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Random reboots and shut downs

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Recently my computer has started to reboot or completely shut down for no apparent reason. I've only noticed that the shutdown occurs if i log on and don't touch the computer for about 10min (for example if i log on then leave the room for 10 min when i come back in its completely turned off) however the reboots are unpredictable. The computer is old but we have never had any problems like this and it is definitely clean (no spyware,malware or viruses). The latest thing i have installed is the zone alarm firewall which may have something to do with it and also whether it is of relevance i keep getting a pop-up from winpatrol saying that autoexec.bat has been changed then after selecting anything being told it does not exist. I know there may be a possibility that the cpu is over heated and i have read about using a hoover/vacuum on reverse (sadly my hoover/vacuum doesn't do that :) ) to get rid of the dust but i don't want to risk damaging anything anyway.The only information i have about my computer is :
WinXP , version 2002 with Service Pack 2
VIA Samuel 2
701 MHZ and 112Mb RAM
Any help will be appreciated. :tazz:
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    Retired Staff

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Hi. The first thing to address is possible over heating as the cause. Open the case and do some clean up and inspection. You can use a vacuum cleaner to clean inside of the case, but be careful. Also be sure to use anti static discharge precaustions while working inside of the case. For cleaning the heat sink (under the fan on the CPU) and fans, canned air works well. You can buy that in the electronics dept at Walmart. I recently cleaned up a computer at my work place that sat on the floor under a desk. It was FULL of dirt. I used a vacuum cleaner to take out most of it. When I went to use canned air to get the places I could not get to with the vacuum, there was so much dirt blown out of those places that I turned on the vacuum to suck it up as I blew it out.

Once you clean it up and make sure all of the fans are working, give it a try and see if this fixed it. If not, you can move on to investigating the other possible causes (memory, driver issues and even the power supply).
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