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Computer randomly shuts down


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#1
sparkythefool

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I've had this problem with my computer for a couple weeks now. Sometimes, regardless of what I'm doing, the thing will decide to just shut off completely. Usually it happens when I leave it running for awhile, like overnight or something, but I don't know why it always happens then. The only program running when I leave it like that is usually AIM. It's shut down on me occasionally while I'm actually working, but it happens more often when I leave it. I don't know what the problem is at all. This same thing happened to one of my older computers, but I decided not to fix that cause the thing was too outdated to bother. This is really starting to bother me..so, any ideas?

Just in case this might be useful, I'm using a Dell Inspiron 1150. I bought it in September, so it's fairly new.
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#2
djgotee

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Hello im steve. Is the computer under any type of warrantee?
Other than that, id say there are quite a few reasons computers shut off. Like viruses, overheating, hardware problems. Try looking at your CPU temperature first. Do you know how to do this? You have to enter the CMOS (B.I.O.S) settings.
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#3
sparkythefool

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Hi Steve,

It may be under a warranty, but I can't remember if I bought it or not. I'll have to look that up. How do you look at the CPU temperature?
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#4
Retired Tech

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Get Everest Home then click + next to computer then sensor

http://www.lavalys.c...p?pid=1&lang=en
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#5
sparkythefool

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Seagate ST94811A is at 55 degrees Celsius (131 degrees Fahrenheit).
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#6
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That's the drive, did you get CPU above that, there should be 4 temperatures listed

Edited by Keith, 23 May 2005 - 06:21 PM.

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#7
sparkythefool

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So if not the temperature, what is it?
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#8
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Run through the XP Part of this to see what it tells you

http://support.micro...kb;en-us;293814
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#9
sparkythefool

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Well, I was going through that, but then I realized that once I hit this part, I had no idea what to do:

Type the name of the registry key in the following format, and then press ENTER:
UI_control_flags;major_reason_number;minor_reason_number
The UI_control_flags section of the value name can contain one or more of the following values:
• P (Indicates that the reason is planned. If this value is omitted, the default is unplanned.)
• C or B (Indicates that a comment is required.)
• S (Indicates that the reason should be displayed in the user-initiated shutdown dialog box.)
• D (Indicates that the reason should be displayed in the sudden shutdown dialog box.)
For example, if you want a reason to be displayed in the sudden shutdown dialog box, the shutdown is unplanned, and the shutdown corresponds to a major reason 2 and to a minor reason 2, type the following value name:
D;2;2
5. Double-click the new key, and then define the value data in the following format:
Title

Description
Each value is made up of two strings on separate lines; the first string is the title (this is displayed in the list) and the second string is the description (this is the text that is displayed following the selected reason).

For example, if you want to create a custom reason for a natural disaster, you can define the value data as follows:
Natural Disaster (unplanned)

A flood, an earthquake, a tornado, or another unplanned natural event requires that the computer be shut down. Specify the natural event in the comment area.
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#10
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When you have finished with the PC tonight, click start then run then type chkdsk /f /r then press enter then type Y to confirm for next boot then press enter and reboot, it will load most of the way then start to check the drive, it will take an hour or more and then go to the desktop.

If you still get the problem it is likely to be hardware related.
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#11
sparkythefool

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Thanks! I'll try that now, since I'm going out and won't be using my computer for a while.
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#12
djgotee

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Sparky, im not sure you answered the question about the temperature. What was the temp of the CPU in f and c? Being unfamiliar with everest utilities, you may also be able to check the voltages of the CPU, 12 volts, and the 5 volts. If everrest does not check voltages, you can enter CMOS and check there. Power supply problems can cause CPU overheating or shut down problems like you are experiencing. If you are able to see the power supply voltages, what are they? so i can tell you if they look out of tolerance. Somtimes even seeing these temps shows them as ok. In this case if there is a problem with the power supply, or you suspect one, youll have to substitute it with a known good one. Also, are you at ease with opening the computer case and pulling out every plugin card, except the memory, video card (if there is one)and the hard drive....and any external items that plug into the USB or printers and such. Then reboot the computer into CMOS or use everrest and look at the temps and voltages. This is only a start to look at some of the hardware. Theres more to this. Im assuming you have no viruses?
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#13
sparkythefool

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The CPU temperature was what I posted earlier. It's at 54 C and 129 F right now though. I don't know how to check the voltages through Everest..I looked around a bit and couldn't find anything, so maybe it's there and I'm just missing it. What is CMOS and how do you get into it? I have a laptop, so I don't know how easy it would be to open it up. I've opened plenty of desktops, but I've never really touched any laptops.
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#14
djgotee

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Oh ya thats right, its a laptop. gee that makes all this even harder. Well sparky, you might at this point decide to take it to a qualified tech, troubleshooting a laptop, i think you know, is tougher than desktops, the power supply and such are embedded , tough to remove. And we havnt even established if its hardware yet? There are other ways to check voltages, youd have to have a multimeter. That i assume you dont have? To enter most desktops cmos settings you would press delete over and over again when booting fromn "off". On a laptop, you might have to press f1 f2 or other "f" button while booting. Youll have to do a search at the website of your computer manufacturer to find this info or it is in your motherboard manual.
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#15
sparkythefool

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I figure if what Keith suggested doesn't work, I'm going to call up Dell and complain a lot until they send someone out to look at it and/or fix it. I don't have a multimeter..my physics teacher does, but I don't know if he'd let me borrow it. I'll check the CMOS thing next time I restart..maybe later tonight.
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