if you've gone to Start->Shutdown) or it just blips off as if you've hit the reset button?

If the second then my first thought would be that it sounds like a power supply problem of some kind - either capacitors on the mainboard or (more likely) dodgy power supply. Is the PSU well specified for the system you're running?

Beware that although power supplies can be apparently powerful (eg "350W" headline), you need to ensure that there's enough power being supplied for each of the voltages - it should be stated on the box, while the required power ought to be in the motherboard manual. Bear in mind also that the more host-powered peripherals (USB or PCI) you use the more current you're drawing on the 5v (?) line.

If RShaffer's suggestion doesn't help you then I'd try swapping the PSU with a known good one, if you can. I've successfully replaced two or three PSUs in systems with exactly the symptoms you describe.

HTH

Geoff
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#11
DarkmageRN

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Yes, I know my AV is a resource hog. But this problem I'm having has occured with at least 3 different AV programs, if not four, so I don't think that is my problem.

The shut down occurs as if someone hit the reset button, or pulled the plug. We've tried replacing the power supply on the old machine - didn't fix it.

The computer we have now is an out of the box model. We added nothing to it except for switching out the RAM recently and removing the video card.

I'm leary about running a program that takes hours and that you can't shut off your computer during it. Becuase I know that the computer will shut down on it's own during it. I'll try the TFC.
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#12
rshaffer61

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I'm leary about running a program that takes hours and that you can't shut off your computer during it. Becuase I know that the computer will shut down on it's own during it


Which program are you referring to?
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#13
DarkmageRN

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The CHKDSK. Is that the same thing as Auslogics or are they two different things? I tried running a defrag about a month ago and the system shut down during it.

I ran the TFC and it reboot the system when it was done. The system shut down during the reboot. I tried turning it on again, and got an error messeage that I couldn't fully read before the computer shut down again. I let it sit for about 10 minutes and turned it on again, ready to quickly write down the error message, but it booted up all the way to the desk top - no problems. So frustrating.
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#14
rshaffer61

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Chkdsk is a different program. It checks the file system on the hard drive along with the directory system to make sure it is right. If not it attempts to fix it. Auslogics is a better Defrag then the Windows one IMO and does it better.
I want to check the memory as i have seen memory cause this issue in the past.

If you have more than one RAM module installed, try starting computer with one RAM stick at a time.

NOTE Keep in mind, the manual check listed above is always superior to the software check, listed below. DO NOT proceed with memtest, if you can go with option A

B. If you have only one RAM stick installed...
...run memtest...

1. Download - Pre-Compiled Bootable ISO (.zip)
2. Unzip downloaded memtest86+-2.11.iso.zip file.
3. Inside, you'll find memtest86+-2.11.iso file.
4. Download, and install ImgBurn: http://www.imgburn.com/
5. Insert blank CD into your CD drive.
6. Open ImgBurn, and click on Write image file to disc
7. Click on Browse for a file... icon:

Posted Image

8. Locate memtest86+-2.11.iso file, and click Open button.
9. Click on ImgBurn green arrow to start burning bootable memtest86 CD:

Posted Image

10. Once the CD is created, boot from it, and memtest will automatically start to run. You may have to change the boot sequence in your BIOS to make it work right.

To change Boot Sequence in your BIOS
Reboot the system and at the first post screen (where it is counting up memory) start tapping the DEL button
This will enter you into the Bios\Cmos area.
Find the Advanced area and click Enter
Look for Boot Sequence or Boot Options and highlight that click Enter
Now highlight the first drive and follow the directions on the bottom of the screen on how to modify it and change it to CDrom.
Change the second drive to the C or Main Drive
Once that is done then click F10 to Save and Exit
You will prompted to enter Y to verify Save and Exit. Click Y and the system will now reboot with the new settings.


The running program will look something like this depending on the size and number of ram modules installed:


Posted Image

It's recommended to run 5-6 passes. Each pass contains very same 8 tests.

This will show the progress of the test. It can take a while. Be patient, or leave it running overnight.

Posted Image

The following image is the test results area:

Posted Image

The most important item here is the “errors” line. If you see ANY errors, even one, most likely, you have bad RAM.
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#15
DarkmageRN

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Whoa. I think I'm getting in over my head here. lol

We switched out the RAM sticks about a week ago. I had been searching online for an answer to my problem and it was suggested that a RAM module might be bad. So my husband ordered two new modules and switched them out. No change with the problem. What are the chances that we got bad RAM again?

It sounds as if the memory test you are suggesting will take a long time, and in my experience, anything that takes a long time on this computer will make it shut down. Happens quickly with games, tho.

If we just go ahead and reinstall the OS (XP), will running this stuff you suggest still show the problem? Because in the past, reinstalling XP fixed the problem for months. At that time I'd be able to run long programs (and play games!).

I think I'm starting to hate computers... My husband has the exact same system and has no problems at all. Grrrr.
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