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Please Help - Computer Turns Off During Gameplay


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ApertureScience

ApertureScience

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First let me begin with my specific problem:
My computer has been shutting down during Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3 gameplay. This has only occurred, thus far, during gameplay with these two games. Computer shut down timing appears to be completely random. I could play anywhere from five minutes to over an hour before my computer turns off. Just having the game on, and idle, does not cause my computer to shut down. When my computer eventually decides to turn itself off, there is no warning. If there is any error message before my computer turns off, I cannot see it. Diablo 2 and Warcraft 3 are full-screen games, and before the computer turns off, they aren't minimized. What greatly concerns me is that when my computer shuts down during gameplay, it does so in a visually similar way to when I turn off the power supply to my monitor and tower. Everything just turns off at once without warning. But the power supply is still active, so a single light in my tower is still active, and my monitor is left with a dead blue screen as if I had turned it on, and not my tower. I have never heard of or experienced something like this before.

Secondly, let me elaborate on things I have ruled out:
When this started up, I immediately suspected some sort of malicious software to be the cause. However, after repeated scanning with AVG, Avast, and Spyware Doctor, nothing more dangerous than tracking cookies and some adware have been found. I have browsed the internet trying to find some source of my problem. Every time I see a similar post in another forum, the response to their problem is "You appear to have a heating problem." I strongly doubt that this is my problem. If this problem does have to do with heating, I would like an explanation as to why my computer does not shut down during Starcraft gameplay. My last two options I've thought of have to deal with software or hardware. I told my problem to a friend, and they told me my hard disc drive may be failing, mentioning something about how there is a spinning magnetic disc inside of it. Now, I know nothing about that, so my suspicions lie elsewhere. I'm uncertain, but I believe I may have something wrong with my DirectX or my Video Card.

I'm still researching this myself, but I am still new to this. All I've ever needed to know is which button to press and where to stick my disc to make things work. As computer illiterate as I am, any help, information, or opinions would be greatly appreciated. I would rather find the source of my problem online with some guidance than pay out of the [bleep] to have someone dig around in my computer to find a problem I could have discovered on my own. Undoubtedly something needs to be replaced or changed, since I've had my computer as it is now for about 3 years now. But if I can save money on determining what exactly needs to be replaced or changed, I can use it to buy the solution instead of using it to find the problem. I hope the information provided is enough to give you all a good idea of what is happening.

Operating System: Windows XP Home Edition
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